J. Kenneth “Ken” Gorman has been a trial attorney and litigator for over 30 years. He has successfully represented a broad array of clients from national corporations to local businesses, families and individuals, in cases ranging from Estate and Trust Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction Defects Litigation, Personal Injury, Business Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Agricultural Litigation and Fire Damage Claim matters. Ken has handled numerous jury and court trials and hundreds of arbitrations and mediations for plaintiffs, defendants and cross-defendants, in matters ranging from millions of dollars to neighbor disputes.

While most of his practice has been concentrated in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara and San Benito Counties, he has handled cases throughout the state in both state and federal courts. His broad experience and dedication have earned him a reputation as an excellent litigator who is respected by his clients, colleagues, adversaries and judges.

Bar Admission

  • California
  • New York
  • Hawaii
  • The Northern and Central Federal District Courts in California
  • The federal district court of Hawaii
  • The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals


  • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law
  • B.A., Stanford University


  • Santa Cruz County Bar Association
  • Monterey County Bar Association
  • Santa Cruz County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California
  • Bar Association of the State of Hawaii
  • Trusts and Estates Section, State Bar of California

Practice Areas

Verdicts & Settlements

Trust Litigation: Obtained $3.7 million judgment against husband and wife who looted wife’s parents’ savings and trust accounts based on fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, elder abuse, and undue influence, Santa Cruz County.

Trust Litigation: Obtained defense judgment on behalf of client who was primary caretaker of widowed mother for decades, sued by other siblings for undue influence and breach of fiduciary duty, successful counterclaim against siblings for breach of fiduciary duty, order to vacate family home, and fully reimburse client for attorneys’ fees of $140,000, Santa Cruz County.

Probate: Obtained a $2.5 million Judgment against the matriarch of a family who masterminded the disappearance of the client’s father and theft of his estate in California, Texas, and the US Virgin Islands.

Trade Secrets: $1.2 million verdict for misappropriation of trade secrets in Monterey County on behalf of an event planner, against six former employees who set up a rival company, took his client list and contracts in progress and kept all the proceeds.

Dog Bite: $90,000 judgment for a woman whose dog was mauled to death in her arms and who suffered minor bites and PTSD, first known case assessing punitive damages against dog owner, who denied ownership and control, Monterey County.

Commercial Property Dispute: $900,000 binding arbitration award against adjacent property owner who refused to participate in necessary road repairs and pollution mitigation efforts, Monterey County.

Auto collision, Reverse Rear End: Confidential six figure policy limits settlement and policy limits for underinsured motorist claim where speeding vehicle cut-off clients and slammed on brakes to avoid head on and C.H.P. report wrongly assessed fault to client driver. Proved liability was 100% other driver, then obtained settlements, Stanislaus County.

Auto Collision, Broadside: Confidential six figure settlement for client injured in accident with minimal visible damage, impacting car lifted client’s small pickup. Initial mild symptoms developed into severe pain resulting in surgery and extended time off work, Sacramento County.

Property Damage Claim Against City: Confidential settlements for property owner whose apartments were flooded when city sewer backed up. City denied claim, denied liability and accused client of comparative fault. Obtained settlement compensating client for property damage and rental expenses, Monterey County.

Construction Defect: obtained $380,000 settlement for repairs to custom remodel that had substantial damage 3 years after completion, contractor denied liability and extent of damages, Santa Cruz County.

Construction Defect: obtained $350,000 settlement for repairs to remodel discovered on eve of 10 year statute, Santa Cruz County.

Insurance Dispute: Obtained $ 500,000 settlement from homeowner’s carrier who disputed rebuild costs and associated damages, wrongly accused client of exaggerating losses after electrical fire burned house to ground. Then obtained confidential settlement of bad faith claim for misconduct of claims representative, Monterey County.

Insurance Dispute: Obtained $720,000 settlement from homeowner’s carrier who disputed repair costs after 100 foot cypress tree fell on house. Insurer claims representative removed from claim for misconduct and for offering less than half of claim value, other misconduct, Monterey County.

Professional Liability: Obtained dismissal of Civil Engineering Firm case alleging inadequate design and construction of multi-million dollar ocean front condo complex, Monterey County.

Property Dispute/Personal Injury: Obtained successive restraining orders and confidential six figure settlement against adjacent property owner and employee who threatened and spied on clients, and obtained dismissal of cross complaint alleging trespass, Monterey County.