Justin Chou first joined the Commins firm in 2020, bringing considerable trial, litigation, and social justice experience to the firm.
In 2024, Mr. Chou became a partner of the firm, joining his colleagues in the masthead.
Mr. Chou earned a B.A. with distinction in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley in 2008, and his J.D. from Berkeley Law in 2011. Upon graduating, he served the community as a deputy public defender in Contra Costa County. There, he represented clients in all aspects of their criminal cases and tried fourteen jury trials.
In 2014, he transitioned to the celebrated plaintiffs’ personal injury firm Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger. At Walkup, he litigated six and seven-figure personal injury cases, advocating for those who had suffered catastrophic injury and wrongful death. In 2019-20, he was named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star.”
In 2018, Mr. Chou won a $1,000,000 jury verdict for the widow and daughter of a retired man who was struck and killed by a falling tree at a public park in San Jose (Shi v. City of San Jose).
Mr. Chou has taught trial advocacy at both Berkeley Law and Stanford Law. In 2019, he was invited to deliver the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Empire International High School Mock Trial competition. The theme of that year’s competition was “Social Justice and the Scientific Method in Trial Advocacy.”
As a law student, Mr. Chou served as Co-Chair of the Board of Advocates and as Managing Editor of the California Annual Criminal Review. He was also selected to compete on the Berkeley Law Trial Team. In 2009, he published an article on the Sixth Amendment right to confrontation in the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law.
Mr. Chou first met Mr. Commins and Mr. Knudsen at the University of California Martial Arts Program, where he competed in black belt taekwondo competition as a member of the Cal Taekwondo Team. After graduation, he returned to serve as Team Manager. He has since transitioned to Muay Thai and triathlon racing. His other interests include restoring and driving classic cars, and performing music: in years past, he was the frontman of a rock and roll cover band that played at Law Rocks San Francisco 2018 and 2019.