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John O'Brien

John O'Brien

O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm
  • Personal Injury
  • California
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Mr. O’Brien began his legal career in 1990 at one of California's most prestigious law firms, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, where he specialized in personal injury and wrongful death cases. In 1996, Mr. O’Brien started his own practice where he has developed an excellent reputation for aggressive advocacy and integrity followed by an impressive history of successful verdicts, arbitration awards and settlements on behalf of his clients. His goal is to make sure injured victims are fully compensated for their losses and that responsible parties are held accountable. With over 29 years of experience, Mr. O’Brien is a highly successful and effective personal injury attorney who has achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating, has been selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer every year since 2014, is a member of American Board of Trial Advocates, American Association of Justice, Consumer Attorneys of California and in 2009 was selected as “Advocate of the Year” by the Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association. O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm represents victims of catastrophic injuries caused by automobile accidents, nursing home abuse, animal attacks, burn injuries, trucking accidents, and boating accidents. For a free initial consultation please contact O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm and Mr. O’Brien will personally review your case.

Practice Area
  • Personal Injury
Additional Practice Areas
  • Car Accidents
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Trucking Accidents
  • Construction Site Accidents
  • Wrongful Death
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Nursing Home Abuse
  • Bus Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Pedestrian Injuries
  • Defective Product Liability
  • Burn Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Dog Bite
  • Free Consultation
  • Contingent Fees
    We handle all of our cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we charge no fee unless we win your case.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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9th Circuit
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U.S. District Court
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Founding & Managing Partner
O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm
- Current
Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison
USC Law Center
J.D. (1990)
Honors: American Jurisprudence Awards in Contracts, Constitutional Law and Evidence
Activities: Member of USC Law Review from 1988-1990
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University of the Pacific
B.A. (1987) | Economics and Political Science
Honors: Magna Cum Laude
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Selected as Top Lawyers in Sacramento by Peers 2015 to present
Sacramento Magazine
Selected as Northern California Super Lawyer 2014 to present
Super Lawyers
Trial Advocate of the Year
Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association
American Jurisprudence Awards in Contracts, Constitutional Law and Evidence
USC Law Center
AV Rating
Professional Associations
American Association of Justice
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Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association
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Consumer Attorneys of California
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American Board of Trial Advocates
Associate Member
- Current
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California State Bar # 148757
- Current
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University of Southern California Law Review
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Articles & Publications
A Cup Of Coffee With 10 Of The Top Personal Injury Attorneys In The United States: Valuable insights you should know before you settle your case
Rutherford Publishing House
Speaking Engagements
Why Do People Need a Personal Injury Attorney?, Business Leader Spotlight Show
Certified Personal Injury Attorney
California Bar Association
Websites & Blogs
O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm
O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm Blog
Legal Answers
5 Questions Answered

Q. I was at Disney Land and a woman in a scooter ran over my foot.
A: Every person in California has a duty to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. The failure to use reasonable care is negligence. In answer to your question, yes you can pursue a negligence claim against the person who ran over your foot if that person failed to use reasonable care. Actual intent is not required.
Q. May a Judge in jury trial suddenly dismiss my case because HE DECIDED defendants' behavior "was not outrageous enough"?
A: Intentional infliction of emotional distress requires an element of extreme and outrageous conduct, usually a question of fact for a jury. However, if there are no disputed issues of fact, a judge can decide as a matter of law that the conduct complained of does not rise to the level of extreme and outrageous. If the court has ruled that way in your case, you are probably fortunate that it happened now before you wasted considerably more time and money having a jury tell you the same thing.
Q. I fell into an unmarked trench on private property 3 days ago, and was misdiagnosed at one hospital, as being a sprain,
A: The homeowner may bear some responsibility for your injury but I would need to know more facts before giving you a definitive answer. How big was the trench? Why didn't you see it? Was this at night? Not well marked? Why was there a trench on the property? Why were you on the property? And many more...As to the potential medical malpractice, it doesn't sound like the injury or your recovery were affected by the failure to diagnose the injury at the first hospital. If you can't show damages as a result of the negligent failure to diagnose the injury, there is nothing to pursue against the first hospital. You need to consult with experienced counsel and provide many more details.
Q. A Doctor placed a heart catheter in the wrong way in October of 2015. not aware of until April 2016. what can i do?
A: You need to consult with a medical malpractice attorney immediately so that your right to sue is not lost due to the passage of time. The statute of limitations for medical negligence in California is governed by CCP section 340.5 which states that the commencement of an action shall be three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first. In your case, it sounds like you didn't know the catheter caused you injury until April 2016 so you may have a year from that date to file an action. However, if the defense can successfully argue that you should have known you were injured by the catheter when it was put in, that year may run in October 2016, based on your description of the facts. So, it's very important that you consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney IMMEDIATELY!
Q. In a LASC PI lawsuit, can Pl. withdraw their own 998 after giving Defendant verbal extension to accept/deny? If so, how?
A: A CCP section 998 offer to settle is just like any other written contractual offer. Even if you have extended the time for the defendant to respond, you may withdraw the offer any time before it is accepted. In order to be effective the withdrawal of the offer should be communicated in writing and sent to the defendant in multiple ways, i.e., the same way the offer was originally communicated and by email, fax or hand delivery to ensure that the withdrawal is communicated before the offer is accepted.
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Contact & Map
Elk Grove Office
9401 E Stockton Blvd
Suite 225
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Toll-Free: (800) 722-4176
Telephone: (916) 714-8200
Fax: (916) 714-8201