While still in law school at the University of San Diego, Chris Hulburt showed early signs that he would be among the best trial lawyers in the region. He led the school’s mock trial team to the Regional Championship in Hawaii and the National Finals in Washington, DC., at the same time while working full time as a law clerk at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire. After graduation, Chris became an associate and soon a partner in the firm as his early promise became reality in the courtroom.
Hulburt’s first trial drew national attention in the legal and popular media. Reportedly the first-of-its-kind in the nation, he successfully pursued the civil claims of a woman against her husband for physical and emotional injuries caused by domestic violence, and set in motion a long career committed to representing people and families hurt by the abuse, neglect and corruption of others. In 2000, Chris left TBM to launch his own small firm, specializing in medical malpractice, catastrophic personal injuries and product liability cases. Success and acclaim followed with him during this time, as Hulburt was recognized by his peers as Trial Lawyer of the Year, Consumer Advocate of the Year and three times chosen for the Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.
Other lawyers have often sought out Hulburt’s insight and guidance. He has been a prolific speaker and seminar leader, coached the USD Mock Trial team to a national championship, and taught trial practice skills at the law school for nearly fifteen years. Success and experience also led to his election as President of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego and invited membership as an Associate in the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates and a Master in the Louis B. Welsh Inn of Court.
Chris Hulburt and his wife have been a couple since they started dating in high school at age 16. In fact, he is quick to point out that Annalee is the only girl he ever dated. They are the proud parents of four adult children and five grandchildren. In 2007, the couple experienced a profound spiritual awakening and a reordering of their lives and priorities. The journey led to Chris being ordained a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church in 2013 and his wife taking a job in ministry in the parish. Together, they serve at Saint Brigid Catholic Church in Pacific Beach, where Chris preaches and teaches, provides counseling for couples and individuals, serves at weddings, baptisms and funerals, and seeks to care for the poor and others in need. He also serves on the Board of Regents for the Franciscan School of Theology and is a founding member and coordinator for the Pacific Beach Interfaith Coalition.
Recognizing that many cases are resolved without trial, Hulburt committed himself to mastering not only trial skills for the courtroom, but negotiation and mediation skills outside the courtroom, as well. He completed training through the National Conflict Resolution Center to become a certified mediator, and further developed those skills and insights through numerous courses at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School. Beginning in 2015, Hulburt developed a part-time mediation practice at West Coast Resolution Group and was quickly sought out by lawyers on both sides for his thoughtful listening, ability to name and hold the emotions behind the story, and keen insight to forge creative solutions.
His passion for justice and advocacy for the voiceless led Chris in 2016 to become the Director of Development for the non-profit National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC), a national leader in communication skills and conflict resolution training and services. Hulburt brought to bear his advocacy skills to help expand NCRC’s Avoiding the Pipeline to Prison initiative, a restorative justice alternative for youth discipline in schools and the juvenile justice system, one of the most comprehensive anti-racist criminal justice reforms in the nation.
At the end of 2020, Hulburt returned full circle to rejoin Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire as a partner. He continues to specialize in serious and catastrophic injury cases of all kinds, including medical malpractice, personal injury and products liability matters.