Larry Cirelli

Lawrence M. Cirelli


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Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
San Francisco

Larry is a trial lawyer and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. His practice focuses on complex business litigation, including disputes among shareholders, owners, officers and directors of companies, fiduciary duty, contracts, trade secrets, non-competition agreements, unfair competition claims, false advertising, and professional liability claims. He also represents clients in partnership and corporate dissolution actions. Larry's experience as a certified public accountant brings a unique skill set and perspective to these types of matters. A significant part of his practice also involves the defense of consumer and business tort actions, including class actions. Larry has tried numerous jury and court trials, as well as arbitrations, in a range of cases spanning business torts, commercial contracts, business dissolutions, trade secrets, real estate, environmental, insurance, professional liability, and products liability.

Representative Work

Business Litigation

Won a $4.3 million verdict and additional punitive damages on an interference with business relationship claim against a major advertising agency arising from the acquisition of a local company by the agency.

Obtained a defense verdict after a one-month trial of a multi-million dollar claim of business interruption involving a telecommunications equipment plant.

Won a large verdict against the former president of a company and his new employer for breach of fiduciary duty and violation of his non-competition agreement.

Obtained a large verdict on a lost corporate opportunity claim for a paving and grading contractor. Also successfully defended the stock and wrongful termination claims of a former vice president of the client. 

Business Owner Disputes

Successfully tried a dissolution action involving a real estate company resulting in the client receiving all of the funds in dispute from the partnership's capital account.

Successfully tried a dissolution action involving a family-owned construction supplies business.

Won a large verdict in a shareholder dispute involving a medical practice.

Handled several dissolution actions under California Corporations Code section 2000 involving various businesses including a large family-owned consumer products manufacturer and a high-end grocery store.

Represented a founder of a publicly-traded internet company in a dispute over stock ownership.

Class Actions

Obtained dismissal of a false advertising class action with prejudice at the pleading stage for a consumer goods manufacturer, which was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Obtained decertification of a Rule 23(b)(3) damages class in a federal food labeling class action alleging unfair business practices, false advertising, and violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

Obtained dismissal with prejudice at the pleading stage in a consolidated class action filed in federal court against a large dairy cooperative alleging unfair business practices in connection with dairy product pricing.

Defeated class certification in an unfair business practices and false advertising case brought against a national retailer.


Co-lead trial counsel for a chemical company in a pending 7-week arbitration hearing before a JAMS tribunal to allocate costs at a complex Superfund site in Kentucky.

Products Liability

After a two-week trial, obtained a nonsuit for a gas manufacturer in a product liability case.

After a three-week trial, achieved a nonsuit for a welding products manufacturer in a case involving claims of alleged respiratory problem due to the inhalation of welding fumes.

Professional Liability

Served as an expert witness in a case arising out of an accounting malpractice action.

Won a $4.7 million verdict for an international mining company on a claim involving complex international tax issues. 

Achieved a favorable settlement after a three-month trial involving legal malpractice defense.

Defended a Big Four accounting firm in actions brought by a public entity arising out of that entity's financial crisis.

Real Estate

Successfully resolved during a long trial a breach of contract action against the State of California wherein plaintiff claimed $1.4 billion in damages.

Defeated a rent adjustment claim and awarded attorneys’ fees after a three-week arbitration involving a professional sports stadium wherein the tenant sought a rent reduction of over $300 million.


Basics of Accounting for Lawyers: What Every Practicing Lawyer Needs to Know, co-author, Practising Law Institute Corporate Law and Practice Course Handbook Series

See All Publications


"CCRC Class Actions: Prepare Yourself!" co-speaker, LeadingAge California Meeting (May 2018)

“Escaping Wonderland: Businesses are Turning to Trade Secrets Protections in the Post-Alice World,” co-speaker, USLAW Network Exchange (June 2016)

"Representing Business Owners in Business Disputes," AAA-CPA Conference (May 2016)

"Basics of Accounting and Finance: What Every Practicing Lawyer Needs to Know," Practising Law Institute (1998 to Present, Program Co-Chair since 2007)

Faculty Member, USF School of Law Intensive Advocacy Program (1997 to Present)

See All Presentations


American College of Trial Lawyers

San Francisco’s Top-Rated Lawyers (2012-2019)

John J. Meehan Fellow, University of San Francisco (2011)

Northern California Super Lawyers, Business Litigation (2006-2019, 2022)

Community Involvement

Legal Services for Children

Professional Affiliations

American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow

Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter, President (2018)

Bar Association of San Francisco

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

California Society of Certified Public Accountants

American Association of Attorneys - Certified Public Accountants

University of San Francisco Inns of Court (Past President)

University of San Francisco School of Law, Board of Counselors, Chair (2019)

University of San Francisco School of Law, Board of Governors (Past President)


J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law (1984)

B.S., Accounting, University of San Francisco (1978)

Admissions And Courts


Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Tax Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Professional Licenses

Certified Public Accountant, California (1981)

San Francisco

415-995-5003 Direct Phone
415-995-3497 Fax

Email Attorney


Firm Leadership

Management Committee, Member