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Lawrence Cirelli

Lawrence M. Cirelli

(415) 995-5003


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, false advertising, and professional liability claims. He also represents clients in partnership and corporate dissolution actions. His 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, employment, trade secrets, real estate, environmental, insurance, professional liability, and products liability.


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
Business Litigation

Major advertising agency. 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.

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

Contract violations. 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.

Contractor. 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

Real estate company. 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.

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

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

Various businesses. 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.

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

Class Actions

Consumer goods manufacturer. 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.

Food labeling. 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.

Dairy cooperative. 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.

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


Employer Verdict. Obtained a defense verdict with respect to claims of sexual harassment and hostile work environment after a three-month trial.


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

Products Liability

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

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

Professional Liability

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

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

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

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

Real Estate

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

Sports stadium. 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.


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)

Certified Public Accountant, California (1981)

American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow

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

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

Super Lawyers, Business Litigation; Intellectual Property Litigation; General Litigation (2006-2023)