John H. Patton

Commercial and Real Estate Trial Practice and Appeals


John Patton has built a record of success handling complex commercial and real estate litigation in a broad spectrum of high-profile cases that range from contract disputes to intellectual property to civil rights to land use.

His practice involves representation of plaintiffs and defendants throughout all stages of the litigation process, including mediation, trial, and appellate work.

John has practiced as a civil trial and appellate lawyer in the Bay Area since 1979, coming from the litigation section of the United States Railway Association, which represented the United States in the Penn Central bankruptcy litigation cases.

John’s extensive experience includes numerous complex jury and court trials, arbitrations, administrative law proceedings, and appellate matters in California and federal courts. These cover a range of business, commercial, construction, real estate, condemnation/takings, corporate and partnership disputes, franchise, intellectual property, antitrust, fair housing, insurance, and related matters.

Among his more recent accomplishments:

  • Successful jury verdict and recovery of legal fees for landlord in a complex commercial eviction trial;
  • Successful defense of construction contract claims against business owner;
  • Procurement of attachment writs for commercial landlord;
  • Successful settlement of fraud and nondisclosure claims against the seller in real estate purchase and foreclosure litigation;
  • Arbitration award for client for treble damages and attorney fees in trespass/property damage case;
  • Defense jury verdict for client and award of attorney’s fees in Alameda County Superior Court contract case;
  • Successful commercial unlawful detainer results obtained for commercial landlords;
  • Defended specific performance and damage claims through trial on commercial property transaction in San Francisco Superior Court;
  • Successful resolution of complex partition case;
  • Defense of alleged fraudulent foreclosure action;
  • Successful defense of wrongful discharge employment claims;
  • Administrative Law Decision after trial exonerating client from any liability for claims brought by the Dept. of Fair Employment & Housing;
  • Successful petition for California Supreme Court review of defenses to complex unfair competition claims;
  • Jury trial and subsequent settlement of large attorney fee claim for law firm client arising from construction defect litigation;
  • Favorable resolution of claims brought by major oil company against client for rupture of gasoline pipeline and hazardous materials release;
  • Favorable settlement of complex trademark and trade secret cases in the United States District Court;
  • Trial court judgment and successful defense of judgment on appeal of a vigorously litigated easement dispute;
  • Trial court judgment and resulting significant settlement of complex inverse condemnation case against a local governmental entity for taking;
  • Major jury verdict in software technology/business tort case;
  • Prosecution of water rights/environmental taking case in the federal Court of Claims and Federal Circuit.


  • D., Santa Clara University School of Law (1975)
  • A., English, University of California at Berkeley (1972)

Professional Memberships

  • Admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar
  • Admitted to practice in all State and most Federal courts of California, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and to the United States Court of Claims.
  • Member of the Alameda and Contra Costa County Bar Associations.
  • Member, Trial Practice Section, Alameda and Contra Costa County Bar Associations