Robert G. Knaier
Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in San Diego, CA
Attorney Robert G. Knaier is a partner with Fitzgerald Knaier LLP, in San Diego, California. He has substantial experience in all aspects of civil litigation, including trial and appellate work. He maintains a diverse practice, representing defendants and plaintiffs in business litigation, and plaintiffs in personal injury matters.
Along with maintaining a successful legal practice, Mr. Knaier has earned numerous distinctions, is highly active in the national and local legal communities, and has held a number of leadership roles with various professional legal organizations. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities. From 2016 to 2018, he was a member of the governing Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Science & Technology Law; and he currently is Co-Chair of the Section’s Scientific Evidence Committee, and an Associate Editor of the Section’s quarterly journal, The SciTech Lawyer.
At the local level, Mr. Knaier is a long-time member of the William B. Enright Inn of Court; is a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers’ Board of Governors; previously served as Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service Committee; and is the Evidence Column Editor for Trial Bar News, the journal of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. Dedicated to advancing legal education, Mr. Knaier also served three years as an Adjunct Professor in the “STEPPS” program at California Western School of Law, where he taught second-year law students practical skills and professional ethics.
A 1999 summa cum laude graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Mr. Knaier obtained his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Cornell Law School in 2003, where he graduated Order of the Coif. After law school, Mr. Knaier clerked for Judge Richard C. Wesley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is licensed to practice in New York and California.
About Robert G. Knaier
First Admitted: 2004, California
Professional Webpage: http://fitzgeraldknaier.com/attorney-profiles/robert-knaier....
- California Bar
- Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
- Member: American Bar Association (Member, Section of Science & Technology Law; Co-Chair, Scientific Evidence Committee); New York State Bar Association; San Diego County Bar Association (former Chair, Lawyer Referral & Information Service Committee); Association of Business Trial Lawyers; Hon. William B. Enright American Inn of Court; Animal Legal Defense Fund.
- Admitted to Practice: New York, 2004; California, 2004; United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; United States District Court for the Southern District of California; United States District Court for the Northern District of California; United States District Court for the Eastern District of California; United States District Court for the Central District of California; United States District Court for the Western District of New York.
- University of California, San Diego, B.A., summa cum laude, 1999
- Cornell Law School: West Group Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award (for being one of the top four students of the first-year class); CALI Excellence for the Future Award (for highest grade in Torts, in Products Liability, and in Problems in Advanced Torts); Fredric H. Weisberg Prize (for highest grade in Constitutional Law); Order of the Coif.
- University of California, San Diego: Muir Scholar Award (top 1% of John Muir College at graduation); Provost’s Honors (earned each term attended); Caledonian Honor Society of John Muir College; Golden Key National Honor Society; Departmental Honors in Philosophy
Pro bono/Community Service
- Successfully represented an individual seeking release from detention by the Department of Homeland Security, on bond, pending the resolution of his removal case at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Provided research for and advice to the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Successfully defended an appeal on behalf of a San Diego housing developer that provides assisted-living services to the homeless and mentally ill. Served on Latham & Watkins’ Pro Bono Committee, during which time the San Diego office received numerous awards for its pro bono and public service work, including the California Innocence Project’s 2009 Pro Bono Law Firm Award, Casa Cornelia Law Center’s 2009 and 2010 Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award, and the San Diego County Bar Association’s 2010 Law Firm Public Service Award. Regularly volunteer as a judge for moot court and negotiations competitions at University of San Diego School of Law and California Western School of Law. Volunteer scorer for the San Diego County High School Mock Trial Competition. Volunteered my time to students interested in learning about the practice of law, including attending pre-law events at the University of California, San Diego; and lecturing to high-school students and providing opportunities for them to accompany me to court appearances.
Other Outstanding Achievements
- Received Animal Legal Defense Fund's "Advancement in Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Award", 2014
- Prior (Really) Bad Acts: Character Inferences and Sexual Assault, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Trial Bar News, Vol. 43, Issue 8 (Oct. 2020)., 2020
- Deepfakes and Demonstratives: On the Limits of Trusting Video Evidence, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Trial Bar News, Vol. 44, Issue 3 (May/June 2021)., 2021
- Probably Certain?? The Burden of Proof in “Settle and Sue” Legal Malpractice Cases, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Trial Bar News, Vol. 44, Issue 1 (Jan./Feb. 2021)., 2021
- Ways of Knowing Things: The Epistemologies of Law, Social Science, Science, and Medicine: Workshop for Joint Master's Program in Health Law, California Western School of Law and University of California, San Diego (November 11, 2008), 2008
- “Fresh in the Witness’ Memory”: The Practical and Psychological Limits of “Past Recollection Recorded,” Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Trial Bar News, Vol. 43, Issue 7 (Aug./Sept. 2020)., 2020
- The Forensics of Forgery: On the Helpfulness and Reliability of Handwriting Analysis, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Trial Bar News, Vol. 43, Issue 4 (April 2020)., 2020
- Bite Marks and Backpedaling: On Reversing and Preventing the Consequences of Faulty Forensic Evidence, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Trial Bar News, Vol. 42, Issue 6 (June/July 2019)., 2019
- “Because My Expert Said So”: How Not to Introduce Evidence, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Trial Bar News, Vol. 41, Issue 10 (Dec. 2018)., 2018
- The Neuroscience and Psychology of Attention and Decisionmaking: Presentation to William B. Enright American Inn of Court (March 21, 2013), 2013
- Attorneys' Fees: Procedural, Practical and Ethical Issues: Panel Discussion, William B. Enright American Inn of Court (November 18, 2008), 2008
- Liability for Product "Defects": Presentation to ASM International, San Diego Chapter (February 26, 2009), 2009
- Expert Witnesses: Selection, Preparation, and Challenging the Opposition: Continuing Legal Education presentation to the University of San Diego Paralegal Program (July 25, 2011), 2011
- “Not Merely Specious, but Nonsensical”: Lessons in Law and Professionalism in Cypress Semiconductor Corp. v. Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., ABTL San Diego Report, Vol. XXII, No. 3 (Fall 2015), 2015
- Ethics in an Online World: Team leader for presentation to William B. Enright American Inn of Court (March 20, 2014), 2014
- Implicit Bias 101: What All Lawyers Need to Know: Panelist for Continuing Legal Education Webinar, American Bar Association Section of Science and Technology Law (August 31, 2015), 2015
- It's a Buyer's World: Panel Discussion, Association of Business Trial Lawyers' 42nd Annual Seminar, Countdown: The Digital World Confronts an Analog Profession (October 2, 2015), 2015
- Techniques and Ethics of Persuading Juries, Judges, and Each Other: Lessons from Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology: Presentation to California Western School of Law STEPPS Program (December 9, 2015), 2015
- Challenging Experts: Excluding Expert Testimony Under Sargon Enterprises v. University of Southern California: Mock argument presentation to William B. Enright American Inn of Court (March 10, 2016), 2016
- Litigation Avoidance and Prevention, in BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION IN FEDERAL COURTS, ABA Section of Litigation, Robert L. Haig, ed. (2005) (with Michael J. Weaver), 2011
- Associate Editor, SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE REVIEW, MONOGRAPH NO. 7: CURRENT ISSUES AT THE CROSSROADS OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND THE LAW, ABA Section of Science & Technology Law, Cynthia H. Cwik and Helen E. Witt, eds. (2006), 2006
- Stevenson v. CB Richard Ellis: The California Court of Appeal Expands the Tort of Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage, ABTL San Diego Report, Vol. XIII, No. 3 (Summer 2006) (with Ken Fitzgerald), 2006
- Keeping It In-House: Guidance to General Counsel on How to Stay Out of Court, in PREVENTIVE LAW AND PROBLEM SOLVING: LAWYERING FOR THE FUTURE, Vandeplas Publishing, Thomas D. Barton, ed. (2009), 2009
- Providing Materials to the Expert, in LITIGATORS ON EXPERTS: STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING EXPERT WITNESSES FROM RETENTION THROUGH TRIAL, ABA Section of Litigation (2010) (with Cynthia H. Cwik and L. David Russell), 2010
- The Perilous Claim of Lost Business Profits, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego Trial Bar News, Vol. 38, Issue 8 (October 2015) (with Ian Fusselman), 2015
- The Brain on Trial: Neuroscience Evidence in the Courtroom: Mock trial participant at 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Bridging Science and Society (February 20, 2010) (mock trial exercise highlighting the uses (and misuses) of neuroimaging evidence)., 2010
- Homeopathy on Trial: Allen v. Hyland’s, Inc. and a Failure of Evidentiary Gatekeeping: Paper presentation, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Conference 2016 (October 30, 2016)., 2016
- A Gatekeeper Embraced: Expert Opinion Testimony and the Long Road from Daubert to Sargon, California Litigation, Vol. 26, No. 3 (2013)., 2013
- Are Cigarettes Defective in Design?: California and New York Diverge in Approach and Result, New York State Bar Association Journal, Vol. 81, No. 1 (January 2009)., 2009
- Homeopathy on Trial: Allen v. Hyland’s, Inc. and a Failure of Evidentiary Gatekeeping, 57 Jurimetrics J. 361-396 (2017)., 2017
- Watch What You Say (and Do): The Use of Settlement Negotiations and Mediation Conduct to Prove Bad Faith Under California’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, 50 Cal. W. L. Rev. 1 (2013-2014)., 2014
- An Informed Choice Duty to Instruct? Liriano, Burke, and the Practical Limits of Subtle Jurisprudence, 88 Cornell L. Rev. 814 (2003)., 2003
- Expert Evidence in the Ninth Circuit, in Scientific Evidence Review, Monograph No. 8: Admissibility and Use of Expert Evidence in the Courtroom, ABA Section of Science & Technology Law, Cynthia H. Cwik and Clifton T. Hutchinson, eds. (2008) (with Cynthia H. Cwik)., 2008
- Techniques and Ethics of Persuading Juries, Judges, and Each Other: Lessons from Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology: Presentation to California Western School of Law STEPPS Program (December 9, 2015) (lecture on the ethics of deploying recent findings in neuroscience and experimental psychology, in the service of persuasive advocacy)., 2015
- Represented a pediatric surgeon in litigation in federal court, claiming defamation and anticompetitive attempts to preclude him from practicing his specialty; resolved the case favorably pre-trial., 2020
- Represented an apex executive of an international financial-software company accused of harassment; successfully obtained a dismissal of the matter with prejudice., 2021
- Represented in international manufacturer and distributor of cat litter in litigation in federal court. The client sought approximately $2 million in contract damages from a former broker, and a declaration of ownership of a successful trademark and trade dress that it developed over the course of many years--but which its former broker attempted to misappropriate. The case went to trial, and the jury returned a unanimous verdict in the client's favor, on all counts. , 2019
Last Updated: 5/15/2022