Chip Edelson


Telephone:  (619) 230-8402


University of Virginia
Juris Doctorate – 1980

University of Georgia
BA Political Science – 1977
summa cum laude

Summerville High School
valedictorian – 1973
Star Student (highest SAT)

Awards & Honors

Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory for over 25 years. This is the “gold standard” rating for lawyers. The “AV” designation is awarded to less than 5% of all attorneys across the U.S. It signifies an attorney has been rated by judges and fellow attorneys (based on confidential feedback) as having the highest possible rating for legal abilities and ethical standards based on: (1) legal knowledge, (2) analytical capabilities, (3) judgment, (4) communication ability, (5) legal experience, and (6) ethics.

Voted 2020 “Lawyer of the Year – Litigation – Labor and Employment” for San Diego as noted in Best Lawyers Magazine

Voted 2014 “Lawyer of the Year – Litigation – Labor and Employment” for San Diego as noted in Best Lawyers Magazine

Selected by “Best Lawyers in America” every year since 2006

Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation -Labor and Employment” in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©

Included in “Top Lawyers” by San Diego Magazine every year since

Honored as one of California’s “Super Lawyers” (an honor bestowed on less than 5 percent of California attorneys) based on feedback from Judges and other attorneys, every year since 2011

San Diego Inn of Court, Past-President

Featured Press

The San Diego Union-Tribune:
“Carlsbad’s Xnergy Is Awarded $8 Million”

NBC-7 San Diego Evening News
“Employee Wins $8M in Lawsuit
Against Carrier Corporation”

San Diego Daily Transcript
“Small Firm Nets Big Award for Client”
(highlighting $9.5M verdict
for blue collar worker)

The Daily Journal
“Verdicts & Settlements”
(featuring $9.6M jury verdict for client in
employment/fraud case)

Law Link
“David vs. Goliath – Jury Awards Over $9.5M
to Punish Corporate Greed”

​​​​​​​Louis B. "Chip" Edleson

Founding Partner

Few civil trial attorneys can match the experience level of Louis “Chip” Edleson, who has handled more than 100 trials and arbitrations. Even fewer with that level of experience can say they have a success rate of over 90 percent.

Since 1980, Chip has built a reputation in San Diego as an accomplished trial attorney. He enjoys rather than fears taking cases to trial. He has won significant, hard-fought verdicts against competition from some of the best and biggest law firms in the U.S. He is known for his calm, nice-guy, professional approach, and for consistently winning the most difficult cases, for both plaintiffs and defendants. One well-known opposing counsel complained to the trial judge at the start of a jury trial the lawyer lost: “The plaintiff has no case at all, but Mr. Edleson is know for pulling rabbits out of hats.” A senior federal judge in San Diego once complimented Mr. Edleson stating: “He is the best trial lawyer I’ve ever had in my courtroom.”

A 1977 graduate of the University of Georgia, Chip earned a B.A. in political science, graduating summa cum laude as salutatorian of his graduating class. He honed his debate skills as a member of the University of Georgia’s Intercollegiate Debate Team. In 1980, Chip received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Virginia – a school consistently ranked as one of the very top law schools in the nation – and reached the quarterfinals as a competitor in the prestigious Lile Moot Court Competition.

After law school, Chip accepted a position with San Diego’s preeminent litigation law firm at the time, Gray, Cary Ware & Freidenrich (now DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms). Chip spent 23 years with Gray Cary building his skills and reputation. While a partner at Gray Cary, Chip served on the firm’s recruiting committee for many years, served as the firm’s hiring partner, and chaired the firm’s pro bono committee for eight years.

Lawyer of the Year

Voted Lawyer of the Year in 2014 as noted in Best Lawyers Magazine

Routinely selected for Best Lawyers in America, San Diego Magazine’s Top Lawyers, and Super Lawyers, in 2014 Chip was chosen by Best Lawyers Magazine as San Diego’s “Lawyer of the Year – Litigation – Labor and Employment.” More than 25 years ago he was rated “AV Preeminent” (the highest peer rating available) by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory based on feedback from lawyers and judges personally familiar with his work.

Chip served as President of the San Diego Inn of Court (where attorneys learn trial skills from “Masters”),and as member for the San Diego Judicial Evaluation Committee. He was awarded the California State Bar’s Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services in 1997 and 1998, and the Pro Bono Publico Distinguished Service Award in 2000 by the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program.

Chip married his college sweetheart, Karon, in 1980 and they have raised two children. He is an avid guitarist (Classical and fingerstyle) and sports enthusiast.

Published cases and legal writings
  • Trial attorney in the landmark CUMIS case, San Diego Navy Federal Credit Union v. Cumis, 162 Cal.App.3d 358 (1984)
  • Bank of America v. M/V Executive, 797 F.2d 772 (1986)
  • Grote v. TWA, 905 F.2d 1307 (1990)
  • Horn v. Bradco, 232 Cal.App.3d 653 (1991)
  • Holmes v. General Dynamics, 17 Cal.App.4th 1418 (1993)
  • HS Servs. v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co.,109 F.3d 642, 644 (9th Cir. 1997)
  • Xnergy v. Hess Microgen, LLC, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63812 (D. Cal. 2007)
  • Author: CEB: “Historical Review of the Doctrine of At-Will Termination,” (co-authored by David E. Monahan), Handling Wrongful Discharge Litigation (April 1984)
  • Author: “Wrongful Discharge Litigation, “Personnel Law Update 1986, for Council on Education in Management
  • Author: “Perspective on Wrongful Discharge Litigation, “Personnel Law Update 1987, for Council on Education In Management.