Joseph L. Chairez

Partner

Costa Mesa
T +1.714.966.8822
F +1.714.754.6611

Overview

Joseph Chairez is a business trial lawyer who has litigated numerous complex business, products/technology, employment and construction defect matters. He also has a firmwide insurance coverage practice, litigating coverage on behalf of corporate policyholders, which has produced millions of dollars of insurance policy benefits for his clients. Joseph is the Litigation Group Coordinator for the BakerHostetler Costa Mesa office and a member of the Pro Bono Committee for the firm. Additionally, he speaks on a variety of trial, ethics and litigation topics at CLE seminars.

Select Experience

Products/Technology
  • Represented a commercial aircraft product manufacturer in a case involving product design, testing and related issues.
Employment
  • Defense trial counsel on a multiplaintiff federal court discrimination case for a national freight company seeking millions of dollars. The three-week jury trial resulted in an outright defense as to two plaintiffs, and a favorable defense verdict as to the remaining plaintiffs.
Insurance
  • Coverage counsel for a subprime lender against a failing national non-admitted carrier. Obtained an $11.5 million bond from the carrier to protect the client's claim resulting in the subprime lender being one of the few insureds in California to have its claims paid. As reported in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the general counsel commented, "That was worth its weight in platinum."
Business Litigation/Torts
  • Represented a global service technology company in suit against a competitor for corporate raiding and misappropriation of trade secrets. Obtained multiple favorable seven-figure settlements for the client.
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Experience

Products/Technology
  • Represented a commercial aircraft product manufacturer in a case involving product design, testing and related issues.
  • Represented an aviation products manufacturer in a case involving printed circuit boards and related technology.
  • Counsel in a guidance system product and testing case. Represented a high-tech testing company. 
  • Counsel in a major toxic tort litigation against multiple manufacturers, and distributors of automobiles and related products; obtained a dismissal on behalf of the client manufacturer of plastic products.
  • Counsel in toxic tort claims brought by the plaintiff against multiple manufacturers of wood treatment products; obtained dismissal of the manufacturer of product constituent.
  • Counsel in a construction defect case against a manufacturer of homes and related housing construction products, and obtained dismissal on behalf of the client manufacturer.
  • Represented clients in a variety of other litigation involving products, including an LPG burn case involving valves, a case involving home appliance products, a severe elevator injury matter, a case involving thermal paper used for prescriptions and a complex coverage matter involving satellite solar arrays.
Employment
  • Defense trial counsel on a multiplaintiff federal court discrimination case for a national freight company seeking millions of dollars. The three-week jury trial resulted in an outright defense as to two plaintiffs, and a favorable defense verdict as to the remaining plaintiffs.
  • Defense trial counsel on a federal employment age discrimination, misclassification and unfair business practice case where the plaintiff sought $1.1 million plus punitive damages. The plaintiff waived jury on the eve of trial, and at close of the bench trial a defense verdict was awarded on all causes of action.
  • Defense trial counsel for manufacturing client in a wage-and-hour class action. Plaintiffs waived jury and the bench trial resulted in a favorable defense verdict for the client.
  • Defense trial counsel for a national freight company in a state court discrimination case. At the close of jury selection, plaintiff requested to settle in an amount favorable to defendant.
Insurance
  • Coverage counsel for a subprime lender against a failing national non-admitted carrier. Obtained an $11.5 million bond from the carrier to protect the client's claim resulting in the subprime lender being one of the few insureds in California to have its claims paid. As reported in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the general counsel commented, "That was worth its weight in platinum."
  • Represented a global company in defense against a carrier's reimbursement claim on an underlying matter involving aerospace products related to multiple satellites. Obtained a favorable summary judgment ruling, removing approximately $12 million from the carrier's claims, with the matter settling shortly thereafter.
  • Represented officer/general counsel in a coverage dispute with various carriers involving an underlying corporate mismanagement case. Litigated various layers of coverage and as to one carrier, after a favorable summary judgment ruling, obtained its $10 million policy and payment of all fees and costs to obtain coverage.
Business Litigation/Torts
  • Represented a global service technology company in suit against a competitor for corporate raiding and misappropriation of trade secrets. Obtained multiple favorable seven-figure settlements for the client.
  • Trial counsel for a defendant insurance carrier in a defamation case with matter being tried to a jury. Obtained a defense verdict of non-suit.
  • Defense trial counsel representing real estate broker and agent in a fraudulent transaction case. Obtained a defense verdict after a 2-week jury trial.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Hon. Francisco Briseno Lifetime Achievement Award, Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County (2018)
  • Southern California "Super Lawyer" (2004 to 2019)
  • Orange County Metro Magazine: Top Litigators in Orange County (2009, 2011 to 2015)
  • Orange County Top 50 Lawyers (2013, 2014)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • 10/10 Superb rating as an attorney by AVVO.com (2012 to 2019)
  • Hispanic Bar Association: Attorney of the Year (2007)
  • United Way: Hispanic Influential (2008)

Memberships

  • Orange County Bar Association: President (2007)
  • Board of Governors of the State Bar of California: Vice President (2011)
  • Orange County Hispanic Bar Association: President (1997)
  • Celtic Bar Association: President (2001 to 2002)
  • California Supreme Court Historical Society: Board Member (2014 to 2019)
  • American Bar Foundation: Fellow (2011 to 2018)
  • Public Law Center: Board Member (2019)

Community

  • California Commission on Access to Justice: Co-Chair (2008)
  • El Viento Foundation: Co-Chair of Advisory Committee (2013 to 2014)
  • Hispanic Education Endowment Fund: Board Member (1997 to 2007)
  • Public Law Center: Board of Directors (2002 to 2004)

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 2006
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 1987
  • High Court Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, 1986
  • California, 1981
  • Republic of Palau, 1986

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis School of Law, Published Member of U.C. Davis Law Review
  • B.S., University of California, Berkeley

Languages

  • Spanish