Harlan Watkins

Harlan Watkins

580 California Street
Suite 1100
San Francisco, CA 94104

Phone: 415.788.1900
Fax: 415.393.8087

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  • All courts in the State of California
  • Federal District Court for the State of California, Northern, Eastern and Central Districts
  • Ninth and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals


  • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law
  • B.S., Political Science, University of Oregon; Phi Gamma Mu, International Honor Society in Social Science

Harlan Watkins

Senior Shareholder

Mr. Watkins' practice emphasizes the defense of professionals, including attorneys, real estate brokers and agents, and insurance brokers and agents in malpractice litigation. His practice also focuses on the defense of professionals in administrative and disciplinary proceedings, including judges before the California Commission on Judicial Performance and attorneys before the California State Bar. Mr. Watkins has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer every year from 2013-2021.

Selected Client Representations

  • Professional liability defense action involving alleged legal negligence in the handling of a $500,000 insurance bad-faith action. Case tried in San Francisco Superior Court, and resulted in a defense verdict on behalf of client.
  • Plaintiff's breach of contract action involving a dispute over defective software. Case was tried in Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and resulted in a recovery of approximately $400,000 for the client.
  • Successfully established before the California Supreme Court a right of indemnity between concurrent counsel where client brings a malpractice claim against one, but not both, attorneys.
  • Successful appeal involving breach of contract issues before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully defended a university from defamation claims based upon Civil Code section 47 before the First District California Court of Appeal.
  • Successfully defended an attorney before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from a claim from a former minor client based upon quasi-judicial immunity.
  • Successfully defended attorneys from malicious prosecution claims from a former litigation opponent before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully defended insurance brokers from a $6 Million dollar malpractice claim alleging a failure to obtain insurance.

Selected Publications

MCLE Presentations

First Time Buyer's Guide Legal Malpractice Insurance, 2013 - Presenter

Professional Associations

Member, California State Bar Committee on Professional Liability Insurance, 2007 - 2012

Harlan B. Watkins
Rated by Super Lawyers

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