A Legal Legacy Built On Experience
And Results

Joseph Arias

Joseph Arias

Attorney at Law

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Mr. Arias's focus is general civil litigation and trials. He has tried in excess of 225 jury trials to verdict in the following areas: personal injury; all categories of employment law including employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, disability discrimination, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (race discrimination/ right to contract), claims based upon the California Fair Employment and Housing Act; Federal Employers Liability Act (railroad cases); products liability, land subsidence, negligence, professional negligence, eminent domain, government tort liability, breach of public works contracts, insurance bad faith, constitutional law including 42 U.S.C. § 1983-based claims against government employees and municipalities, federal civil rights and police officer liability.


  • University of California at Davis School of Law, Davis, California
    • J.D. - 1970
  • California State University at San Bernardino
    • B.A. - 1967
    • Major: Political Science

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1971
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1971
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1975


  • Trial attorney, Office of the District Attorney, San Bernardino County, 1971 to 1973
  • Trial attorney (shareholder and director), MacLachlan, Burford & Arias, a Professional Law Corporation (formerly King & Mussell), 1973 to 1996.
  • Trial attorney (partner), Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, 1996 to 2003
  • Trial attorney, Arias, Lockwood & Gray (Managing Attorney), 2003 to 2006
  • Trial and managing attorney, Arias & Lockwood, Attorneys at Law, 2006 to present

Professional Associations

  • California State Bar, Member, 1971 to Present
  • U.S. District Court (Southern, Central and Northern Districts), 1971 to Present
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1975 to Present
  • San Bernardino and Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • California State Bar Labor and Employment and Litigation sections
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Association of Southern California Defense Council, Current Member, Past Director
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Diplomat
  • Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino and Redlands
  • Riverside County Arbitration Panel
  • California State Bar referee, Past Member
  • Judicial Evaluation Committee, Past Member
  • San Bernardino County Bar Association
  • San Bernardino County Municipal court, Judge Pro-Term

Classes & Seminars

  • Guest speaker, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel: The Trial of a Plaintiff-trespasser Case. (2002)
  • Federal Bar Association, Inland Empire Chapter: Current Issues in Police Officer Liability. (1998)
  • Masters in Trial, American Board of Trial Advocates: Trial techniques: cross examination of the plaintiff in a personal injury case. (2002)
  • 2006 Recipient of the President’s Award, American Board of Trial Advocates, in recognition of a lifetime of trial advocacy and commitment to the highest standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession.
  • Guest speaker, Federal Bar Association, Inland Empire Chapter: Federal Civil Rights Litigation (2007)
  • Masters in Trial, American Board of Trial Advocates: Trial techniques: Cross Examination of Plaintiff’s Expert (2007)
  • Guest speaker, Federal Bar Association, Inland Empire Chapter: Federal Civil Rights Seminar (2009)
  • Voted in “Best Lawyers” in Inland Empire by Inland Empire Magazine, November 2008, October 2010 and November 2012.

Representative Clients

  • General Motors Corporation
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Mack Trucks, Inc.
  • Volvo Trucks of North America
  • Volvo Aero Services Corp.
  • Mercedes Benz of North America
  • Nissan Diesel America, Inc.
  • Amtrak
  • BNSF Railway Company
  • Union Pacific Railroad Company
  • So. Pacific Transportation Co. (now merged with Union Pac. R.R. Co.)
  • California-Arizona Railroad Co.
  • Bristol-Meyers
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • Zimmer Inc.
  • Merit Oil Co.
  • Universal Self Storage Corporation and Western Refining Wholesale, Inc.
  • Green Thumb Produce, Inc.
  • Southern California Rail Authority (Metrolink)
  • State of California
  • Omnitrans
  • City and County of San Bernardino
  • San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
  • San Bernardino City Police Department
  • Riverside County Sheriff's Department
  • Rialto Police Department
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
  • Housing Authority of San Bernardino County
  • Cities of Adelanto, Banning, Colton, Hemet, Palm Springs, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Moreno Valley
  • Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District
  • Various school districts and colleges

Mr. Arias has represented many public officials including Police Officers of all ranks, Chiefs of Police, Deputy Sheriffs, Sheriffs of San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties, District Attorneys, judges of the Superior Court, City Attorneys, County Counsel, Members of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, Corporate General Counsel, City Councilmen and the Mayor of San Bernardino. He was appointed Special Counsel to San Bernardino County District Attorney and provides advice to the San Bernardino City Council.

Practice Areas

  • General Civil Litigation


  • U.S. Army, Faculty Company, Fort Dix, N.J., 1963-1965
  • * AV rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • ** AV Preeminent rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • ***Diplomate, American Board of Trial Advocates

Current Employment Position

  • Partner and Managing Attorney

Non-professional Affiliations:

Board of Directors, San Bernardino Community Concert Assoc.; past director, California State University Foundation Board; past member, San Bernardino YMCA Board of Managers; former Little League coach; member, Presidents’ Circle, San Bernardino Children’s Fund; Southern California and U.S. Handball Associations; San Bernardino and Redlands YMCAs; Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Hobbies and Interests:

Handball, jogging, biking, cooking, travel, classical music and opera

Military Background:

U.S. Army, Faculty Company, Fort Dix, N.J., 1963-1965

* An A-V rating is defined by Martindale-Hubbell as “a lawyer that has reached the height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skills and integrity.”

**AV Preeminent Rated is defined by Martindale-Hubbell as “a lawyer that has demonstrated ethical standards and professional ability and is used by buyers of legal services to justify hiring decisions. Only a select group of California lawyers have received this distinction.”

***Rank of Diplomate signifies submission of proof of a minimum of 100 civil jury trials through verdict.