Malcom Gladwell had it right when he asserted that it takes 10,000 hours of serious commitment and practice to get to the top of your field.  Sometimes there is just no substitute for experience.  Mr. O’Hara’s experience includes over 34 years of handling complex and high stakes litigation.  He has put in his 10,000 hours and then some.

There are not many construction and business litigation situations that John O’Hara has not seen, analyzed, litigated and successfully resolved. He joined the firm in 1987, just a few years after its inception, and embodies the precept that clients come first. A litigation partner in the firm’s Newport Beach and Las Vegas offices, John applies a keen understanding of business realities to meet his clients’ needs. He concentrates his practice on civil litigation involving business, construction, real estate, insurance coverage, and class action claims.

Construction and Real Estate Litigation

John represents residential real estate developers in complex, multi-party construction matters and real estate litigation. Closely allied with local and national homebuilders throughout California and beyond, John, along with other members of the firm’s construction and real estate litigation teams, provide undivided loyalty to real estate clients. Staunchly representing builders, he effectively resolves the problems that can arise at every phase of construction and land development, to keep projects on track throughout the construction life cycle, with a focus on overall profitability.

Risk Management and Insurance Litigation

In the insurance arena John advises on the complexities of insurance coverage, and tackles insurance industry giants to ensure his clients are treated fairly and receive their policy benefits. He represents corporate and individual policyholders in disputes with insurers, including bad faith litigation. From project inception, John ensures that his developer, homebuilder, and contractor clients have the cost-effective coverage they need to address every contingency. He counsels policyholders on policy terms, determines the full range of benefits, makes the claim, supports the claim, argues the claim and effectively litigates the claim if necessary. Litigation-savvy, he builds cases and negotiates settlements, having represented multiple clients to maximize insurance coverage, and recovered tens of millions of dollars that policyholders never expected to receive.

Business and Corporate Litigation

Focused on the substantive litigation issues that impact business operations, John works with key players in the real estate development, homebuilding, and construction industries. With regard to business litigation, his experience includes breach of contract claims, partnership disputes, trade secret disputes, fraud claims, franchise litigation, lender liability and unfair business practice claims.

Awards & Recognition

  • Selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers list, 2005-2021
  • Selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers Top 50 Orange County Lawyers list, 2008
  • AV® Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review
  • Selected to the Orange County Best Lawyers list, Construction Litigation, 2016-2020

Professional Affiliations

  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Clark County Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Fellow - Construction Lawyers Society of America


  • California, 1985
  • District of Columbia, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nevada


  • The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (J.D., 1985)
    • University of California, Irvine (B.A., 1982)