About Daniel Watts

  • For nearly a decade, 38-year-old free speech attorney Daniel Watts has practiced civil litigation in state and federal court at both the trial and appellate level, resulting in multiple published court decisions. From civil rights to business disputes, Watts has represented clients throughout the state of California. Free speech law, including anti-SLAPP motions to strike, have been a particular focus of his practice. Protecting the First Amendment against all threats is the primary reason he went to law school and became an attorney.
  • Watts has argued appeals before California’s Fourth and Sixth District Courts of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. He’s been the lawyer primarily responsible for dozens of anti-SLAPP motions and several anti-SLAPP appeals, including one in front of the California Supreme Court, Newport Harbor Ventures, LLC v. Morris Cerullo World Evangelism (S239777). The California Supreme Court hears only one or two anti-SLAPP cases per year, and only if the advocates are especially adept at convincing the Court of the importance of the case.
  • On the backs of these appellate victories, San Diego Magazine, in conjunction with Martindale-Hubbell, named Watts one of San Diego’s Top Appellate Lawyers/top lawyers in Appellate Practice of 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
  • Martindale-Hubbell has awarded Watts its “Preeminent” certification, which is the service’s highest level of professional excellence. Watts received this rating in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, and he holds the certification currently. His peer-reviewed rating is 4.9 out of 5.0 (5.0 in Legal Knowledge, 5.0 in Analytical Capability, 4.9 in Judgment, 5.0 in Communication, and 4.7 in Legal Experience).
  • Watts has been quoted as an expert in real estate law and civil litigation by several publications, including:
  • Watts has taught undergraduates in small seminars about free speech law in 2015, 2016, and 2017 at UC San Diego. He has instructed other attorneys through MCLE sessions on cross-examination, negotiation, and civil rights litigation.
  • Free speech lawyer Daniel Watts’s law review article on the constitutional right to free association, a component of the right of free speech, is titled “Subsidizing Discrimination Through Recognition: Associational Rights in Public Colleges and the Right to Exclude.”
  • In 2003, while a college sophomore, California free speech attorney Daniel Watts ran for governor in the recall election of Gray Davis. His single-issue platform of “lower student fees” raised awareness and drew media attention to the affordability crisis in public education, culminating in a debate on Fox News with John Gibson.
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