Best Lawyers 2021


Jason M. Kirby
Kirby & Kirby LLP

Jason M. Kirby


For more than 20 years, Jason M. Kirby has represented hundreds of clients in litigation cases in San Diego and throughout California.  Kirby’s primary practice areas are business litigation and real estate litigation, but he has been involved in almost every type of civil case at some point during his career.    

Kirby is an experienced trial lawyer.  Kirby handles both plaintiff’s cases and defense cases.  As a plaintiff’s lawyer, he has had multiple jury verdicts in excess of a million dollars.  As a defense lawyer, he has had multiple complete defense verdicts.  Kirby believes that doing both plaintiff’s work and defense work gives him a better perspective on the evidence and strategy in every case.  

Kirby has been nominated to Super Lawyers® by his peers and is AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbel®.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The AV Preeminent rating reflects the highest level of professional excellence.               

Direct Dial: (619) 557-4404 



Business Litigation

In 2018, Kirby’s clients prevailed in a breach of contract case.  The dispute arose out of a written contract that Kirby’s clients signed that stated they would pay an unlicensed mergers and acquisition (M&A) company a multi-million “deal fee” on the sale of their pet food company.  Upon the sale of the company, the M&A company sought a “deal fee” of more than $4 million.  The M&A company lost on all claims against Kirby’s clients as a result of their participation in negotiations without a license.  While no case would have ever been brought against the M&A company absent Kirby’s clients being sued, Kirby’s clients also prevailed on their cross-claims in the arbitration which resulted in a six-figure damage award as well.  In post-arbitration proceedings, the arbitrator awarded Kirby’s clients more than $1 million comprised of damages, prejudgment interest, attorneys’ fees, and costs.  

Real Estate Litigation

In 2019, Kirby’s client prevailed in a residential real estate dispute on all claims.  The dispute arose out of the sale of a multi-million home in Rancho Santa Fe.  The buyers alleged that Kirby’s client failed to disclose certain defects including past plumbing leaks and mold conditions in the seller’s real estate disclosure forms.  The buyers alleged fraud, negligence, and breach of contract.  The jury rejected all theories of liability against Kirby’s client.  In post-trial motions, Kirby’s client was awarded more than $400,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs as the prevailing parties.

Investment Fraud Litigation

In 2021, Kirby and his partner, Michael Kirby, represented more than 40 individual investors in the Ponzi orchestrated by Gina Champion-Cain.  Kirby’s clients recovered more than $20 million for their clients.   

In 2010, Kirby’s clients were awarded more than $2.3 million by a San Diego jury after Kirby proved that they had been defrauded in a Ponzi scheme.  The defendants had defrauded a number of elderly investors, including Kirby’s clients, of their retirement savings.  The verdict included an award of punitive damages against the defendants.  Following Kirby’s jury verdict, Kirby assisted with providing relevant information to federal authorities investigating similar claims.  A number of the defendants involved in the case were then prosecuted by federal authorities and some remain in prison to this day.   

Sexual Abuse Litigation

Kirby is well versed in California law in sexual abuse cases.

In 2018, Kirby’s client was awarded $2.1 million by a jury against the San Diego Unified School District and its former teacher and volleyball coach, Toni Sutton.  The female teacher had sexual relations with a male student in her classroom.  Kirby’s client alleged that the school district negligently supervised the teacher and the minor student.  The jury’s verdict was the second largest sexual abuse jury verdict in California in 2018.  

Personal Injury Litigation

In 2014, Kirby recovered more than $1 million in a settlement for a construction worker that was hired directly by a homeowner in Rancho Santa Fe without securing worker’s compensation insurance.  The worker fell off the homeowners’ second-story roof while working without adequate safety restraints.       

In 2008, Kirby’s client prevailed in a jury trial defending San Diego Gas & Electric against multi-million damage claims in a wrongful death and personal injury action.   

Probate Litigation

From 2013 to 2016, Kirby was lead counsel in a highly contentious family dispute over the control and management of a privately-held corporation holding more than $50 million in family investments.  The case was resolved pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement.  Kirby’s ethics in handling the case were recognized by both the majority and dissenting opinions in the seminal case, McDermott Will & Emery LLP v. Superior Court , 10 Cal.App.5th 1083 (2017). 

Banking Litigation

Kirby was hired to defend bank officers and directors against the allegations of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) after the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) shut-down the bank chain.  The bank’s alleged losses were more than $1 billion.  Most of Kirby’s clients were not pursued.  Those that were pursued by the FDIC, settled the claims on favorable terms.    


  • University of Arizona, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (1995)
  • California Western School of Law, Juris Doctor (2001)

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers – Board of Governors
  • American Bar Association
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Consumer Attorneys of California 
  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
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