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2005
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  • Southwestern University Law School (J.D., Cum Laude, 1984)
  • California State University, Fresno (B.S., Cum Laude, 1980)
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, 1999, CAALA
  • Attorney of the Year, 2000 O'Brien Trial Evaluator and Verdictum Juris
  • The Best Lawyers in America- Woodward & White
  • America's Leading Lawyers 2002, National Law Journal
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Board of Governors
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Board of Governors, Education Co-Chair
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • International Society of Barristers
  • Western Trial Lawyers Association
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Attorney Information Exchange Group
  • Courts Admitted: U.S. District Court, Central, Southern ,Eastern and
  • Northern Districts of California; Ninth Court of Appeals
NAMED BY THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL as one of America's top ten trial lawyers of 2001, partner Brian J. Panish was recognized for his successful suit against Continental General Tires, which was the first post-Firestone tread separation accident to come to trial. The plaintiff, whose injuries rendered her quadriplegic, won a $55 million jury award, the highest to date in a tread separation case.
In 1999, Brian made judicial history as lead counsel on the liability action against General Motors. The suit involved a defective fuel system, resulting in burn injuries to four children and two adults. The resulting $4.9 billion verdict is the largest personal injury and product liability verdict in US history. That same year, he was honored as Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.
Brian was named Attorney of the Year by O'Brien's Trial Evaluator and by Verdictum Juris in 2000. He is ranked among the "100 Most Influential Attorneys" in California by the Los Angeles Daily Journal. He is listed in Woodward & White's "The Best Lawyers in America."
Brian has successfully obtained more than 70 verdicts and settlements in excess of one million dollars, including eight verdicts in excess of 10 million dollars. Lampe/Cortez v. Continental ( $55.3 million) and Andersen v. General Motors 4.9 billion lead the top judgments he has won for clients, which also include Pogosyan v. Metropolitan Transit Authority- $22 million, Ledesma v. Patel- $15.6 million and Fuller vs. Bethany - $13 million.
The Trial Lawyers for Public Justice selected him as national finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year in 1990 and 1995. He earned similar recognition from the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles in 1992, 1995, and 1998, when they named him as a finalist for the Trial Lawyer of the Year.
His involvement in high profile cases includes mass tort actions and serving as a member of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in the L-Tryptophan Drug Litigation and on the State Fen-Phen Diet Drug Litigation Plaintiff Executive Committee.
In the field of aviation law, Mr. Panish currently represents plaintiffs in the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Pt. Mugu. The action is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Brian represents numerous plaintiffs in the disaster of Singapore Airline Flt. 006, which crashed in October 2000 at the Shanghai Shek Airport in Taiwan. He has been selected to serve on the Plaintiff's Administration Committee, and the Plaintiff's Steering Committee for both the Pt. Mugu and Shanghai air disasters. He also represents two victims that died in the plane crash that killed singer Aaliyah.
He also represented the families of two United States Marines who were killed when their Cobra Attack Helicopter crashed during training exercises. (Johnson/Riggs v. Pratt & Whitney) The case went to trial against Pratt & Whitney Canada, the manufacturer of the engines, and resulted in a jury verdict and ultimate pay out in excess of eight million dollars. The case is published at 28 Cal.App, 4th 613, 34 Cal Rptr, 26.
His other published decisions include Pashaie vs. Hollywood Memorial Park (1992) 3 CAL App4th 184 and Hecht vs. Superior Court.
Brian is an active member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of California and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles where he sits on the Board of Governors for both organizations. He has served as a co-chairperson of many of CAOC's Annual Seminars and is co- chairperson of the Education Committee.
Brian serves on the Attorneys Information Exchange Group's Board of Directors. He also is a member of the Board of Governors of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.
A graduate of California State University, Fresno (B.S., Cum Laude, 1980), where he played football, Brian received the Fresno State Scholar Athlete Award and Athletic Directors Award. While attending Southwestern University Law School (J.D., Cum Laude, 1984), he won the American Jurisprudence Award, presented to the highest grade in the class, in Wills and Trusts, Legal Professions, Secured Transactions, Entertainment Law and Product Liability.
Before joining the firm in 1987, Brian practiced as an insurance defense litigator focusing on product liability and aviation actions.