Joseph Gonnella is an accomplished litigator who represents individuals and businesses in complex commercial litigation and insurance coverage matters in state and federal courts.

Mr. Gonnella represents policyholders in insurance coverage disputes arising from a wide variety of insurance policies, including third-party commercial and professional liability policies, and personal liability coverages. He also advises clients on first-party property and business interruption claims. Recent successes include obtaining an insurer-funded defense of a client for a liability claim exceeding $700,000, following an insurance carrier’s initial denial of a duty to defend under a professional services liability policy.

Mr. Gonnella has successfully briefed, argued and won many dispositive motions in defense of his clients’ interests, including demurrers, motions to dismiss, motions for nonsuit, and motions for summary judgment.

Prior to joining HFM, Mr. Gonnella served as a Judicial Extern to the Honorable Nita L. Stormes, Presiding Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California. He also served as a Judicial Extern to the Honorable William S. Dato at the San Diego Superior Court. His previous legal experience also includes serving as a Summer Associate for CareFusion Corporation, where he provided research for various departments, including litigation, contracts, corporate governance and securities, labor and employment, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory matters.

Mr. Gonnella gives back to the legal community, California Western School of Law and has served as a guest speaker at San Diego Law School, Alliant International University.

While in law school, Mr. Gonnella was an Associate Writer and Executive Board member of the California Western Law Review, and the author of the award-winning publication Concealed Carry: Can Heller’s Handgun Leave the Home.


  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Insurance Practice Section
  • San Diego Defense Lawyers
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
  • American Inns of Court, William B. Enright Chapter
  • Italian-American Bar Association (Former Member)