Overview

John S. Worden is a trial lawyer. He has tried dozens of cases for plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts and in front of judges, juries, and binding arbitration panels. To date, he has won 25 of the last 27 cases he has tried. Although most of his trials have been on the defense, John has four 7-and 8-figure plaintiffs verdicts. He practices throughout the U.S. and, in addition to substantial work in California (he is the leader of the firm’s litigation practice group in San Francisco) and elsewhere, he heads the firm’s Nevada practice (where he has tried—and won—six cases to verdict). John joined what is now Schiff Hardin’s San Francisco office in 1989. He served as the San Francisco predecessor’s managing partner.

John is one of the youngest elected members of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an invitation-only organization whose elected members include the nation’s most experienced and respected trial lawyers. He was similarly elected to The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC). For the past seven years, John has been chair of the San Francisco Bar Association’s (BASF) Arbitration Section.

In 2015, John was named the BASF Lawyer of the Year. For the past three years, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye presented John with the BASF Volunteer of the Year award for his work with their pro bono and diversity programs.

In his spare time, John is a black belt kung fu instructor, having received multiple golds at the National Kung Fu Championships in Baltimore. He was also a silver medalist at the 2003 World Kung Fu Championship in São Pablo Brazil.

  • Experience

    Trial Practice

    John has tried cases in every one of the following areas:

    • Commercial
    • Construction
    • Contract
    • Environmental
    • Finance
    • FINRA
    • Insurance
    • Labor and Employment
    • Personal Injury (plaintiff and defense)
    • Real Estate
    • Reinsurance
    • Securities
    • Wrongful Death

    Financial Services

    In addition to his courtroom trial work, John’s experience in the financial services area involves dozens of FINRA arbitrations, ranging from banking disputes and customer suits against broker-dealers to venture capital and private equity disputes.

    Insurance Coverage

    John has successfully represented both policyholders and carriers in insurance disputes in such areas as:

    • Comprehensive General Liability
    • Construction
    • Directors & Officers
    • Environmental/Asbestos
    • Life Insurance
    • Personal Injury
    • Reinsurance
    • Wrongful acts

    Construction

    John has handled construction disputes for 25 years, representing subcontractors, prime contractors and owners in all types of litigation, including:

    • Commercial general and subcontractors on commercial projects throughout California and Nevada
    • Multiple Las Vegas casinos
    • The largest contractor (HVAC) in a $60 million Stockton waterfront redevelopment hotel project
    • The largest subcontractor (electrical) in the $8 billion Las Vegas CityCenter project
    • The owners/developers in numerous residential home and condominium developments throughout the West

    Personal Injury

    John has handled and tried for plaintiffs and defendants the following types of personal injury cases, including:   

    • Asbestos
    • Automobile and Trucking
    • Catastrophic Injury
    • Premises Liability
    • Wrongful Death
  • Credentials

    Education

    • Seattle University School of Law, J.D., 1989, magna cum laude
      Seattle University Law Review, Editor
    • Seattle University, B.A., 1986, with honors, honors program

    Bar Admissions

    • California
    • Nevada

            Professional Memberships

            • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), San Francisco Chapter
            • The Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), Diversity and Membership Committee
            • Bar Association of San Francisco, Board of Directors (2014-Present), Barristers Club, Board of Directors
            • Bar Association of San Francisco, Litigation/Arbitration Section, Chair (2011-Present)
            • Bar Association of San Francisco, Antitrust and Securities Litigation Section, Past Chair
            • Bar Association of San Francisco, Justice & Diversity Center, Director (2011-2013)

            Teaching Appointments

            • University of California – Hastings College of the Law, Adjunct Professor of Law (1996-Present; Evidence and Litigation Practice)
          • Insights

            TITLE
            Article
            Event

            Securities Arbitration

            The Bar Association of San Francisco

            Location:
            San Francisco, Calif.
            Event

            What Every Lawyer Should Know About Insurance Coverage

            San Francisco Bar Association, Arbitration Section

            Location:
            San Francisco, Calif.
            Event

            Appeal Rights and Your Arbitration Cases

            San Francisco Bar Association, Arbitration Section

            Location:
            San Francisco, Calif.
            Newsletter

            Derivatives & Futures Update

            CFTC Proposes Algorithmic Trading Regulations for Proprietary Traders, FCMs, and Exchanges

            Trending Legal Issue

            The Treacherous Terrain of Penny Stocks

            Thomson Reuters Wall Street Lawyer

            Other Publications

            Speeches & Presentations

            • “ABOTA Civility Matters,” (speaker) The Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif. (Dec. 6, 2017)
            • “Securities Arbitration,” (moderator) The Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif. (Oct. 25, 2017)
            • “What Every Lawyer Should Know About Insurance Coverage,” (co-presenter) San Francisco Bar Association, Arbitration Section, San Francisco, Calif. (Oct. 10, 2017)
            • “Appeal Rights and Your Arbitration Cases,” (co-presenter) San Francisco Bar Association, Arbitration Section, San Francisco, Calif. (Sep. 11, 2017)
            • “Evidence: Objecting to Expert Opinion Testimony at Trial,” Continuing Education of the Bar, University of California (Feb. 23, 2016)
            • “Making it Rain: Expanding Your Network and Building a Brand," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Young Advocates Committee (Jan. 13, 2016)
            • “Securities Arbitration,” (moderator) The Arbitration Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif. (Nov. 30, 2015)
            • How to Try and Win IP Cases, (moderator), The Arbitration Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif. (Jun. 4, 2015)
            • “What They Don’t Teach in Law School About How Law Firms Really Work,” The Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2015)
            • Seminar Chair and Lead Speaker on Arbitration, Financial Services CLE SuperCourse, New York, N.Y. (Sep. 12, 2014)
            • Seminar Chair, Financial Services CLE SuperCourse, New York, N.Y. (Sep. 20, 2013)
            • “And Justice for All: Pro Bono Service,” Litigation Management: The Company in Crisis, Litigation Management SuperCourse, Naples, Fla. (May 3, 2013)
            • “What Every Lawyer Should Know About Insurance,” (co-presenter) Bar Association of San Francisco, Arbitration Committee, San Francisco, Calif. (Apr. 30, 2013)
            • “What’s New in Mediation,” (moderator) The Arbitration Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2012)
            • Seminar Chair, FINRA CLE SuperCourse, New York, N.Y. (Sep. 14, 2012)
            • “FINRA Arbitration Appeals,” FINRA CLE SuperCourse, New York, N.Y. (Sep. 14, 2012)
            • “Commercial Arbitration: The Pitfalls No One Wants to Talk About,” San Francisco Real Estate Roundtable, San Francisco, Calif. (Jul. 12, 2012)
            • “Arbitration: Great Expectations,” Litigation Management SuperCourse, Chicago, Ill. (Jun. 15, 2012)
            • “Alternative Fees,” Litigation Management SuperCourse, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Apr. 28, 2012)
            • AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion and its Aftermath,” The Bar Association of San Francisco (Dec. 1, 2011)
            • “Arbitration Exasperation,” Litigation Management SuperCourse, Laguna Beach, Calif. (Nov.4, 2011)
            • “Arbitration,” (moderator) Litigation Management in a New York Minute (Aug. 5, 2011)
            • “Dodd-Frank: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” (co-speaker) Catlin Fourth Annual Broker-Dealer Consortium (May 5, 2011)
            • “Class Action Arbitration,” Bar Association of San Francisco (Dec. 9, 2010)
            • “What They Don't Teach in Law School About How Law Firms Really Work,” Seattle University School of Law (Sep. 21, 2010)
            • “Business Development for Newer Lawyers (and Older Lawyers, too),” Seattle University School of Law (Sep. 21, 2010)
            • “Best Arbitration Practices,” (co-speakers, Hon. Fern Smith (Ret.) and Hon. Rebecca Westerfield (Ret.)), The Bar Association of San Francisco (Mar. 23, 2010)
            • “How to Argue the Burden of Proof, in Voir Dire, Opening and Closing,” The Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2009)
            • “Opening Statements,” University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (Jan. 21, 2009)
            • “Creative Discovery in NASD Action,” NASD SuperCourse, New York, NY (Sep. 13, 2004)
            • “World Trade Center Insurance Coverage Issues: Property and Liability Issues in Claims for Damages Incurred as a Result of War (Declared or Not)Hijacking, and Acts of Foreign Enemies,” Network of Trial Lawyers, Palm Beach, Fla. (Oct. 2001) and State Bar of California, Carlsbad, Calif. (May 2001)
          • Citizenship

            Civic and Charitable Memberships

            • Arbitrator, San Francisco Superior Court
            • Lafayette Police Commission, Lafayette, California
          image description

          John Worden Receives Outstanding Volunteer Award for Third Time

          California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, on behalf of the Justice & Diversity Center of the San Francisco Bar Association, recently presented partner John S. Worden with the 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Award. MORE