ROBERT M. SHAUGHNESSY

Klinedinst, PC, Shareholder

  • Years admitted to practice in California: 26
  • Years practicing in California: 26
  • Years as a member of the SDCBA: 26

What sections or committees do you belong to at the SDCBA?

  • Appellate Practice Section
  • Civil Litigation

What other SDCBA projects have you worked on?

SDCBA Civil Appellate Self-Help Workshop: I continue to volunteer for this incredible program that provides procedural advice to self-represented appellate court litigants. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has limited access to in-person workshops, I continue to attend workshops virtually.

SDCBA Access to Appellate Justice (ATAJ) Pro-Bono Program: It was my pleasure to work with the committee members that created and then implemented this much-needed program in response to requests from the courts and the community. This pilot program connects self-represented appellate court litigants to a panel of pro bono attorneys willing to provide appellate representation at no cost. I continue to serve on the ATAJ committed of the APS, and I am working to expand eligibility for the program among self-represented litigants.

Have you held any leadership positions at the SDCBA? If so, what positions?

Appellate Practice Section: Section Chair, 2018; Vice Chair, 2017; Programs Chair, 2016; Civil Rules Comment Subcommittee, 2014-2015. I’ve been an active member of the Section for many years.

I currently serve on two Board level committees, the Governance Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee.

Area of Practice

I am certified as a specialist in appellate law by the Board of Specialization of the State Bar of California. Most of my practice involves some aspect of the appellate process. I also lead my firm’s appellate practice group, providing appellate legal services to trial attorneys in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Seattle, Washington.

Law Firm

  • Klinedinst, PC

What leadership roles have you had in other bar associations or other non-legal associations?

  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Member since 1998; Membership Chair, 2016-2018; Civility Committee Co-Chair, 2019, Inland Empire Expansion Committee Co-Chair, 2020
  • Improve UC, Board of Directors Member 2013-2017
  • No Limits Limb Loss Foundation, Board of Directors Member, 2012-Present

Awards and Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Peer Review Rating
  • San Diego Super Lawyer, Appeals, 2019
  • San Diego Appellate Inn of Court, Barrister, 2017-Present
  • Husband (22 years) and Father (16 years)

Description of what inspires you

A group of lawyers who come together and sacrifice their precious time to pursue an extraordinary goal. It has been my honor, and my pleasure, to work with many groups of talented lawyers through my nearly 26 years in practice. Whether in litigation, or in volunteer service to the community, the creativity and tenacity of a group of legal minds focused on a single goal is a powerful engine for positive change.

Description of what you would bring to the SDCBA Board

If elected, I will bring the experience of a 26 year attorney to the SDCBA Board. In my practice I represent both plaintiffs and defendants, and appellants and respondents, in a variety of different civil matters, I would bring the experience of a balanced civil practice to the Board. In addition, I have remained an active member of the SDCBA’s Appellate Practice Section for more than a decade, and will bring that bar leadership experience to the Board. I also have experience on two significant Board level committees and have had the opportunity to influence the governance and strategic planning of the Board of the SDCBA.

I would also bring to the Board a passion for promoting access to justice. From our State’s Chief Justice down to the trial courts, judicial officers have turned to the local bars to ask for a commitment to address access-to-justice issues that raise barriers for poor and under-served communities. The barriers to access have been magnified by the current global pandemic. The SDCBA continues to lead the way with excellent programs like the Civil Appellate Self-Help Workshop, and the Access to Appellate Justice Pro Bono Program. But more is needed. As a Board member I would look for other ways the SDCBA could act directly, or partner with local courts and organizations, to help provide affordable legal services to those who would otherwise be denied full access to our justice system.

Other information you would like to share with the SDCBA membership

In addition to engaging on access-to-justice issues, I would bring a strong commitment to professional civility to the Board if elected. In a polarized social and political climate, I believe the legal profession is uniquely positioned to model authentic civility. As lawyers we are called to represent clients and their issues. That obligation mandates vigorous advocacy. But this call in no way conflicts with our ability to be mindful, civil, and respectful to each other and the courts. I would look for ways to advance and promote civility as a member of the Board.

I also recognize that Board members are elected by a diverse group of attorneys. And from my personal experience, I know that people with diverse backgrounds, opinions, and experiences working together can achieve much more than a limited homogenous group. Because of this, I would bring to the Board a commitment to advance and promote diversity.