Patricia P. Hollenbeck is an experienced trial lawyer who represents clients in a broad range of matters before state and federal courts, as well as arbitration forums. Ms. Hollenbeck's practice focuses primarily on complex business litigation in a number of industries, including consumer product manufacturing, franchise and distribution, and education. Ms. Hollenbeck's trial practice includes unfair competition and consumer legal remedies (UCL/CLRA), class action defense, software licensing, trade secrets and products liability. Ms. Hollenbeck also has extensive experience with litigating injunctive relief claims. She has handled well over one hundred arbitrations, arbitrating to award in excess of fifty cases before a number of arbitral forums, including the American Arbitration Association. In addition to her role as trial counsel, Ms. Hollenbeck assists her clients with litigation assessment at the time of business formation, and in connection with asset purchase transactions. She is a tenacious advocate and a strategic decision maker who works collaboratively with her clients to achieve the best business result. Ms. Hollenbeck is admitted to practice in California and Colorado. She represents her clients in California and across the United States.
Ms. Hollenbeck was selected for inclusion in San Diego Super Lawyers in 2011-2017 (Business Litigation), and was named to the list of Top 50 Lawyers in San Diego in 2015 and 2016. In 2014-2016 she was also named to the list of Top 25 Women in San Diego. In addition, Ms. Hollenbeck is a Top Lawyer in San Diego (Trials) (2013-2017), a San Diego County Top Attorney (Corporate Litigation) (2011-2014), and she was selected for San Diego Business Journal's Best of the Bar (2014, 2015). In addition, she has been AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 1999. She is also a Master in the American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh Inn. Ms. Hollenbeck served as the 2014-2015 President of Lawyers Club of San Diego, the mission of which is to advance the status of women in law and in society. She was a member of the board of directors for the last four years, and served as the Vice-President of Finance and Fundraising. She was also chair of the Judicial Endorsements Committee. Ms. Hollenbeck has served on the State Bar of California Franchise Law Committee for two separate three-year terms, and also served as Vice-Chair, Membership. In 2015 she was appointed to the State Bar of California Business Litigation Committee. She is on the San Diego County Bar Association Board of Directors, and previously served a three-year term on the Board of Governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego. Ms. Hollenbeck was a member of the Duane Morris Women's Initiative Steering Committee until 2015. In 2013, Ms. Hollenbeck received the Cheryl Blackwell Bryson Leadership Award, presented by the Duane Morris Women's Initiative. The award recognizes significant contributions to women in the profession, including issues of the professional development of women lawyers and the advancement of women lawyers in the profession.
Ms. Hollenbeck is the author of "Treatment of Spoliation of Evidence Issues and Excessive Verdict and Punitive Damage Issues in California," published in the American Law Firm Compendium, "Legal Malpractice: The Ever Darkening Cloud of Lawyer Liability," which was published in the Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report, and "Networking Strategies; Having Fun With Networking," San Diego Lawyer, The Journal of the San Diego County Bar Association, May/June 2011. She is also the author of numerous articles in Lawyers Club News.
A member of the State Bar of California and of the American, Colorado and San Diego County bar associations, Ms. Hollenbeck is a 1984 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law and a graduate of Stanford University, where she double-majored, was elected to Cap and Gown, and played on the women's varsity golf team.
- Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a college education client in a contested arbitration where the claimant sought compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees based on a myriad of claims including discrimination based on medical condition, disability based on age discrimination, failure to accommodate, intentional misrepresentation, unfair business practices and false advertising.
- Won an appeal on behalf of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, a subsidiary of DeVry Education Group, before the Second District, Division Six, Court of Appeal of the State of California, which held the client was not liable for plaintiff's termination from medical school.
- Safari Club International v. Rudolph - Obtained on behalf of Dr. Lawrence Rudolph a decision in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirming a trial court denial of a preliminary injunction concerning a taped conversation between Rudolph and the former president of SCI.
- Served as special outside counsel to the Board of Trustees of the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association and authored the legal opinion affirmed by the Colorado Supreme Court denying an attempt to get the records of the Association's top benefit recipients.
- Representing a zoo in filing amicus briefs in precedent setting litigation surrounding a new state of the art elephant exhibit.
- Obtained a decision in the Central District of California defeating a highly contentious bid for preliminary injunction over the alleged violation of California wiretap laws.
- Successfully represented an international franchisor in a franchise termination lawsuit in California federal district court against former franchisees alleging RICO, fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, trademark infringement and other claims.
- Obtained on behalf of a theme park a dismissal with prejudice of a suit alleging violations of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, which prohibits the collection of personal information from credit card customers.
- Represented a luxury resort and vacation home developer in connection with complicated litigation, land use, and foreclosure issues arising from its acquisition of resort property near Lake Tahoe, CA.
- Defended private post-secondary institution against allegations of fraud, negligence and violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law. The case was filed in state court and involved over 30 plaintiffs. On behalf of the institution, we prevailed on motion to compel arbitration and successfully opposed plaintiffs' writ. Thereafter, Ms. Hollenbeck managed over 30 individual consumer arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and obtained favorable results for the institution.
- Defended business in five separate consumer arbitration proceedings involving consumer protection and unfair competition law issues. Obtained defense verdicts in each of the five cases.
- Obtained settlement that client found favorable and dismissal of action with prejudice through the filing of a motion for summary judgment on the issue of general causation.
- Prevailed in case representing a multi-national franchisor with over 4,000 stores who sued its joint venture partner in U.S. District Court for breach of contract and violation of fiduciary duties. This case involved extensive claims relating to computer software and operating systems. Very favorable settlement achieved after several years of protracted discovery, depositions and heated litigation.
- Represented large web hosting concern sued by Internet service provider for unfair competition and theft of trade secrets. Also represented the web hosting company in its responsive action for breach of contract. Case involved complex discovery issues, extensive interaction with a discovery referee and protracted law and motion as to numerous issues including production of source code. The case settled on terms the client found favorable.
- Represented a prominent national financial services company that services single-family residential mortgages in an action filed by a homeowner for wrongful foreclosure, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud. The plaintiffs' complaint, and four amended complaints, were successfully challenged by demurrer and, ultimately, the case was dismissed in its entirety.
- Defended international paint and coatings manufacturer against product defect, breach of warranty and breach of contract allegations. Plaintiff was an international energy concern who sued for product failure at over 800 of its locations. Case settled on terms the defendant found favorable. Exposure to the client was minimized and significant responsibility was defrayed to third party coatings application specialist.
- Obtained permanent injunction and monetary compensation for large franchisor against franchisee that violated provisions of franchise agreement. Franchisee incorrectly used trademark and service mark applications with competing franchise brand.
- Represented nationally known private post-secondary vocational institution in class action arbitration and litigation. Plaintiffs claimed a group of students were the victims of numerous misrepresentations as to the value of their program and that the educational instruction they received had less than fair value. The matter was resolved on terms that the client found very favorable.
- Represented national restaurant chain in a shareholder derivative action and direct law suit. Case involved complex partnership governance and compensation issues resulting in alleged harm to the limited partners.
- Counsel to national computer software company sued by competitor and former employee for issues pertaining to compensation and termination. Settlement that the client found very favorable obtained following plaintiff's deposition.
- Successfully pursued trademark litigation on behalf of an international select membership organization whose marks were being improperly used.
- Represented San Diego biotech company in patent infringement action filed by multinational pharmaceutical company. Reached settlement the client found favorable and licensing agreement going forward.
- Represented an international appliance manufacturer in numerous products liability actions for over 20 years. Those matters have included catastrophic personal injury, brain trauma, burn injuries, and amputations. Ms. Hollenbeck has evaluated and defended each claim and has achieved outstanding results.
- Represented Metabolife International in state and federal court litigation involving legal fallout over ephedra, and claims that Metabolife 356 was linked to dozens of heart attacks, strokes, and more than 100 deaths. Causes of action included product liability, negligence, breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty and fraud, and sought compensatory and punitive damages.
- Represented an international motor carrier in a range of claims resulting from traffic injuries, many of which involved ejection of the plaintiffs from their vehicles with resulting personal injuries and brain damage. All cases were successfully evaluated and resolved.
- Defended a manufacturer of fire suppression equipment in a long list of cases involving accidental discharge of chemical suppressants and explosions of fire suppression equipment. All actions involved substantial personal injury and often included brain injury claims.
- Defended a San Diego commercial business in a matter involving a multi-vehicle car accident where the plaintiffs, who were passengers in other vehicles, claimed catastrophic personal injuries and closed head injuries. The matter involved in excess of 20 experts and 40 witnesses in a four-week trial. Liability was admitted, and resulted in a nominal verdict that was affirmed by the California Supreme Court.
- Represented a national personal armed security company in a series of lawsuits filed by individuals who claimed they were the victims of excessive force, who had sustained traumatic brain injuries. All but one case was settled for a small sum; the remaining matter was tried and there was a defense verdict.
- Represented an international tire manufacturer in many matters involving alleged tire defects resulting in automobile accidents. The plaintiffs claimed a wide variety of injuries, including brain trauma. The cases were resolved on terms that were acceptable to the client.
- Represented a company that made hamburger patty forming machines that were used by The Price Company, a well-known warehouse store. A meat department employee sustained a traumatic amputation of his arm after disabling the safety guard. Defendants prevailed on summary adjudication and resolved the remainder of the case for a small sum.
- Defended The Sherwin-Williams Company, an international paint and coatings manufacturer against product defect, breach of warranty and breach of contract allegations. Plaintiff was an international energy concern who sued for product failure at over 800 of its locations. Case settled on terms the defendant found favorable. Exposure to the client was minimized and significant responsibility was defrayed to third party coatings application specialist.
- Defended international appliance manufacturer against $25 million mold exposure claim brought by consumer. Resolved case for nominal sum through strong litigation strategy including coordinating testimony from over 40 experts.
Products Liability Litigation
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
- University of Colorado School of Law, J.D., 1984
- Stanford University, A.B., 1981
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2005-present
- Buchanan Ingersoll LLP
- Shareholder, 2001-2005
- Higgs, Fletcher & Mack LLP
- Partner, 1992-2001
- Associate, 1986-1992
- American Bar Association
- Forum on Franchising
- State Bar of California
- Business Law Section
-- Appointed to Franchise Law Committee, 2002-2005, 2010-2013 (Vice-Chair, Membership, 2011-2012)
-- Appointed to Business Litigation Committee, 2015-
- Colorado Bar Association
- San Diego County Bar Association
- Board of Directors, 2017-
- Civil Litigation Section
-- Chair, 2011
-- Vice-Chair, 2010
- Leadership Outreach Committee
- American Inns of Court
- Master, Louis M. Welsh Inn
- Defense Research Institute
- Products Liability Subcommittee for Consumer Goods
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego
- Board of Governors, 2002-2004
- Lawyers Club of San Diego
- President, FY2014-2015
- Board of Directors, 2011-2015
- Vice-President, Finance and Fundraising, 2013-2014
- Chair, Judicial Endorsements Committee, 2010-2013
- Duane Morris Women's Impact Network for Success
- Steering Committee, 2008-2015
- National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Faculty
- Board of Directors, San Diego County Bar Association, 2017-
- Board of Directors, Tom Homann LGBT Law Association Foundation, 2017-
- Board of Directors, Downtown San Diego Partnership, 2016-
- Board of Directors, Lawyers Club of San Diego, 2011-2015
- Board of Governors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego, 2002-2004
- Board of Directors, Carmel Valley Music Boosters, Vice-President Fundraising, 2006-2008
- Board of Directors, Del Mar Little League, Vice-President of Operations, 2005-2007
Honors and Awards
- Recipient, 2017 Friend of the Community Award, Tom Homann LGBT Law Association
- Recipient, Cheryl Blackwell Bryson Leadership Award, Duane Morris Women's Initiative, October 2013
- San Diego Super Lawyers 2011-2017 (Business Litigation)
- Top 50 Lawyers in San Diego, 2015-2016
- Top 25 Women Lawyers in San Diego, 2014-2016
- The San Diego Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2014-2015
- Top Attorneys Finalist in Corporate Litigation by San Diego Source The Daily Transcript, 2011, 2012, 2014
- Top Lawyers in San Diego by San Diego Magazine (Trials), 2013-2017
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- "My Name is Patty Hollenbeck, and I am a Feminist," Lawyers Club News, June 2015
- "The Magic of Thinking Big: 'I Think I Can, I Think I Can'," Lawyers Club News, May 2015
- "Achieving Pay Equality: Mr. Spock, the Academy Awards, and Perseverance," Lawyers Club News, April 2015
- "The Impossibility of Time Management: Sometimes You Have to 'Let it Go'," Lawyers Club News, March 2015
- "EQ and the Practice of Law; the Huggable Lawyer," Lawyers Club News, February 2015
- "Happy New Year: Find Your Inspiration and Make a Resolution," Lawyers Club News, January 2015
- "Happy Holidays: Take a Deep Breath and Remember the See's." Lawyers Club News, December 2014
- "'Roominate' on Lime Green: Find What Matters and Give Back," Lawyers Club News, November 2014
- "Escaping the Marzipan Layer: Mentors, Sponsors, and Champions," Lawyers Club News, October 2014
- "Work-Life Management: Your Career AND Your Life," Lawyers Club News, September 2014
- "Leadership: The Huge Market for Big Ideas," Lawyers Club News, July/August 2014
- "Networking Strategies; Having Fun With Networking," San Diego Lawyer, The Journal of the San Diego County Bar Association, May/June 2011
- Profiled in "Women Who Court Success," Franchise Times, June/July 2002
- "Treatment of Spoliation of Evidence Issues and Excessive Verdict and Punitive Damage Issues in California," American Law Firm Compendium
- "Legal Malpractice: The Ever Darkening Cloud of Lawyer Liability," Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report
Selected Speaking Engagements
- "Products Liability and Risk Management," California Healthcare Institute/Duane Morris THE BLUEPRINT™ Webinar Series, July 9, 2013
- Faculty Member, NITA National Institute for Trial Advocacy Deposition Skills: Pacific Program, San Diego, California, January 2013
- Moderator, "How to Leverage Self-Evaluations for Professional Advancement," Lawyers Club Professional Advancement Committee, San Diego, California, October 29, 2012
- Co-presenter, "Networking Skills Mixer: Honing Your Elevator Speech," Lawyers Club Student Committee, San Diego, California, October 24, 2012
- Co-speaker, "Networking 101: Early Success Seminar Series," Lawyers Club of San Diego, San Diego California, April 10, 2012
- Co-speaker, "Contract Drafting - Tips and Pitfalls - From Transactional and Litigation Points of View," Lawyers Club of San Diego MCLE Presentation, San Diego, California, June 9, 2011