John O'Brien's extensive experience in injury lawsuits and trial work is exemplified by his spearheading the widely publicized fraud and sex trafficking case, Jane Does No. 1–22 v. GirlsDoPorn.com, et al. (Cal. Super. Ct. San Diego County, Case No. 2016-19027.) After initiating the case with a single plaintiff against the online pornography enterprise, the representation grew to 22 plaintiffs, all of whom were young women represented on a contingency fee basis. After over 3 years of litigation, opposing over 100 motions, filing over 30 motions, and taking depositions throughout the country, the case culminated in a 99-day bench trial, with 57 witnesses and over 3,000 exhibits. At trial, which John co-chaired, the court awarded the clients approximately over $21,000,000 in damages, voided the purported release agreements and copyrights, and issued a mandatory injunction against the defendants. The court also found all 11 defendants jointly and severally liable as alter egos, co-conspirators, and agents. During the trial, following the defendants’ and their employees’ testimony on the stand, the Department of Justice indicted all of the individual defendants, and several of the employees, for sex trafficking and other crimes. (USA v. Pratt, et al., No. 3:19-cr-04488, S.D. CA.) Two of the defendants are now in federal prison and one remains a fugitive.
Areas of Practice: While John has immense experience in complex litigation of various forms, John now concentrates his practice on representing individuals harmed by the wrongful or negligent actions of others in personal injury, sexual abuse and trafficking, and fraud. Having tried numerous cases to decision and verdict, he has extensive experience in all aspects of pre-trial practice, mediation, and trial work.
Professional Qualifications: John was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2007 and is admitted to practice in all courts in the State of California and The United States District Court for the Southern and Northern Districts of California.
Education and Awards: John graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He received his Juris Doctor degree from California Western School of Law, where he was on the Dean’s List and Moot Court Honor’s Board. While in law school, John clerked for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
In 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, John was recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star by Thomson Reuters, an award only bestowed to the top 5% of attorneys in San Diego.
Community Activities: John is a member of the Irish American Bar Association of San Diego, a member of Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, a member of the Welsh Inn of Court, does pro bono work for Free to Thrive (a human trafficking survivor non-profit), captain of his adult ice hockey team, an avid yoga practitioner and cross-trainer, and a member of the San Diego Yacht Club.