Representative Matters

Gene Brown's practice emphasizes complex civil litigation, including products and premises liability, commercial, labor and employment and environmental and toxic torts. He represents public entities in actions alleging civil rights violations such as police excessive force, age and race discrimination, and sexual harassment, as well as automobile manufacturers, contractors, medical providers and consumable products manufacturers.

Gene functioned as the national coordinating counsel for a major distributor of building products for more than 18 years, and also served in that capacity for major foreign automobile manufacturers. In these roles, he helped develop defense strategies, assisted with discovery, provided trial support, and maintained document repositories. Gene has also served as local counsel in complex national litigation and as trial counsel, collaborating with national coordinating counsel selected by the client.

An exceptional trial attorney, Gene has successfully tried to verdict in excess of 100 complex actions in California, as well as other jurisdictions throughout the United States. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of New York and U.S. District Courts in New York, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Mississippi.

Gene's professional achievements are recognized by his peers as he has achieved Diplomate status, and is a past president of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a Fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers, The International Academy of Trial Lawyers, The International Society of Barristers, and the Litigation Counsel of America, by invitation only. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee for the TIPS Trial Academy, an active faculty of the ABA/TIPS ABOTA Trial Academy and an active faculty member of the ABOTA National Trial Academy. Gene presents regularly as a lecturer and panelist on trial practice.

Professional Background

Prior to joining Hinshaw, Gene practiced for nearly five years at a San Francisco-based international firm and chaired its Complex Litigation Practice Group. Gene previously founded a litigation firm in Oakland, CA, where he practiced for over a decade. Before that, Gene spent nearly two decades at an Oakland trial litigation firm.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
    • Standing Committee for the TIPS Trial Academy
  • National Bar Association
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Alameda County Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel

Honors & Awards

  • Holds the AV Preeminent® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • The International Society of Barristers, Fellow
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Diplomate; San Francisco Chapter, Past President; ABA/TIPS Trial Academy, Faculty; National Trial Academy, Faculty
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers® as the Personal Injury Litigation  – Defendants "Lawyer of the Year" in San Francisco, 2022
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, 2015 – 2022
  • Recognized on the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America list by Lawdragon, 2020 – 2022
  • Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2004 – 2019

Representative Matters

  • Vinson v Peralta Community College District, Alameda County Superior Court, defense of sexual harassment
  • Cortez v Telecheck, International, Alameda County Superior Court, age discrimination, wrongful termination
  • Cropsey v. Ensign Montgomery et al, Sonoma County Superior Court, disability discrimination/wrongful termination
  • DSC v Negrin, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, copyright infringement/patent defense
  • Oliver v Western MacArthur Co., San Diego County Superior Court, product liability
  • Guyton v BARTD, Alameda County Superior Court, civil rights defense
  • Jones v Bogard Construction, Alameda County Superior Court, mold contamination
  • Haskell v Conoco Phillips Co., Contra Costa County Superior Court, breach of contract
  • Sacco v TOSCO Corp. et. al, San Joaquin County Superior Court, birth defects, chemical exposure
  • Bulnes v CalTrain, San Mateo County Superior Court, wrongful death, 16 year old, rail-crossing
  • Wright v Ford Motor Company, Holmes County Mississippi, product liability
  • Russell v Ford Motor Company, Los Angeles County Superior Court, product liability
  • Ledford v General Motors Corporation, Los Angeles County Superior Court, product liability
  • Gunderson v Union Oil Company of California, San Francisco County Superior Court, premises liability defense


Gene has presented at the American Conference Institute on several occasions, speaking on chemical exposure and disease. He also presents on genomic matters at the Chemical Manufacturers Association annual meeting.


J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1978

B.A., Criminology, University of California, Berkeley