Brian Panish has been named one of the Top 100 Lawyers for 2018 by the Daily Journal. The annual publication profiles over 100 attorneys doing cutting-edge legal work in California. In the article profiling Mr. Panish, who serves as Individual Plaintiffs co-lead counsel in the Southern California Fire Cases litigation with PSBR partner Rahul Ravipudi, he discusses the collaborative efforts of a coalition of consumer advocates to curb the enthusiasm of state lawmakers considering a change of liability rules by enacting legislation that could let investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities off the hook for billions of dollars in damage as a result of wildfires caused by their equipment. The idea was abandoned in August by a conference committe who instead proposed another plan that would allow the utilities to issue bonds to cover fire costs that ratepayers would then pay off through their monthly bills.
“I’m behind the scenes with this,” Mr. Panish says. “We have guys in my firm doing a lot of work on it.”
The article also highlights Mr. Panish’s contribution as a lead donor for a new $7.2 million football stadium at his alma mater St. John Bosco High School (44 years later, Panish still holds the record for interceptions at nine) as well as a recent affirmance by a state appellate panel of a $15.3 million verdict obtained over four years ago for a young mother who was severely injured on a AC Transit bus. The panel rejected defense claims that Mr. Panish committed misconduct in an over-aggressive closing argument.
“I’m street, I’m with the people,” Mr. Panish tells the reporter, referring to his courtroom style. “I played football, and I related to jurors.”