Making Lives Better

Best Law Firms U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers 2020
profile
Practice Areas
  • Personal Injury
  • Business Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Wrongful Death
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Eminent Domain/Condemnation Professional Negligence
Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr.
Bio

Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr., is a founding partner of Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire. He specializes in Plaintiff's litigation with an emphasis in business disputes, condemnation and major injury cases. A tenacious trial lawyer, Bartolotta is recognized annually by Woodward/White as one of the Best Lawyers in America - a recognition he's received every year for the past 30 years.

Born in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, Bartolotta's father was a coal miner; his mother a licensed practical nurse. At age 10, Bartolotta rolled up his sleeves and went to work - and has rarely missed a day since. He's delivered newspapers, unloaded grocery trucks, hauled produce, loaded beef in a slaughter house, shoveled slag from the blast furnaces of a Pittsburgh steel mill and built bridges and skyscrapers as an ironworker.

Perhaps it's all of that hard work and practical experience that galvanized his resolve to fight for the underdog, whether it's a small business owner fighting condemnation or someone whose life has been devastated by a major injury.

"There's really no secret about what I do ..." he says, "I really do care for my clients; each case gets the same kind of attention my family would get." Bartolotta earned his way into the University of Pittsburgh on a full athletic scholarship. At a time when most Americans knew little about soccer, he won a spot as a first alternate on the 1968 U.S. Olympic Soccer Team.

Although he could have used his educational deferment, Bartolotta enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, completed boot camp and Officer Candidate School, before returning to "PITT" to pursue a law degree in 1970. Returning to active duty, he was appointed criminal defense counsel at Camp Pendleton and eventually assigned to the prosecution. Offered a military judgeship for his final year of active duty, he instead volunteered to go to Vietnam. He requested attachment to an Air Combat Unit, serving in numerous capacities as Wing Legal Officer.

Bartolotta earned his negotiator's stripes deep in the jungles of Thailand, compensating relatives of victims of friendly fire. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Major.

Following active duty, his compassionate nature soon led him to devote himself to full-time plaintiffs' representation. On October 1, 1978, Bartolotta joined forces with Michael Thorsnes to establish Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire, recognized as one of California's premier litigation firms, specializing in plaintiffs' litigation with an emphasis in major injury cases, business disputes and condemnation. Additionally, the firm has specialized in a variety of construction defect cases.

In 1982, their new firm was recognized by American Lawyer Magazine as one of 20 outstanding new firms in the nation. Bartolotta's 2001 verdict in Border Business Park v. The City of San Diego received recognition as one of the nation's Top 10 Verdicts that year. He was honored again in 2014 by the National Law Journal by making their list of the Top 100 Verdicts.

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, the firm was recognized as a Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News & World Report and received the prestigious Tier One ranking for San Diego in the categories of Commercial Litigation; Litigation - Construction; Litigation - Real Estate; Mass Torts Litigation Cases / Class Actions; Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs. A chronology of the firm includes awards conferred with astonishing regularity upon Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire partners including "Outstanding Trial Lawyers," "Trial Lawyer of the Year," and "Best Lawyers in America."

He is past president of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego and has received the association's Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award eight times since 1981, and he was named the 2001 Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is a member and past president of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and was named ABOTA's 2003 California Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is among the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 for 2014. Recognized by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, Vince has also been inducted into the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He serves as a Master of the American Inns of Court. He has been recognized in Woodward/White's Best Lawyers in America since its inception in 1987 in the categories of Commercial, Eminent Domain and Personal Injury litigation and as the Top 1% of Trial Lawyers in the United States.

His numerous contributions to community and charitable activities include Past President of Rancho Santa Fe Youth; member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of St. Vincent de Paul Village; member of the American Ireland Fund, San Diego Chapter; member of the Century Club; Past-President and current Board of Directors member of the San Diego Nice Guys.

Bartolotta and his wife, Judy, reside in Rancho Santa Fe. They are parents of four sons. He remains an active soccer player and golfer.

Practice Areas
  • Personal Injury
  • Business Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Wrongful Death
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Eminent Domain/Condemnation Professional Negligence
Current Employment Positions
  • Founding Partner
Bar Admissions
  • California, 1973
  • District of Columbia, 1972
  • Pennsylvania, 1970
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1979
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America, 1977
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 1970
  • Supreme Court of California, 1973
Education
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1970
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1967
Professional Associations
  • National Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Fellow of the Roscoe Pound Foundation
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • CAL-ABOTA Member of Board of Directors – State of California
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)- Board of Directors
  • American Inn of Court - Enright Chapter - Master Status
  • Past President and member of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • Member of Board of Visitors - University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • Teaching Member - Original San Diego Inn of Court Yearly Program
  • ABOTA Masters In Trial Seminars
  • Member/Speaker - Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL)
  • Board of Directors - Veterans Vanguard Advisory Group
Honors
  • 2020 – Selected by Lawdragon as one of 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers
  • 2019-2020 – San Diego Business Journal – recognized as one of the most influential people in San Diego
  • 2018 – San Diego Top 500 Influential Business Leaders – Selected by the San Diego Business Journal
  • 2018 – Ringgold Rams Club Hall of Fame inductee
  • 2017 – Nation’s Top Attorneys in Business – Selected by Super Lawyers
  • 2017 – Top Lawyers – Personal Injury – Selected by San Diego Magazine
  • 2017 – San Diego Top 500 Influential Business Leaders – Selected by the San Diego Business Journal
  • 2017 – Top 50 Influential Leaders in San Diego – Selected by the San Diego Daily Transcript
  • 2017 – San Diego Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame inductee
  • 2016 – Top 100 Influential Leaders in San Diego – Selected by the San Diego Daily Transcript
  • 2016 – Chosen by the Global Directory of Who’s Who as a “Top Lawyer”
  • 2015 – Inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • 2015 – San Diego Business Journal “Best of the Bar”
  • 2015 – Selected to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel (recognized as nation’s top 1% of lawyers)
  • 2015 – Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award (Romero v. Caltrans)
  • 2015 – San Diego Daily Transcript Top Attorney – Personal Injury
  • 2007-2015 – Super Lawyers selection as Southern California Super Lawyers – Top Attorneys in San Diego
  • 2014 – Honored by National Law Journal for Top 100 Verdicts
  • 2014 – Recognized as one of Top 50 Attorneys in San Diego by Los Angeles Magazine
  • 2014-2015 – San Diego Business Journal “Best of the Bar” Award
  • 2014 – San Diego Top AV Rated Lawyer by American Lawyer Media
  • 2012 – Nominated to become a Fellow of The America Bar Foundation. Membership in the Fellows Foundation is limited to one-third of 1% of the Lawyers in America
  • 2011/2014 – Selected by Best Lawyers of America as Real Estate Lawyer of the Year
  • 2011 – Selected as Fellow of The Litigation Counsel of America. LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than ½ of 1% of American Lawyers
  • Selected by his peers as Daily Transcript’s “Top Attorney 2011"
  • 2011, 2010, 2009 – Daily Transcript’s San Diego Top Attorney Award
  • 2011 – San Diego Bar Association “Legends of the Bar”
  • 2010, 2008, 2007 – “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the American Trial Lawyers Association
  • 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006 – Recognized as one of “San Diego’s Top Influentials” by the Daily Transcript
  • 2008 – Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award: State of California v. Anderprises, Inc.
  • 2008 – San Diego County Bar Association’s Outstanding Attorney of the Year Award
  • 2007 – Selected to the “LawDragons 500" Leading Plaintiff Attorneys in America
  • 2007 – Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award: Sarka Southern, Ph.D v. Regents of the University of California
  • 2006 – Daniel T. Broderick Award for Civility, Integrity & Professionalism
  • CAL-ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates) Selection to Statewide Board of Directors
  • David E. Casey, Sr. Award for Outstanding Trial Attorney 2002-2003 One of the 100 Most influential Lawyers in California Personal Injury California Law Business, (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal)
  • Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award: City of San Diego v. Mesdaq
  • 2003 – American Board of Trial Advocates: California Trial Lawyer of the Year
  • 2002 – 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California - Recognition
  • 2001 – Consumer Attorneys of San Diego “Trial Lawyer of the Year"
  • 1999 – Irishman of the Year - Friendly Sons of St. Patrick - San Diego Chapter
  • 1991 – Outstanding Trial Lawyer: County of San Diego v. Rancho
  • 1991 – Outstanding Trial Lawyer: County of San Diego v. Rancho de la Fuente
  • 1989 – Outstanding Trial Lawyer: Personal Injury
  • 1988 – Outstanding Trial Lawyer: Peake v. City of San Diego, et al.
  • Recognized as one of "Best Lawyers in America" yearly since 1987
  • Selected as Attorney of the Year by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine
  • Selected as one of "83 San Diegans to Watch in 1983" by San Diego Magazine
  • 1981 – Outstanding Trial Lawyer: Arendsee v. San Diego Gas & Electric
  • 1981, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2006, 2007 and 2008 – Recipient San Diego Trial Lawyers/Consumer Attorneys of San Diego "Outstanding Trial Lawyer" Award
  • First Alternate 1968 Olympic Soccer Team

Service Organizations

  • St. Vincent de Paul - Chairman of Board of Directors - 1995 to 2001
  • St. Vincent de Paul - Co-Chair of the Hundred Million Dollar Capital Campaign 2001-present
  • Member of the American Ireland Fund - San Diego Chapter
  • Member of Century Club - annually raises approximately $1 million for charity by organizing and operating the PGA Buick Invitational Golf Tournament at Torrey Pines each February
  • Member of Board of Directors of Nice Guys - Annually raises approximately $1 Million for needy San Diegans who do not meet any other charitable organization criteria
  • Semper Fi/Injured Marine Fund - Established 501C3 Corp to assist with medical care/needs of wounded Marines. Approximately $80 Million to date
  • Founding Member - Board of Advocates for the UCSD Regional Burn Center
  • Past President - American Trauma Society - San Diego Chapter
  • Sponsor/Coordinator of Mercy Hospital [Most] Surgical Programs for more than 1000 Mexican children since 1988
  • Organizer of building projects, medical clinics and Christmas projects for orphaned Mexican children. Built one school [Emillo Zapata] and two orphanages [Primo Tapia and La Gloria]
  • Former Chairman - Board of Governors and Past President of Rancho Santa Fe Youth/Community Center
  • Former Member - Advisory Board for the San Diego Professional Soccer Team
  • Former Member Torrey Pines High School Athletic Booster Board