Peter J. Burfening, Jr.


501 West Broadway
Suite 1200
San Diego, CA 92101
P (619) 849-4900
F (619) 849-4950

For more detailed information:

Print Profile PDF


Peter’s practice focuses on the areas of transportation law, environmental and toxic tort litigation, general liability, employment law, professional liability, product liability and automotive law practice. Peter handles the defense of personal injury litigation, including catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases; employment litigation, including wrongful termination, whistleblower and harassment claims; and professional liability litigation, including the defense of insurance agents and brokers, real estate agents and brokers, accountants, attorneys, directors and officers, design professionals and healthcare professionals.

Peter’s transportation clients include both insurers and private fleet operators. He has significant experience handling the defense of transportation cases involving catastrophic injuries, including wrongful death, amputation, traumatic brain injury, PTSD and complex regional pain syndrome claims. Peter also provides rapid response handling of transportation accidents for both insurers and private fleet operators, and also provides risk management training, counseling and seminars on many topics, including driver qualifications, safe practices, current trends in transportation and catastrophic injuries.

Peter is routinely consulted by the insurance industry to assist with their investigation of first and third party environmental claims. He has served as National Monitoring Counsel for several major insurance companies for the handling of mass tort environmental claims throughout the United States.

Peter’s professional liability clients include independent and direct agents and brokers, large and small agencies and brokerage firms, accounting firms, attorneys and boards of directors. Recently, he was successful in defending a C.P.A. firm for the firm’s alleged failure to uncover a multi-million dollar embezzlement by a corporation’s controller.


California Western School of Law (J.D., 1998)

Montana State University (B.A., 1994)

Licensed to Practice in:


Practice Areas

  • Representation of various types of transportation companies in civil litigation involving tractor-trailers, buses and other fleet operation vehicles, including catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases.
  • Provides rapid response investigation and handling of transportation accidents.
  • Provides risk management training and counseling on a variety of issues, including driver qualifications, safe practices, rapid response to accidents, insurance coverage, risk transfer, and employment issues.
  • Defense of one of the State’s largest temporary employment agencies against breach-of-contract, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful-termination, and violation of State and Federal wage-and-hour-law claims.
  • Representation of employers in wrongful-termination, retaliatory-discharge, Title VII discrimination, slander, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and defamation claims arising out of employment.
Complex Tort and Casualty
  • Defense of automotive dealerships on violations of Vehicle Code, Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Lemon Law issues.
  • Representation of dealerships in administrative proceedings with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Mass Torts and Class-Action Defense
  • Extensive experience defending class actions by consumers involving allegations of unfair business practices, statutory violations and products liability matters.
Professional Liability
  • Handles professional liability defense of insurance agents and brokers, real estate agents and brokers, accountants, attorneys, directors and officers, design professionals and healthcare professionals.
  • Clients include independent and direct agents and brokers, brokerage firms involved in all lines of property and casualty insurance, C.P.A. firms and board of directors, including non-profit board members.
  • Defense of malpractice claims filed against C.P.A. firms, accountants, attorneys and real estate professionals that often arise in connection with audits, tax return preparation, and real estate transactions.
Product Liability
  • Defense of manufacturers, distributors and retailers of products alleged to cause injuries and property damage, including interocular lens implants, gadolinium-based dyes used in MRI procedures, and ephemera-based diet supplements.
  • Defense of property owners, builders, developers and contractors in claims for personal injury and property damage arising out of defective construction materials.
Toxic Tort and Occupational Exposure
  • Extensive experience in defense of environmental and toxic tort claims involving contaminated property, including personal injury and property damage claims arising from exposure to mold, silica, welding-rod fumes, benzene, asbestos and other environmental contaminants.
  • Defense of companies on violations of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (commonly known as Proposition 65).
  • Experience in litigating two distinct parts of the Act, citizen-suit groups targeting labels and material safety data sheets warning of alleged toxic substances and discharge of pollutants into drinking water.


All Publications »

Trial & Appellate Results

All Trial & Appellate Results »

Events, Seminars & Presentations

Fair Claims and Preservation of Evidence in Trucking Cases (2017)

Laws & Trends in the Trucking Industry — 2017 (2017)

Personal Injury – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (2017)

California – A Judicial Hellhole (2016)

View All »

All Events »


Claims Litigation Management (CLM), Member

Privacy Policy      |      Site Map

© 2021 Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required