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University of San Diego School of Law Announces Distinguished Alumni Honorees

October 23, 2019 Press Releases

David S. Casey, Jr. and Hon. Larry A Burns to be recognized

David S. Casey JrSAN DIEGO (Oct, 23, 2019)  The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law and the Law Alumni Association Board of Directors have announced the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees – CaseyGerry’s Managing Partner David S. Casey, Jr., and Hon. Larry A. Burns, Chief  Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Both honorees will be recognized at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon Friday, Nov. 15 beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside.

Sponsored by USD  School of Law’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Distinguished Alumni Award is the school’s highest honor bestowed upon alumni.  The accolade is presented to law school alumni who have distinguished themselves in the legal field or other chosen profession at an exemplary level and embody the high ethical standards and commitment to community service that USD School of Law seeks to instill in its graduates.  Each spring, a nominating committee considers candidates for the award and a recipient or recipients are selected by the committee and then approved by the Law Alumni Association Board of Directors. Since its inception in 1977, 81 law school alumni have received the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Since graduating from USD School of Law in 1974, Casey Jr. has had a longtime affiliation with the school. In 2003, he was awarded USD School of Law’s Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award. He joined the USD School of Law Board of Visitors in September of 2006 and has since permanently endowed two different scholarships: the David S. Casey Scholarship for Trial Advocacy and the Alberta Casey Scholarship for USD undergraduates who proceed to the law school.  In 2018, he served as chair of the capital campaign for USD School of Law, which resulted in successfully raising $31.5 million.

Known for taking on high profile, complex cases, Casey Jr. represented the family of deceased NFL hero Junior Seau, achieving a confidential settlement while raising consumer awareness about football head injuries and concussion safety. In addition, he represented the family of baseball legend Tony Gwynn – the Padres player who died of salivary gland cancer following a lifetime addiction to smokeless tobacco – in a case against U.S. Tobacco which also settled for a confidential amount.

Earning a reputation nationwide, he has played a prominent role in many milestone cases – including serving on the Plaintiffs Steering Committee for the Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge diesel emissions fraud litigation, helping to achieve a $307 million settlement. And as liaison counsel, he helped achieve a $390 million settlement with Wells Fargo in 2019 over insurance marketing. Serving on the Plaintiff Steering Committee for the case, he played a role in the Volkswagen Group of America’s recent settlement of $96.5 million for inflated claims of fuel economy on some of their vehicles.

A past president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now the American Association for Justice), Casey Jr. has received more than 90 awards throughout his career, including a perpetual award in his honor, the “David S. Casey, Jr. Consumer Advocate Award” from the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego and the “Pursuit of Justice” award from the American Bar Association. Recently, he received the Witkin Award for Excellence in the Practice of Law, was inducted into the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego’s “Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame” and was honored with a CLAY award for his work on the national VW Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) overseeing litigation targeting Volkswagen.

For more information, or to register for the event, visit

About CaseyGerry

Headquartered at 110 Laurel St. in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood of San Diego, CaseyGerry was established in 1947 and is the oldest plaintiffs’ law firm in San Diego. The firm’s attorneys practice in numerous areas, including serious personal injury, automobile, maritime, trucking, aviation, product liability, sexual abuse and consumer class actions. For more information, visit

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