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About me

I grew up in New York City in the borough of Queens. I am the oldest of three children and I have a sister four years my junior and a brother eight years my junior.  My father was a New York City Police officer and my mother was a homemaker who also worked part-time as a waitress.  I attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn which was run by the Christian Brothers.  It was a great place to be educated.  While at Loughlin I was a member of the swimming and waterpolo teams and participated in scholastic debate and public speaking.  During my high school years I worked on weekends as a busboy in a supper club on Long Island. 


I was fortunate to obtain a congressional nomination and an appointment to attend the United States Naval Academy which had been a long time aspiration.  Four days after graduating from high school on June 22, 1968 I entered the Academy on June 26th to commence plebe summer.  I graduated from USNA on June 7, 1972 and was commissioned an Ensign (O-1) in the U.S. Navy.  I served two years as a surface officer on board USS Pyro (AE-24) participating in three Western Pacific deployments including service in support of combat operations in Vietnam.  I entered BUD/S (Basic Underwated Demolition/SEAL Training in the fall of 1974.  In March of 1975 I was assigned to the USS Monticello (LSD-35) and made a fourth West Pac deployment in 1976.  In February 1977 I was assigned to Recruit Training Command San Diego as the assistant military training officer.  In 1978, as a Lieutenant (O-3) I resigned my active commission in order to enter law school.  I was subsequenlty given a commission in the United States Naval Reserve.   During my subsequent reserve career I had the opportunity to serve as the reserve commanding officer of two Naval Reserve Force ships including USS Pluck (MSO-464) and USS Hepburn (FF-1055).  I retired from the Naval Reserve having attained the rank of Captain (O-6) in 1996.


 I attended Brooklyn Law School in New York for one year during which I was elected by my classmates as president of one of the two first year class sections.  I decided to seek a transfer to the University of San Diego School of Law  (USD) following a visit to San Diego during spring break.  I received approval of my transfer request and returned to temporary active duty during the summer of 1979 serving as a compnay officer at the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI.   In August of 1979 I resumed my legal studies as a student at USD.  In November of 1979 I had the good fortune to meet the woman who would ultimately become my wife and the mother of our four children.  While in law school I worked as a clerk in several law firms and as an intern in the Bronx, NY District Attorney's Office, in the process acquiring a broad mix of legal experience and training. 


Following graduation from law school I began a clerking position at the firm of Rhoades and Hollywood and while there was offered an associate postition which I accepted.  During the time I worked in the firm as an associate and shareholder it underwent several name changes first becoming Rhoades, Hollywood & Neil, later Hollywood & Neil when John Rhoades went on the federal bench. The name then became Neil, Dymott, Perkins, Brown & Frank following the departure of Harrison Hollywood who subsequently was appointed to the Superior Court bench.  The firm name changed again becoming Neil, Dymott, Brown, Frank & Harrison and following the appointment of Dave Brown to the Superior Court became Neil, Dymott, Frank, Harrison & McFall. While an associate at Rhoades & Hollywood I served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Barristers Club and was elected President in 1985.  I also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel ultimately serving as President in 2003 of the largest in -state defense bar organization in the country.


 In 2007 I chose to explore new opportunties and joined the firm of Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson and Haluck as a partner in the firm's San Diego office.  In 2008 I joined the national firm of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitiz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP as a partner in the San Diego office assuming the duties of Regional Managing Partner in October of 2008.


During my legal career I have tried in excess of 100 cases to jury verdict in state and federal courts.  I am an Advocate rank member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of Americal.  I currently serve as the Pacific Regional Director of the Defense Research Institute (DRI) representing California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.


Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 100%



Hourly ($275-400/hour), contingent (33-40%), Free consultation (60 minutes)

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Contact info

Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP

655 W. Broadway
Suite 900
San Diego, CA, 92101-8484


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super Lawyer 2010Super Lawyers Southern California2010
Best LawyerAmerica's Best Lawyers2010
Super Lawyer Southern California 2009Super Lawyers.com2009
Super Lawyer Southern California 2008Superlawyers.com2008
Top San Diego LawyerSan Diego Daily Transcript2008
Super Lawyer Southern CaliforniaSuperlawyers.com2007
Defense Lawyer of the Year 2004San Diego Defense Lawyers2005
FellowInternational Academy of2001
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerKoeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP2007 - 2008
ShareholderNeil, Dymott, Frank, Harrison & McFall, LLP1982 - 2007
Association namePosition nameDuration
Litigation Counsel of AmericaFellow2009 - Present
Association of Defense Trial AttorneysMember2002 - Present
International Academy of Trial LawyersMember2001 - Present
American Board of Trial AdvocatesMember1992 - Present
Defense Research InstituteMember1987 - Present
California Defense CounselMember1986 - Present
San Diego Defense Lawyers AssociationMember1985 - Present
Association of Southern California Defense CounselMember1983 - Present
San Diego County Bar AssociationMember1982 - Present
Association of Business Trial LawyersMemberN/A
American Inns of CourtMemberN/A
Professional Liability Underwriting SocietyMemberN/A
Southern California Association for Healthcare Risk ManagementMemberN/A
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Sukumar v. Med-Fit Systems, Inc, & Nautilus, Inc.Defense verdict for both clients
Corona v. PimentelDefense verdcit
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of San Diego School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1981
United States Naval AcademyN/ABS - Bachelor of Science1972
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Brown Bag CLEDirect and Cross Examination2008
Trial by the MastersCross examination of plaintiff expert2007
ASCDC Annual Meeting and SeminarOpening Statement2007