Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP partner and Wildfire Victim Advocate attorney Brian Panish has been appointed to serve as Co-Lead Counsel for Individual Plaintiffs in the coordinated Woolsey Fire Cases resulting from the deadly wildfire that claimed three lives and consumed 1,643 homes and structures throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties in November 2018. The leadership appointment, detailed in a Case Management Order signed by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William F. Highberger, also named firm partner, Rahul Ravipudi, as alternate to Mr. Panish.
Serving as Co-Lead Counsel with Mr. Panish are attorneys Lexi Hazam of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and Alexander Robertson IV of Robertson & Associates, LLP. Together, these Co-Lead Counsel for Individual Plaintiffs will “authorize and direct the work of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (of which they will be members) and Individual Plaintiffs’ counsel for cases involving Individual Plaintiffs.” Those duties include, but are not limited to, appearing to present the position of individual plaintiffs at all conferences or other court ordered hearings, directing and coordinating the briefing and argument of all motions directed at or brought by individual plaintiffs as well as the preparation of status conference statements, all discovery proceedings on behalf of individual plaintiffs, directing and managing all aspects of the Class Litigation, managing and selecting all cases for trial setting in consultation with the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee , and conducting and managing conferences and negotiations with defendants relating to liability issues on behalf of Individual Plaintiffs, as well as submitting as appropriate additional individual plaintiffs’ committees and counsel for designation by the Court.
Also appointed to leadership roles in the Woolsey Fire Cases are Wildfire Victim Advocate attorneys Michael A. Kelly of Walkup Melodia Kelly & Schoenberger, Frank Pitre of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, and Steve Campora of Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP who will serve as members of the Individual Plaintiffs Executive Committee. Attorney Khaldoun Baghdadi of Walkup Melodia Kelly & Schoenberger will serve as Mr. Kelly’s alternate.
The Woolsey Fire ignited on November 8, 2018 beneath Southern California Edison power lines in Simi Valley and went on to burn nearly 97,000 acres and prompted the evacuation of nearly 300,000 people before full containment.