Vanessa C. Whirl defends clients in insurance litigation. Her experience includes cases involving elder abuse, car accidents, premises liability, products liability, catastrophic injury and death, defamation, business disputes, contamination, property/easement disputes, sexual assault, negligent hiring/retention, property damage/fires, subrogation, discrimination, civil rights, and many other non-traditional cases where insurance defense is triggered.

Vanessa has also been sought out by private clients and hired as private counsel or Cumis counsel, to protect their individual interests.

Vanessa's interpersonal skills and communication contribute to her strong client relationships and amicable working relationships with opposing counsel. Her prior experience in plaintiff litigation also adds to her well-rounded understanding of litigation and the law as a whole. Vanessa excels in oral advocacy and her ability to represent the interests of her clients and appeal to a jury. She successfully participated in one jury and one bench trial in 2015 and has several trials scheduled for 2016.


Elder Abuse Litigation

  • Represented a 54-bed residential care facility for the elderly, through trial as second chair, in suit filed by the family of a dementia resident that eloped from the facility.
  • Numerous elder abuse cases focusing on development of, and alleged failure to treat, decubitus ulcers.
  • Currently representing long term care facilities large and small in allegations of improper supervision, insufficient staffing, failure to train, failure to obtain medical treatment, and failure to meet the needs of residents.

Product Liability Litigation

  • Represented a well-known superstore retailer and kitchen appliance company in serious burn case in which a coffee press was alleged to be defective.

Premises Liability Litigation

  • Successful drafting of motion for summary judgment on third-party criminal conduct allegations against a small donut shop in Los Angeles. Obtained successful dismissal of all causes of action against the client, which was affirmed on appeal.
  • Representation of apartment complex following slip and fall on black ice.
  • Defense of major bulk-retailer following serious injury of a child after climbing a cat tower on display in the retailer’s warehouse.
  • Multiple representations of personal injuries cases arising on properties from improper contracting practices.

Automobile and Trucking Litigation

  • Numerous defense representations in catastrophic injury, brain injury, and deaths, stemming from high impact car/trucking/motorcycle accidents.

Business Litigation

  • Representation of medical partners after breach of joint practice agreement.
  • Business dispute defense following sale of coffee carts and break down of the business relationship.
  • Breach of contract/implied contract following failure to repay a loan between friends.

Property Damage Litigation

  • Numerous fire cases including private homes and high-end San Diego restaurants.
  • Water damage, mold, and tree root encroachment defenses.

Professional Affiliations

  • San Diego County Bar Association, Member, 2012–present
  • San Diego Defense Lawyers, Member, 2013–present; Board of Directors, 2016–present

Community Involvement

  • Pro Bono Honor Society - hours dedicated to YWCA Legal Clinic, 2010 - 2011
  • Gamma Phi Beta
  • Phi Alpha Delta

Past Employment

  • Horton, Oberrecht, Kirkpatrick & Martha, Associate Attorney, 2013 - 2015
  • Lepine Law Group, Associate Attorney, 2012 - 2013
Practice Areas
  • Insurance Defense
  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California
    • J.D. - 2011
    • Honor: Moot Court
  • University of Nevada, Reno
    • B.A. - 2009
Bar Admission
  • Washington
  • California
Court Admission
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
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