John H. Ernster
John H. Ernster is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP. John has thirty-five years of experience representing all three Class I railroads operating in the Western United States. During that time, he also represented shortline railroads and railroad contractors providing ancillary services to Class I railroads. For the last 10 years, he has also represented passenger rail lines. Prior to entering private practice in 1990, he served as a trial attorney for Santa Fe Railway from 1974 to 1983 and then was General Counsel for Santa Fe Industries – Western Region until the office was closed in 1990.
His commercial litigation experience in state and federal courts has been very broad and includes: food product liability; contract disputes in the food, waste disposal, and construction industries; construction defect actions; insurance coverage actions; title disputes and title insurance litigation; landlord tenant disputes, real estate development litigation including Section 8 housing partnerships.
John’s approach to litigation is to prepare and aggressively litigate every case as though it is going to trial. In his experience, a well planned and executed litigation strategy provides settlement opportunities along the litigation path which may result in a favorable resolution for clients. If settlement is not achieved, the case is well prepared for trial.
- National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel - Pacific Region
- Board Member
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Board of Directors, Corporate Law Section
- Association for California Tort Reform
- California Railroad Association
- Executive Committee
- State Bar of California
J.D., Loyola Law School Los Angeles (1974)
B.S., University of California, Berkeley (1971)
- United States District Court for the Central District of California
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California
- United States District Court for the Southern District of California
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States