Telephone: (619) 230-0836
University of Southern California School of Law
Juris Doctorate, 1996
University of San Diego
BA Political Science, 1993
summa cum laude
“AV Peer Review Rated”
by Martindale-Hubbell every year since 2005
This is the “gold standard” rating for lawyers and is not something that can ever be “bought.” 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.
Honored in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers since 2011
Consistently included in “Top Lawyers” by San Diego Magazine
Honored as a “Rising Star” litigator in California in 2014 (an honor bestowed on less than 2.5 percent of California attorneys) by Super Lawyers Magazine
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)
”David vs. Goliath – Jury Awards Over $9.5M to Punish Corporate Greed”
San Diego native Joann F. Rezzo is an experienced trial lawyer who spent her legal career handling high-stakes employment cases (wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, harassment, and discrimination). Joann now serves as a Mediator, providing mediation services through West Coast Resolution Group and as a court-appointed mediator. During her 25+ year career as a litigator, she primarily handles cases for high-level executives and commissioned sales people, but has also won multi-million dollar verdicts for blue collar workers and successfully defended both individuals and large/Fortune 500 companies like Southwest Airlines, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, and Barr Laboratories.
In 2012, Joann attended the prestigious “Mediating the Litigated Case” mediator training program through Pepperdine University, where she earned her first mediation credentials. In 2016, she earned further mediation credentials through the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s “Advanced Mediator Training” program. More recently, she was certified through the National Conflict Resolution Center’s mediator training course and appointed as a mediator with the San Diego Superior Court’s court-appointed mediator program. She has served as a mediator on a number of cases including employment disputes, personal injury cases, and quit claim cases.
Joann obtained her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of San Diego in 1993, graduating summa cum laude. From 1993-96, she attended USC School of Law, one of the highest-ranked law schools in the nation, graduating with a Juris Doctorate degree. During law school Joann served as a summer Extern for The Honorable John S. Rhoades, United States District Judge for the Southern District of California.
After graduation, Joann joined Gray, Cary Ware & Freidenrich (now DLA Piper, one of the largest firms in the world), where she developed a keen sense for handling a wide array of litigation matters. She honed her trial skills representing some of the largest companies in the United States at trial including Fortune 500 companies like Southwest Airlines, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Barr Laboratories, and John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. She tried cases for “the little guy” as well, representing victims of civil rights discrimination and individuals in contingency-fee plaintiff’s cases. Joann has tried approximately 25 cases to verdict. While at Gray Cary, Joann served on the firm’s recruiting committee, helping evaluate prospective new attorneys.
Repeatedly selected for Best Lawyers in America, San Diego Magazine’s Top Lawyers, and Super Lawyers, Joann was rated “AV Preeminent” (the highest peer rating available) by Martindale-Hubbell in 2005 based on feedback from lawyers and judges personally familiar with her work. She has consistently held that rating every year since then. Joann was honored as a “Rising Star” litigator in California in 2014 (an honor bestowed on les than 2.5 percent of California lawyers) by Super Lawyers Magazine.
Joann was awarded the Pro Bono Publico Distinguished Service Award in 2000 by the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program for her public service on behalf of indigent clients.
Joann has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law with the University of San Diego where she taught litigation and trial skills.
Joann’s client base has covered the spectrum from blue-collar workers to executives in Fortune 500 companies, from small start-up companies to multi-national Fortune 500 corporations. Her clients have included the City of San Diego, Southwest Airlines, Qualcomm, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, the former Mayor of San Diego, the former President of San Diego State University, and high-level executives from many large corporations.
Joann has handled business disputes, breach of contract, professional liability, breach of fiduciary, and high-end injury cases.
Joann has demonstrated her dedication to community service by serving for many years as a board member of Big Brothers & Sisters of San Diego, a board member of Southern California Resource Center, and a member of the San Diego Historical Society. Joann has also served as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee at her child’s school.
In her free time, Joann enjoys spending time in Maui and Mammoth Lakes, reading, traveling, snorkeling, boogie boarding, and bicycling with her family.