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Riverside Lawyer Magazine Features Article About Our Firm

The Law Offices of Justin H. King was recently featured in the January 2023 issue of Riverside Lawyer Magazine – a publication of the Riverside County Bar Association. This was quite an honor. However, this honor was made even sweeter by the fact that the article talked about how the King brothers – Justin, Oliver, and Jonathan – are carrying on a legal legacy in the Inland Empire that has been going strong for nearly 100 years now.

We are pleased to be able to reprint the contents of that article here on our blog, so you can read about the King family’s legal legacy. Here is the article:

Past, Present, Future:

How The Law Offices of Justin H. King Are Keeping The King Family’s Nearly 100-Year-Old Legal Legacy Alive In The Inland Empire


“My dad had advised me against opening my law firm when I did,” recalls plaintiff’s attorney Justin H. King. “When I called to tell him I’d notified my boss I was going to launch my own practice, I remember there was just a long, long silence. Finally, he said ‘Ok, son. If that’s what you want to do, I will help in any way I can.” That exchange took place in 2016, and King has never looked back.

One look at the King family history frankly made the path Justin King took, if not predictable, then certainly not surprising. After all, a love for the law, and an entrepreneurial willingness to try something new, seemed to be coded into his DNA by his mother, his father, and before them, his grandfather.


Family History Sparks Love of the Law:

“Both of my parents were lawyers,” King says. “My mom was a District Attorney. Then she worked for a time as a civil litigator, practicing with my dad. She then became a Public Defender, before being appointed to the San Bernardino County Superior Court in 2012 by Governor Jerry Brown.” Hon. Pamela King retired in 2021, after ten years on the bench.

King’s father also spent his life in various fields within the legal community in San Bernardino. For many years, Jeffrey King practiced plaintiff’s personal injury, at Garza, Jury, and King. He then split his time between plaintiff’s work and defending local cities in dangerous condition cases. He was appointed to the bench when Justin was in junior high school. Governor Gray Davis elevated him to the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, in 2003. After spending 20 years on the bench, and 18 years in private practice, he spent the last years of his career as an arbitrator with JAMS.

“My parents loved practicing law and it was a significant bond between the two of them. Almost every night in the kitchen they would be discussing their cases,” King says.

There’s little doubt that growing up with parents who were both immersed in the Southern California legal community would have an impact on Justin King. However, his family’s dedication to seeing justice served began nearly 100 years earlier.

John Lewis King was the first lawyer in the King family. In the late 1800s, his mother’s family moved to Rancho Cucamonga and purchased land for citrus farming. John Lewis King was born in 1909 and grew up on the family citrus farm. After graduating from law school at USC, he joined the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office. Five years later, he joined the prominent San Bernardino law firm of Duckworth, Harrison & Mussell, which would ultimately become Duckworth, Harrison, and King.

Events leading to World War II called John Lewis King to service. From 1942-1945 he served honorably in the U.S. Army and was discharged as a Major at the end of the war. He returned to the practice of law. Five years after returning to the family’s citrus farm, his son Jeffrey King was born.

In 1953, John Lewis King became the first attorney from San Bernardino County to be inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers. Tragically, on October 19, 1967, the renowned trial attorney suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while giving a closing argument in trial. He passed away the next day.


The Torch is Passed:

Justin, the youngest of his parents’ three children can’t remember the exact moment he decided he wanted to follow in his family’s footsteps into a career in law. “My parents never pushed any of us into the law. They always encouraged us to follow our interests, as long as what we were doing was productive and engaging for us,” King says.

However, he admits that coming from a family of lawyers certainly didn’t dissuade him from pursuing the same career path. “My brothers and I spent a lot of time at our dad’s office when we were little. The people at his office were like a second family, and they treated us very well. As I got older, and my dad was a trial judge in Rancho Cucamonga, I would go watch the trials. I saw some of the best plaintiff’s lawyers in the area try cases. I recall a trial where the plaintiff had become paraplegic, as the result of a tire blowout. I saw the plaintiff’s lawyer take on the tire manufacturer, which was a huge corporation, and win.”

The case was significant to a teenage King as he realized that the “client had his whole future in the trust of his lawyer. That is an awesome responsibility, and it made me want to become a plaintiff’s lawyer,” he says.

As such, after graduating from UC Hastings, King took his first job as an associate working on plaintiff class actions in the Bay Area. Though he admits to learning much about class actions, his junior status in the firm didn’t provide much opportunity for the type of hands-on client work he’d been inspired by as a teen.

Aiming to get the courtroom experience he’d loved watching as a teen, he moved to an insurance defense firm representing insurance companies in personal injury claims. Within a few years, he’d learned all the tactics that insurance companies employ to limit their exposure. Then King headed back home to Rancho Cucamonga.

Eager to finally begin representing injured victims, King joined the Law Offices of Bill Shapiro as an associate attorney. “Bill was very much a mentor to me and many others. He is incredibly generous in spending time with young lawyers— showing them not only how to practice law, but how to run a law firm as a business. I absorbed everything I could from him, and when I decided to launch my firm, he was extraordinarily gracious.”

In 2016, King opened the Law Offices of Justin H. King in the city his family had called home for more than a century. Soon after, King was delighted to receive from Shapiro, a recording of his grandfather John Lewis King participating in a mock trial, where he was defending his client against plaintiff’s lawyer Marvin Lewis.

“I still have the CD and I still listen to it from time to time. He was good. The facts were all against him and he did an excellent job of picking the plaintiff’s case apart and flipping facts back onto the plaintiff to minimize his truck driver client’s liability.”


Blazing a New Trail with His Brothers at His Side:

Two years ago, Justin King was joined at his practice by his brother Oliver. In 2022, his brother Jon joined the practice. Today, the three attorney brothers work as a unified team at the Law Offices of Justin H. King.

“We are all very different, and we get along extremely well,” Justin says. “We value one another’s strengths and work together as a cohesive team for the benefit of our clients.”

Justin also keeps the lessons he learned from his father, and the stories he’s heard about his grandfather at the forefront of his mind and his practice. “My grandfather died when my dad was in high school. But my father said my grandfather was always working. He would sometimes end up in Los Angeles County when he was supposed to be driving home from work. Allegedly, he would get so wrapped up in thinking about his cases, he would drive past all the exits to Rancho Cucamonga.”

“That resonates with me. Being a lawyer feels so natural to me. I cannot imagine doing anything else. It’s not just a job to me. It’s who I am,” he says.

His father’s example is also with King every day. “My dad really internalized all of his cases and cared deeply about his clients. I feel the same way. This is not a numbers game for us. We want every client to leave our office feeling like they were heard and treated fairly both by our firm and the legal system. Each client is provided with my cell phone number in case they need anything or have questions,” King says.

King also tries to focus as much on the law applicable to his cases as he does on the facts of his cases, a strategy he credits his father with instilling in him. “My dad was deeply knowledgeable about many areas of the law since he’d seen it from so many angles. He always encouraged me to focus on the law as much as the facts. I am mindful of this advice daily. A lawyer can do a tremendous amount of good for their case by knowing the law better than their opponent,” King says.

But the youngest King attorney has also implemented strategies he’s arrived at on his own. “My parents never explicitly told me how to succeed as a lawyer. They both showed by example that you succeed by creating a reputation for excellence and honesty.”

To that end, King is determined to tell the entire story of each client’s suffering. “We don’t need to try to run up medical bills and leverage those for a settlement. We are here to tell the story of each case. And each case comes down to 1 or 2 key factual issues, and 1 or 2 major injuries that will stay with the client on a long-term basis and diminish their daily life.”

Furthermore, King is no fan of months-long back-and-forth dialogue with adjustors. “We file most of our cases and retain experts on most of our cases. We settle very few cases before filing,” he explained.

“Unless there are policy limits issues, most pre-filing negotiation is a waste of time, in my opinion. Discovery, expert depositions, and the threat of trial tend to produce far better outcomes than haggling with an adjuster for months and months. When we put our clients’ faces in front of the defense, they can judge credibility, and see for themselves why our clients deserve the maximum compensation.”

The Future Burns Brightly:

In addition to representing victims of vehicular accidents, Justin, Oliver, and Jon also represent victims of insurance bad faith, which Justin explains is a natural byproduct of working with injured victims. “The two practice dovetail, and the experience I gained early in my career makes it a good fit for our firm,” he says.

The brothers are also taking on more class action lawsuits, including a case impacting thousands of Californians which is in the certification stage. The defendant is a large insurance company that has committed, what King calls “an extreme financial injustice committed against many Californians that are without means. We look forward to holding the insurance company accountable for their actions.”

Indeed, Justin is looking forward to many more years of delivering justice for those injured or otherwise harmed as the result of another’s negligence or wrongdoing, just as his mother, father, and grandfather did.

Although the death of his father in 2022 was a devastating loss, it also marks a watershed moment for the brothers now carrying on the family legacy. “Whether we are working to right a financial wrong for thousands of people or looking to get the compensation that injured victims need, our dad would tell us to keep persisting, to keep working hard, and to deliver justice to as many people as we can. That’s our plan for the future.”

End of article. To learn more about our firm, click here.

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Serving Accident Victims in All Communities Across Riverside and San Bernardino County Including: Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear Lake, Chino & Chino Hills, Colton, Crestline, Eastvale, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Joshua Tree, Lake Arrowhead, Loma Linda, Lucerne Valley, Montclair, Needles, Norco, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Riverside, Running Springs, San Bernardino, Twentynine Palms, Upland, Victorville, Wrightwood, Yermo, Yucaipa & Yucca Valley