Sean Patterson practices in the area of complex litigation, including toxic tort and general product liability claims. Mr. Patterson also represents and defends public agencies in state and federal court, judicial officers and state officials in civil rights actions involving allegations of violation of constitutionally protected rights (e.g., discrimination/denial of services, denial of due process). Mr. Patterson has trial experience as second chair to verdict, and experience in all aspects of trial, including jury selection, witness preparation and examination. He also has extensive law and motion practice, including dispositive motions, post-verdict and appeals. Mr. Patterson has extensive deposition experience, including defending and conducting lead examination of parties, experts and non-party witnesses. Mr. Patterson manages a substantial caseload for multiple clients, from initial filing through trial, mediation and settlement negotiation.
Mr. Patterson is also a member of the Duane Morris SF Pro Bono Committee, and currently represents minors pro bono in immigration and asylum applications. He also has represented children pro bono in high school and middle school expulsion proceedings.
Areas of Practice
Products Liability and Toxic Torts
- Represented Berryman Products, Inc. in a multi-plaintiff toxic tort case in Kern County, California involving more than 70 defendants; the plaintiffs claimed they contracted a rare cancer, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, due to their exposures at various oil well sites, but the court agreed with Berryman that the plaintiffs were mis-joined and that the case should be severed into separate actions for trial because plaintiffs’ claims did not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence.
- Defended several commercial clients over the past few years in mass toxic tort cases involving claims of premises and products liability and alleged exposure to asbestos, talc, TCE, and benzene.
- Represents the Judicial Council of California, judicial officers, courts, and court employees throughout the State in litigation involving government liability and constitutional challenges to court rulings and operations.
- Represented and assisted one of world’s largest companies, in implementation of national coordination of defending asbestos personal injury claims arising from alleged exposure to friction products.
- Assisted trial counsel for petroleum, construction, and manufacturing companies in multiple cases that resolved during the motion in limine and jury selection phase.
- Served as second chair trial counsel representing and defending a clerk of the Appellate District against claims of racial discrimination, resulting in a defense verdict, before the Northern District of California.
- Successfully moved for summary judgment on suit for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title I), based on claims that the Superior Court failed to provide litigants with disabilities appropriate accommodations.
- Defeated a putative class action against the judicial branch protesting the constitutionality of jury fee deposits.
- Defeated a putative class action (in trial court and on appeal) against a state court and its employees alleging due process violations related to the imposition of civil assessments associated with traffic citations.
- Defeated a malicious prosecution and racial discrimination action filed against a state court judge for her alleged role in a scheme among other local prosecutors and law enforcement officials to manufacture criminal charges against an attorney and derail his efforts to fill a judicial vacancy.
- Obtained voluntary no-pay dismissals for a pharmaceutical distributor after filing summary judgment motions establishing that our client’s over-the-counter talcum powder was not contaminated with asbestos and that the plaintiffs’ personal injury claims were preempted by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act.
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., 2004
- University of Florida, M.Ed., 2001
- University of Florida, B.A., 1999
Duane Morris LLP
- Associate, 2018-present
- Associate, 2007-2017
Pond North LLP
- Associate, 2004-2006
State Bar of California
San Francisco Bar Association