Howard A. Kipnis

Contact Howard A. Kipnis
11622 El Camino Real Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92130

Area of Practice:

Trust and Probate Litigation; Financial Institutions, Complex Civil Litigation, Commercial and Business Litigation; Elder Abuse Litigation.

Howard A. Kipnis


Mr. Kipnis has over 35 years of experience representing corporate fiduciaries, financial institutions, broker-dealers and brokerage companies, as well as small businesses and individuals, in dispute resolution and litigation arising from banking, brokerage and probate and trust services. He has handled both the prosecution and defense of numerous claims in the Southern California federal and state courts, including San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Imperial, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, as well as in FINRA (formerly NASD) and AAA arbitration hearings, arising out of financial institution’s retail; brokerage; real estate, commercial and installment lending; fiduciary and trust services; international; and escrow departments. For over 15 years Mr. Kipnis has received Martindale Hubble’s highest peer-reviewed rating for professional excellence (“A-V Preeminent”).

Mr. Kipnis has represented clients to judgment (or award) in over 50 jury trials, bench trials and in arbitration, and has successfully represented banks, institutional and familial fiduciaries and individuals in numerous appeals, but nonetheless encourages early evaluation of claims and resolution through use of less costly methods, such as through aggressive use of dispositive motions or alternative dispute resolution methods.

Mr. Kipnis has co-authored an attorney practice guide and, over the years, has been a featured speaker at several seminars and trade conferences, including state-wide CEB programs, on topics such as trust and probate administration and litigation practice, HIPPA, fiduciary and FINRA disputes, and claims resolution and avoidance. He has also testified as an expert witness in several cases involving issues arising from probate/trust litigation, or banking and fiduciary services.

From 1984 to 1991, Mr. Kipnis practiced at Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps n San Diego.  thereafter, until 1994, he served as Assistant General Counsel at San Diego Trust & Savings Bank, where he handled the Bank’s litigation and claims portfolio and was lead counsel for its Trusts & Estates Department.

Mr. Kipnis currently serves on the Trust and Estates Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association (formerly the California State Bar) (TEXCOM), where he serves as a member of the Litigation and Ethics Subcommittees. He is also currently a managing editor of the California Trust and Estates Quarterly (the Official Publication of the Trust and Estates Section of the California Lawyers Association). At present Mr. Kipnis authored and is directing a legislative proposal on behalf of TEXCOM in response to the recent case of Barefoot v. Jenkins, which significantly limits the standing of a disinherited trust beneficiary to contest trust instruments in probate court.


University of California at Los Angeles (B.S., magna cum laude, 1980). Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., cum laude, 1984). First Place, Beaudry Moot Court Competition, 1984. Recipient, American Jurisprudence Award in Commercial Law, 1984. Extern Law Clerk to Honorable J. Clifford Wallace, Chief Justice, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1983. Admitted to Bar, 1984 California and U.S District Court, Southern and Central Districts of California; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Professional Activities

Trust and Estates Executive Committee of the California Lawyers' Association (TEXCOM); Managing Editor of the California Trust and Estates Quarterly (the Official Publication of TEXCOM); Litigation and Ethics Subcommittees of TEXCOM; Association of Business Trail Lawyers; San Diego Defense Lawyers Association; California Bankers Association (Member, Bank Counsel Section); former Master, Louis M. Welch American Inns of Court.