John Edson is a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's San Diego office and is part of the firm’s Insurance Industry Team.

Areas of Practice

John focuses his practice on defending insurance companies in bad faith, fraud and unfair competition insurance lawsuits. His clients include many of the nation’s major insurance carriers, including Allstate, Wawanesa, Travelers and Residence Mutual. John litigates matters involving staged auto accidents, false or inflated theft claims, arson fires, false water loss claims, false auto theft claims and other similar losses. He also litigates disputes related to wildfires and asbestos, and has numerous published decisions that involve potentially false or inflated claims.

In addition, John represents insurance companies in standard coverage disputes, duty to defend cases, medical payment disputes and cap-off liability disputes. He regularly conducts examinations under oath and provides coverage opinions, and helps with the drafting of insurance policies and applications, including homeowner, auto and business policies. 

John maintains an active pro bono practice, serving on the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and collaborating with the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program to represent indigent clients in guardianship matters.



Recent Published Cases and Representative Matters

Obtained a complete defense verdict in a $1.5 million insurance bad faith jury trial arising out of a suspicious burglary claim. The jury concluded that the plaintiffs staged the burglary. 

Tellone Pro. Ctr., LLC v. Allstate Ins. Co., 562 F. Supp. 3d 757 (C.D. Cal. 2022) – The court granted judgment on the pleadings and established the right of insurers to rely in part upon a reinsurer’s claim investigation to deny coverage without subjecting the reinsurer to bad faith liability.

Sarkisyan (Gharibian) v. Wawanesa, LASC – (On appeal) The court granted summary judgment and determined that there is “no physical loss” where wildfire ash or soot debris can be wiped up.

Benn v. Allstate Ins. Co., 569 F. Supp. 3d 1029 (C.D. Cal. 2021) – The court granted judgment on the pleadings and set new barriers for insureds seeking restitution and injunctive relief against insurance companies under Business and Professions Code section 17200 et. seq.

Shirley v. Allstate Ins. Co., 92 F. Supp. 3d 1185, 1187 (S.D. Cal. 2019) – The court granted summary judgment and determined that there is no “physical loss to the property” where only alleged "vapors, fumes" and "contaminants or pollutants" exist.



Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award, California Lawyers Association, 2020, 2022

Pro Bono Publico Award, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, 2016


Speaking Engagements

  • "Wildfires: Impact, Forensics, Defenses and CA Caselaw," Environmental & Emerging Claim Manager Association Annual Conference, Savannah, GA, April 5, 2024
  • "Exotic Car Investigations - Detecting False Claims/Uncovered Losses," International Association of Special Investigation Units, Southern Chapter, Ontario, CA, October 18, 2022
  • "What to Do When Everything in a Water Loss Goes Wrong," Southern California Fraud Investigators Association Conference, Palm Springs, CA, November 18, 2014
  • "Tips for Effective Recorded Statements and EUOs," Presented to Travelers, Sacramento, CA, October 15, 2014
  • "When there is a cause of action for 'bad faith' based upon an alleged failure to adequately investigate a water loss?" Combined Claims Conference, Garden Grove, CA, March 5, 2014
  • "Investigating and Preventing Fraud in the Application For Insurance," I.A.S.I.U., San Diego, CA, February 5, 2014
  • "Aqua Arson - Detecting Potentially Fraudulent Water Losses," Presentation to Southern California Fraud Investigators Association Annual Conference, October 30, 2013
  • "'Insurance' for Insurance Companies: Investigating Suspicious Auto Claims," Presentation to Wawanesa, August 13, 2013
  • "Effective Strategies for Terminating and Avoiding Undesired Insurance Risks," Presentation to Wawanesa, August 8, 2013
  • "Underwriting Fraud: Practical Guidance to Prevent and Mitigate Risk (Webcast)," The Knowledge Congress Webcast Series, July 16, 2013
  • "Investigating Suspicious Auto Claims," Presentation to Travelers Insurance, Sacramento, CA, May 16-17, 2013 and Diamond Bar, CA, May 1, 2013
  • "Anatomy of an Arson Case," Southern California Fraud Investigators' Association Training Conference, Palm Springs, CA, November 8, 2012
  • "Defending against Allegations of Bad Faith in False or Suspicious Homeowner and Auto Claims," Southern California Chapter I.A.S.I.U. 1-Day Fraud Seminar, Ontario, October 17, 2012
  • "Insurance" for Insurance Companies. SIU Investigations: Legal Tips From the Trenches, San Diego Chapter of S.I.U. Investigators, April 4, 2012
  • "Fraud: Is It Increasing? What Can the Industry Do to Combat It?" Luce Forward Insurance Litigation Seminar, Los Angeles, October 14, 2010
  • "Commercial Insurance - Moving the Goal Posts: The Duty to Defend - When Does It Begin and When Does It End?" Luce Forward Insurance Litigation Seminar, Los Angeles, September 11, 2008



American Bar Association

Board of Directors, Children’s Legal Services of San Diego

Board of Directors, UNITE Orthopedics

Board of Directors, UC San Diego Alumni Association

Former President of the Associated Students, University of California, San Diego



J.D., University of California, Berkeley - Boalt Hall, 1996

M.A., Harvard University, 1995

B.A., University of California, San Diego, 1992


  • Externed for the former California State Supreme Court Justice Edward Panelli and Federal District Judge William Orrick Jr.


  • California
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