Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr.

Founding Partner


Vince BartolottaVincent J. Bartolotta, Jr. is a founding partner of Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire. He specializes in Plaintiff’s litigation with an emphasis in business disputes, condemnation and major injury cases. A tenacious trial lawyer, Bartolotta is recognized annually by Woodward/White as one of the Best Lawyers in America – a recognition he’s received every year for the past 30 years.

Vince is not only one of the world’s best attorneys, he’s a rare individual who’s unafraid to get his hands dirty and step up to the plate at times when he could have easily rested on his laurels.

Born in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, Bartolotta’s father was a coal miner; his mother a licensed practical nurse. At age 10, Bartolotta rolled up his sleeves and went to work—and has rarely missed a day since. He’s delivered newspapers, unloaded grocery trucks, hauled produce, loaded beef in a slaughter house, shoveled slag from the blast furnaces of a Pittsburgh steel mill and built bridges and skyscrapers as an ironworker.

Perhaps it’s all of that hard work and practical experience that galvanized his resolve to fight for the underdog, whether it’s a small business owner fighting condemnation or someone whose life has been devastated by a major injury.

“There’s really no secret about what I do…” he says, “I really do care for my clients; each case gets the same kind of attention my family would get.”

Bartolotta earned his way into the University of Pittsburgh on a full athletic scholarship. At a time when most Americans knew little about soccer, he won a spot as a first alternate on the 1968 U.S. Olympic Soccer Team.

Although he could have used his educational deferment, Bartolotta enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, completed boot camp and Officer Candidate School , before returning to “PITT” to pursue a law degree in 1970. Returning to active duty, he was appointed criminal defense counsel at Camp Pendleton and eventually assigned to the prosecution. Offered a military judgeship for his final year of active duty, he instead volunteered to go to Vietnam. He requested attachment to an Air Combat Unit, serving in numerous capacities as Wing Legal Officer.

Bartolotta earned his negotiator’s stripes deep in the jungles of Thailand, compensating relatives of victims of friendly fire. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Major.

Following active duty, his compassionate nature soon led him to devote himself to full-time plaintiffs’ representation. On October 1, 1978 Bartolotta joined forces with Michael Thorsnes to establish Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire, recognized as one of California’s premier litigation firms, specializing in plaintiffs’ litigation with an emphasis in major injury cases, business disputes and condemnation, and . Additionally the firm has specialized in a variety of construction defect cases.

In 1982, their new firm was recognized by American Lawyer Magazine as one of 20 outstanding new firms in the nation. His 2001 verdict in Border Business Park v. The City of San Diego received recognition as one of the nation’s Top 10 Verdicts that year. He was honored again in 2014 by the National Law Journal by making their list of the Top 100 Verdicts.

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, the firm was recognized as a Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and received the prestigious Tier One ranking for San Diego in the categories of Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Construction; Litigation – Real Estate; Mass Torts Litigation Cases / Class Actions; Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. A chronology of the firm includes such awards as conferred with astonishing regularity upon Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire partners including “Outstanding Trial Lawyers,” Trial Lawyer of the Year,” and “Lawyers in America”.

He is past president of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego and has received the association’s Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award eight times since 1981, and was named the 2001 Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is a member and past president of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and was named ABOTA’s 2003 California Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is among the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 for 2014. Recognized by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, Vince has also been inducted into the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He serves as a Master of the American Inns of Court. He has been recognized in Woodward/White’s Best Lawyers in America since its inception in 1987 in the categories of Commercial, Eminent Domain and Personal Injury litigation and as the Top 1% of Trial Lawyers in the United States..

His numerous contributions to community and charitable activities include Past President of Rancho Santa Fe Youth; member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of St. Vincent de Paul Village; member of the American Ireland Fund, San Diego Chapter; member of the Century Club; President of the San Diego Nice Guys.

Bartolotta and his wife, Judy, reside in Rancho Santa Fe. They are parents of four sons. He remains an active soccer player and golfer.

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Personal Injury
Business Litigation
Products Liability
Wrongful Death
Medical Malpractice
Eminent Domain/Condemnation Professional Negligence


Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers

2015 San Diego Business Journal “Best of the Bar”

Board of Directors, Veterans Vanguard Advisory Board

2015 Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award – Romero v. Caltrans

2015 Best Lawyers in America Tier One:
Commercial Litigation
Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law Litigation – Real Estate
Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs

2014 Top 50 Attorneys in San Diego by Los Angeles Magazine

2014 San Diego’s Top AV Rated Lawyers, from American Lawyer Media

2014 San Diego Business Journal “Best of the Bar”

2014 National Trial Lawyers
Top 100

2013 Best Lawyers in America Tier One:
Commercial Litigation CA
Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law CA
Litigation – Real Estate CA
Personal Injury Litigation –
Plaintiffs CA

Super Lawyer
2007-2014 Southern California Super Lawyers: Top Attorneys in San Diego

2012 Fellow of the American Bar Association

2011 Fellow of The Litigation Counsel of America

2011 San Diego Bar Association
“Legends of the Bar”

2011, 2010, 2009 Daily Transcript’s
San Diego Top Attorney Award

CAL-ABOTA (American Board
of Trial Advocates) Selection to Statewide Board of Directors

2010, 2008, 2007 “Top100
Trial Lawyers” by the American
Trial Lawyers Association

2010, 2009, 2008, 2006 Recognized as one of
“San Diego’s Top Influentials”
by the Daily Transcript

2008 Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award: State of California v. Anderprises, Inc.

2008 San Diego County Bar Association’s Outstanding Attorney of the Year Award

2007 Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award: Sarka Southern, Ph.D v. Regents of the University of California

Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award:
City of San Diego v. Mesdaq

2006 Daniel T. Broderick Award for Civility, Integrity & Professionalism

David E. Casey, Sr. Award for Outstanding Trial Attorney

2002-2003 One of the 100 Most influential Lawyers in California
Personal Injury California Law Business (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal)

2003 American Board of Trial Advocates: California Trial Lawyer
of the Year

2001 Trial Lawyer of the Year:
Border Business Park v. City of San Diego Consumer Attorneys
of San Diego

2001 Trial Lawyer of the YearBorder Business Park v. City of San Diego Consumer Attorney of San Diego

1991 Outstanding Trial Lawyer:
County of San Diego v. Rancho
de la Fuente

1989 Outstanding Trial Lawyer: Personal Injury

1988 Outstanding Trial Lawyer: Peake v. City of San Diego, et al.

1981 Outstanding Trial Lawyer: Arendsee v. San Diego Gas
& Electric

Civil Trial Lawyers