John D. O'Connor

Top rated Business Litigation attorney in San Francisco, California

O'Connor and Associates
John D. O'Connor
O'Connor and Associates

Practice Areas: Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation

Licensed in California since: 1972

Education: The University of Michigan Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2004, 2006 - 2010, 2014 - 2024

O'Connor and Associates

4 Embarcadero Center
Suite 1400
San Francisco, CA 94111 Phone: 415-693-9960 Email: John D. O'Connor Visit website


John O'Connor is a successful litigator who has tried more than 70 cases at both state and federal levels through the U.S. His results in complex, contentious and closely held business disputes are highly admired. In practice since 1972, he has held Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating*, "AV-Preeminent," for more than 30 years.

John O’Connor also provides attorney fee expert witness and consultancy services, as well as attorney fee litigation services, representing both law firms and clients in attorney fee litigation and alternative dispute resolution throughout the country.  John has been recognized as “the Nation’s Top Attorney Fee Expert” by since 2017. He travels throughout the country representing clients as an expert witness.

The Verdicts and Settlements publication for excellence in trial work twice featured Mr. O'Connor as "Litigator in Profile." He has also been asked to speak to numerous civic groups and professional associations. 

Mr. O'Connor graduated with his A.B. magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. He earned his J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. His law firm, O'Connor & Associates, is based in San Francisco, California.


*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

First Admitted: 1972, California

Professional Webpage:

  • Won several AmJur Awards as the most Outstanding Student in several Classes
  • Featured twice as Litigator in Profile by the Verdicts and Settlements publication for excellence in Trial Work
  • Cum Laude, University of Michigan Law School
  • Highest Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Rating for over 25 years
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Member, Michigan Law Review, 1970 - 1972
  • Associate Editor, Michigan Law Review, 1971 - 1972
  • Speaker, Commonwealth Club, the Annual Convention of the American Bar Association
  • Speaker, San Francisco Bar Association
  • Judge Stephen Haberfeld moderated a panel discussion with attorney fee experts John O'Connor and Trey Cox, concerning case strategies, using experts, for winning and defeating attorney fee claims in court and arbitration.  O'Connor and Cox discussed effective fee presentation, fee calculation, and the introduction of key evidence, often best and occasionally only possible via expert testimony.  Judge Haberfeld offered tips and comments from his judicial and arbitral perspective.  The panel concluded by addressing several hot issues and trends along the fee recoverability spectrum.  This program was designed for fee-seeking and fee-challenging attorneys, including corporate counsel., Panelist, Winning Attorney Fees in Court: Use of Experts, Case Strategies & Hot Issues, National Association Of Legal Fee Analysis, 2015
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Received a directed verdict for his client in a Sherman Act §2, Antitrust action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California (Sacramento)
  • Both successful defense and successful pursuit of a wide range of claims against numerous and varied insurance industry entities, including property and casualty insurers; life and disability carriers; workers' compensation insurers; re-insurance and excess carriers; and insurance agents and brokers
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a wrongful death brake failure case in which both parents were killed and the two orphans were severely injured
  • Obtained favorable settlements and verdicts in employment cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants
  • Obtained a $500,000 verdict in a soft tissue injury case after the defense rejected a $33,000 arbitration award
  • Substantial experience in both defense and pursuit of construction defect claims
  • Obtained defense verdicts in the first four "civil RICO" fraud suits tried in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco)
  • Significant experience in toxic tort cases addressing issues of medical and toxicological causation, liability, and damages involving tobacco, silicon, beryllium, aromatic hydrocarbons and other chemical products
  • Successfully defended at trial a $109,000,000 claim for the death of a wealthy real estate entrepreneur in San Francisco County Superior Court
  • Represented individual investors who opted out of class action securities litigation against Prudential Bache, and obtained recoveries several times greater than class action payments
  • Received a $165,000,000 counterclaim settlement in a hotel/casino lease dispute after an eight week jury trial in Nevada
  • Obtained closure of banks, savings and loans and credit unions, followed by pursuit of director and officer, professional liability and bond claims on behalf of governmental institutions
  • Defended an $8,000,000 container crane construction defect claim while receiving a $2.7 million verdict for his client on a counterclaim for bidding misrepresentation
  • Successful defense of numerous civil rights suits against local, state and federal governmental entities
  • Received a defense verdict for his client in a case alleging an uncompensated joint venture dissolution/expulsion in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburg)
  • Obtained highly favorable settlements on behalf of evicted commercial tenants
  • Obtained a defense verdict in an age discrimination case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco)
  • Supervised firm trial lawyers in successful defense of over 5,000 asbestos cases; only one net payable plaintiff’s verdict in approximately 100 trials
  • As co-counsel, obtained $3,000,000 and $3,600,000 defamation verdicts against a major insurance carrier, and successfully upheld the verdict on appeal through both the California Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court
  • Performed extensive work for both plaintiffs and defendants in professional liability and director and officer litigation, including accounting, legal, financial, and medical issues
  • Obtained acquittal, dismissal after motion to suppress and no-bill in various cases as a criminal defense attorney
  • Obtained a defense verdict for his client in an unfair competition/fiduciary claim as well as a $1,300,000 verdict for his client on a defamation, wrongful termination counterclaim in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco)
  • Obtained dismissals before trial of several "lender liability" suits against large commercial banks
  • Obtained a defense verdict in San Francisco County Superior Court with a paraplegic plaintiff
  • Obtained evictions on behalf of landlords in commercial leasing disputes
  • Successfully bench-tried several insurance coverage actions, both for insurers and insureds
  • Supervised innovative mass settlements of thousands of asbestos cases on terms favorable to client
  • Wrote all "state of mind" and Fifth Amendment briefing for the government in the United States v. Hearst prosecution
  • Obtained defense verdict in trial alleging significant automobile product manufacturing and design defect claims
  • As an Assistant United States Attorney, obtained guilty verdicts against each defendant brought to trial
Educational Background:
  • University of Notre Dame, A.B., magna cum laude, 1968

Office location for John D. O'Connor

4 Embarcadero Center
Suite 1400
San Francisco, CA 94111


17 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2004, 2006 - 2010, 2014 - 2024

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