Kevin F. Quinn

U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers Best Law Firms logo


As a defensive back on the West Point football team, Kevin Quinn never failed to offer opposing runners a hand up after he had knocked them down. Such sportsmanlike conduct has carried over to Kevin's career as a trial lawyer. Today, many cases he handles result from referrals from attorneys that he has bested in the courtroom.

Kevin came to California as a result of a shoulder injury incurred while playing football as a defensive back for the United States Military Academy at West Point. His injury was so serious he was honorably discharged from the army.

Picking up from his studies at West Point, Kevin entered SDSU as a political science major and an engineering minor. While working full time Kevin eventually graduated with honors. Next Kevin brought his characteristic intensity to his studies at California Western School of Law, graduating magna cum laude and having served as a member of the Law Review in 1982. Admitted to practice that year, Kevin then attended Hastings College of Advocacy to refine his skills in his newly chosen focus as a trial lawyer. And try cases he has, with distinction and great results. It was Kevin's client who in 1993 won the first settlement against Shiley heart valves.

His pioneering victory in the Shiley case is overshadowed only by his satisfaction with the outcome of an earlier, smaller case which initiated an amazing chain of events outside of the courtroom that eventually touched the lives of dozens of Mexican children.

In 1986 Antonio Rivera came to Kevin for help after being severely burned in a roofing accident. He had been working on an apartment building when a tar boiler exploded, leaving him burned and crippled.

Antonio's case was finally settled in 1987 and he received over $350,000 for his injuries. In January 1988 Antonio returned unannounced to the firm and asked to see Kevin. Antonio was so overwhelmed with gratitude that he wanted to give back some of his money in a way that would do the most good for others. He presented Kevin with a check for $10,000 and asked him to put it to good use.

The result was the restoration of the Emilio Zapata School and Orphanage. Antonio's money, and the labor of partners at the firm working with volunteers from the Navy and the Marine Corps, essentially rebuilt and modernized the 42-child facility near Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

Kevin has earned his distinguished reputation by taking tough cases other lawyers avoid to trial. And winning them. The same intensity and tenacity that made him a starter on the West Point team have carried over into a successful career as a partner at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire, where he has become known for both his passion and innovative trial exhibits. In 1998, Kevin received an Outstanding Trial lawyer Award for one of the first elder abuse death cases tried under a newly enacted state law.

The following year Kevin was honored by his peers with the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego for his work on four cases - Hildebrand v. Donaldson, Bonillas v. Kaiser, Pancoast v. LeWinn, M.D., and Cooper v. Kaiser.

Kevin was in New York on another case on September 11, 2001, and he witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Center firsthand. What he saw led him to be among the first to volunteer as a pro-bono representative for the families of those who were killed. In 2004 he and his staff obtained over $5,000,000 in compensation from the 9/11 Victim's Fund Special Master for the family of David Berray who was killed when the North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

2004 and 2005 brought Kevin more accolades. First, he was admitted to the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Following that he received another Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award for his work on behalf of an injured US Navy SEAL candidate in Roberts. v. Council. In 2006 Kevin's outstanding body of work as a personal injury lawyer earned him recognition in Woodward White's book "Best Lawyers in America" in the Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury and Product Liability categories.

In 2010, Kevin was awarded the Consumer Attorneys for San Diego's Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year award. This accomplishment is sought after by every Plaintiff's attorney in San Diego and is only awarded to one recipient each year. His receipt of the award followed his victory for largest single-plaintiff verdict in the state of California for 2010. Kevin's client in the case was a popular Bay-area musician who suffered devastating paralysis after the tour van he was riding in overturned and a defect in the bench seat caused him to be launched into the crushing roof and shattering several of his vertebrae. In the same year, Kevin brought allegations of fraud and negligence against one the of the nation's top healthcare organizations on behalf of 62 plaintiffs and obtained a confidential eight-figure settlement from that organization before one complaint had even been filed.

Over the next several years, Kevin's effort on behalf of plaintiffs did not go unrecognized. For each year, he received numerous nominations and awards from Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, San Diego Magazine's Best Lawyers and Top Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell. In 2016, Kevin was again named by the Consumer Attorneys for San Diego as the Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year for his role in the Opel v. Scripps Clinic case. This time it was for his remarkable efforts on behalf of a patient who died as the result of a negligent dermatology procedure which allowed cancer to spread undetected to his client's brain. This case was fought all the way through to a jury trial, and Kevin's client was awarded over $5,000,000 in damages.

In 2017, Kevin brought a monumental victory to all potential consumers injured by a drug manufacturer's dangerous products. Kevin lead the team that successfully argued before the California Supreme Court against a lower court's decision to protect drug manufacturers from failing to warn about alleged dangers from a generic version. California's high court reversed the lower court's decision and opined that a drug manufacturer can be held liable for negligently misrepresenting their product and failing to warn its potential consumers, even after the brand name has been sold. The decision has huge implications for all product liability matters in California and is considered by the legal community to be one of the most important California Supreme Court decisions of recent times. On the heels of his big win and heading into 2018, Kevin was named by the Wall Street Journal as its pick for the 2018 Southern California Lawyer of the Year.

Kevin's interests in the law are diverse. He practices in a wide range of areas including products liability, medical malpractice and personal injury. His courtroom style matches his life: full speed, no excuses, get it done.


  • Senior Partner





  • Super Lawyers Designee by Thomson Reuters
  • 2018 Southern California Lawyer of the Year
  • 2018 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2017 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2016 Consumer Attorneys of San Diego OUTSTANDING TRIAL LAWYER AWARD
  • 2016 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2016 San Diego Magazine Top Lawyer
  • 2015 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2014 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2014 San Diego Magazine Top Lawyers
  • 2012 San Diego Magazine Best Lawyers
  • 2011 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2010 Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • 2010 20-Year Anniversary (1990-2010)
  • AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell for Highest Possible Peer Review Rating
  • 2010 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2009 Daily Transcript’s “San Diego Top Attorney” Award
  • 2008 Daily Transcript’s “San Diego Top Attorney” Award
  • 2007 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2006 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2005 Consumer Attorneys of San Diego OUTSTANDING TRIAL LAWYER AWARD
  • 2004 American Board of Trial Advocates