Stephen A. Sunseri

- Partner

T: 760.431.9501
F: 760.431.9512
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State Bar of California, 2000
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 2006

United States District Court, Southern District of California, 2000

United States District Court, Central District of California, 2010
California Western School of Law (J.D., 1999)

University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., 1993)

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Summary of Practice

Stephen Sunseri joined the firm in 2000, and has been a partner with the firm since 2008. Mr. Sunseri’s practice covers a broad range of litigation, transactional, and regulatory matters and he regularly represents public and private sector clients on high-exposure complex matters throughout California in both state and federal courts.

Mr. Sunseri’s experience includes support to the firm’s land use and environmental areas. This support focuses on review of CEQA documents for legal adequacy and litigation assistance when projects are challenged at the trial and appellate court levels.

Mr. Sunseri also has substantial experience in construction disputes involving soils subsidence, design claims, delay claims, non-conforming work, contractual indemnity, insurance, SB 800 claims, mechanic’s liens, and construction accidents. Currently, Mr. Sunseri is the author of the firm’s periodic Construction Law E-Alert newsletters, an electronic mail service that provides clients with real-time updates on significant legal issues and cases. Mr. Sunseri also handles matters concerning real estate claims and transactions, catastrophic personal injury claims, business disputes, products liability, toxic torts, business formation and commercial landlord-tenant matters.

In addition, Mr. Sunseri supports the firm’s clients on complex environmental litigation matters, including state and federal cost recovery actions, natural resource damage claims and assessments, air, water and hazardous waste actions, and multi-party proceedings. He also advises and represents the firm’s clients in areas involving hazardous substances and wastes, including regulatory compliance counseling, site remediation and cost recovery, health and safety, and enforcement defense. Mr. Sunseri specializes in environmental cost recovery/contribution litigation involving the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the California Hazardous Substances Account Act (HSAA). Mr. Sunseri also represents clients in matters involving environmental site assessments, human health and ecological risk assessments, site investigations, and cleanups involving Title 22 metals, groundwater contamination, chlorinated solvents, and petroleum-based emissions.

From pre-lawsuit strategy to ultimate resolution of each case through mediation, arbitration, settlement, trial or appeal, Mr. Sunseri is consistently praised for his ability to efficiently achieve successful results.
MembershipsSan Diego County Bar Association

Bar Association of Northern San Diego County

DRI™ The Voice of the Defense Bar

Building Industry Association of San Diego County
Professional Affiliations

September 2000 to December 2007:  Associated with Gatzke Dillon & Ballance LLP

January 2008 to present:  A member of Gatzke Dillon & Ballance LLP

Reported OpinionsOtay Land Co., LLC v. U.E. Limited, L.P.
(2017) 15 Cal.App. 5th 806

Otay Land Co., et al. v. United Enterprises, Ltd., et al.
672 F.3d 1152 (9th Cir. 2012)
GDB Construction Law E-Alert:
Court of Appeal Declares SB800 Sole Remedy in Construction Defect Actions (August 2015)

GDB successfully defends client in $25 million environmental contamination case (VerdictSearch, Vol. 14, Issue 14, March 30, 2015)

GDB Construction Law E-Alert: Design Professionals Owe a Duty of Care to Homeowners (July 2014) (Co-authored)

GDB Construction Law E-Alert: Court of Appeal Expands Liability Against Design Professionals and Homeowners Are Now Required To Comply With SB 800's Notice Obligations (February 2013) (Co-authored)

GDB Construction Law E-Alert: California Supreme Court Binds Homeowner Associations To Arbitration Provisions In CC&Rs (August 2012) (Co-authored)

GDB Construction Law E-Alert: Courts Are Conflicted As To Whether A "Good Faith" Settlement Determination Can Be Reviewed Via A Writ Petition Or Appeal (June 2012) (Co-authored)

GDB Construction Law E-Alert: Timing Of An Insured's SIR Payment Has No Effect On Non-Participating Carrier's Equitable Contribution To A Co-Carrier (April 2012) (Co-authored)