Irish Legal 100


BRIAN J. Panish is a founding partner at Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP in Los Angeles. He is one of the leading trial attorneys in the country and has obtained some of the most significant jury verdicts in U.S. history on behalf of plaintiffs.

His courtroom victories include a $4.9 billion verdict in the landmark products liability case Anderson v. General Motors, over 100 verdicts and settlements in excess of $10 million in personal injury and wrongful death cases and six verdicts in excess of $50 million.

Panish consistently serves in a leadership role in the largest personal injury cases in the country, including as individual plaintiffs’ lead trial counsel in the Southern California Gas leak cases, as plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel in the Woolsey Fire litigation, as well as the Southern California fire cases arising out of the Thomas fire and subsequent debris flows in Montecito, California. He also serves as lead counsel, representing the husband and son of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins who was shot and killed by Alec Baldwin on the movie set of Rust last year.

In September 2021, Panish led a team of lawyers to successfully negotiate one of the largest environmental tort settlements in California’s history – a settlement of up to $1.8 billion against Sempra Energy and Southern California Gas Company for the victims of the largest methane leak in U.S. history at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility.

In February 2021, during the height of the Covid19 pandemic, Panish obtained a $39.5 million settlement for a college student who was catastrophically injured after suffering heat stroke during an outdoor class at California State University San Bernardino. This is believed to be the largest settlement ever for an injury case involving the California State University system. In addition to the monetary settlement and as a condition of the agreement with the family, California State University agreed to develop and implement a system-wide policy for heat illness prevention, education, and protocols. This policy will apply in all academic environments to the nearly 500,000 enrolled students at all 23 California State University campuses.

Since 2011 alone, Panish has obtained more than $500 million in verdicts, including a $23,720,996 bench trial award for a Southern California man and his wife after the man suffered a lower leg amputation as a result of being struck by a 28-foot utility truck while riding his motorcycle; a $21,503,420.48 verdict for a man who suffered catastrophic injuries after a vehicle illegally exiting the 405 Freeway HOV lane struck his motorcycle and sent him careening across three lanes of traffic and into a passing flatbed trailer; a

$41,864,102 verdict for a U.S. Air Force captain who suffered catastrophic injuries after being struck from behind while on his motorcycle and then dragged the length of a football field by a Southern California Gas Company truck; a $53 million verdict for two adult brothers severely injured in a near head-on collision with a CRST semi-truck; a $36.5 million verdict against Schneider National for a big-rig crash that left a woman with severe spinal cord injuries; a $20 million verdict for a woman who suffered a brain injury in a hit-and-run accident involving a J.B. Hunt tractor trailer; a $17.845 million award in a wrongful death case involving four family members killed when a Marine jet crashed into their home, a $17 million verdict against Los Angeles MTA in the wrongful death of a visually impaired passenger; and a $8.3 million verdict in the first DePuy ASR hip implant case to go to trial.

Panish’s recent accolades and honors include, but are not limited to, being named among the 2022 Consumer Attorney of the Year finalists by the Consumer Attorneys of California, named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2022 LA 500, recognized as a 2022 Titan of the Plaintiffs’ Bar by Law360, honored as a 2022 West Trailblazer by The American Lawyer, and named among the 500 Leading Lawyers in America and among the 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers by Lawdragon.

Previous recognitions include 2021 Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs, 2020 Plaintiffs Lawyer Trailblazer by National Law Journal, the 2019 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year award in the area of Personal Injury (a distinction he also received in 2013), 2019 Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year for Plaintiffs Personal Injury, 2019 Plaintiffs Lawyer Trailblazer by National Law Journal, and 2019 Titian of the Plaintiffs Bar by Law360.

Panish is the recipient of the 2019 Harvey L. Silbert Torch of Learning Award from the American

Friends of the Hebrew University, 2018 Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year — Aviation Law, 2017 Civil Advocate Award by the Association of Southern California Defense Council, 2016 Outstanding Litigator by Southwestern Law School, 2015 Robert E. Cartwright award from the Consumer Attorneys of California, and 2014 Consumer Attorney of the Year Award from the Consumer Attorneys of California.

He has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, repeatedly recognized by Daily Journal as a Top 100 Lawyer in California and Top Plaintiff Lawyer in California, and honored by the Recorder as one of the Top 20 Lawyers in California.

Panish is the immediate past president and active member of the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group comprised of 100 of the best plaintiff lawyers in the nation. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and previously served as the 2011 president of the Los Angeles chapter of ABOTA.

Panish received his law degree, with honors, from Southwestern Law School, as well as an honorary doctor of law degree in 2011 where he also delivered the commencement speech. In 2017, his alma mater established the Panish Civil Justice Program with a goal of providing top litigation training to students, creating a crossroads for judicial bench and bar, strengthening the foundations of the American civil justice system. In 2021, the Yoka-Panish Civil Justice Fellowship was established by Panish and fellow friend and alumnus, Wally Yoka.

Panish received a BS from California State University Fresno, where he was named scholar athlete. In 2019, he was presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his extensive legal accomplishments as well as his generous support of community and university causes. He previously received the Athletic Directors Award from Fresno State and was named outstanding alumnus at the school’s centennial celebration in 2010.

Married with three children, Panish’s grandmother Maryellan Kiernan Murphy was a native of Co. Longford. His grandfather Bernard Ambrose Murphy was from Co. Westmeath. He has cousins and other Irish relatives living in Belfast and Co. Longford where, among other things, they are proprietors of a pub at Kiernan’s Crossing called the Olde Forge where his grandfather worked as a blacksmith.

Panish is a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Irish American Bar Association of Los Angeles, which honored him with its annual Daniel O’Connell Award in November of 2018.





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