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Brian Dennis Sean Monaghan grew up in Philadelphia, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1962 and served two tours in Vietnam. He graduated from Hastings College of Law (University of California) in 1970. After five years with Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, Brian saw a blinding light to represent only plaintiffs and formed his own firm. Not a paid decision. He has achieved over $400 million in verdicts, judgments and settlements on their behalf.

He has received Outstanding Trial Lawyer awards from the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association on eleven occasions from 1978 to 1998. The San Diego Trial Lawyers Association selected Brian on an unprecedented three occasions as Trial Lawyer of the Year (1979, 1984 and 1988). In October of 1998, Brian received the American Board of Trial Advocates California Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. Nationally, Brian received the Stephen J. Sharp Public Service Award presented by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in Washington, D. C. in July of 1998. In November of 1998 the American Trial Lawyers Association re-designated their Employment Law Section with the appellation, the Brian D. Monaghan Employment Law Section.

Over the years, Brian's involvement in the legal community has become too voluminous to list. Brian frequently lectures and volunteers his time mentoring and cultivating young lawyers throughout San Diego. Today, he is an active member of and involved in:

  • American Board of Trial Advocates (1983 to present)
  • American Trial Lawyers Association - Brian D. Monaghan Employment
  • Law Section (1999 to present)
  • American Inns of Court, San Diego Chapter (1984 to present)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers of San Diego (1993 to present)
  • California Trial Lawyers Association (1975 to present)
  • International Board of Directors/American Ireland Fund (1998 to present)
  • Board of Directors, Hastings College of Law (February 2000 to present)
  • Board of Directors San Diego Padres (February 2000 to present)

In February of 1999, Brian received the American Ireland Fund distinguished Heritage Award.


Brian is married to Gerri, a remarkable woman who occasionally manages to keep his wild Irish temperament in check. He has four grown children; Kathi, Patrick, Mark and Todd. Gerri and Brian are the proud grandparents of one-year old Dylan of Kathi and Tom Vaughn and nine-month old Riley of Mark and Sharon Wortmann. Brian enjoys traveling, reading, writing and taking long walks with their appropriately named dog, Joy.