Brian Panish Named One of California’s Top Plaintiff Lawyers

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Top Plaintiffs Lawyer coverPanish Shea & Boyle LLP founding partner Brian Panish has been named by the Daily Journal as one of the Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California for the second year running. The publication’s editor notes that the 2016 recognition sought to not only highlight attorneys making a difference “far beyond the lives of the clients”, but those who also “used their legal skills to forge real and lasting change.”

In addition to Panish’s impressive list of eight-figure verdicts and settlements over the last several years, the second annual supplement devoted to the top plaintiff’s’ lawyers in California highlights the fact that Brian Panish is the only lawyer in the state to have had review granted twice by the California Supreme Court over four months in 2015 and 2016.

In one case, Panish obtained a $39 million settlement for clients William Parrish and E. Timothy Fitzgibbons against FLIR Systems Inc. for malicious prosecution and intentional interference with prospective economic relations in May 2011. However, prior to the settlement, the Court dismissed as defendants Latham & Watkins, FLIR Systems’ attorneys in the underlying prosecution. On appeal from that decision, the Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal, finding that the interim adverse judgment rule precluded the malicious prosecution action because the plaintiffs’ motion for summary adjudication had been denied in the underlying case. Along with appellate counsel and co-counsel, Panish petitioned the California Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeal’s decision and review was granted in October 2015. The case is fully briefed and awaits oral argument.

The second case is over the stabbing of Katherine Rosen, a pre-med UCLA student who filed a negligence action against U.C. Regents and several UCLA employees after she was brutally stabbed in 2010 by fellow student Damon Thompson while working in a chemistry lab on campus. UCLA staff had been aware that Thompson, a schizophrenic, had exhibited violent, threatening and delusional behavior in the months leading up to the attack and he was later found not guilty of the attack by reason of insanity. The lawsuit alleges the defendants breached their duty of care by failing to adopt reasonable measures that would have protected Rosen from Thompson’s foreseeable violent conduct and that UCLA failed to adhere to its own policies and procedures. Panish successfully defeated the defendants  motion for summary judgment against Rosen. However, on appeal, two of the three justices concluded that a public university has no general duty to protect its students from the criminal acts of another student and reversed the trial court’s decision, dismissing the case. The California Supreme Court granted review in January.

“It’s encouraging that the Supreme Court is looking at our issues,” Mr. Panish told the Daily Journal. “I have very rarely had a case go to the Supreme Court, let alone two.”

Since becoming a member of the bar in 1984, Brian Panish has obtained some of the most significant jury verdicts in United States history on behalf of plaintiffs including a $4.9 billion record verdict in the landmark products liability case Anderson v. General Motors, and over fifty verdicts and settlements in excess of $10 million in personal injury, car accident, wrongful death and business litigation cases. He has obtained 24 eight-figure jury verdicts in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including three in excess of $50 million – more than any other attorney in California.

Read the Daily Journal article here