Don H. Zell

Don H. Zell has extensive experience in litigation involving public entities.  He has represented the cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Anaheim and Buena Park, as well as the County of Orange and its police officers, in litigation involving excessive force, claimed violation of civil rights, officer involved shootings and high-speed pursuits.  He has also done substantial work for these entities involving claimed dangerous condition of public property.  Other public entity work includes past representation of the Santa Ana Unified School District and representation of the Capistrano Unified School District in claims that involve personal injury, bus transportation, dangerous condition of public property and negligent supervision.


In addition, Mr. Zell has considerable experience in product liability litigation that includes the representation of clients such as Black and Decker and Nabisco Corporation.  He represents Southern California Edison Company in matters that include personal injury claims arising out of third party contacts with electrical facilities and multimillion-dollar claims involving property damage due to wildland fires.  He has also represented an eminent soils engineering firm in construction defect litigation and several major developers, through their insurance carriers, in similar litigation.  He has handled a number of cases involving personal injury occurring in both commercial and residential construction.  He is versed in all aspects of construction litigation.


Mr. Zell has tried more than eighty Superior Court and Federal Court cases to verdict and has handled hundreds of cases in which a successful disposition has been achieved for his client.  His trial experience has also included several cases of fire and subrogation that involved millions of dollars in damages.


Mr. Zell was admitted to the American Board of Trial Advocacy in 1981 and is a sustaining member of the Southern California Defense Counsel.  He has served, since 1981, as a Judge Pro Tem, in the Orange County Superior Court and has also served as an arbitrator appointed by the Orange County Superior Court.  He has participated as a guest speaker and instructor in programs for the Continuing Education of the Bar and the Mexican-American Bar Association.


A graduate of the University of Redlands, Mr. Zell earned a lifetime secondary teaching credential and taught at the high school level for four years before graduating from law school.  He obtained his Juris Doctor, with honors, in 1971 from Pepperdine University and was admitted to the California Bar in January 1972.