Business Litigation
Family Law
Real Estate & Construction
Personal Injury
Complex Estate and Trust Litigation

John S. Clifford


John S. Clifford is a shareholder at SMITH LC with a focus on complex trial work, including matters on behalf of individuals, corporations, fiduciaries, and governmental entities.

Some of Mr. Clifford’s notable trial results include:

  • A defense verdict in favor of his clients and against Bank of America in a $90,000,000 trust and community property claim (see article);
  • A trial verdict in resulting in the immediate turnover of an Orange County business to his client (see article);
  • A defense verdict in favor of an employer accused of sexual harassment in a case highlighted by the Los Angeles County Daily Journal as a top employment verdict;
  • A $4.2 million verdict for the wrongful death of a client’s husband killed in the Chatsworth Metrolink train crash;
  • A defense verdict against a multi-million dollar construction claim, and a corresponding counter-claim verdict of over one million dollars;
  • A defense verdict against a multi-million dollar claim for unfair business practices, wherein Mr. Clifford not only successfully maintained the verdict on appeal, but also obtained the first published case in California holding that California’s unfair business practices laws do not apply to securities transactions (Bowen v. Ziasun Technologies, Inc., 116 Cal.App.4th 777);
  • Mr. Clifford has also obtained a non-dischargeable judgment after trial of just under one million dollars in an adversarial proceeding in bankruptcy court; and
  • A Defense verdict in a $6 million trademark infringement claim in Federal Court.

In addition to his trial work, Mr. Clifford has successfully argued multiple cases before the California appellate courts as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Clifford also acts as outside general counsel for multiple companies with more than 3,000 employees in California and Utah, including medical groups and doctors serving more than 30,000 patients. Mr. Clifford has also served as general counsel for a Utah based insurance company since 1999, and an Irvine based manufacturing company with sales in excess of $120,000,000 per year since 2013.

Mr. Clifford’s focus on corporate, fiduciary, and medical matters, combined with his extraordinary trial results provide a unique perspective for his clients and allow Mr. Clifford to help his clients assess risk and avoid litigation. Where litigation is unavoidable, Mr. Clifford is a powerful and successful trial advocate on his client’s behalf.

  • Western State
Bar Admissions
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Utah
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth 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 Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Utah
Professional Affiliations and Activities
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Awards and Recognition
  • Top Rated Lawyer-AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell

Irvine, California

4 Park Plaza Suite 1050 | Irvine, CA 92614

Lehi, Utah

2912 Executive Parkway, Suite 240 | Lehi, Utah 84043

Mesa, Arizona

40 N Center Street Suite 104 | Mesa, Arizona 85201

Jackson, Wyoming

15 South Jackson Street | Jackson, Wyoming 83001

© 2024 Smith-LC | All Rights Reserved