Home > Attorneys > Bio

Donald J. Querio

Member | (415) 677-5621 Tel | (415) 956-0439 Fax


One Embarcadero Center
Suite 2600
San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
415-398-3344 Tel
415-956-0439 Fax

Areas of Practice


  • Stanford University, B.A., 1969
  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1972


  • Martindale-Hubbell AV rated

Donald Querio is an of counsel member of Severson & Werson, where he focuses on the representation of financial institutions in major litigation, workouts and reorganizations, and in documenting commercial loan transactions. He has defended dozens of consumer class actions and represented financial industry trade groups as amicus curiae in landmark appeals.

Mr. Querio joined the firm in 1976, and served as the Firm’s Managing Director from 1991-1997. Prior to joining Severson & Werson, he was an officer in the United States Navy JAG Corps. He currently serves as the senior editor of the firm’s quarterly financial newsletter and has written extensively on topics relating to the defense of consumer class actions.

Mr. Querio is an active alumnus of Stanford Law School, having served on its Board of Visitors and as Chairman of its San Francisco Law Society from 1986-1996. He is also heavily involved in his local community through St. Theresa Church in Oakland, the Oakland Chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the San Francisco Chapter of the St. Thomas More Society.

Mr. Querio represents financial institutions and other creditors in class action litigation, in workouts and reorganizations, and in documenting consumer loan programs and commercial loan transactions.

Mr. Querio’s specific experience includes:

Class Actions: Representation of banks and finance companies in nationwide class action cases filed in federal and state court. Defense of consumer class actions and suits brought under Business and Professions Code section 17200 involving residential mortgages, sales finance and leasing, collection practices, credit discrimination, privacy, credit insurance, credit reporting, yield-spread premiums, interest computation, and claims of unconsionability of fees and charges.

Consumer Finance Lending: Provide compliance advice to banks, automobile finance companies and other consumer finance lenders in connection with consumer finance lending programs, including compliance with federal and state laws governing personal and real property secured lending. Representation of creditors in drafting arbitration agreements for use in consumer credit transactions and actions to enforce such arbitration agreements.

Commercial Loan Documentation: Representation of secured creditors with unusual or mixed collateral problems. Representation of secured and unsecured creditors in financing workouts and reorganizations of debtors, frequently as part of settlements of existing or threatened lender liability suits.

Lender Liability Actions: Defense of lender liability suits including suits brought by owners of defunct businesses, debtors in possession and trustees in bankruptcy and claims that collateral was not sold to in a commercially reasonable manner.

Collection Actions: Prosecution of actions to collect loans, leases, and other obligations owed to financial institutions and other creditors, including attachments, charging orders, receiverships, actions against guarantors, and foreclosure of real property.

Liquidation of Financial Institutions: Representation of the receivers in liquidation of state chartered financial institutions. Handling of all aspects of the liquidation process, including establishing a special procedure for creditors claims, arranging for the sale and disposition of assets, recovering property from affiliate institutions, and prosecuting of claims against those indebted to or responsible for the failure of the company.

Bankruptcy Matters: Representation of secured and unsecured creditors as special litigation counsel in bankruptcy proceedings under Chapters 7 and 11. Defense of financial institutions in adversary proceedings brought to recover fraudulent conveyances and voidable preferences and set aside bulk transfers. Representation of creditors moving for relief from automatic stay, use of cash collateral, consolidation of proceedings, and reorganization plan approval.

Operation Problems: Defense of check and letter of credit cases involving claims of wrongful dishonor, non-conforming demand, forgery, or payment against unauthorized signatures. Defense of actions for escheat of dormant accounts.

Biographical Information:

Employment History: Member, Severson & Werson since 1981; joined the firm in 1976. Managing Director 1991-1997. Lt. JAGC US Navy 1972 1976.

Education: B.A. in Economics with Great Distinction, Stanford University, 1969; Phi Beta Kappa; Economics Honors Program. J.D., Stanford Law School, 1972.

Admitted to Practice: California state and federal courts, 1972; U.S. Supreme Court, 2005.

Professional Affiliations: Member, American Bar Association, Section of Business Law; California Bar Association, Business Law Section; San Francisco Bar Association.

Professional Activities: Lecturer on class actions, arbitration, receivership and liquidation issues for trade associations and local bar association sections. Instructor in constitutional law at Golden Gate University, 1976.

Civic & Community Involvement: Chairman, Stanford Law Society of San Francisco, 1986 1996. Stanford Law School Board of Visitors 1990 1992; 2004-2008. San Francisco Superior Court Judicial Arbitration Panel 1984 present. American Arbitration Association, Commercial Arbitration Panel, 1988 present.  Member, St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco.


  • Financial Institution Receiverships Before and After the Financial Institution, Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 - Consumer Finance Law Quarterly Report, Symposium Issue (1989)

  • Personal Jurisdiction: The End of Fictional Consent in California, 6 CEB Civil Litigation Reporter 73 (1984)

  • FDIC and FSLIC Receiverships: An Introduction to Real Estate Problem Loans - Workout Strategies and Procedures (Dow Jones & Irwin Publications 1989)

Representative Cases