• Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 2000
  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 2000, with distinction
  • M.A., University of Montana, 1995
  • Fulbright Fellow, Université de Saint-Louis, Sénégal, 1994
  • B.A., University of Montana, 1993, with high honors
  • California
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Central, Northern, and Eastern Districts of California
Thought Leadership


Shannon Z. Petersen is the Managing Partner of the San Diego (Del Mar) office and is a member of the Business Trial Practice Group. He is also the Team Leader of the firm’s consumer class action defense team and the firm’s TCPA class action defense team.

Areas of Practice

Dr. Petersen has substantial trial experience as a business litigator, including consumer class action defense. He has successfully represented clients in claims involving the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Acting (FCRA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Acts (RESPA); California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), privacy/call recording law, Rosenthal Act, Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA or Rees-Levering), Vehicle Leasing Act, Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA); breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, defamation, unfair business practices, false advertising, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, wrongful foreclosure, wrongful repossession, unfair debt collection, unfair credit reporting, unjust enrichment, trademark infringement, quiet title, emotional distress, construction defect, privacy, and receiverships, among others.

Dr. Petersen represents clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, retail, healthcare, and others.


  • 2013, Certificate Of Recognition for Pro Bono Services from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • 2008, recognized as a "Top Young Attorney" in San Diego by The Daily Transcript
  • 2007, 2003, 2002, California Bar Association Wiley Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services
  • 2003, Nominee, California Bar Association President's Pro Bono Service Award, Recently Admitted Category
  • 2002-2003, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program Distinguished Service Award
  • 1992, Honorable Discharge, U.S. Navy, Russian linguist


Representative Clients

Rite Aid, Walmart, San Diego County Credit Union, Toyota Financial, Wells Fargo, Liberty Mutual, and IEC Corporation.

Recent Litigation Successes

Victory following two jury trials, one bench trial, and three arbitrations.

Dismissals of four TCPA privacy class actions following motions.

Obtained nearly $8 million in settlement for a plaintiff business in a misappropriation of trade secrets case.

Obtained terminating sanctions and default judgment against a defendant in a defamation case for destroying evidence.

Defeated class certification and obtained outright dismissal in late fee class action.  

Compelled arbitration and enforced a class action waiver.

Thought Leadership



  • Author, Acting for Endangered Species: The Statutory Ark, Development of Western Resources Series, Kansas University Press, 2002 (hardcover) and 2007 (paperback). Favorably reviewed by The Journal of American History (June 2003); History: Reviews of New Books (Summer 2003); Perspectives on Political Science (Summer 2003); Environmental History (April 2003); Stanford Environmental Law Journal (Jan. 2003); Animal Keeper's Forum (2003); and Choice (Dec. 2002)
  • Contributor, Dictionary of American History, 3rd Edition, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002. Contributed essays on the Clean Air Act of 1990, the Clean Water Act of 1987, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Sierra Club, and the Highway Beautification Act
  • Co-Author, The Endangered Species Act, Stanford University Press, 2001

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, “The Telephone Consumer Protection Act,” Long Beach, CA, September, 2016.
  • Presenter, “What Does The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Mean For Financial Institutions,” Long Beach, CA, January, 2016.
  • Presenter, "Effective Arbitration," to the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego, CA, September 2014.
  • Organizer and Presenter, Association of Business Trial Lawyers Trial Skills Seminar, San Diego, CA, October 2012, 2010, and 2008.
  • Speaker, Continuing Legal Education Presentation on Receiverships, San Diego, CA, August 2008.
  • Dr. Petersen has taught courses at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of Montana, Missoula.


  • American Financial Services Association
  • Pro Se Panel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego (former member of Board of Governors)
  • Editorial Board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report, San Diego (former)
  • Barrister, Louis M. Welsh Chapter of the American Inns of Court (former)
  • State Bar of California and San Diego County Bar Association