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240 Westgate Drive, Watsonville, CA 95076
Consultations vary based on type of case/practice area 831-740-8881 831-740-8881

Dennis P. Howell

Senior Counsel


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Following a tour of active duty as a Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, Dennis began his legal career in civil litigation with the Stockton law firm, Mayall, Hurley, Knutsen, Smith & Green, specializing in litigation defense. He then joined The Grunsky Law Firm PC on the Central Coast. Dennis represents both defendants and plaintiffs in business and tort litigation on a wide variety of cases including employment, personal injury and wrongful death, construction defects and general business disputes.

In his 34 years of practice Mr. Howell has been lead counsel in over 75 jury trials that have gone to verdict and several thousand other cases that have been settled.  He has been elected to membership in the San Francisco Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an invitation only group of the leading trial lawyers in Northern California. Additionally, Martindale-Hubble, an independent attorney rating company has conferred its highest rating of “AV” on Mr. Howell, based on peer evaluations. Dennis also has litigated many bench trials and binding arbitrations. He is a past president, and remains active in the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada and of the California Defense Counsel.

In addition to his trial work Mr. Howell has been retained to conduct pre-litigation investigations in construction related and employment claims. He has developed a network of specialists who assist with early evaluations to resolve disputes in advance of court involvement.

Personal Information

Upon graduation from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Dennis was commissioned as an active duty Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corp. After being honorably discharged in 1973, he earned his law degree and began his legal practice. In 1980 a position with offered to him with The Grunsky Law Firm PC. Dennis Howell was pleased to have the opportunity to move back to Santa Cruz County where he had grown up. In 1982 he became a partner/shareholder in what is now called The Grunsky Law Firm PC.

In addition to his professional associations Dennis is a past president of the Freedom Rotary Club; was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the Board of Directors of the Santa Cruz County Fair; has served as President of the Agricultural History Project and has been active in other community events.

Dennis and his wife, Vicki, reside in Santa Cruz, California, where they raised their three children.