AREAS OF PRACTICE
Professional Liability Defense
Transportation Litigation & Regulatory Matters
University of San Diego, J.D., 1988
University of California, Irvine, B.S., Biology, 1985
For more than a quarter century, businesses and business people have turned to Kevin DeSantis for advisement and representation. Kevin has earned his reputation as a practical, trustworthy attorney by providing careful, reasonable and creative strategies and solutions to a wide ranging clientele. A founding shareholder of Dunn DeSantis Walt & Kendrick, Kevin brings his unique approach and personal attention to every client and every matter – large or small. Kevin values his client relationships and prides himself on being prompt and responsive to client needs, placing great emphasis on dialogue and candor with those who he represents.
Kevin is known throughout Southern California as a leader in the representation of licensed professionals, transportation companies, and businesses facing employment issues. A cornerstone of Kevin’s practice has been taking on the unusual cases, with challenging and unique components, including litigation that presents existential “bet the company” threats. He is regularly engaged in complex civil litigation matters focusing on professional liability, commercial disputes, government liability, employment and wrongful termination.
Representing licensed professionals is a responsibility Kevin takes very seriously, and his longstanding relationships with prominent California architects, engineers, accountant and attorneys who have for decades looked to him for his personal involvement on their behalves is the best evidence of the value of Kevin’s involvement. He is also one of only a few attorneys in San Diego County who have been certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in the area of professional responsibility and legal malpractice. Each year, Kevin is one of the small group of attorneys who quite literally write the book – he helps author the test taken by those seeking certification as specialists in legal malpractice.
Businesses in the transportation industry also turn to Kevin when facing the complicated challenges that are unique to the industry. Kevin is routinely sought out to represent transportation companies facing employment and class action litigation, and he has developed a reputation for defeating and resolving massive multi-plaintiff class action and representative actions in California and beyond. Kevin’s services to clients in this industry also include developing risk management strategies and long term business plans and legal solutions based on decades of experience representing taxi, medical transport, limousine, bus and other transportation entities, including dispatch and transportation management entities. He also provides services to companies facing concerns arising from governmental regulatory bodies and insurance companies. A regular speaker at transportation industry conventions and continuing education events across the country, Kevin is also often consulted by companies and industry professionals who require creative solutions from someone who understands this unique marketplace.
Kevin’s practice includes but extends beyond litigation. For over 25 years, Kevin has served as counselor and advisor – and provided general business representation services – to companies of all shapes and sizes, from small local start-ups to massive transportation companies, national law and accounting firms, and a variety of companies involved in California’s robust commercial real estate industry.
Business and Commercial Litigation
- Representation of an international telemarketing firm in connection with claims for unfair business practices and fraud.
- Engaged to represent a home improvement contractor in connection with claims by the San Diego District Attorney’s Office for unfair business practices.
- Representation of a home improvement contractor in connection with claims by a business partner for dissolution and breach of contract.
- Representation of an individual in connection with claims for breach of contract, fraud and unfair business practices arising from the purchase of investment property in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
- Representation of an international sporting goods manufacturer in connection with claims for patent and trademark infringement.
- Representation of public transit corporation in multiple wrongful death lawsuits involving public transit buses and pedestrians/automobiles.
Business and Corporate Representation
- Ongoing representation of a wide variety of business entities in connection with general corporate advice and structuring.
- Advising numerous architects, engineers, contractors and construction management firms in connection with the negotiation and drafting of various agreements.
- Representation of various businesses in connection with the negotiation and drafting of commercial lease agreements.
- Representation of one of San Diego’s largest architectural firms in connection with claims by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for failure to comply with the requirements of the Federal Fair Housing Act in the design and construction of a high-rise condominium project.
- Representation of a structural engineering firm based in the Pacific Northwest in a case involving significant personal injuries sustained by a construction worker and delay claims arising from the design and construction of a reservoir dam in North San Diego County.
- Engaged to represent a geotechnical firm in connection with claims involving failures to detect and advise of ancient landslides in the design and construction of a large commercial project in North San Diego County.
Employment and Labor
- Representation of a large home improvement contractor in connection with a wide range of labor and employment litigation, advice and counseling, including claim for wrongful termination by President of company.
- Engaged to represent a San Diego business owner in connection with claims for sexual harassment and rape by several employees.
- Representation of an Orange County law firm in connection with claims for wrongful termination and discrimination.
- Representation of a San Diego based chemical company in connection with general employment counseling and claims for discrimination and wrongful termination.
- Engaged to represent several San Diego restaurant and nightclub owners in connection with general labor and employment disputes and counseling.
- Counseling and representation of one of the United States’ largest taxicab and limousine companies in litigation and employment matters for more than 20 years.
Professional Liability Litigation
- Engaged to represent various Orange County and San Diego law firms in connection with claims for professional malpractice, conflicts of interest and breach of fiduciary duty arising from sophisticated business and real estate transactions.
- Representation of a San Diego law firm in connection with claims for fraud brought by one of the nation’s largest insurance carriers.
- Representation of an Orange County law firm in connection with a professional liability action brought by a design professional. Claimant alleges that the law firm failed to adequately represent his interests at a binding arbitration resulting in a judgment that greatly exceeded available insurance.
- University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 1988
- Awards & Activities: San Diego Law Review
- Comparative Law, Magdalen College, Oxford University, England, 1986
- University of California at Irvine, B.S., Biological Sciences, 1985
- All Courts in the State of California
Professional Recognition and Awards
- Certified by “The “State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization” in the area of Legal Malpractice Law
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating
- Selected to Super Lawyers 2019-2023 in the area of Civil Litigation
- Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2022 Best Lawyers in America in the field of Commercial Litigation
- Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2017-2022 Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants and Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
- Received ‘Lawyer of the Year’ designation through Best Lawyers in America in the area of Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants in 2021
- Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2021-2022 Best Lawyers in America in the field of Transportation
- Selected to San Diego Magazine’s Top Lawyers List for 2015
- Selected to San Diego Business Journal’s Best of the Bar List for 2014
Memberships and Activities
- State Bar of California
- San Diego County Bar Association, Legal Malpractice Committee, Co-Chair
- Orange County Bar Association
- San Diego Defense Lawyers
- Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers
- Louis M. Welsh Chapter of the American Inns of Court
- American Institute of Architects
- Litigation Counsel of America
Presentations and Publications
Kevin is a regular speaker at the local and national level on topics including class action litigation, legal issues facing the transportation industry, best practices for avoiding legal malpractice claims, and defending professional liability actions