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Richard R. Spirra


(619) 230-7776
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San Diego
101 W. Broadway
Suite 2000
San Diego, CA 92101

Los Angeles
633 West Fifth Street
52nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

2211 Michelson Drive
Suite 400
Irvine, CA 92612


J.D., Stanford University Law School, 1982

B.A., summa cum laude, Ripon College, 1979


Top Rated Lawyer-AV® Preeminent™,

Super Lawyers® distinction in the fields of Appellate Law; Business Litigation; First Amendment/Media/Advertising (2010-2012, 2015-2016, 2018)

San Diego Magazine, Top Lawyers 2013, 2015 & 2017 (Commercial Litigation)

Richard Spirra is a partner in the San Diego office and a member of the Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Appellate practice groups. His practice encompasses a wide range of substantive and procedural aspects of business litigation in both trial level and appellate courts. Mr. Spirra is considered one of the most experienced attorneys in San Diego in appellate matters and First Amendment/media law litigation. He has handled over 200 appeals and writs in various state and federal appellate courts, and has extensive experience representing members of the media such as The Copley Press, San Diego Reader, Citadel Broadcasting and several other newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations, authors and publishers.

Mr. Spirra has also been lead counsel for clients in class actions, jury trial cases and arbitration proceedings in numerous other substantive areas, including manufacturer - distributor/dealer disputes (representing Jack-In-The-Box, Gehl Co., FMD Medikal, Bekaert Specialty Films, Innovative Technologies, Inc.); product liability (representing Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Atlantic Richfield Co., Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson); shareholder and partnership disputes; shareholder and consumer class actions, California B & P Code sec. 17200 claims; misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary information; fraud/misrepresentations; professional malpractice; and breach of contract.

Other clients Mr. Spirra has represented include the University of San Diego, the San Diego Chargers, Ernst & Young, SDG&E, Bayer Companies, Chevron USA, Reliant Energy Companies, Security Pacific National Bank, First United Bank, Jenny Craig, Archstone, AvalonBay Communities, Equity Residential, City of San Diego, County of San Diego, City of Chula Vista and County of Orange. Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, Mr. Spirra was a partner in the business litigation group at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps with whom he had been affiliated since 1981.




Media Law Resource Center Defense Counsel
State Bar of California
American Bar Association
San Diego County Bar Association
Association of Business Trial Lawyers (San Diego)
Society of Professional Journalists

Community Involvement

Mr. Spirra has served as a judge pro tem for the San Diego County Courts, and was a member and President of the Board of Trustees of the San Diego County Law Library Justice Foundation.