Joanna Simon represents clients in complex and multidistrict litigation, with an emphasis on aviation and pharmaceutical defense. Her experience includes product liability, aviation, pharmaceutical, and general commercial matters. Joanna has also been an integral part of building the firm’s unmanned aircraft systems/drone practice, acting as its associate lead since its inception in 2014.
Since joining the firm in 2010, Joanna has worked on some of the most significant matters firm clients have ever had, including: protecting pilots’ rights and defending decisions to put airline passenger safety above all else; minimizing the damage of a product recall for a flagship product and improving future processes, while defending business decisions in the company’s first-ever litigation in the United States; challenging a WWII-era document that purports to deprive the client of its fee interest in a very valuable piece of land; and obtaining the first-ever Section 333 exemption for wind turbine inspection using drones, making the client the sole entity authorized by the FAA to perform this type of service and allowing the client to capture additional market share.
Joanna has been involved in all phases of litigation, including fact and expert discovery, motion practice, and trial. She has argued a wide range of motions in both state and federal court, including successfully arguing two case-dispositive summary motions. She has first- and second-chaired trials on behalf of firm clients. She has also represented clients in proceedings involving the Federal Aviation Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Joanna’s clients appreciate that she is highly efficient and responsive, as well as flexible and creative, while always trying to think of new ways to improve the client’s position. She is always sure to keep in mind her clients’ business goals. For example, Joanna was the lead associate on a contract/breach of warranty dispute that a client had with an engine manufacturer. After an unsuccessful mediation, the case seemed destined for drawn-out litigation. By focusing on the business goals of the client—including its desire to continue to do business with the manufacturer—rather than purely a litigation goal, the team was able to successfully settle the matter pre-litigation, making the client extremely happy.
Joanna is also dedicated to pro bono work and community involvement. She has received the Wiley W. Manuel Award from the California State Bar 2011 – 2014. She is an active member of Athena San Diego, serving as the co-chair of the Associate Special Interest Committee 2013 – 2015. She is currently on the Leadership Development Committee of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego Chapter.
Joanna received her J.D. magna cum laude in 2010 from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. During law school, she was the chief student comments editor of the San Diego International Law Journal, and a member of the San Diego Appellate Moot Court Executive Board. Joanna also worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan in the Southern District of California, and the Honorable Lawrence E. Kahn in the Northern District of New York. She received her B.A. magna cum laude from Northeastern University in 2007.
Outside of the office, Joanna likes to take part in sports and be outside, which is why San Diego is the perfect place for her.