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On the Docket with DM
Episodes with Christina Denning


For over 20 years, Christina Denning has maintained a practice in construction law, business litigation and personal injury. She litigates a wide array of disputes from the claim stage through arbitration or trial and post-judgment collection efforts. Her experience includes the following:


Representation of general contractors, subcontractors, developers and owners regarding a diverse spectrum of matters involving both public works and private development. These disputes often concern contract terms, design issues, delay claims, insurance coverage, mechanic's liens, stop notices, Cal/OSHA citations, CSLB complaints, licensing issues, recovering against payment and performance bonds, change orders and liquidated damages. Ms. Denning is committed to counseling clients regarding all of their legal concerns, including drafting construction contracts and other construction documents in a way that mitigates exposure.

Representative Construction Transactional Engagements:

  • Negotiation, on behalf of owner/lessee aviation services, of a $40 million construction contract to build a new facility.

  • Negotiation, on behalf of owner, of a $75 million construction contract to build luxury high-rise condominiums.

  • Negotiation, on behalf of developer/contractor, of a $55 million construction contract to build over 200 residential homes.

  • Prepare and revise contract and related documents for general contractors and subcontractors.

Representative Construction Litigation Engagements:

  • Defense of subcontractor regarding general contractor's claim for $1 million in damages arising out of refusals to execute subcontracts on two Federal projects.

  • Representation of developer client against public entity regarding $2.5 million dispute concerning sewer project.

  • Representation of window subcontractor regarding owner's claim for $300,000 for alleged defective window installation and alleged loss of building use.

  • Representation of developer in litigation regarding dispute with neighboring HOA who claimed $250,000 in damages due to soil instability.

  • Appeal and negotiation of Cal/OSHA citation for employer arising out of a jobsite fatality.

  • Negotiation and settlement of CSLB accusations for general contractor.


Ms. Denning has a passion for representing plaintiffs who have suffered personal and financial injuries, including claims for wrongful death, medical malpractice, dental malpractice, elder abuse, fraudulent transfers of assets, automobile accidents, defective roadway design, premises liability, fraud, civil assault/battery and other injuries. Ms. Denning has been interviewed by local news stations regarding her cases, as well as to provide expert legal opinions.

Representative Plaintiff's Litigation Matters:

  • Settled civil rights claim for $3,000,000 on behalf of unarmed man who was excessively tased.

  • Settled wrongful death claim for $1,000,000 on behalf of spouse and daughter of a man who was killed during a police vehicle pursuit.

  • Obtained $3,000,000 verdict in wrongful death claim on behalf of children of decedent who was shot by a neighbor over a land dispute.

  • Representation of auto accident victims who suffer all types of injuries, from minor injuries to fatal ones.

  • Represent victims of animal bites and attacks.

  • Recovered millions of dollars for victims of medical malpractice, dental malpractice, elder abuse and related causes of action.


Ms. Denning has vast litigation experience, including jury trials, bench trials and arbitration. At the onset of any dispute, Ms. Denning works with her clients to prepare a cost-effective, efficient strategy to meet her clients' goals. She consults with clients throughout the process and gives regular updates on costs and potential outcomes.

Representative Litigation Engagements:

  • Representation of partnership regarding numerous claims for fraud and unfair business practices relating to club membership deposits.

  • Representation of property owner in dispute over enforceability of CC&Rs.

  • Representation of majority shareholder regarding minority shareholder's claim for breach of fiduciary duty.


Morgan v. Beaumont Police Dept. (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 144.

Flores v. City of San Diego (D078501) CA 4/1


  • Dynalectric San Diego, Mechanic's Lien Law Basics, November 2016.

  • San Diego Surety Association: "Surety Industry Concerns Regarding Indemnity and Affiliations," November 2015

  • CW Driver Safety Summit: "Limiting Your Liabilities in Construction," June 2014

  • Old Republic/HFM Safety Symposium: "Limiting Your Liabilities in Construction," June 2014

  • NAWIC/HFM: "Risky Business - Best Practices for Liability Prevention in the New Normal," February 2014

  • ABC/HFM: "Risky Business - Best Practices for Liability Prevention in the New Normal," September 2013

  • NAWIC Lunch and Learn: "Top 5 Disputed Construction Contract Provisions," May 2013

  • ABC/HFM Seminar: "Indemnity Law Changes," May 2013

  • NAWIC/HFM Seminar: "Indemnity Law Changes," March 2013

  • HFM Construction Department Event: "Weathering the Changes in 2012 and Preparing for 2013," October 2012

  • NAWIC/HFM Seminar: "Mechanics Liens 2012 - Important New Laws," June 2012

  • Barney & Barney/HFM Event: "Bonding Fundamentals and Marketing Trends for 2012," March 2012

  • HFM Construction Department Event: "Loss Prevention," September 2011

  • HFM Construction Department Event: "Get Paid - Not Screwed," June 2011

  • Law Review CLE Seminar: "Discovery & Evidence in the Era of Social Media," August 2011


  • San Diego Magazine Woman of the Year Finalist 

  • San Diego Business Journal Best of the Bar


  • Business Litigation

  • Construction Law

  • Plaintiff's Litigation



  • J.D., Willamette University College of Law (2000)

  • B.A., Truman State University (1997)


  • California State Courts

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District


  • State Bar of California

  • San Diego County Bar Association

  • National Association of Women in Construction

  • Consumer Attorneys of California

  • Public Leadership Institute, 2015 Class

  • Adjunct Professor at California Western School of Law, 2015 - present

Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, Ms. Denning attended Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University), where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She received her Juris Doctorate from Willamette University, School of Law, in Salem, Oregon. Ms. Denning enjoys sharing her litigation experience by mentoring associate attorneys, interns and law clerks. She also teaches at Cal-Western Law School.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, snowboarding and spending time with her two young sons. 

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