John Fiske

John Fiske

Shareholder, Attorney at Law
Phone: (214) 521-3605
Fax: (214) 523-6600

John Fiske is California’s leading public entity-as-plaintiff lawyer and a shareholder in the San Diego offices of Baron & Budd. Mr. Fiske has resolved more than $2.5 billion dollars for public entity clients since 2018. John Fiske was the 2020 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year in Environmental Litigation and is a ten-time consecutive Super Lawyer.

John Fiske has been instrumental in the wildfire litigation in California. He has resolved approximately $1.6 billion for more than 70 public entities statewide against investor-owned utilities Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Edison. Since 2018, Mr. Fiske has been lead counsel to 104 public entities in wildfire cases, having successfully resolved more than 70 cases while the rest remain in active litigation. Mr. Fiske led the lobbying efforts in the California State Legislature in 2018 and 2019 to preserve California’s inverse condemnation rights for public entities and wildfire victims. He has been court-appointed Co-Lead Counsel for Public Entities in multiple cases such as the North Bay Fires, the Thomas Fire, and the Woolsey Fire. Mr. Fiske has been featured on CNN and HBO’s Vice News for wildfire policy, litigation, and legislation.

Mr. Fiske’s public entity wildfire settlements and awards include $582 million in the Camp Fire, $415 million in the North Bay Fires, $230 million in the Woolsey Fire, $150 million in the Thomas Fire, $100 million in the Bobcat Fire, an additional $43 million in the Camp Fire, $31 million in the Kincade Fire, $28.4 million in the Butte Fire, $24 million in the Dixie Fire, $12.36 million in the Zogg Fire, another $9 million in the Camp Fire, $7.25 million in the Mill Fire, an additional $5 million in the Camp Fire, and $3 million in the Butte Fire, among other settlements.

Against PG&E, Mr. Fiske was lead counsel for the Town of Paradise, Butte County, Paradise Recreation and Park District, Sonoma County, City of Santa Rosa, Napa County, City of Napa, Lake County, City of Clearlake, Mendocino County, Yuba County, Nevada County, Calaveras County, Calaveras County Water District, West Point Fire District, Ebbetts Pass Fire District, San Andreas Fire District, City of Chico, Thermalito Water and Sewer District, Butte-Glenn Community College District, City of Cloverdale, Town of Windsor, Shasta County, Tehama County, Plumas County, Lassen County, City of Susanville, Placer County, El Dorado County, and many special districts. His representation covers the Camp, North Bay, Kincade, Zogg, Dixie, and Mosquito Fires.

Against Southern California Edison, Mr. Fiske was lead counsel for Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County Flood Control District, Los Angeles County Consolidated Fire Protection District, Orange County, City of Malibu, Santa Barbara County and several related agencies, City of Santa Barbara, Ventura County and several related agencies, City of Ventura, City of Thousand Oaks, City of Westlake Village, City of Agoura Hills, City of Hidden Hills, City of Calabasas, City of Hemet, Montecito Water Protection District, Montecito Fire Protection District, Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District, and Conejo Valley Recreation and Park District. His representation covers the Thomas, Woolsey, Saddleridge, Bobcat, Fairview, Silverado, and Coastal Fires.

Against Liberty Utilities in the Mountain View Fire cases, he represents Mono County, Antelope Valley Fire Protection District, Toiyabe Indian Health Project, Inc., Lone Pine Shoshone Tribe, and Bridgeport Indian Colony.

Against Pacific Power in the Slater and McKinney Fires, Mr. Fiske represents Siskiyou County.

Against XCEL Energy in Colorado, Mr. Fiske represents Boulder County, Town of Superior, City of Louisville, and special districts.

In 2019, Mr. Fiske announced a historic agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services that reimburses federal and state disaster relief funds. This is the first accord of its kind in the nation.

Mr. Fiske also strives to protect public education. He was court-appointed Co-Lead Counsel for public entities and school districts in the California JUUL litigation. He recovered more than $270 million while representing 300 school districts and public entities across the nation, including some of the nation’s largest districts like Los Angeles Unified.

Mr. Fiske represents the largest group of California’s litigating public entities in the case against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and national retailers. Mr. Fiske created the California Opioid Consortium, consisting of 37 California counties and cities, which collectively serve more than 11 million Californians. He represents San Diego County, Sacramento County, Contra Costa County, City of San Jose, City of Chula Vista, Mendocino County, Calaveras County, Nevada County, Yuba County, Butte County, Imperial County, Shasta County, Placer County, El Dorado County, Sutter County, San Benito County, Trinity County, Lassen County, Tuolumne County, Fresno County, Inyo County, Glenn County, Modoc County, Amador County, Del Norte County, Siskiyou County, Merced County, Mariposa County, Monterey County, Plumas County, Mono County, Madera County, Tehama County, Yolo County, City of Lakeport, City of Clearlake, City of Chico, and also the City of Portland in Oregon.

Mr. Fiske has resolved more than $800 million of PCB water contamination lawsuits for over 2,400 public entities against Monsanto and Bayer. Mr. Fiske was appointed Lead Class Counsel in the national PCB class action, and he represents states, counties, cities, and port districts. For example, Mr. Fiske represented Los Angeles County, Baltimore County, City of Baltimore, City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, City of Long Beach, City of San Jose, City of Oakland, City of Berkeley, City of Portland, Port of Portland, City of Tacoma, City of Spokane, the District of Columbia, the State of New Mexico, and the State of Washington as a special assistant attorney general.

Mr. Fiske has been named a Super Lawyer in 2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. In 2013, San Diego Metro Magazine named John Fiske to its list of “40 Under 40.” He was named a “Top Influential” by The Daily Transcript in 2012, a “Top Young Attorney” by the Daily Transcript in 2009, and one of “50 People to Watch” by San Diego Magazine in 2007. He has authored two legal articles, including “Unnatural Disasters” and “Poison in the Well,” which won a Burton Award for Legal Writing. Mr. Fiske appears regularly on national television and radio programs discussing legal and legislative matters affecting national and state policy.

Mr. Fiske has a long history of charitable work. The Fiske Family Foundation actively supports educational and recreational opportunities for all. In 2016, he founded the San Diego Farm Animal Rescue, a 501(c)3 corporation which rescued, housed, and/or re-homed approximately 100 horses, pigs, and chickens at his family farm in Elfin Forest, California. He is a past-president of the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation, a former advisory board member of UC San Diego’s Bannister Family House, a former board member of Solutions: Exploring Success Post-High School, a Red Coat of the San Diego Bowl Game Association (Holiday and Poinsettia Bowls), and a former Big Brother.


  • “Unnatural Disasters,” Trial Magazine, American Association for Justice, January 2019
  • “Poison in the Well,” Trial Magazine, American Association for Justice, August 2016


  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California, J.D., 2006, Law Review, Dean’s List, Trustee Scholar, Cum Laude
  • San Diego State University, San Diego, California, B.A., 2004, Political Science, Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar & Court Admissions

Mr. Fiske is frequently allowed to practice in states all over the country by applying for admission “Pro Hac Vice.” This allows Mr. Fiske to handle cases in numerous states. Mr. Fiske is licensed in the following states and courts:

  • All California Courts
  • United States District Court for the Southern, Central, Eastern, and Northern and Districts of California
  • U.S. Court Of Appeals, Ninth Circuit


  • The Best Lawyers in America – Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs (Best Lawyers, 2022 – 2024)
  • California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (Daily Journal, 2020)
  • Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers (National Trial Lawyers, 2017)
  • Super Lawyer (Thomson Reuters, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
  • The Burton Award for Legal Writing (2016)
  • 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers (Lawdragon, 2023-Present)
  • 500 Leading Lawyers in America (Lawdragon, 2024)
  • Green 500: Leaders in Environmental Law (Lawdragon, 2024)
  • 500 Leading Energy Lawyers (Lawdragon, 2024)

Professional Associations

  • American Association for Justice – Environmental Law Section
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego