Dennis J. Ward

Dennis J. Ward: Attorney with Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley A Professional Corporation AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards



Dennis J. Ward joined the firm in May 1979, and is currently a partner in the San Jose office. His trial experience includes over 40 jury trials to verdict in the areas of professional liability, products liability, premises liability, general personal injury litigation, and construction defect litigation, including matters resulting from toxic mold claims. He has also significant experience in employment, civil rights and public entities matters. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

Born and raised in Redwood City, California, Mr. Ward received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1971. He graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1977, cum laude, and was admitted to practice before the California Bar in December 1977. Mr. Ward is a member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association and is regularly called upon to serve as a judge pro tem for the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

He has lectured on numerous topics, ranging from Handling Major Head Injury Cases to Handling Civil Litigation Cost-Effectively/Efficiently. Mr. Ward has been selected by the Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine in 2004, and 2007 through 2013, 2016-2018.

Mr. Ward is involved in numerous local civic activities, and has been appointed by the Mayor of San Jose to the Parking Advisory Commission. He is also currently the President of the San Jose Shelter Foundation, a non-profit organization.

Representative Clients

•Union Pacific Railroad


•Ropers, Majeski, Kohn, Bentley, PC Named One of California’s Top Ranked Law Firms by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
Martindale-Hubbell - August 1, 2015
Jennifer E. Acheson, Tim M. Agajanian, Lael D. Andara, Stephan A. Barber Scott W. Bermack Lawrence Borys, Michael J. Brady, Kevin P. Cody, Pamela E. Cogan (Retired), Stephen J. Erigero, Susan H. Handelman, Nicole S. Healy, James C. Hyde, Michael J. Ioannou, Gerald G. Knapton, John A. Koeppel, David M. McLaughlin, Frank J. Pagliaro, Dean A. Pappas, Arnold E. Sklar, Kathleen Strickland, Dennis J. Ward, Eric C. Weissman, Richard K. Wilson Matthew D. Zumstein

Areas of Practice (7)

  • Catastrophic/Personal Injury
  • Civil Rights
  • Elder Abuse/Rights
  • Employment Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Insurance Services
  • Product Liability
  • Toxic Tort

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
408-918-4519  Phone
408-918-4501  Fax
University Attended:
University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A., 1971
Law School Attended:
Golden Gate University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1977
Year of First Admission:
1977, California


•Santa Clara County Bar Association
•American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
•State Bar of California

Reported Cases:
Representative Experience: Catastrophic Injury; Negligence; Individual; Catastrophic/Personal Injury; The plaintiff, a 34 year old, fell over 25 feet striking, in part, his head. The fall was through a roof that had deteriorated because of lack of maintenance. There were four defendants and each defendant blamed each and every other defendant. Medical evidence indicated brain damage, and the plaintiff could no longer work in any position of significance.; The case settled eight days into trial. Our client did not pay any monies towards the settlement of $5 million. We obtained indemnity through a contract and an additional insured endorsement. In addition, we obtained reimbursement for our client of in excess of $250,000 in attorney fees and costs.; Fraud; Defendant Individual; Elder Abuse/Rights; The plaintiff, who was the defendant's grandmother, alleged that significant sums of money, amounting to more than $6 to $7 million, had been obtained by fraud and undue influence. The strategy conceived and implemented was to complete significant discovery and attempt to convince plaintiff and her attorney to submit the matter to a mediator.; The matter settled during mediation very favorably for the defendant. Since we were able to convince the plaintiff to mediate prior to significant discovery, we saved the client approximately $125,000 to $150,000 in attorney fees/costs.; Wrongful Death; San Mateo County Superior Court; Defendant Commuter Rail Line; Catastrophic/Personal Injury; The decedent was struck by a commuter rail line at a crossing. The decedent's parents sued for wrongful death, alleging among other things that the crossing was dangerous and improperly protected. After limited discovery, we were able to convince the plaintiffs' attorney that (1) the case was not one of liability and (2) client would not pay anything but a nominal amount to resolve.; The clients were dismissed in exchange for payment of $3,750.00. Had the case not resolved, litigation costs would have been over $125,000 to $150,000.; Santa Clara County Superior Court; Defendant Individual; Catastrophic/Personal Injury; The plaintiff claimed multiple fractures to her spine (compression fractures), resulting from an automobile accident involving our client. Diagnostic studies confirmed the compression fractures, but the issue was whether the subject accident was the cause. Trial testimony included significant medical evidence.; In an interesting trial result, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $30,000. The settlement offer prior to trial was $150,000, against a demand of $800,000.; Personal Injury; Mold; Defendant Apartment Complex Owner; Catastrophic/Personal Injury , Mold , Toxic Tort; Twenty-seven tenants of the defendant's apartment complex sued for personal injury and other damages resulting from exposure to mold. The medical claims ranged from transitory respiratory problems to allegations that the mold exposure caused asthma and other permanent respiratory conditions. We were able to convince the plaintiffs' attorneys to submit the matter to binding arbitration and to obtain a stipulation waiving punitive damages.; After collecting evidence for seven weeks, the arbitration began and settlement discussions were entered into. The case settled for less than the authority given. The client did not pay any money out of pocket toward the settlement.; Improper Management; Santa Clara County Superior Court; Defendant Health Organization; Catastrophic/Personal Injury , Premises Liability; The plaintiffs, parents of a 28 year old male, sued a federated organization made up of local and national organizations in voluntary association claiming that improper management of its premises resulted in the drowning of their son. Their son drowned in a Jacuzzi/spa, which had deficient warnings.; The case was tried for 14 days, resulting in a defense verdict.; Elder Abuse; Second Deed of Trust; Santa Clara County Superior Court; Plaintiff Elder Individual; Elder Abuse/Rights; Represented the plaintiff in an elder abuse matter. She was in her late 70's when she and her late husband sold their only significant asset, a multi-unit apartment complex. The equity they received was in the area of $500,000. The defendant, their broker, convinced the plaintiffs to allow him to invest their proceeds. He then began investing the proceeds in Second Deeds of Trust. This was in the early 90's, when real estate was very soft .; The defendant had no E&O coverage, but nonetheless, we were able to settle with him for $350,000.; Wrongful Termination; Alameda County Superior Court; Defendant Employer; Employment; The plaintiff, a regional sales manager, claimed he had been wrongfully terminated from his employment in violation of an implied contractual agreement. He had been employed for about 15 years by our client.; Obtained a defense verdict for our client.; Statutory interpretation, construction defect; California Court of Appeal; Non-Profit Group; Appellate , Catastrophic/Personal Injury; Appeal of judgment on jury defense verdict for client in suit by man who drowned in health club hot tub. Issues included detailed statutory and regulatory analysis and causation in context of stipulated negligence per se.; Judgment for client affirmed in published decision clarifying applicable regulations.; Andres v. Mid-Peninsula YMCA: (1998) 64 Cal.App.4th 85

Peer Reviews

A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

San Jose, California

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