During these challenging times, Severson & Werson remains open and in full operation, consistent with the firm’s previously established contingency planning. While many of our attorneys and staff will be working remotely, as a firm, we continue in full operation. We are here to help, as always.


Donald J. Querio

Donald Querio financial and commercial litigation

Mr. Querio has successfully counseled financial institutions for over 40 years, including defending hundreds of class actions and providing advice on serious compliance issues. He has been a major proponent of arbitration as an alternative to class actions.

Mr. Querio has extensive experience representing financial institutions, including some of the nation’s largest banks auto finance companies, in consumer and commercial disputes. For some of these clients, he has provided nationwide supervision of their defense in federal and state class actions. These cases have included ground-breaking decisions concerning the Class Action Fairness Act, Truth-in-Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and Federal Arbitration Act. Similarly, he has extensive experience representing clients in connection with California’s extensive consumer protection laws, including the Unfair Competition Law, Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Rees-Levering Automobile Sales Finance Act, Vehicle Leasing Act, Unruh Act, and California Finance Lender’s Law.

Over the past decade, Mr. Querio has devoted much of his practice to the enforcement of the Federal Arbitration Act’s mandate for individual arbitration as an expeditious alternative to class actions, the abuses of which have become legendary. He has been responsible for filing dozens of motions to compel arbitration in state and federal courts in California as well as appellate and amicus briefs advocating the preemptive effect of the Federal Arbitration Act. As a result of these cases, significant headway has been made in countering the historical bias against arbitration by the courts of this state.

Mr. Querio is of counsel to the Firm. He joined Severson & Werson in 1976 and was Managing Director from 1991 to 1997, and since assuming of counsel status has served as senior editor of the Firm’s Newsletter. He was President of the Stanford Law Society of San Francisco from 1986-1996 and has served multiple times on the Stanford Law School Board of Visitors. He’s made presentations to the American Financial Services Law Committee and is an active member of the San Francisco St. Thomas More Society. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Querio served as a U.S. Navy JAG officer from 1972-1976.


  • U.S. Navy Justice School, MLS, 1973
  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1972
  • Stanford University, B.A., Economics, 1969


  • California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court