James F. Pokorny, Esq.

Profile

James F. Pokorny, Esq. is a talented mediator who brings with him a wealth of experience as a civil litigator and San Diego Superior Court mediation panelist. As a mediator, he has successfully resolved disputes involving litigants in a variety of matters, including personal injury, insurance coverage, and business litigation. His mediation experience is enhanced by his depth of experience as an attorney whose forty year practice focused on both plaintiff and defense work in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, insurance litigation, construction litigation, business litigation, and aircrash litigation.

Having participated in scores of mediations, Mr. Pokorny knows that there is no “one size fits all” approach with respect to conflict resolution. People are different; their legal claims are different; and the mediator must take this into account. Mr. Pokorny draws upon his decades of experience and in-depth training to adapt his approach and meet the unique needs of each matter before him.

Mr. Pokorny’s aviation-related matters are enhanced by his comprehensive understanding of aeronautics. He has been an instrument rated, FAA licensed commercial pilot for over thirty years. He has owned several airplanes and has flown over 3,000 hours as pilot in command in various types of single and multi-engine aircraft. He is a Co-Founder of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Aviation Law Section. In addition, he served on the legal services panel of the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association for decades and as a member of the Board of Directors and Past President of the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association.

AREAS OF MEDIATION

  • Aviation and Aircrash Litigation
  • Business and Commercial Contract
  • Family Law
  • Fee Disputes
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Partnership Dissolution
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability

EDUCATION

J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1975

B.A., University of California, San Diego, 1970

LEGAL EXPERIENCE

Law Offices of James F. Pokorny, San Diego, 1977-2017

Significant legal experience in both civil and criminal matters in state and federal courts in California, Nevada, and Iowa.  Principal attorney in over one hundred jury trials.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE

  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law
    “Mediating the Litigated Case” (42 hours of mediation training), 2014
  • ADR Services, Inc., Mediator, 2018-Present
  • Pokorny Mediations, Principal Mediator, 2017-2018
  • San Diego Superior Court, Civil Mediation Panelist, 2017-Present
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Fee Arbitration Panelist, 2017-Present

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • Super Lawyer, consistently named every year since 2010
  • Finalist, San Diego County “Top Attorneys”, The Daily Transcript, 2009
  • Member, United States Registry of Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans, 1994

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND ACTIVITIES

  • Board Member, San Diego Inn of Court, 2000-Present
  • President, San Diego Inn of Court, 2010
  • President, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, 1999-2000
  • Television Commentator, KUSI Television, 1995-2000
  • Presenter, King County Bar Association, Aviation Law Section Seminar, 1998
  • Co-Chair, Southwest Regional Aviation and Space Law Symposium
  • Radio Commentator, KSDO Radio, 1994
  • Author, The Real Truth About Aircrash Litigation, San Diego Lawyer
  • Chair, San Diego County Bar Association Aviation Law Section, 1994
  • Co-Founder, San Diego County Bar Association Aviation Law Section, 1988
  • Chair, State Bar Law Practice Management Section, 1986
  • Judge Pro Tempore, San Diego Municipal Court, 1984-1985
  • Member, California State Bar, Board of Governors, 1984-1985
  • Chair, San Diego County Bar Association, Annual Bar Dinner Committee, 1980-1984
  • Board Member, California Young Lawyers Association, 1979-1984

Representative Cases

AVIATION & AIRCRASH LITIGATION

  • Airplane crash - serious bodily injury. Handled injury claim in case involving a blocked fuel filter which led to catastrophic engine failure and crash landing in San Diego, CA.
  • Airplane crash - wrongful death. Handled matter arising out of the deliberate crash of a Cessna by a distraught flight instructor in Ramona, CA.
  • Airplane crash - wrongful death. Handled wrongful death litigation involving the crash after takeoff of a charter aircraft due to negligent calibration of aircraft gauges in Long Beach, CA.
  • Airplane taxi collision - catastrophic injuries. Handled injury litigation involving passenger in one airplane which collided with another aircraft, the propeller of which penetrated the passenger’s airplane and severed his leg in Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Airplane crash - wrongful death. Handled wrongful death litigation of a large turbine airplane which crashed on approach to airport at Concord, CA, killing all aboard.
  • Helicopter crash - wrongful death. Handled matter arising out of improper approach to private helipad in Fallbrook, CA, killing both occupants.
  • Airplane incident - wrongful death. Handled matter involving attempt at hand propping an airplane using improper procedures, resulting in serious head trauma and death, in El Cajon, CA.
  • Helicopter crash - wrongful death. Handled wrongful death litigation arising out of loss of power of a private helicopter being piloted by a brain surgeon, in San Diego, CA.
  • Crop duster crash - wrongful death. Handled matter involving loss of power to a crop duster in a remote field in Alabama.
  • Police helicopter crash - wrongful death. Handled litigation arising out of crash of law enforcement helicopter while on patrol, due to partial engine failure, in Santee, California.
  • Mid-air collision - wrongful death. Handled litigation against the United States involving air traffic control error which resulted in multiple fatalities, in La Mesa, CA.
  • Aircraft crash - wrongful death. Handled matter involving the loss of power of a Cessna on approach to airport in Hillsborough, Oregon.
  • Airplane crash - wrongful death. Co-counsel in litigation against the United States involving air traffic control error which resulted in multiple fatalities in Julian, CA.
  • Aerobatic airplane crash - wrongful death. Handled matter involving catastrophic structural failure of aerobatic airplance while practicing maneuvers in Borrego Springs, CA.

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