Kring & Chung Attorneys LLP - Business Law Attorneys
Scott M. Bonesteel
  • Partner


San Diego, CA





Mr. Bonesteel joined Kring & Chung in 2010 and is currently a partner in our San Diego office. His practice focuses primarily on complex product liability litigation, including personal injury, construction defect, and product-based class actions.

Mr. Bonesteel attended the University of California San Diego, where he obtained a BA in 1976. He received his JD from the University of San Diego in 1986. He previously practiced at the Santa Monica and San Diego offices of Haight, Brown & Bonesteel as well as at the former prominent San Diego defense firm, McInnis, Fitzgerald, Rees, Sharkey & McIntyre. In addition to the California Bar, Mr. Bonesteel is admitted to practice before the Northern, Central and Southern United States District Courts, the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

As a California attorney since 1986, his practice has been devoted to civil litigation defense in the areas of personal injury, product liability and construction litigation. Over that time, he has tried numerous civil actions, before both bench and jury. These include trials involving wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, soils pollution, and construction defect matters on behalf of both developers and subcontractor entities. In recent years, Mr. Bonesteel has handled the defense of several product-based class actions involving construction products, trailers, motorhomes and pre-manufactured homes-during which he succeeded in defeating five straight actions at the class certification motion stage. His various recent trials include a defense verdict in a seven-figure claim for an allegedly defective refrigeration system installed aboard a Monterey-based commercial fishing vessel and a successful jury verdict in the noted Chauncey v. Bella Palermo HOA ‘second-hand smoke' litigation-believed to be the first successful verdict of its kind in California.

In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Bonesteel has handled a significant number of appellate matters, including briefing and arguments before the Ninth Circuit, the California Appellate and Supreme Courts. His published opinions include Moore v. IBEW (1993) 989 F2d 1534 and the significant California Supreme Court decision in Elsner v. Uveges (2004) 34 Cal.4th 915, dealing with the admissibility of Cal-OSHA provisions in third-party civil litigation.

Prior to his legal career, Mr. Bonesteel worked in the commercial fishing industry from 1976-1982, where he became a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Merchant Marine Chief Engineer. He carries over his passion for all things mechanical into his complex product litigation practice and into building and restoring 1930's hot rods in his spare time.

Areas Of Practice

  • Construction
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1986
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1988
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1992
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1994


  • University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California
    • Juris Doctor - 1986
  • University of California, San Diego, California
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1976
    • Major: History

Representative Cases

  • Moore v. IBEW , (1993) 989 F2d 1534, 1993
  • Elsner v. Uveges, (2004) 34 Cal.4th 915, 2004
  • Chauncey v. Bella Palermo HOA

Past Employment Positions

  • Haight, Brown & Bonesteel
  • McInnis, Fitzgerald, Rees, Sharkey & McIntyre
  • The Commercial Fishing Industry , Merchant Marine Chief Engineer, 1976 to 1982