Jonathan Brenner, Esq. has over 20 years of experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of practice areas including, but not limited to: personal injury, employment, and business/commercial matters. In 1992, Mr. Brenner started his dispute resolution practice as a member of the San Diego Superior Court's arbitration panel while also conducting settlement conferences. Shortly thereafter, he discovered a true talent and passion for mediation. Soon after, Mr. Brenner became one of San Diego County's most requested neutrals. Clients often comment on his no-nonsense approach and ability to get cases settled expeditiously. One client stated, "Jonathan doesn't waste any time; he's professional, personable, and savvy, a true class act." Another client commented, "Jonathan's background as a litigator on both the plaintiff and defendant side is invaluable in getting parties in a mediation to listen and be flexible. Every case that I have mediated with him so far has settled."
- All Types of Personal Injury Matters including Wrongful Death
- Insurance Coverage
- Real Estate
In his spare time, Mr. Brenner enjoys martial arts, weight lifting and spending time with his family.
- Full-time Neutral (2006-Present)
- Managing Partner, Simpson & Brenner, personal injury, insurance, employment, elder abuse, and business litigation, in addition to actively serving as mediator (2002-06)
- Senior Trial Attorney, Law Offices of Bryce O. Willett, insurance defense (1991-02)
- Senior Litigation Associate, Borton, Petrini & Conron
- Associate, Lorber,Grady, Farley & Volk, construction defect, insurance defense, personal injury, business and family law cases (1989-90)
- Associate, Grace, Neumeyer & Otto, complex product liability and insurance defense cases (1987-89)
- Private Practitioner, Law Offices of Jonathan A. Brenner, specializing in business law, family law, personal injury and criminal matters (1986-87)
- San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Family Support Division (1985-86)
- J.D., American University, Washington College of Law (1984)
- B.A., Dickinson College, Cum Laude (1981)
- Instructor, California State Bar CEB, Preparing for, Taking and Using Depostions (2005, 2008)
- Instructor, National Business Institute, teaching Trial Practice, Trial Preparation, Advanced Trial Advocacy, and Deposition Strategy
- Instructor, Lorman Education Services, teaching Litigating Wrongful Death Cases, Successful Mediation Techniques for Litigation Attorneys
- California Trial Lawyers Associations and CASD, Member (2007-Present)
- American, California and San Diego Bar Associations, Member (1986-Present)
- American Inn of Court, Louis M. Welch Chapter (2004)
- San Diego Inn of Court Instructor, Board of Directors (2000)
- Mr. Brenner was listed as one of the “Top Attorneys” in the San Diego Daily Transcript in 2005.
- Additionally, Mr. Brenner has been a guest lecturer at California Western School of Law, University of San Diego, Thomas Jefferson School of Law and for the Forensic Expert Witness Association.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a family business was in the process of being sold and the new management, allegedly, took over, excluded the family, did not grow the business, and did not manage it in accordance with the sales contract.
- Mediated settlement of claims that when, allegedly, an asphalt paver failed to remove tree roots and debris resulting in an uneven, hazardous surface.
- Defendant is a debt collection law firm that allegedly recorded telephone conversations with consumers and their attorneys without their knowledge or permission in violation of CA Penal Code Sect.632(a) and common law invasion of privacy and negligence. Case settled in mediation.
- Mediated and settled invasion of privacy and negligence case in which debt collection firm allegedly recorded customers and attorneys phone calls without knowledge or permission.
- The instant dispute arises from a partnership dissolution involving three equal shareholders in a legal services company. Two of the shareholders are related and wanted to buy out the third partner. There was a dispute regarding shareholder values. This matter settled in mediation, along with a non-compete agreement and other considerations.
- This case involved an expert witness, an economist, who was retained by a law firm for work calculating economic damages, past and future lost earnings and future lost pension benefits for plaintiff in an employment case. The economist performed a significant amount of work, but the case resulted in a defense verdict at trial. Plaintiff's law firm contended that the economist's bills were excessive and included work that was not required. The matter resolved at mediation.
- Plaintiff agreed to purchase the defendant’s entire line of products, provided plaintiff had exclusive rights to sell the products. Plaintiff alleged that defendant failed to provide all of the products which had been paid for, did not deliver any new or usable products, did not obtain the requisite licenses for the products, did not return any of the money paid by plaintiff and sold products directly on-line. Defendant generally denied all of the allegations and indicated that defendant did not have sufficient assists to satisfy plaintiff’s claims. This matter settled at mediation.
- This case arose out of the purchase of a restaurant. Plaintiffs contend that they were defrauded when they purchased the restaurant. Defendant contends that plaintiffs were not familiar with the restaurant industry and mismanaged the restaurant after they purchased it. Moreover, the defendant maintains that he did not misrepresent the profitability of the restaurant, contrary to the plaintiffs' assertions.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose over alleged failure to pay all monies owed in a stock buy-out.
- Claim for professional negligence and misrepresentation against an insurance brokerage firm that provided commercial general liability coverage to a background check agency. The agency was sued after providing background information to a prospective employer that allegedly violated the FCRA. The agency tendered the defense to its insurance carrier and coverage was denied. The agency alleged that representatives from the insurance brokerage firm assured the agency that all such claims would be covered. The brokerage firm disputed liability, citing the fact that one of the principals of the background check agency specifically initialed the exclusion in the applicable policy and was aware of the exclusion. The matter settled for a confidential amount.
- Plaintiffs and defendants formed a company that develops, manufactures, and sells a specialized game controller. The start-up venture was financed by one of the plaintiffs. After it became clear that the 3 partners/owners could no longer continue working together, they entered into an “intellectual Property Joint Ownership Agreement and Severance Agreement,” pursuant to which the parties had joint intellectual property rights and a mutual non-disparagement agreement. Plaintiffs filed suit, contending that defendants breached the non-disparagement agreement. Defendants cross-complained, claiming that plaintiffs breached their fiduciary duties and extorted defendants into transferring their interest in intellectual property, which plaintiffs then used to launch a competing business selling an identical product. Both parties claim substantial monetary damages and rights to intellectual property.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a manager made disparaging comments to and harassed an allegedly homosexual employee.
- Mediated settlement of negligence in hiring claims that arose when an employee assaulted a customer causing serious injuries.
Wage and Hour
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when an hourly employee was paid at an incorrect rate and not paid overtime hours.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when, allegedly, an employer made over the top sexual jokes, comments and innuendo resulting in an employee feeling sexually harassed and that employee was not given accommodations for a medical condition.
- This case involved a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy brought by a commercial truck driver who alleged that his employer instructed him to turn off the truck's electronic device so that there was no record of his time spent waiting at the border. In addition, plaintiff alleged that his schedule violated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours and Services Rules and that defendant trucking company concealed violations of the FMCSA by falsifying driver logs and editing On-Board Recording Devices.
- Wrongful termination, retaliatory termination case. Plaintiff is a school teacher accused of inappropriate conduct with students.
- Mediated settlement of bad faith claims that arose when an insurance company refused to pay for the loss of a vehicle because the insureds concealed information about their personal finances during the investigation of the claim.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a contractor was decorating an amusement park before it opened and an employee started a ride causing it to hit and knock over the contractor's vehicle, causing injuries to the contractor.
- Defendant insurance company refused to pay benefits to Plaintiffs under the Medical Payments provision of Plaintiff's automobile insurance policy. Plaintiff and her 8 year old son returned home from grocery shopping and plaintiff exited her vehicle to unload the groceries. Plaintiff heard screaming and ran outside to see her car rolling backward into traffic. Plaintiff attempted to get into the car to stop it. Plaintiff son was able to jump out of the car without being injured. Plaintiff mom was 31 weeks pregnant and was admitted to the hospital immediately following the incident. Plaintiff underwent an emergency C-section the following day due to placental abruption. Plaintiff's son was born prematurely and spent 21 days in NICU, incurring $220,000 in medical bills. Plaintiff mother incurred $59,000 in medical bills. Plaintiffs' insurance carrier declined to pay the medical billing associated with the cesarean section and the baby's NICU treatment following delivery on the basis that the Medical Payments Coverage specifically required plaintiffs to be occupying the vehicle at the time of the incident and there was no causal connection between the subject incident and plaintiff's cesarean section. The case settled at mediation for an undisclosed amount.
- Claim for breach of contract and insurance bad faith arising out of a water leak at plaintiffs' residence. The insurance carrier denied the claim on the basis that long term leaks are excluded under the policy. The case settled at mediation.
- Claim for professional negligence arising out of an insurance coverage dispute. Plaintiff obtained auto insurance and an umbrella policy. After she was injured in an accident, the plaintiff learned that she did not have UM/UIM coverage under her umbrella policy because she had not specifically requested such coverage.
- Mediated settlement of subrogation claims that arose when two employees were, allegedly, injured in an auto accident and seemed to be over treated in the Workers' compensation case.
- This was a subrogation case arising out of a fire loss at a private residence resulting in over $1.4 in damages. Defendants denied liability and had significant issues between them. The case settled for an undisclosed amount at mediation to the satisfaction of all parties.
- This action between two insurance companies arises out of the shooting death of a resident defendant's apartment complex by an armed security guard. The excess carrier demanded that the underlying carrier pay their policy limit and the case could have settled prior to trial. After a jury verdict, the excess carrier negotiated a settlement of the underlying claim. The excess carrier then asserted a claim against the primary insurance carrier for the money that was paid in excess of what would have been paid had the case settled prior to trial.
- The instant case arose out of a dispute between two brothers who were the beneficiaries of their parent's trust. One brother contended that the other brother distributed significant additional funds to himself, breached his fiduciary duty and failed to pay Federal and State taxes. A forensic accounting supported the first brother's contentions that his older brother had taken more than he was entitled to under the trust. The older brother contended that he had voluntarily given his brother more assets and distributions than he was actually entitled to receive. All issues between the parties were resolved at mediation pursuant to a confidential settlement.
Medical Mal Dental
- Mediated settlement of dental malpractice claims that arose when a patient suffered long term nerve damage and pain after a tooth extraction, bone graft tooth and new crown were done.
- Mediated settlement of dental malpractice claims that arose when a oral surgeon extracted three wisdom teeth and caused nerve damage to the patient causing loss of sensation to the tongue.
- Mediated settlement of medical malpractice claims when an elective outpatient plastic surgery patient was overdosed with anesthetic, causing seizures, cardiac arrest and brain injury.
- This case involves a claim for medical negligence against a hospital arising out of the acquisition and dispensing of a medication known as Exparel. Plaintiff claims that the use of Exparel during spinal surgery caused him to suffer post-operative numbness and weakness in his lower extremities and long term pain in his hips, back and groin. The case settled against the hospital during mediation.
- This was a medical malpractice claim arising out of a surgeon's use of the drug Exparel, a subcutaneous liposomal anesthetic, during spinal surgery at defendant hospital. Plaintiff experienced temporary bilateral lower extremity paralysis resulting in permanent weakness and nerve damage with tingling, burning and loss of sensation in both feet, right hip and groin pain, and emotional distress. Mediation resulted in settlement.
- This was an action for medical negligence. Plaintiff visited her chiropractor for an adjustment. Her regular chiropractor was with a patient, so plaintiff saw another chiropractor in the office. After the chiropractor performed an upper cervical adjustment, plaintiff immediately had a neck spasm from the atlas to the middle of her thoracic spine, She later began to experience numbness and tingling in two of her fingers. Plaintiff sued the chiropractor who performed the adjustment, as well as the practice and the doctor who owned the practice. The case was resolved at mediation.
- This claim for medical negligence arose out of a failed double mastectomy performed by defendant doctor. Plaintiff submitted to a double mastectomy to remove two malignant growths in her left breast, thought to be aggressive. Nine months later, plaintiff was forced to submit to a second double mastectomy because defendant doctor failed to remove the growths during the original surgery. The case resolved for an undisclosed amount at mediation.
- Medical malpractice/negligence case against ophthalmologist as a result of alleged failure to diagnose and refer to a specialist concerning 3rd nerve palsy resulting in pituitary tumor growth and hemorrhage causing stroke and ongoing vision issues.
- Claim for insurance bad faith, breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation arising out of the failure of an insurance broker and insurance company to notify the client/insured of material changes to the policy. Plaintiff was sued and the insurance carrier initially denied coverage and later defended under a reservation of rights. The case settled at mediation.
Prof Malpractice Accounting
- This is an action for professional negligence arising out of work done by defendant accountant. Plaintiff, individually and as the owner of a general contracting company retained the accountant in September 2015 to prepare overdue tax returns for the years 2012, 2013, and 2014. The accountant prepared the tax returns within 5 weeks of being retained. In February 2016, plaintiff retained the accountant to assist with the pending IRS audit. Later in 2016, plaintiff asked defendant to revise the 2012 to 2014 tax returns to support certain deductions. The accountant advised that he would not amend unless plaintiff provided a corporate plan that the deductions would be permitted. Ultimately, a different accountant completed the necessary work. Plaintiff alleged losses based on incurring other accountants' fees to redo the work, IRS fees and penalties, attorney's fees, and the cost incurred with defendant. Defendant denied liability, contending that his work was not below the standard of care, and retained an expert who opined that defendant did not act negligently.
Professional Malpractice Legal
- his case arose out of a claim for attorney's fees and a counter claim for legal malpractice. The lead plaintiff is an attorney who claimed that he was owed a considerable amount in legal fees arising out of his representation of a client who became embroiled in a business dispute. The client filed a claim for legal malpractice and alleged fraud. The client contended that she already paid a substantive amount in attorney's fees and that a large portion of that were costs that the attorney should have known and informed her that the case was unlikely to succeed. The lawyer's malpractice carrier agreed to contribute to the settlement and a global resolution of all claims and counter claims was reached.
- This is a legal malpractice case arising out of an attorney's alleged failure to advise his client to tender a claim against her to her insurance carrier. New counsel eventually tendered the claim and the insurance company paid in six-figure range to resolve the dispute. Plaintiff spent in excess of attorney's fees and costs prior to new counsel tendering the claim and in sanctions for discovery disputes lost by defendant attorney.
Breach Of Contract
- This was a dispute between a horse owner, her parents and their horse trainer. The parents lent the horse owner and her trainer a six-figure amount each to purchase a horse. The relationship between the horse owner and trainer deteriorated. The parents wanted their investment back and their daughter, the horse owner, wanted the horse. The trainer contended that the value of the horse had increased significantly and she was entitled to a large sum of money for her interest in the horse, even though she had not paid any money for it. Ultimately, the parents paid the trainer for her interest in the horse and assumed ownership of the horse. The daughter became the manager for the horse.
- Plaintiff landlord sued tenant for breach of it's commercial lease after tenant terminated the lease before it's expiration. Tenant cross-complained against the landlord, claiming that it's business failed as a result of transients on the property. The matter was settled globally at mediation.
- This case arises from a dispute regarding ownership of real property. Plaintiff and defendant were together and purchased a seven figure home in 2014 in La Jolla. Pursuant to their agreement, each side would put a specific amount into escrow. Both parties were put on the title to the property and the loan. The parties split up one year later, in 2015. They wrote out the terms of their separation, which included defendant paying plaintiff a specified amount that plaintiff put into a joint account for mortgage payments. Plaintiff would then give title to the property to defendant and plaintiff would keep a Range Rover and two dogs. Equity of the property has since gone up and plaintiff filed suit demanding half of the equity. Plaintiff also demanded defendant give title to a Range Rover which the parties purchased together. Plaintiff contends that the written agreement signed by the parties is null and void.
- Claims for 1) CA FEHA - disability discrimination; 2) Unruh Civil Rights Act - discrimination; 3) Discrimination in violation of CA Disabled Person's Act; 4) Retaliation; 5) Breach of Contract; 6) Breach of Good Faith and Fair Dealing; and, 7) Negligence arising out of plaintiffs' rental of home owned by defendants, with claims against property managers and construction sub-contractors. Plaintiff wife was disabled due to Guillain Barre Syndrome and alleged that the rental home was not ADA compliant, not habitable, had mold and a variety of other problems. She suffered broken toes and a broken ankle in two separate instances while living at the property. Plaintiff husband also alleged a number of health-related problems. The case was resolved at mediation for an undisclosed amount in the mid-six figures.
Warranty of Habitability
- Landlord/tenant dispute arising from claims of serious physical injuries as a consequence of exposure to mold, wrongful eviction retaliatory eviction, and negligence.
Assault and Battery
- Mediated settlement of assault and battery claims that arose when a hotel patron got into a fight outside his room.
- Injury arising out of a construction site accident. The decedent and plaintiff were working on a trench to build a wall in the course and scope of their employment when an adjacent retaining wall suddenly collapsed, leading to the death of the decedent and serious injury to the plaintiff. The case was resolved in mediation for a 7-figure amount.
- This case arose out of an industrial accident that occurred at the defendant’s manufacturing facility. Plaintiff, an employee of a subcontractor, was attempting to repair an overhead crane. Plaintiff set the boom lift basket on the ledge of a molten zinc pool that the facility used to galvanize steel. When he tried to re-enter the basket from the floor, the plaintiff slipped into the zinc pot, suffering severe burns to both legs, and ultimately, had a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg. The case settled confidentially for mid-seven figures.
- Plaintiffs alleged that defendant HOA violated their civil rights guaranteed by the Federal Fair Housing Act and the fair housing laws of California. The HOA published a rule book and posted signs directed at families with children, placing restrictions on children's activities that plaintiffs believe are unlawful. Defendants contended that the rules were enforced as to all tenants, were created to ensure the safety of all residents, were intended to preserve a peaceful environment and avoid damage to property.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a student was in in the face with a bat during PE class causing serious injuries.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a mortuary staff mishandled a body, dropped it and caused bones to break, which resulted in the body appearing malformed at the viewing.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a child ran into a sliding glass door that was plate glass, not tempered glass, so that large shards cut her face.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a man who was walking his two dogs was attacked and bitten by a group of large dogs that were off-leash.
- Claim for mortuary negligence. Plaintiff alleged that when the remains of her mother were shipped by defendant mortuary to Mexico, the remains were mishandled so that the body was decomposed, discolored and had a foul odor. The case settled for an undisclosed amount.
- Plaintiff, age 5, fell from a bounce house at their parent's company holiday event. Plaintiff fell backwards and struck his head on the concrete floor, resulting in a significant traumatic brain injury.
- Plaintiff, a developmentally disabled adult with the mental capacity of a toddler, was able to walk out of the defendant's residential facility in the early morning undetected. Plaintiff then stepped off the center median directly in front of an oncoming SUV. Plaintiff sustained catastrophic injuries. The case settled.
- Maritime Law claim arising out of serious injuries sustained by plaintiffs when a storm arose while they were on a cruise ship.
- Mediated claims that arose when a woman was served extremely hot tea on an airplane and, due to turbulence, the cup spilled causing first and second degree burns on the woman's chest and hands.
- Mediated claims that arose when an employee on a construction site suffered injury to his shoulder when a high pressure cement hose burst.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a man, allegedly, slipped and fell down stairs that had been waxed.
- Mediated claims that arose when a car collided with a SUV in a parking lot.
- This was a wrongful death case arising out of an automobile accident in which the driver's wife was killed. The decedent left her husband and three adult children.
- This was a 6-party case arising out of a work place accident. Plaintiff was employed as a yard hostler (spotter) and was in the process of moving a trailer to a dock at cross-defendant's warehouse. The trailer was initially loaded at defendant/cross-complainant/cross-defendant's warehouse facility out of state. The trailer was transported by co-defendant/cross-complainant/cross-defendant to California. Plaintiff opened the door of the trailer and was struck by freight inside the trailer which had shifted during transport. Plaintiff sustained a variety of injuries, including a trimalleolar fracture and distal fibula fracture. The injuries required extensive surgery and became infected, resulting in extensive medical treatment. Plaintiff may lose his left foot as a consequence of the ongoing infection. The case was resolved globally for a significant amount at mediation.
- The plaintiff, a CHP Officer, was riding his on-duty motorcycle to work when the defendant driver turned directly in front of him, colliding with the plaintiff. The officer sustained significant injuries, including fractures of the right wrist, left elbow, right leg, right foot, pelvis, ribs, several vertebrae, and left thumb, and suffered a documented TBI. He can no longer work as a CHP Officer and anticipates being declared 100% disabled per his worker’s compensation claim. The case settled globally in the eight-figure range within one week of the first mediation.
PI Sexual Assault
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a golf cart crashed into a stop sign causing the passenger to suffer cuts and bruises resulting in an embolism and deep vein thrombosis.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a woman was sexually assaulted at a party after passing out from drinking and drugs.
- Plaintiff, a young woman in her late 20's used an app to obtain a ride home after a night of drinking. Plaintiff was significantly impaired and was abducted by the driver who sexually assaulted her. Plaintiff suffered significant physical and emotional trauma. The case resolved at mediation with a confidential settlement.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a woman left work and found herself locked in a second floor outdoor walkway in the cold rain, and, in an attempt to climb down, she fell and suffered broken bones and torn ligaments in her legs and feet.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a restaurant patron slipped and fell on a wet, slick floor.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a grocery store patron slipped and fell on freshly waxed floors.
- TBI case in which plaintiff was pushed off balcony by her former boyfriend. The railing gave way and plaintiff fell to the concrete below, resulting in massive head and spinal cord injuries. Plaintiff sued the former boyfriend, the apartment complex, property management company and the insurance company which had inspected the property. The case settled globally at mediation for an undisclosed amount.
- Plaintiff was severely injured when the defendant ran a red light and struck the plaintiff’s motorcycle while the plaintiff was turning left on a green light. Plaintiff broke 25 bones, will require a penile implant, and suffers from PTSD. An 8 figure settlement was reached, with additional money from the defendant driver's insurance carrier, plus a waiver of the medical bills.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a health food store sold a supplement, which the FDA had declared unsafe, to a woman who developed serious side effects, requiring hospitalization.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a fully extended telescoping ladder slid causing the user to fall and sustain injuries.
- Mediated settlement of claims that arose when an allegedly defective gate came off its track and fell on a man using the gate.
- Wrongful death claim which occurred when the owner of a commercial building directed his employee to fix a leak on the roof above tenant's suite. Plaintiff fell over 30 feet onto a concrete floor below, was rendered a quadriplegic and eventually succumbed to his injuries. The insurance carrier for the tenant's space disputed coverage, claiming that the incident did not arise out of the tenant's use of the premises. Landlord contended that they were an additional insured under tenant's lease. The case resolved globally for policy limits of both the landlord's and tenant's insurance.