Robert G. Knaier


Bob Knaier has substantial experience in all aspects of civil litigation, including trial and appellate work. He maintains a diverse practice, representing plaintiffs and defendants in business litigation and personal injury matters. After law school, Mr. Knaier clerked for Judge Richard C. Wesley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He then practiced for several years at Latham & Watkins LLP, focusing on both business litigation and mass torts. In connection with the latter, Mr. Knaier developed an expertise in working with scientific evidence and expert witnesses. Following his time at Latham, and before joining the firm that would become Fitzgerald Knaier LLP, Mr. Knaier practiced at a preeminent plaintiffs' law firm in San Diego, representing clients in serious personal injury cases, mass tort and product liability actions, and commercial torts through all stages of litigation, including jury trial. Mr. Knaier also has significant appellate experience, representing clients at the California Supreme Court, the California Courts of Appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Along the way, Mr. Knaier has earned numerous distinctions. Among these, he is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities--and whose membership is limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. In addition, every year since 2019, Mr. Knaier has been selected to Super Lawyers, a peer-nominated and peer-reviewed distinction reserved for only five percent of lawyers in San Diego.

Mr. Knaier also is actively involved in the local and national legal communities. He is a long-time member of the William B. Enright Inn of Court; is a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers' Board of Governors; previously served as Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral & Information Service Committee; and is the Evidence Column Editor for Trial Bar News, the journal of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. In addition, from 2016 to 2019, Mr. Knaier was an Adjunct Professor in the "STEPPS" program at California Western School of Law, where he taught second-year law students practical skills and professional ethics; from 2016 to 2018, he was a member of the governing Council of the American Bar Association's Section of Science & Technology Law; from 2018 to 2022, he was Co-Chair of the Section's Scientific Evidence Committee; and he currently is an Associate Editor of the Section's quarterly journal, The SciTech Lawyer.

In addition, throughout his career, Mr. Knaier has provided pro bono legal services to those in need. Among other things, he successfully represented an individual seeking release from detention by the Department of Homeland Security; provided research, advice, and litigation support to the Animal Legal Defense Fund; successfully defended an appeal on behalf of a San Diego housing developer that provides assisted-living services to the homeless and mentally ill; and currently represents an equine rescue in litigation in San Diego Superior Court.

In his free time, Mr. Knaier enjoys riding and working on his motorcycles--he was once a professional motorcycle mechanic--and spending time with his wife, Michelle, and many companion animals.


  • Reasonable Inferences: Evidence of Specific Causation in Toxic Torts, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego Trial Bar News Vol. 46, Issue 4 (July/August 2023).
  • Proof by a Preponderance: The Coming Amendment to Rule 702, Trial Bar News Vol. 46, Issue 2 (March/April 2023).
  • Deepfakes and Demonstratives: On the Limits of Trusting Video Evidence, Trial Bar News Vol. 44, Issue 3 (May/June 2021).
  • The Forensics of Forgery: On the Helpfulness and Reliability of Handwriting Analysis, Trial Bar News Vol. 43, Issue 4 (April 2020).
  • Bite Marks and Backpedaling: On Reversing and Preventing the Consequences of Faulty Forensic Evidence, Trial Bar News Vol. 42, Issue 6 (June/July 2019).
  • "Because My Expert Said So": How Not to Introduce Evidence, Trial Bar News Vol. 41, Issue 10 (December 2018).
  • Homeopathy on Trial: Allen v. Hyland's, Inc. and a Failure of Evidentiary Gatekeeping, 57 Jurimetrics J. 361-396 (2017).
  • "Not Merely Specious, but Nonsensical": Lessons in Law and Professionalism in Cypress Semiconductor Corp. v. Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., ABTL San Diego Report, Vol. XXII, No. 3 (Fall 2015).
  • The Perilous Claim of Lost Business Profits, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego Trial Bar News, Vol. 38, Issue 8 (October 2015) (with Ian Fusselman).
  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego Trial Bar News, Vol. 38, Issue 8 (October 2015) (with Ian Fusselman), 50 CAL. W. L. REV. 1 (2013-2014).
  • A Gatekeeper Embraced: Expert Opinion Testimony and the Long Road from Daubert to Sargon, California Litigation, Vol. 26, No. 3 (2013).
  • Providing Materials to the Expert in LITIGATORS ON EXPERTS: STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING EXPERT WITNESSES FROM RETENTION THROUGH TRIAL, ABA Section of Litigation (2010) (with Cynthia H. Cwik and L. David Russell).
  • Are Cigarettes Defective in Design?: California and New York Diverge in Approach and Result, New York State Bar Journal, Vol. 81, No. 1 (January 2009).
  • Expert Evidence in the Ninth Circuit, in SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE REVIEW, MONOGRAPH NO. 8: ADMISSIBILITY AND USE OF EXPERT EVIDENCE IN THE COURTROOM, ABA Section of Science & Technology Law (2008) (with Cynthia H. Cwik).
  • Stevenson v. CB Richard Ellis: The California Court of Appeal Expands the Tort of Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage, ABTL San Diego Report, Vol. XIII, No. 3 (Summer 2006) (with Ken Fitzgerald).

  • Secondary Trauma, Inside and Outside the Courtroom:: Panel Discussion, William B. Enright American Inn of Court (October 19, 2023).
  • Coping with COVID-19 in the Practice of Law: Panel Discussion: William B. Enright American Inn of Court (November 19, 2020).
  • Landmines: Post-Trial Motions: Team leader for presentation to William B. Enright American Inn of Court (April 20, 2017).
  • Challenging Experts: Excluding Expert Testimony Under Sargon Enterprises v. University of Southern California: Mock argument presentation to William B. Enright American Inn of Court (March 10, 2016).
  • Techniques and Ethics of Persuading Juries, Judges, and Each Other: Lessons from Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology:Presentation to California Western School of Law STEPPS Program (December 9, 2015).
  • It's a Buyer's World: Panel Discussion, Association of Business Trial Lawyers' 42nd Annual Seminar, Countdown: The Digital World Confronts an Analog Profession (October 2, 2015).
  • Implicit Bias 101: What All Lawyers Need to Know: Panelist for Continuing Legal Education Webinar, American Bar Association Section of Science and Technology Law (August 31, 2015).
  • Ethics in an Online World Team leader for presentation to William B. Enright American Inn of Court (March 20, 2014).
  • The Neuroscience and Psychology of Attention and Decisionmaking: Presentation to William B. Enright American Inn of Court (March 21, 2013).
  • Expert Witnesses: Selection, Preparation, and Challenging the Opposition: Continuing Legal Education presentation to the University of San Diego Paralegal Program (July 25, 2011).
  • The Brain on Trial: Neuroscience Evidence in the Courtroom: Mock trial participant at 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Bridging Science and Society (February 20, 2010).
  • Liability for Product "Defects": Presentation to ASM International, San Diego Chapter (February 26, 2009).
  • Attorneys' Fees: Procedural, Practical and Ethical Issues: Panel Discussion, William B. Enright American Inn of Court (November 18, 2008).
  • Ways of Knowing Things: The Epistemologies of Law, Social Science, Science, and Medicine: Workshop for Joint Master's Program in Health Law, California Western School of Law and University of California, San Diego (November 11, 2008).
  • Robert G. Knaier

    Tel: 619.241.4810
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    402 W Broadway, Suite 1400
    San Diego, CA 92101

    • University of California, San Diego, B.A., summa cum laude (1999)
    • Cornell Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif (2003)
    Professional Affiliations
    • American Bar Association
    • California Bar
    • San Diego County Bar Association
    • New York State Bar Association
    • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
    • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
    • William B. Enright American Inn of Court
    Bar Admissions
    • California (2004)
    • New York (2004)