John Gomez is the Firm’s founder and CEO. While also one of our nation’s leading and most decorated trial lawyers, he is first a devoted husband, father and community leader. He also works very hard to win with ethics and morality in every aspect of his life.
John grew up in a Navy family, moved around a lot as a kid, and so, learned to get along with and enjoy all kinds of people and communities. During high school in San Diego, he only wanted to play collegiate football. An injury his senior year forced him to start at a Junior College and it was there, working as a busboy at nights, that he decided to try hard in school for the first time.
John made his way to the University of San Diego where he graduated magna cum laude and as an Academic All American. Along the way, he worked as a busboy, waiter, bartender, bouncer, “repo” man, construction worker, painter and any other work he could find to pay the bills. One of his friends was attending law school and encouraged John to consider it. Thanks to him, John applied for and was accepted to attend Yale University, the #1 ranked law school in the world. After surfing all Summer, John arrived in New Haven to begin his studies with some of the most academically impressive people on the planet. Every day John would write down words from class that he didn’t understand. At home, John would define the words until, over time, he learned them all. John worked really hard to keep up and by the time of graduation, he felt like he belonged.
John began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable Marilyn Huff, an amazing mentor, judicial pioneer and leader. From there, he went to work in Los Angeles at Latham and Watkins, one of the world’s largest corporate law firms. There, and inspired by legends, John worked as hard as he possibly could to be the best civil litigator he could possibly be. After a few years though, John knew that he wanted to try cases, and that the firm’s billion dollar matters were not the kind of cases that he would be trying any time soon.
And so, John returned to San Diego to work at the United States Attorneys Office as a federal prosecutor. He tried as many cases as he could, and never lost. He loved being in the courtroom, and the camaraderie and excitement of the job, but decided he wanted to have a job in which he could showcase his trial skills for the “little guy” rather than the federal government. And so, he decided he wanted to become a civil plaintiffs lawyer.
John asked trusted judges for the names of the best plaintiffs lawyers in San Diego and he applied to them all. Legendary trial lawyer Craig McClellan was the only lawyer that responded and offered him a job. John spent the next five years learning and working on some of the biggest and most complex cases in the country. In 2005, he left to form Gomez Trial Attorneys. He wanted to do things his way and to build something that was truly his own.
He hired Amy Collins, still with the Firm, as his first employee. They started out with a card table and six files. The phone would never ring. But then, John started winning big trials. As he won again and again and again, the phone started ringing and the Firm began growing. John has always recognized and reinforced that trial work is one defining character and attribute of the Firm. That is why, to this day, one of the Firm’s core values is “We try cases to juries.”
Another Firm core value is “We always do the right thing.” John strongly believes in living with the absolute highest morals, character and integrity in his life, and he strongly encourages his team members to do the same. “We put family first,” is another Firm core value and John leads by example. He is a devoted husband to his wife Leah and loving father to his kids, JD, Michael, Analise and Jolie.
John is one of the most prolific and successful trial lawyers in the country. He has tried personal injury, fraud, class action, mass tort and of course, criminal cases. He has won verdicts in excess of one, ten and one hundred million dollars. He has obtained jury verdicts of more than one million dollars in more than 15 separate cases, and in 6 cases, obtained jury verdicts in excess of one million dollars in cases in which the defense offered zero dollars to settle. Those trial results have resulted in him being named San Diego’s Trial Lawyer of the Year twice, and his receipt of 13 separate Outstanding Trial Lawyer Awards, more than any trial lawyer in San Diego history.
Every year his peers vote him as one of San Diego’s Top 10 Attorneys overall. Twice they have voted him #1 among all legal fields.
John is a hands-on and present Firm leader. He believes strongly in leading from the front and leading by example. He believes that whatever gifts or blessings that God has provided him, he must share those gifts and blessings with those around him, including those in need. For that reason, John is deeply involved in a number of charitable and community organizations. John is also a member of the Rock church, an active jiu jitsu practitioner and competitor and a proud Latino.