Home   >   SFLS   >   SFLS Spotlight Content  

Daniel J. Lanahan: From Tort Litigation to Community Leader

Daniel J Lanahan was born in Brooklyn, New York. After three years of active duty in the U.S. Army, and undergraduate work at Temple University, he moved to San Francisco. He worked as an insurance claims investigator and manager while attending San Francisco Law School, receiving his Juris Doctorate in 1969. 

His entire legal career encompasses two law firms, one for 26 years and the firm he founded, Lanahan & Reilley, in 1997, which is headquartered in Santa Rosa, California.  Mr. Lanahan represented hundreds of corporations including start-ups in various business transactions and litigations and was the National Coordinating Counsel in nationwide litigation involving the food supplement L-Tryptophan. His negotiations resulted in over a $3 billion dollar settlement from a Japanese company to the litigants in the suits, which included major U.S. nutraceutical and drug manufacturers. The great majority of his work during the past 25 years has involved the trial of civil cases representing both plaintiffs and defendants, most often in complex litigations, class actions and what is known as “mass tort” litigation. He is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), as well as numerous other professional associations.  

Dan has often pursued other interests. He worked as a police officer and served as the legal officer for a San Francisco Bay area police department. He taught the laws of search and seizure, arrests and the use if firearms at a police academy as well as publishing a book on these topics which was utilized by law enforcement. Mr. Lanahan was one of the incorporators of a premier commercial bank. He is a former president of Concern America, an international aid and development organization. As one of the founders and secretary of the Executive Committee of the San Francisco-Cork Sister City Committee, he has had extensive involvement in business and cultural matters affecting the Republic of Ireland. 

Dan’s community involvement also included Chair of the North Bay Council, the public broadcasting system station KRCB radio and television, and the Board of Trustees of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. He is a member of the Sonoma State University Academic Foundation, the Osher Life Long Learning Institute and the Business and Economics’ Advisory Board of the university’s School of Business and Economics. He is the author of "Justice for All: Legendary Trials of the 20th Century" and also serves on the Board of Visitors Trustees of San Francisco Law School.  

Mr. Lanahan has been married for 45 years to his wife, Suzanne, has four wonderful children and seven terrific grandchildren. He considers his family his greatest achievement.