Ericksen Arbuthnot

Joseph Minioza
Managing Partner Shareholder

Office Phone: 510.832.7770
Office Fax: 213.489.4332
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Practice Areas

  • Auto / Fleet
  • Construction Liability
  • Employer Liability
  • General Liability
  • Professional Liability
Joseph J. (J.J.) Minioza is the Managing Partner of the Oakland/East Bay office and Co-Chair of the firm's Employment Law and Real Estate practice groups. He is also a member of the board of directors. He is AV® Peer Review Rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and has been named a California Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters since 2013. Mr. Minioza exclusively defends companies and businesses in all manner of civil litigation, whether it is defending suits brought by employees for wage and hour or wrongful termination claims, defending a trucking company in a multi-million personal injury claim, a professional accused of professional malpractice, or commercial real estate owner sued for significant claims of premises liability or breach of habitability.

Mr. Minioza believes that while he can learn his clients’ business, his trial skills cannot be learned other than by hands-on experience, and he brings that trial experience to defending his clients’ lawsuits. His experience adds tremendous value to his clients’ business strategy in defending and evaluating the inevitable lawsuits they face. Mr. Minioza believes that, ultimately, his legal services are just one important part of his client’s business strategy in handling their civil litigation and risk management needs. Mr. Minioza has tried numerous jury trials in both state and federal court and in every county in the San Francisco Bay Area. His trial results have been published in California Jury Verdicts Weekly and Verdict Search California Report. Mr. Minioza has tried employment, commercial automobile, premises liability, and professional liability cases with a very high degree of success.

Some highlights of Mr. Minioza’s professional experience:

• Served as lead trial counsel in $60 million business and property damage case against the second largest construction company in the world arising from its construction of a high end luxury resort in Calistoga, Napa County, California. Led a team of two law firms with numerous attorneys and paralegals in defending claims for property damage, construction defect, breach of contract, and negligence, involving claims for $20 million in property damage, $40 million in lost profits, and millions of dollars in attorney’s fees. The case also involved prosecuting 25 cross-complaints for breach of contract and indemnity. The case resulted in a settlement for less than one-third of the plaintiff’s claims utilizing insurance monies paid by our client’s carrier and other parties’ carriers with no personal contribution by our client.

• Obtained a unanimous complete defense verdict in a million dollar breach of habitability, personal injury, premises liability, and racial discrimination case against a real estate property management and services company. Jury returned its verdict in one hour.

• Obtained a complete defense verdict on causation in a significant claim for breach of contract, indemnity, and property damage on behalf of a commercial general contractor, resulting in the plaintiff paying our client’s attorneys’ fees and costs for the entire litigation.

• Obtained a unanimous complete defense verdict on liability in a $5 million dollar construction site injury case in which the 56-year-old female plaintiff claimed several broken vertebrae and millions of dollars in future lost wages and lost earning capacity. Jury returned its verdict after two hours of deliberation. • Served as lead trial counsel in a $6 million commercial trucking case involving significant injuries to the plaintiff that resulted in settlement for one third of the claim.

• Obtained a complete defense verdict on causation in a million dollar commercial automobile accident case filed by a 92-year-old female plaintiff claiming a broken back. The jury returned its verdict after two hours of deliberation.

• Obtained a defense verdict in a breach of contract and negligence case (with a claim for punitive damages) against a plumbing contractor.

• Obtained a complete defense verdict in a commercial automobile case where our client was a 90-year-old man who could not testify or even be present for trial. The jury returned its verdict after 20 minutes of deliberation.

• Obtained a nominal verdict of $11,000 in a breach of privacy/illegal surveillance and discrimination case against a real estate developer in San Francisco where the plaintiff tenants claimed well in excess of $1 million in damages, in addition to punitive damages and statutory penalties. Jury deliberated for approximately two hours before returning their verdict.

Mr. Minioza has B.A. degrees in History and Political Science from the University of California, Davis, and obtained his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He lives in San Ramon, California with his wife, Kathleen, and their two children, Samuel and Avery. He is an avid golfer and fan of the San Francisco Giants and Forty-Niners.

Martindale Rating

AV® Preeminent™


  • University of California, Davis, B.A., magna cum laude, 1993
  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 1997

Bar Admissions

  • 1998, California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern and Eastern Districts of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Awards And Honors

  • Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2017


  • Employment - Co-Chair
  • Real Estate - Co-Chair
  • Construction
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Liability

Presentations And Publications

  • – “What to do (and not do) with your social media policy,” Oakland Business Review October 2012
  • – “Potential Statutory Obstacles In Enforcing Waiver Provisions In Health And Fitness Club Agreements In California”
  • – “Enforcing Release Provisions For Injuries Sustained In Health And Fitness Clubs In California”
  • – “Recent Updates In California Real Estate Law,” Co-Authored with Brian Sanders
  • – “Damages Available Against a Real Estate Professional in a Civil Malpractice Lawsuit”
  • – “Handling Claims Against Real Estate Professionals in California,” presented with Mark Tratten and Mark Kiefer to private client, September, 2008
  • – “How to Defend and Protect Your Real Estate License and Professional Reputation from a Failure to Disclose Lawsuit and a Department of Real Estate Audit,” presented with Brian Sanders to SAMCAR, the Bay East Association of Realtors, and private clients
  • – “Professional Duties and Disclosure Obligations of Real Estate Agents and Brokers Under California Law,” presented with Mark Tratten and Von Reyes to insurance companies and private clients, 2006
  • – “Real Estate Disclosure and Department of Real Estate Compliance Issues,” presented with Brian Sanders to private client
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