The O'Brien Law Firm, APLC

The O'Brien Law Firm, APLC

All we do is business litigation. Our aggressive business lawyers represent plaintiffs and defendants in lawsuits based on fraud, breach of contract, shareholder/partner disputes, intellectual property / trade secrets, real estate, and other matters.

Firm Overview

The O'Brien Law Firm represents both individuals and business, in business litigation and business disputes. The firm both prosecutes and defends San Diego lawsuits in the following areas:

Fraud Lawsuits - including investment fraud, real estate fraud, securities fraud, and financial elder abuse. The firm also routinely represents individuals and business in fraud lawsuits stemming from misrepresentations and/or concealment of important facts in business transactions or while negotiating contracts.

Breach of Contract Lawsuits - including breaches of promissory notes, real estate sales contracts, consulting agreements, contracts for the sale of goods or services, investment agreements, licensing agreements, settlement agreements, and commercial lease agreements.

Shareholder and Partnership Lawsuits - including lawsuits based on officer/director disloyalty or negligence, company theft/embezzlement, and involuntary dissolution.

Trade Secrets Lawsuits, involving misappropriation of such things as recipes, customer lists, inventions, business procedures, and other proprietary or confidential information.
Main Office
Main Office
525 B Street, Suite 1505
San Diego  CA  92101
  • 619-858-4738
  • 888-802-6785


Free Initial Consultation?
Complimentary 30 Minute Case Evaluation
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
Considered on case-by-case basis
Hourly Rates
The O'Brien Law Firm represents individuals and businesses in lawsuits for fraud, breach of contract, shareholder and partnership disputes, trade secrets misappropriation, business defamation, financial elder abuse, and commercial lease disputes.
A few examples of recent cases we have handled:

- Represented a business consulting company, which executed a consulting agreement with another company, which sought advice for a new venture. The contract provided that the firm's client would provide services, and the defendant would pay a retainer and commissions if the defendant used the advice. The firm's client performed, but the defendant refused to pay. The O'Brien Law Firm sued, and the client got a judgment for $365,534.

- Represented an individual who left employment with a company, and was sued for misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit and breach of contract. The employer alleged that the client took confidential information and customers - and was competing with the company and stealing its business. The former employer sought over $100,000, however, the firm resolved the matter for $0.

- Represented a couple, who bought a boat from a man who had owned it for years, and who had encountered significant maintenance issues. Despite what the seller knew about the boat, he told the clients it was in good condition. Based on the seller's statements about the condition, the clients bought the boat. A few months later, the boat started sinking. The firm won over $89,000 for clients, and even recovered their attorney fees.

- Represented a solar energy company accused of fraud and breach of contract. The plaintiff, a former partner, alleged that he agreed to introduce the client to certain contacts he had, and that, in return, the plaintiff would get $15,000 per month and 5% profits. After the firm took the plaintiff's deposition, he agreed to dismiss his lawsuit pursuant to a confidential settlement.

- Represented a married couple, who hired a florist for their wedding. After a dispute arose regarding the flowers, the clients asked for a refund and the florist refused. The clients also posted many negative reviews of the florist, on websites, such as and The florist sued the firm's clients for defamation, and asked for $2,000,000 in damages for loss of reputation, loss of business profits, and emotional distress. The Court awarded the couple a refund for the flowers and it rejected all of the florist's defamation allegations. So, the husband and wife prevailed and the plaintiff florist got nothing.

- Represented a woman in a lawsuit against a property management company for a rodent infestation. The client was hearing rodents in the walls and seeing mice. The property management company hired an exterminator, who caught 12 mice and told the company mice were entering the unit through holes in the foundation. After two weeks, the nights became so terrifying that the client could no longer sleep there, and her clothes and furniture succumbed to mice droppings and urine, and mice invaded her couch and mattress, clothes, shoes, and kitchen cabinets, causing over $17,000 in damages. The O'Brien Law Firm threatened to sue the property management company, and then confidentially settled the matter.

- Represented a woman who sold her beauty school business to another woman for $210,000. The buyer, who was to pay in installments, failed to pay several thousand dollars worth of the installments, and eventually started ignoring the firm's client, while still using the beauty school's assets, name, and property. The firm sued the buyer for the balance due under the business sale agreement. Shortly thereafter, the client was paid in full.

- Represented a computer equipment rental company after it rented equipment to a business and the equipment was destroyed during the lease. Since the contract provided the company who pay for any damage it caused, and it refused, the firm sued the defendant company for breaching its promise to pay the replacement costs of the computer equipment. After the lawsuit was filed, the parties confidentially settled the case.

- Represented a real estate company, which brought a condo with water damage the HOA promised to repair. The HOA selected a contractor, which exacerbated the damage and spread mold. While the HOA fired the contractor, it then took 4 months to select another and complete the repairs. The firm sued seeking the client's mortgage expenses, property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, unities, and decreased market value. After the lawsuit was filed, the parties confidentially settled.

- Represented a beer brewer against a brewery. Client alleged he was entitled to a percentage of the equity and profits. He also claimed the brewery took his recipes and was using them presently, without his permission or compensation. The firm filed a fraud, contract and trade secrets lawsuit, which was later confidentially settled.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

As the primary member of the law firm, clients are guaranteed to deal personally with John O'Brien from the first phone call through resolution, settlement, or the trial of their business litigation lawsuit. He is available 24/7 and strives to develop personal bonds with his clients over and above an attorney-client relationship.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

The O'Brien Law Firm practices in the area of business litigation and disputes because that is the area of John has practiced his entire legal career. After gaining invaluable experience and insight into such areas as fraud and breach of contract, John founded The O'Brien Law Firm. Apart for understanding the substantive law and procedure in these types of business lawsuits, John enjoys meeting and representing clients from different backgrounds and businesses.

Is your firm willing to help a client with one discrete part of a case, without taking on the whole case?

Yes. While this determination is made on a case-by-case basis, the firm is sometimes willing to provide legal research, document review, motion work, case strategy/advice, and even trial work on a limited basis.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

Yes. On a case-by-case basis, the firm is willing to discuss strategy or the substances of a client's case, even if they are representing themselves in litigation. This can be particularly advantageous to clients who do not have experience with lawsuits, motion work, trials, or with California's complicated civil procedure rules.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

The firm welcomes clients to educate themselves on legal issues, particularly on the firm's website. However, the firm recognizes that attorneys spend years in school and years in practice learning the substance of the law and lawsuit procedure. Moreover, there is reason attorneys must pass the bar exam, get a law license, and continuously educated themselves. People should educate themselves in all areas of life, including the law, but a person who represents themselves in a lawsuit does so at their own peril (much like a person without a medical license performs surgery on themselves).

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Yes. Having great experience in breach of contract and fraud lawsuits, the firm is open to reviewing contracts for clients. The is particularly helpful because the firm's attorneys have significant insight in what can lead to (and prevent) future lawsuits based on such documents.

What are your firm's strengths and style?

The O'Brien Law Firm's style may best be described by just some of these testimonials:

- "John has a very understanding disposition towards his clients and practices with an aggressive yet peaceable demeanor. He keeps his clients informed and explains the pros and cons to you every step of the way regarding every decision. His clients interests are his number 1 concern and he will fight for them."

- "Do not hesitate to contact Mr. O’Brien if you want consistent and effective representation for all your legal business needs in the greater San Diego area. If you want no nonsense quality representation, this is your man."

- "John was very personable and easy to work with. And, maybe more importantly, John operates his business litigation firm with integrity and honesty."

- "John is easy to work with, caring, diligent, and exhibits full force in both legal skill and personal effort. I am so grateful to have had the fortune of meeting and working with someone so highly capable and involved."

- "John was a pleasure to work with. He is thorough and fair, and saw my case through to a favorable outcome."

- "You guys have done a great job and I am glad I chose you to represent my case. Thank you for your very aggressive and successful handling of my case."

John O'Brien

Born in New Jersey, raised in Maryland, and a graduate of Boston College, John then moved to San Diego to begin his legal career.

John was on the dean's list and moot court honors board in law school. After law school, John gained invaluable experience at several prominent San Diego business litigation firms prosecuting and defending business lawsuits, before opening his own practice.

John leverages a detailed knowledge of California law and procedure and is known for aggressively and successfully representing individuals and businesses in lawsuits based on personal and business wrongdoing.

Known as an aggressive and talented litigator, Mr. O'Brien's clients have said such things as:

- "John has outstanding knowledge regarding business litigation. He has a very understanding disposition towards his clients and practices with an aggressive yet peaceable demeanor. He keeps his clients informed and explains the pros and cons to you every step of the way regarding every decision. His clients interests are his number 1 concern and he will fight for them."

- "I would unequivocally recommend John to my business colleagues, friends, and family for any San Diego business lawsuit. After getting to know John during the prosecution and successful resolution of our case, I not only consider John a valuable professional resource, but also a friend."

- "John O
  • Bar Number: 253392
    California , 2007
  • Boston College
    BA , 2003
    Major in Economics. Minor in Philosophy.
  • California Western School of Law
    JD , 2007
    Dean's List. Moot Court Honors Board.

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