Sean E. Ponist

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS 
  • Chair and Board Member, San Diego County Bar Association Civil Litigation Section (2018-present)

  • Chair and Board Member, San Diego County Bar Association Real Property Section (2014–2018)

  • Vice-Chair and Board Member, San Francisco Bar Association Real Property Section (2011–present)

  • Board Member, San Diego County Bar Association Construction Law Section (2018-2019)

  • Executive Committee, San Mateo County Bar Association, Client Relations Committee (2013)

  • Board Member, San Mateo County Barristers (2008–2010)

  • Member, San Francisco and San Diego County Bar Associations

ADMISSIONS  
  • All California federal and state courts

  • All Nevada federal and state courts

  • The California Supreme Court

  • The Ninth Circuit

  • The U.S. Supreme Court

EDUCATION   
  • UC Davis School of Law, J.D.

  • Moot Court

  • Pro Bono Award

  • UCLA, B.A., Philosophy

  • Departmental Scholar

Recognized Excellence

Sean E. Ponist is a highly regarded trial attorney and the owner and founder of the Ponist Law Group, P.C., with offices in San Diego and San Francisco. As a skilled civil litigator and former prosecutor, Mr. Ponist is a forceful courtroom advocate for his clients. He has tried over 35 cases to verdict and brings significant litigation and trial experience to his representation of clients.

In acknowledgment of his accomplishments, Mr. Ponist has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer,” a distinction awarded to less than 5% of attorneys, for more than ten years. Additionally, Mr. Ponist is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society whose membership is limited to less than one-half of 1% percent of North American lawyers, judges and scholars. He has also been recognized as one of the Best of the Bar by the San Diego Business Journal.

High Stakes Advocacy

Mr. Ponist’s practice covers a broad range of high stakes civil litigation matters, including real estate (purchase and sale disputes, nondisclosure issues, broker malpractice, easement and boundary disputes, commercial unlawful detainer, and other real property issues), construction and construction defect (construction delay, construction and design defect cases, mechanic’s liens and other construction issues), business litigation (breach of contract actions, officer and director liability, unfair competition, business insurance claims, securities litigation and other business partnership and corporate disputes) and financial elder abuse and other elder abuse matters.

Legal Experience

Mr. Ponist started his career as a Deputy District Attorney with the Marin County District Attorney’s Office, where he tried more than 25 misdemeanor and felony cases to verdict. Thereafter, he was the Associate General Counsel for Marcus & Millichap, one of the largest commercial real estate brokerage companies, where he handled a wide range of real estate matters. Mr. Ponist later was a Principal at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy where he handled complex, high-stakes commercial litigation. Prior to founding Ponist Law Group, P.C., Mr. Ponist was a Partner at Peterson, Martin & Reynolds, where he focused on real estate, construction, and business litigation matters.

Articles and Presentations

Mr. Ponist has published numerous articles and presented on a variety of real estate and litigation topics, including: 

  • Presenter, “How to Keep Your Expert In and Keep Their Expert Out,” San Diego County Bar Association, San Francisco Bar Association and Scientific Association of Forensic Examiners (2018)

  • Presenter, “Dual Agency Law Following the California Supreme Court’s Landmark Horiike Decision,” Orange County/San Diego County/San Francisco County Bar Associations (2018)

  • Presenter, “Rescission of Real Estate Contracts,” Lorman (2017)

  • Presenter, “Mediating Real Estate Cases,” San Diego County Bar Association (2016)

  • Presenter, “Arbitrating Real Estate Cases,” San Diego County Bar Association (2016)

  • Presenter, “Deconstructing Commercial Leases,” San Diego County Bar Association (2015)

  • Presenter, “Having Real Estate Contracts Interpreted in Your Client’s Favor: Critical Rules of Construction Every Real Estate Transactional and Litigation Attorney Should Know,” San Francisco Bar Association (2015)

  • Author, “Going to the Source: Minimize your liability by providing attributions,” Commercial Investment Real Estate Magazine (2015)

  • Presenter, “Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Standard of Care,” San Diego and San Francisco County Bar Associations (2014)

  • Moderator, “Private Investigation and the Legal Community,” San Francisco Bar Association (2013)

  • Presenter, “The Rogue Agent: Agency Issues in Real Estate,” San Francisco and San Mateo County Bar Associations (2013)

  • Presenter, “50 Shades of Legal,” Women’s Council of Realtors (2013)

  • Presenter, “How Expert Witnesses Can Improve their Relationship with Busy Trial Attorneys,” Forensic Expert Witness Association (2012)

  • Presenter, “Best Use of Expert Witnesses in Real Estate Cases,” San Francisco and San Mateo County Bar Associations (2012)

  • Author, “Recovering Lost Profits In Real Estate Transactions,” Real Estate Quarterly Supplement to The Daily Journal(2011)

  • Presenter, “Bringing Down the House: Assessing Damages in Real Estate Cases,” San Francisco Bar Association (2011)

  • Author, “The Nonrefundable Deposit-Not!,” California Lawyer Magazine(2010)

  • Author, “Should Equitable Indemnity Apply Against Negligent Misrepresentation Claims?,” The Daily Journal(2010)

  • Presenter, “When Real Estate Deals Go Bad,” San Mateo County Bar Association (2010)

  • Presenter, “Direct and Cross-Examination For Civil Litigators,” National Business Institute (2009)

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