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   Please note that any recommendations, case results, information and/or testimonials on this profile do not and are not meant to guarantee, predict, or warrant the outcome of any matter.


  Patrick Kearns is originally from Oregon, and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mr. Kearns obtained his B.S. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse with minors in Political Science and Criminal Justice. While attending UW-LaCrosse, Mr. Kearns was the captain of UW-LaCrosse’s NCAA wrestling team and two-time recipient of Academic All-American honors. After college, Mr. Kearns obtained his law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of law, graduating cum laude in May 2005. During law school, Mr. Kearns was a staff writer and literary editor for the Thomas Jefferson Law Review as well as a competitor on the Thomas Jefferson Moot Court Society.


       Mr. Kearns is a Partner with Wilson Elser and specializes in civil litigation with a focus on the defense of professional liability claims. He has substantial experience in the defense of malpractice claims brought against physicians and dentists.  Mr. Kearns also has experience in defending complex avaition matters, as well as various types of business and corporate law cases, including the defense of exercise equipment manufacturers in contract and sale-of-goods disputes as well as defending employers from a variety of employment-related claims such as wrongful termination and discriminatory termination actions.   


       Mr. Kearns has significant experience throughout every stage of litigation and appears in court often. He has successfully argued numerous motions in both state and federal courts; obtained favorable mediated-outcomes for his clients, and Mr. Kearns has tried multiple cases through to successful jury verdicts. Mr. Kearns is also experienced in appellate matters, having successfully defended appeals in both the California State Courts of Appeal as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


     Mr. Kearns is active in a number of professional associations including the San Diego County Bar Association, the San Diego Defense Lawyers (Member, Executive Board of Directors), the Association of Business Trial Lawyers; the Association for Southern California Defense Counsel (Member, Board of Directors); and the American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh chapter. Mr. Kearns is also very active with the Defense Research Institute (DRI) and was the Program Chair for the 2014 Medical Liabilty and Health Care Law Seminar.  In 2007, the San Diego Daily Transcript designated him as a “Top Young Attorney” and in 2008 he was presented with an award as an “Outstanding New Lawyer” by the San Diego Defense Lawyers. He was recently identified as a "2015 Rising Star" by Super Lawyers; and received an award for "Best of the Bar" by the San Diego Business Journal in 2015.


     Mr. Kearns is also an active member and the current Committee Chair for the San Diego County Bar Association’s Legal Ethics Committee. He speaks frequently to the legal community on matters of legal ethics. He spends his free time with his wife, who is also an attorney.



Practice areas


  1. Aviation: 35%
  2. Medical Malpractice: 35%
    11 years
  3. Business: 20%
  4. Appeals: 10%
    11 years

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

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  • Harris Justin Brumer

    Patrick is a superb attorney. Smart, hard-working, and dedicated, he works extremely hard for his clients and gets the job done. He's very down to earth and highly personable, as well. Active within the community and the San Diego Bar, he understands the importance of giving back. I enthusiastically endorse Patrick. He's a great lawyer and an even better person.


    Harris Brumer Divorce and separation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker

655 W. Broadway, Suite 900
San Diego, CA, 92101


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Rising StarSuper Lawyers2015
Best of the BarSan Diego Business Journal2015
Outstanding New LawyerSan Diego Defense Lawyers2008
Top Young AttorneySan Diego Daily Transcript2007
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerWilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP2015 - Present
Of CounselWilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker2008 - Present
Associate AttorneyKoeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck2007 - 2008
Associate AttorneyNeil, Dymott, Frank, Harrison & McFall, LLP2006 - 2007
Association namePosition nameDuration
San Diego County Bar Legal Ethics CommitteeCommittee Chair2015 - Present
San Diego Defense LawyersMember, Executive Board of Directors2014 - Present
Professional Liability Underwriters Society (PLUS)member2013 - Present
Association of Defense Trial AttorneysMember2012 - Present
Association of Business Trial LawyersMember2009 - Present
American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh ChapterActive Alumni Member2009 - Present
Association of Southern California Defense CounselMember, Board of Directors2007 - Present
Defense Research InstituteProgram Chair - 2014 Medical Liability & Health Care Law Seminar2007 - Present
San Diego County Bar AssociationMember2006 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Ponani Sukumar v. Med-Fit Systems Inc.; Nautilus Inc.Defense Verdict on all counts, for both defendants.
Sznyter v. Malone Inc.Jury verdict 12-0 in favor of the defense on all counts.
Sukumar v. Direct FocusAffirmed for the Defense.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
San Diego County Bar - Ethics in BriefBack to the Drawing Board2014
San Diego County Bar - Ethics in BriefThe Hits Keep on Coming2014
DRI TodayIs There a Doctor in the House?2014
S.D.C.B.A. "Ethics Corner"Beware the Frivolous Appeal2012
San Diego County Bar Association "Bar Report"Candor to the Court is Serious Business2012
San Diego County Bar Association "Ethics Corner"Beware: Ex Parte Communications Can Be Toxic2012
San Diego Defense Lawyers Association's "The Update"Objecting to Evidence in Summary Judgment Motions2010
San Diego Defense Lawyers Association's "The Update"Pro Per Trials2009
San Diego Business Journal“Forcing Arbitration May Actually Force You Into Court”2006
San Diego Business Journal“Respondeat Superior: A Look at When Employers May be Held Liable for Employee’s Conduct”2006
San Diego Business Journal“Discharged Employees May be Coming Back for More”2006
San Diego Business Journal“ Recommendation: Accommodation: An Employer Approach to Disability Discrimination”2006
San Diego Business Journal“You Can’t Go to Work Looking Like That Can You?”2006
San Diego Business Journal“Employee Personnel Records: A Look at Employers’ Obligations and Employees’ Rights of Access”2006
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Thomas Jefferson School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2005
University of Wisconsin, LaCrosseSociologyBS - Bachelor of Science2001
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
SDDL L&L SeminarThe State of California Ethics2015
Legal Ethics MCLELegal Ethics in the Modern Age2015
Lunch and Learn MCLE SeriesYou Want Who to do What? An interactive look at Bias in the legal profession2014
ASCDC San Diego Litigation SeminarBest Practices in Defending Damages2014
San Diego Paralegals Assoc.Legal Ethics in the Digital Age2013
Guest Lecture - MBA StudentsBusiness and Corporate Ethics2013
San Diego Defense Lawyers Assoc. MCLE SeriesCalifornia Legal Ethics Primer2012
MCLE EventOnly In California - Substantive Differences Between California Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Rules2012
L.S.I. Annual Meeting"Ethics in Our Everday Practice"2012
CLE Event"Dealing with Difficult Clients" - Ethical and Practical Considerations2012
Specialized Credits SeminarThe Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession2011
Bridging The GapEthics in the Legal Profession: The Rules You Need to Know2011
CLE PresentationNotable Differences between the ABA Model Ethics Rules and the California Rules of Professional Conduct”2010
CLE Ethics PresentationDevelopments in Ethical Rules and the Impact of Social Networking on the Attorney Client Privilege2010