SAN DIEGO (858) 412-1211  |  SAN FRANCISCO (415) 798-2222  |  FAX (888) 350-5442

Sean E. Ponist

California Super Lawyer
2011 – Present


  • Vice-Chair and Board Member, San Diego County Bar Association Real Property Section (2014-Present)
  • Vice-Chair and Board Member, San Francisco Bar Association Real Property Section (2011-Present)
  • Executive Committee, San Mateo County Bar Association, Client Relations Committee (2013)
  • Board Member, San Mateo County Barristers (2008 – 2010)
  • Member, San Francisco and San Diego County Bar Associations


  • All California federal and state courts
  • All Nevada federal and state courts
  • The California Supreme Court
  • The Ninth Circuit
  • The U.S. Supreme Court


UC Davis School of Law, J.D.

  • Moot Court
  • Mock Trial Team
  • Pro Bono Award

UCLA, B.A., Philosophy

  • Departmental Scholar
  • Dean’s Honor List

As an experienced civil litigator and former prosecutor, Sean Ponist brings significant litigation and trial experience to his representation of clients. In acknowledgment of his accomplishments, he has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer,” a distinction awarded to less than 5% of attorneys, for the past six years (2011-2016).

Real Estate, Construction and Business Litigation

Mr. Ponist represents clients in arbitration and litigation in a broad range of real estate and business disputes, including disputes concerning real estate sales and ownership, real estate brokerage, real estate development, construction and construction defect, title and boundary issues, commercial unlawful detainer and landlord-tenant issues as well as business contract and partnership disputes. He combines cost effective strategies and proven experience to achieve favorable settlements and winning results at arbitration and trial.

Legal Experience

Mr. Ponist started his career as a Deputy District Attorney with the Marin County District Attorney’s Office, where he tried more than 25 misdemeanor and felony cases to verdict. Thereafter, he was the Associate General Counsel for Marcus & Millichap, one of the largest commercial real estate brokerage companies, where he handled a wide range of real estate matters. Mr. Ponist later was a Principal at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy where he handled complex, high stakes commercial litigation. Prior to founding The Ponist Law Group, P.C., Mr. Ponist was a Partner at Peterson, Martin & Reynolds where he focused on real estate, construction and business litigation matters.

Articles and Presentations

Mr. Ponist has published numerous articles and presented on a variety of real estate and litigation topics, including:

  • Presenter, “Deconstructing Commercial Leases,” San Diego County Bar Association (2015)
  • Presenter, “Having Real Estate Contracts Interpreted in Your Client’s Favor: Critical Rules of Construction Every Real Estate Transactional and Litigation Attorney Should Know,” San Francisco Bar Association (2015)
  • Author, “Going to the Source: Minimize your liability by providing attributions,” Commercial Investment Real Estate Magazine (2015)
  • Presenter, “Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Standard of Care,” San Diego and San Francisco County Bar Associations (2014)
  • Moderator, “Private Investigation and the Legal Community,” San Francisco Bar Association (2013)
  • Presenter, “The Rogue Agent: Agency Issues in Real Estate,” San Francisco and San Mateo County Bar Associations (2013)
  • Presenter, “50 Shades of Legal,” Women’s Council of Realtors,” Women’s Council of Realtors (2013)
  • Presenter, “How Expert Witnesses can Improve their Relationship with Busy Trial Attorneys,” Forensic Expert Witness Association (2012)
  • Presenter, “Best Use of Expert Witnesses in Real Estate Cases,” San Francisco Bar Association and San Mateo County Bar Association (2012)
  • Author, “Recovering Lost Profits In Real Estate Transactions,” Real Estate Quarterly Supplement to The Daily Journal (2011)
  • Presenter, “Bringing Down the House: Assessing Damages in Real Estate Cases,” San Francisco Bar Association (2011)
  • Author, “The Nonrefundable Deposit-Not!” California Lawyer Magazine (2010)
  • Author, “Should Equitable Indemnity Apply Against Negligent Misrepresentation Claims?” The Daily Journal (2010)
  • Presenter, “When Real Estate Deals Go Bad,” San Mateo County Bar Association (2010)
  • Presenter, “Direct and Cross-Examination For Civil Litigators,” National Business Institute (2009)