Craig R. McClellan

Founding Partner

Craig McClellan has obtained more than 125 verdicts and settlements in excess of one million dollars, and is a three-time recipient of the "Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award" from the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego for cases in which million and multi-million dollar verdicts were obtained. He is the first and only personal injury attorney in San Diego selected for admission to the Inner Circle of Advocates, a prestigious invitation-only group of top plaintiff's attorneys, limited to 100 members nationwide. One of his final arguments is featured in Million Dollar Arguments.

Associations & Memberships

He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, where he served as President of the San Diego Chapter. He is also a Master of the American Inns of Court, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. Craig has the distinction of being voted by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America, as well as the Number 1 attorney by Super Lawyer" for San Diego. In addition to these recognitions, Craig earned a 10/10 "Superb" Avvo rating and was named one of 2015's Top Lawyers in San Diego in Business Litigation by San Diego Magazine.

Public Appearances

He has appeared on public radio and television programs, including 60 Minutes, 20/20, and the McNeil-Lehrer Report. One of his cases is featured in No Contest by Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith. Craig has focused his career on complex, high stakes litigation. His cases include catastrophic personal injury and product liability cases as well as business and intellectual property litigation.

Education & Early Career

He began his practice of law with Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps, eventually starting his own firm, now known as The McClellan Law Firm. He was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps and graduated from California Western School of Law.

Watch our video to get to know Attorney Craig McClellan.

Areas of Practice

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence magna cum laude - 1976
    • Honors: Editor-in-Chief, California Western Law Review
  • University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 1969

Past Employment Positions

  • Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, Partner, 1976 - 1986
  • Oil Policy Subcommittee Cost of Living Council, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C., Director, 1972 - 1973
  • United States Marine Corps, Captain, 1969 - 1972

Published Works

Honors and Awards

  • Recognized by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® as an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated Lawyer, 2019
  • 10/10 "Superb" Avvo Rating
  • Best Lawyers, Lawyer Of The Year, Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, San Diego, 2014
  • Best Lawyers, Lawyer Of The Year, Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs, San Diego, 2012, 2014 & 2019
  • Named as Super Lawyers, Number One attorney in San Diego, 2019
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer, 2019
  • Three-time Recipient of the Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award Winner, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • America’s Top 100 Attorneys: Lifetime Achievement Recipient
  • Selected as one of The Best Lawyers in America, 1993 - 2020
  • Profiled in American Lawyer Magazine
  • Selected as one of Lawdragon's Top 500 Plaintiff's Lawyers in the Country
  • Named one of the Best Attorneys in the Los Angeles Area by the Los Angeles Times
  • Recipient of the Daniel T. Broderick III Award for Civility, Integrity and Professionalism
  • 2015 Top Lawyer in San Diego for Business Litigation, by San Diego Magazine
  • Modern Luxury San Diego Men of Vision
  • America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators for 2019

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Association for Justice, Sustaining Member
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member, Board of Directors (1983 - 1990)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • American Inns of Court, William B. Enright Chapter, Master
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Member, Board of Directors (2005 - 2007)
  • Attorneys Information Exchange Group, Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Sustaining Member, Board of Directors (1985 -1987)
  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Member, Board of Directors (1983 -1990), Officer (1987 -1988)
  • Inner Circle of Advocates, Member
  • State Bar of California, Member
  • American Society of Legal Advocates

  • Endorced by the Inner Circle of Advocates

    Craig McClellan is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States.

  • Craig McClellan was voted Lawyer of the Year for Product Liability Litigation by Best Lawyers for 2019.

  • Best Lawyers in America 2020

    Craig McClellan has been selected to the list of The Best Lawyers in America every year since 1993.

  • Craig McClellan has been selected to the list of Super Lawyers every year since 2007, and earned the most votes of ANY lawyer for 2019 in San Diego.

  • Craig McClellan earned one of the top 50 verdicts in California, securing a $15,771,234 verdict for a client seriously injured in a car accident.

  • 2019 AV Preeminent Peer Rated

    Attorney McClellan earned a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubbell for his achievements.

  • America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys

    Craig McClellan is listed as one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators in Business Litigation, Personal Injury, and Product Liability.

  • Attorney McClellan has a 10/10 “Superb” rating, the highest rating an attorney can receive from Avvo.

  • The firm has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest possible rating offered by the organization.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Commercial Litigation in the 2019 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Personal Injury in the 2019 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Product Liability in the 2019 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • Attorney McClellan is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, and previously served on its Board of Directors.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named as one of the “Best Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Times.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the “Best Lawyers” by San Diego Metro.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the Top Lawyers in San Diego in Business Litigation by San Diego Magazine.

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Trusted Recommendations

See More Reviews
  • We wouldn’t be here, in this moment of life without the kindness and professionalism of you all and how you went to bat for us! Eternally grateful! A.K.

  • Immediately after our interview we knew without question that no matter how steep the mountain, win or lose, we had found the right person—Craig McClellan, Esq.—[…] We felt a profound sense of ... G.P.

  • We will NEVER forget what you did for us Craig. We are FOREVER GRATEFUL. K.V.

  • I just wanted to thank you for your efforts on [Pam’s] behalf, your skills, and your heart. You are not just a lawyer in what you do, you are a master of your profession. And I hope you are passing ... Juror

  • I thank you for your kindness and generosity in giving selflessly without reserve. Additionally, please extend my thanks to your staff for their diligent work and encouragement throughout the trial. A.D.

  • We do not quite know how to verbalize or show how grateful we are to have had the distinct honor to have you represent us at truly the most critical time in our lives. S.C.

  • Having had the high privilege of presiding over a number of cases involving national counsel, I want you to know you’re one of the very best [...]. You and those with you were outstanding ambassadors ...

  • It was a real honor to preside over a case with you as counsel. In my mind you represent all that is good in our profession. Judge J.

  • Your appearance on the nation-wide broadcast of ‘60 Minutes’ was a public service in which all San Diego has reason to take great pride. To integrity—you have added public service and again elevated ... Juror

  • We could not be happier with the McCllelan Law Firm team! My husband and I were referred to Craig McCllelan by one of his peers. We had a very sensitive medical malpractice case that we were hesitant ... S.P.

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