John R. Clifford: Lawyer with Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

John R. Clifford


Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • e-Discovery
  • Employment & Labor
  • General Liability & Casualty
  • Construction
  • Insurance & Reinsurance Coverage
  • Product Liability
  • Transportation
Contact InfoTelephone: 619.881.3320
Fax: 619.321.6201
University California State University, Chico, B.A., with honors, 1982
Law SchoolUniversity of San Francisco School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1986
Admitted1986, California; U.S. District Court, Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Memberships & Affiliations

San Diego County Bar Association
International Association of Defense Counsel
Defense Research Institute, Past Board Member, 2007-2009
Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, Past President, 2007-2008
Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, Board Member, 2002-2003
San Diego Defense Lawyers, Past President, 2002-2003


John Clifford is an experienced trial attorney who has a diverse trial practice representing clients in employment disputes, construction accidents and complex civil litigation, as well as product liability, professional liability and general liability matters. He is known for his ability to deal effectively with sensitive issues, building trust and presenting a seamless defense.

John is a third-generation lawyer with more than 25 years of experience. One of ten siblings, he was exposed early to the legal paradigm and has developed a focused approach that enables him to quickly dissect a case and determine a highly effective strategy.

John is a past president of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA), an organization of exceptional defense trial attorneys in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. John is also the past president of San Diego Defense Lawyers (SDDL) and recently completed a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the Defense Research Institute (DRI).

Awards & Distinctions

AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Rated by American Lawyer and Martindale-Hubbell as a Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment, 2013
Selected for inclusion in California-San Diego Super Lawyers, 2007, 2009-2012, 2014


California Supreme Court Holds Design Professionals Owe a Duty of Care to Future Homeowners
July 11, 2014

Court Confirms the Limited Duty of an Insurance Broker to Procure Only Coverage Requested by the Insured
November 8, 2013


Legal Insights Publishes Two Articles by Wilson Elser Partners
April 25, 2013

Wilson Elser Partners Named 2013 Top Lawyers in San Diego
March 18, 2013

Reported CasesRepresentative Matters; Defended a commercial real estate developer/property owner in a claim alleging contaminated water involving more than 90 plaintiffs. Obtained a defense verdict for the client and recovered more than $900,000 on the indemnity claim for his client. Defended a non-profit social service agency in a claim alleging sexual misconduct regarding a developmentally disabled client by an employee. Resolved the claim professionally and with sensitivity. Defended more than a dozen claims of alleged sexual misconduct for a religious institution arising out of the amendment to California's statute of limitations in 2002. Successfully defended an optical lens manufacturer on a $27 million warranty claim involving an early generation cellular camera device. Represented a national tool manufacturer on multiple claims involving a plumbing tool, including successful defense of a class action lawsuit.

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California Supreme Court Holds Design Professionals Owe a Duty of Care to Future Homeowners
John R. Clifford,Edward P. Garson,Ian A. Stewart, July 18, 2014
The California Supreme Court in Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (July 3, 2014), held - based on common law principles - that an architect owes a “duty of care” to future homeowners in the design of a residential building. (July 3, 2014), held...

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Office Information

John R. Clifford

655 West Broadway, Suite 900
San DiegoCA 92101-8484


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