Patricia P. Hollenbeck practices in the area of commercial and business litigation, handling individual and class action cases in state and federal courts, and also has extensive experience in arbitration and mediation. Ms. Hollenbeck focuses on supporting and problem solving for businesses and individuals navigating litigation, negotiations and other disputes. Her industry focus is primarily comprised of clients in the consumer and franchising sectors; however, her practice involves a wide range of claims. They include business interference, unfair competition, consumer legal remedies and false advertising; trademarks and trade dress violations; and trade secrets. Ms. Hollenbeck also has extensive experience with litigating temporary restraining orders and injunctions. She has handled over two hundred arbitrations, arbitrating to award in excess of fifty cases before a number of forums, including the American Arbitration Association. Ms. Hollenbeck also serves as an arbitrator on the AAA Commercial Arbitration panel.
In addition to her role as trial counsel, Ms. Hollenbeck assists her clients with litigation risk assessment at the time of business formation, and during asset purchase transactions. She is a tenacious advocate and a strategic decision maker who works collaboratively with her clients to achieve the best business result.
Ms. Hollenbeck has been AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 1999. Since 2011, she has been selected for inclusion in San Diego Super Lawyers (Business Litigation). She was named to the list of Top 50 Lawyers in San Diego three times, and to the list of Top 25 Women in San Diego seven times. In addition, Ms. Hollenbeck has been named a Top Lawyer in San Diego (Trials) since 2013, a San Diego County Top Attorney (Corporate Litigation), and has been profiled in San Diego Business Journal 's Best of the Bar.
Ms. Hollenbeck is also very active in the San Diego legal community. She is a Master in the American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh Inn (and serves on its executive committee), an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and is a Director and Vice-President of the San Diego Inn of Court (trial training program). She also recently completed a three-year term on the San Diego County Bar Association Board of Directors. In addition, she recently served on the Board of Directors of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the Board of Directors of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association Foundation (which awards scholarship funds to deserving students) and the California Lawyers Association Business Litigation Committee.
In 2014-2015 Ms. Hollenbeck served as President of Lawyers Club of San Diego, the mission of which is to advance the status of women in law and society. She was a member of the board of directors for four years, and served as the Vice-President of Finance and Fundraising, as well as chair of the Judicial Endorsements Committee before being elected president. She remains involved in Lawyers Club on the Advisory Board and as a member of the organization's 501(c)(3) arm, the Fund for Justice, which supports underserved women and children in San Diego. Ms. Hollenbeck previously served a three-year term on the Board of Governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego.
Within Duane Morris, Ms. Hollenbeck was a member of the Duane Morris Women's Impact Network for Success Steering Committee for many years. In 2013, Ms. Hollenbeck received the Cheryl Blackwell Bryson Leadership Award, presented by the Duane Morris Women's Initiative. The award recognizes significant contributions to women in the profession, including issues of the professional development of women lawyers and the advancement of women lawyers in the profession. She has presented the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Trial Skills Program in-house. Currently, she is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in the San Diego office.
Ms. Hollenbeck is the author of "Treatment of Spoliation of Evidence Issues and Excessive Verdict and Punitive Damage Issues in California," published in the American Law Firm Compendium, "Legal Malpractice: The Ever Darkening Cloud of Lawyer Liability," which was published in the Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report, and "Networking Strategies; Having Fun With Networking," San Diego Lawyer, The Journal of the San Diego County Bar Association. She is also the author of numerous articles in Lawyers Club News.
A member of the State Bar of California and of the American, Colorado and San Diego County bar associations, Ms. Hollenbeck is a 1984 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law and a graduate of Stanford University, where she double-majored, was elected to Cap and Gown, and played on the women's varsity golf team.
Rincon Band Of Luiseño Mission Indians v. Flynt et al. Represented Stones South Bay Corp. in a lawsuit in the Superior Court of San Diego County. Filed in 2018, plaintiffs, comprised of 2 American Indian tribes, and 22 business entities and Tribe members, sued 11 cardrooms licensed by the state and 13 additional defendants alleging counts for unfair competition, interference with contract, and nuisance. Plaintiffs alleged defendants were offering banked card games on nontribal land, in violation of the exclusive right of Indian tribes to offer such games. Defendants denied the allegations as all business conducted at the cardrooms is expressly licensed and monitored by state and local government. The trial court sustained the third and final demurrer to the complaint without leave to amend, and entered judgment of dismissal. Plaintiffs appealed and the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed, awarding costs on appeal to defendants. Plaintiffs petition for review to the California Supreme Court was denied.
Represented defendant financial institution in a putative class action alleging a fraudulent loan program and claims under RICO and California’s Unfair Competition law. Defendant filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration pursuant to the terms of the loan agreement. The U.S. District Judge ruled Plaintiffs must arbitrate their claims on an individual basis, rather than on behalf of a class, and stayed the litigation. Plaintiffs ultimately dismissed their claims against the client.
Successfully represented NTC Foundation, a non-profit corporation that serves as a landlord at San Diego’s historic Liberty Station, in a case involving its former tenant. Following underlying litigation, the tenant and its individual LLC members sued NTC, asserting 13 causes of action, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Ultimately, the tenant was persuaded to dismiss the action with prejudice.
Successfully compelled arbitration against several franchisees of a well-known Philadelphia-area frozen dessert franchise. Plaintiffs, several former franchisees, were attempting to sidestep the arbitration provisions in their franchise agreements and filed a lawsuit in California. The court rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments, and issued a stay.
- Defense award in a lengthy commercial arbitration proceeding involving claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under Title IX, breach of contract, and unfair business practices.
Obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on behalf of a licensee against a licensor for retaliatory actions, and to preserve the status quo pending litigation.
- Obtained a defense award on behalf of a college education client in a contested arbitration where the claimant sought compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees based on a myriad of claims including discrimination based on medical condition, disability based on age discrimination, failure to accommodate, intentional misrepresentation, unfair business practices and false advertising.
- Won an appeal on behalf of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, a subsidiary of DeVry Education Group, before the Second District, Division Six, Court of Appeal of the State of California, which held the client was not liable for plaintiff's termination from medical school.
- Safari Club International v. Rudolph - Obtained on behalf of Dr. Lawrence Rudolph a decision in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirming a trial court denial of a preliminary injunction concerning a taped conversation between Rudolph and the former president of SCI.
- Served as special outside counsel to the Board of Trustees of the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association and authored the legal opinion affirmed by the Colorado Supreme Court denying an attempt to get the records of the Association's top benefit recipients.
- Representing a zoo and additional related defendants in filing Amici Curiae briefs to the California Supreme Court in precedent-setting litigation surrounding a new state of the art elephant exhibit in Los Angeles. The California Supreme Court reversed, finding for defendants.
- Obtained a decision in the Central District of California defeating a highly contentious bid for preliminary injunction over the alleged violation of California wiretap laws.
- Successfully represented an international franchisor in a franchise termination lawsuit in California federal district court against former franchisees alleging RICO, fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, trademark infringement and other claims.
- Obtained on behalf of a theme park a dismissal with prejudice of a suit alleging violations of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, which prohibits the collection of personal information from credit card customers.
- Represented a luxury resort and vacation home developer in connection with complicated litigation, land use, and foreclosure issues arising from its acquisition of resort property near Lake Tahoe, CA.
Successfully obtained temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on behalf of non-profit corporation related to its claims of breach of contract, interference with business and retaliation.
- Defended private post-secondary institution against allegations of fraud, negligence and violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law. The case was filed in state court and involved over 30 plaintiffs. On behalf of the institution, we prevailed on motion to compel arbitration and successfully opposed plaintiffs' writ. Thereafter, Ms. Hollenbeck managed over 30 individual consumer arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and obtained favorable results for the institution.
- Defended business in five separate consumer arbitration proceedings involving consumer protection and unfair competition law issues. Obtained defense verdicts in each of the five cases.
- Obtained settlement that client found favorable and dismissal of action with prejudice through the filing of a motion for summary judgment on the issue of general causation.
Prevailed in case representing a multi-national franchisor with over 4,000 stores who sued its joint venture partner in U.S. District Court for breach of contract and violation of fiduciary duties. This case involved extensive claims relating to computer software and operating systems. Very favorable settlement achieved after several years of protracted discovery, depositions and heated litigation.
Represented large web hosting concern sued by Internet service provider for unfair competition and theft of trade secrets. Also represented the web hosting company in its responsive action for breach of contract. Case involved complex discovery issues, extensive interaction with a discovery referee and protracted law and motion as to numerous issues including production of source code. The case settled on terms the client found favorable.
Represented a prominent national financial services company that services single-family residential mortgages in an action filed by a homeowner for wrongful foreclosure, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud. The plaintiffs' complaint, and four amended complaints, were successfully challenged by demurrer and, ultimately, the case was dismissed in its entirety.
- Defended international paint and coatings manufacturer against product defect, breach of warranty and breach of contract allegations. Plaintiff was an international energy concern who sued for product failure at over 800 of its locations. Case settled on terms the defendant found favorable. Exposure to the client was minimized and significant responsibility was defrayed to third party coatings application specialist.
- Obtained permanent injunction and monetary compensation for large franchisor against franchisee that violated provisions of franchise agreement. Franchisee incorrectly used trademark and service mark applications with competing franchise brand.
- Represented nationally known private post-secondary vocational institution in class action arbitration and litigation. Plaintiffs claimed a group of students were the victims of numerous misrepresentations as to the value of their program and that the educational instruction they received had less than fair value. The matter was resolved on terms that the client found very favorable.
- Represented national restaurant chain in a shareholder derivative action and direct law suit. Case involved complex partnership governance and compensation issues resulting in alleged harm to the limited partners.
- Counsel to national computer software company sued by competitor and former employee for issues pertaining to compensation and termination. Settlement that the client found very favorable obtained following plaintiff's deposition.
- Successfully pursued trademark litigation on behalf of an international select membership organization whose marks were being improperly used.
- Represented San Diego biotech company in patent infringement action filed by multinational pharmaceutical company. Reached settlement the client found favorable and licensing agreement going forward.
- Represented an international appliance manufacturer in numerous products liability actions for over 20 years. Those matters have included catastrophic personal injury, brain trauma, burn injuries, and amputations. Ms. Hollenbeck has evaluated and defended each claim and has achieved outstanding results.
- Represented Metabolife International in state and federal court litigation involving legal fallout over ephedra, and claims that Metabolife 356 was linked to dozens of heart attacks, strokes, and more than 100 deaths. Causes of action included product liability, negligence, breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty and fraud, and sought compensatory and punitive damages.
- Represented an international motor carrier in a range of claims resulting from traffic injuries, many of which involved ejection of the plaintiffs from their vehicles with resulting personal injuries and brain damage. All cases were successfully evaluated and resolved.
- Defended a manufacturer of fire suppression equipment in a long list of cases involving accidental discharge of chemical suppressants and explosions of fire suppression equipment. All actions involved substantial personal injury and often included brain injury claims.
- Defended a San Diego commercial business in a matter involving a multi-vehicle car accident where the plaintiffs, who were passengers in other vehicles, claimed catastrophic personal injuries and closed head injuries. The matter involved in excess of 20 experts and 40 witnesses in a four-week trial. Liability was admitted, and resulted in a nominal verdict that was affirmed by the California Supreme Court.
- Represented a national personal armed security company in a series of lawsuits filed by individuals who claimed they were the victims of excessive force, who had sustained traumatic brain injuries. All but one case was settled for a small sum; the remaining matter was tried and there was a defense verdict.
- Represented an international tire manufacturer in many matters involving alleged tire defects resulting in automobile accidents. The plaintiffs claimed a wide variety of injuries, including brain trauma. The cases were resolved on terms that were acceptable to the client.
- Represented a company that made hamburger patty forming machines that were used by The Price Company, a well-known warehouse store. A meat department employee sustained a traumatic amputation of his arm after disabling the safety guard. Defendants prevailed on summary adjudication and resolved the remainder of the case for a small sum.
- Defended The Sherwin-Williams Company, an international paint and coatings manufacturer against product defect, breach of warranty and breach of contract allegations. Plaintiff was an international energy concern who sued for product failure at over 800 of its locations. Case settled on terms the defendant found favorable. Exposure to the client was minimized and significant responsibility was defrayed to third party coatings application specialist.
- Defended international appliance manufacturer against $25 million mold exposure claim brought by consumer. Resolved case for nominal sum through strong litigation strategy including coordinating testimony from over 40 experts.
Products Liability Litigation
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
- University of Colorado School of Law, J.D., 1984
- Stanford University, A.B., 1981
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2005-present
- Buchanan Ingersoll LLP
- Shareholder, 2001-2005
- Higgs, Fletcher & Mack LLP
- Partner, 1992-2001
- Associate, 1986-1992
- American Bar Association
- Forum on Franchising
State Bar of California
- Business Law Section
-- Appointed to Franchise Law Committee, 2002-2005, 2010-2013 (Vice-Chair, Membership, 2011-2012)
California Lawyers Association (formerly part of the State Bar of California)
-- Appointed to Business Litigation Committee, 2015-2019
- Colorado Bar Association
San Diego County Bar Association
- Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Member, 2022
- Strategic Planning Committee, Member, 2022
- Board of Directors, 2017-2019
-- Vice-President and Chair of the Governance and Leadership Committee, 2019
-- Chair of the Membership Committee, 2018
- Civil Litigation Section
-- Served as section Chair and Vice-Chair
- Leadership Outreach Committee
- American Inns of Court
- Master, Louis M. Welsh Inn
-- Executive Committee, 2019-
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego
- Board of Governors, 2002-2004
Lawyers Club of San Diego
- President, FY2014-2015
- Board of Directors, 2011-2015
- Vice-President, Finance and Fundraising, 2013-2014
- Chair, Judicial Endorsements Committee, 2010-2013
- Co-Chair, Golf Tournament, 2013, 2016, 2019
- Duane Morris Women's Impact Network for Success
- Steering Committee, 2008-2015
- National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Faculty
Board of Directors, San Diego Inn of Court, 2018-
- Vice-President, 2022
- Program Chair, Evidence Program, 2019, 2022
- Program Chair, Trial Program, 2019, 2022
Board of Directors, San Diego County Bar Association, 2017-2019
- Vice-President and Chair of the Governance and Leadership Committee, 2019
Louis M. Welsh American Inn of Court
- Executive Committee, 2019-
Lawyers Club of San Diego, Advisory Board
Board of Directors, Tom Homann LGBT Law Association Foundation, 2017-2018
Board of Directors, Downtown San Diego Partnership, 2016-2018
- Board of Directors, Lawyers Club of San Diego, 2011-2015
- Board of Governors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego, 2002-2004
- Board of Directors, Carmel Valley Music Boosters, Vice-President Fundraising, 2006-2008
- Board of Directors, Del Mar Little League, Vice-President of Operations, 2005-2007
Honors and Awards
- Named to named to the San Diego Business Journal’s 2023 Top 50 Women of Influence: 50 Over 50
Recognized in San Diego Business Journal 2021 SD500: The Most Influential People in San Diego
Finalist, 2018 San Diego Business Journal "Business Women of the Year" Awards
- Recipient, 2017 Friend of the Community Award, Tom Homann LGBT Law Association
Finalist, San Diego Woman of the Year, San Diego Magazine
- Recipient, Cheryl Blackwell Bryson Leadership Award, Duane Morris Women's Initiative, October 2013
San Diego Super Lawyers 2011-2022 (Business Litigation)
- Top 50 Lawyers in San Diego, 2015-2016, 2020
- Top 25 Women Lawyers in San Diego, 2014-2016, 2019-2022
The San Diego Business Journal Best of the Bar
Top Attorneys Finalist in Corporate Litigation by San Diego Daily Transcript
Top Lawyers in San Diego by San Diego Magazine (Trials), 2013-present
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- "My Name is Patty Hollenbeck, and I am a Feminist," Lawyers Club News, June 2015
- "The Magic of Thinking Big: 'I Think I Can, I Think I Can'," Lawyers Club News, May 2015
- "Achieving Pay Equality: Mr. Spock, the Academy Awards, and Perseverance," Lawyers Club News, April 2015
- "The Impossibility of Time Management: Sometimes You Have to 'Let it Go'," Lawyers Club News, March 2015
- "EQ and the Practice of Law; the Huggable Lawyer," Lawyers Club News, February 2015
- "Happy New Year: Find Your Inspiration and Make a Resolution," Lawyers Club News, January 2015
- "Happy Holidays: Take a Deep Breath and Remember the See's." Lawyers Club News, December 2014
- "'Roominate' on Lime Green: Find What Matters and Give Back," Lawyers Club News, November 2014
- "Escaping the Marzipan Layer: Mentors, Sponsors, and Champions," Lawyers Club News, October 2014
- "Work-Life Management: Your Career AND Your Life," Lawyers Club News, September 2014
- "Leadership: The Huge Market for Big Ideas," Lawyers Club News, July/August 2014
- "Networking Strategies; Having Fun With Networking," San Diego Lawyer, The Journal of the San Diego County Bar Association, May/June 2011
- Profiled in "Women Who Court Success," Franchise Times, June/July 2002
- "Treatment of Spoliation of Evidence Issues and Excessive Verdict and Punitive Damage Issues in California," American Law Firm Compendium
- "Legal Malpractice: The Ever Darkening Cloud of Lawyer Liability," Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Panel Member, "Women Leading in San Diego Law," San Diego County Bar Association Meet & Confer Podcast, November 22, 2019
Panel Member, Trial Advocacy in the Southern District of California Series, Federal Bar Association, San Diego, California, May 2019
Panel Member, Written Discovery, Disclosure and Discovery Series, Federal Bar Association, San Diego, California, July 2018
Co-presenter, "Career Perspective on Taking Leave: The Logistics and Implications of Taking a Leave of Absence or Negotiating a Flex Schedule," San Diego, California, October 2017
Presenter, "Demystifying Economic Expert Depositions," San Diego County Bar Association, San Diego, California, July 2017
"Products Liability and Risk Management," California Healthcare Institute/Duane Morris THE BLUEPRINT™ Webinar Series
Faculty Member, NITA National Institute for Trial Advocacy Deposition Skills: Pacific Program, San Diego, California
Moderator, "How to Leverage Self-Evaluations for Professional Advancement," Lawyers Club Professional Advancement Committee, San Diego, California
Co-presenter, "Networking Skills Mixer: Honing Your Elevator Speech," Lawyers Club Student Committee, San Diego, California
Co-speaker, "Networking 101: Early Success Seminar Series," Lawyers Club of San Diego, San Diego California
Co-speaker, "Contract Drafting - Tips and Pitfalls - From Transactional and Litigation Points of View," Lawyers Club of San Diego MCLE Presentation, San Diego, California