Marilyn Moriarty


Marilyn “Mel” Moriarty is a partner in the San Diego office of Lewis Brisbois and member of the Medical Malpractice and Labor & Employment Practices. She is a trial attorney specializing in the defense of public entities and private employers in federal and state courts, as well as in administrative proceedings, in matters concerning medical malpractice and employment.

Ms. Moriarty has practiced as a trial lawyer for more than 35 years and has tried more than 75 jury trials in a variety of areas. Her success in the courtroom led to her selection to join the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Though her track record includes representation of a variety of clients, her focus of late has been the defense of healthcare and public entity clients against claims of medical malpractice, discrimination, wrongful termination, and civil rights violations. Recent representative matters include:

  • Defending a public hospital against claims of discrimination brought by a transgender employee
  • Representing a private hospital in a wage and hour case with a putative class of more than 4,000 members
  • Handling claims of discrimination on behalf of a provider of low-income housing
  • Preparing responses to EEOC and California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) proceedings

Ms. Moriarty frequently lectures in the areas of healthcare law and employment law, and is regularly listed among the top lawyers in San Diego. 

Primary Area(s) of Practice

  • Labor & Employment
  • Healthcare
  • Medical Malpractice
  • National Trial Practice
  • COVID-19: Labor & Employment




  • Master, American Inns of Court
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Employment Law Section
  • Member, DRI: Voice of the Defense Bar
  • California Academy of Attorneys for Health Care Professionals

Awards & Honors

  • "Top Lawyers" Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® 2022-2024 — Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants
  • Selected to the Super Lawyer list, 2007-2022
  • “Lawyer of the Year” Inclusion in the 2022 Edition of Best Lawyers
    • Best Lawyers in America, "Lawyers of the Year," Best Lawyers Magazine, 2022
    • Best Lawyers in America, Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants, Best Lawyers Magazine, 2022
  • Am Jur Award - Criminal Law
  • Moot Court Honors Program UCLA School of Law
  • Best Lawyers in San Diego, San Diego Magazine, 2013-2017, & 2021

Professional Presentations

  • Speaker, "That Settles It,” Louis M. Welsh American Inn of Court, San Diego, CA, November 19, 2015
  • Speaker, "Jury Selection in Civil Cases," Louis M. Welsh American Inn of Court,  San Diego, CA, May 21, 2015
  • Speaker, "Handling Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases,” Lewis Brisbois Webinar, October 16, 2014


University of California, Los Angeles

Juris Doctor, 1979

University of California, Santa Barbara

Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, 1975

  • Phi Beta Kappa