"Justice is a bone-deep urge towards fairness in things large and small. It's the human journey toward a better world."

Elizabeth J. Cabraser

Elizabeth J. Cabraser

Elizabeth J. Cabraser

San Francisco, California

A Champion for Justice

Under Elizabeth Cabraser's leadership, Lieff Cabraser has become one of the country's largest law firms serving clients seeking redress for financial and consumer fraud, anti-competitive practices, harmful drugs and products, and illegal employment practices. For over three decades, Elizabeth has made sure that our firm remains dedicated to its core values.

Possessing unparalleled expertise in complex civil litigation, Elizabeth has served as court-appointed lead, co-lead, or class counsel in scores of federal multi-district and state coordinated proceedings. These cases include multi-state tobacco, the Exxon Valdez disaster, Breast ImplantsFen-Phen (Diet Drugs), Vioxx, Toyota sudden acceleration, numerous securities/investment fraud cases, and Holocaust litigation. Today, Elizabeth serves in court-appointed leadership positions in several of the nation's highest profile civil cases: the BP Gulf Oil Spill, GM ignition switch defect, and Takata defective airbag litigation.

A Pillar of the Plaintiffs' Bar

Elizabeth has been repeatedly recognized as one of the foremost litigators in our nation, including being selected an unprecedented four times as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal, which has called her "a pillar of the plaintiffs' bar." In 2015, the National Law Journal named her as one of the 75 outstanding women lawyers in America. She has been named repeatedly to the Lawdragon 500, The Top 100 California Lawyers, and as a SuperLawyer in multiple fields.

The Daily Journal has described Elizabeth as

"a commanding attorney and a role model for other litigators, especially fellow female lawyers."

Law360 noted in a profile of Elizabeth that

"Her reputation among defense attorneys is that of a formidable opponent who comes to cases thoroughly prepared and can win a Judge's ear.

Commitment to Advancing the Legal Profession and Society

Elizabeth serves on the Executive Committee of the Council of the American Law Institute (ALI) and is an advisor to several ALI projects, including Aggregate Litigation, the Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm. Since 2011, she has served on the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee.

Elizabeth has written and spoken extensively on substantive legal issues as well as ones related to the advancement of women in the profession, including last year for Trial magazine, published by the American Association for Justice, a commentary entitled "Where are all the women in the courtroom?"

Ms. Cabraser has served as Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia University and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of California (Boalt Hall), teaching complex litigation, class actions, and mass torts. She recently completed teaching an advanced class actions seminar at Boalt. She has lectured and conducted seminars for the Federal Judicial Center, ALI-ABA, the National Center for State Courts, Vanderbilt University Law School, and the Practicing Law Institute.

In 2010, the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession honored Elizabeth with its Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. The award recognizes the accomplishments of women lawyers who have excelled in their field and have paved the way to success for other women lawyers. It is regarded by many as the highest honor in the legal profession for women lawyers.

Elizabeth is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Many of our nation’s most accomplished leaders from academia, the social sciences, the study and practice of law, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts are members of the Academy.

Areas of Practice

Areas of Practice

  • Consumer Protection
  • Defective Products
  • Personal Injury
  • Securities & Investor Fraud
  • Environmental Litigation


  • University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California
    • J.D. - 1978
  • University of California, Berkeley, California
    • A.B. - 1975
Bar Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1978
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 2013
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1992
  • U.S. District Court District of Hawaii, 1986
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1992
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1992
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 2005
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1979
Professional Associations and Memberships

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Fellow)
  • American Association for Justice (Fight for Justice Campaign; Women Trial Lawyers Caucus; California State Liaison)
  • American Bar Association (Committee on Mass Torts, Past Co-Chair; Committee on Class Actions and Derivative Suits; Tort and Insurance Practice Section; Rules & Procedures Committee, Past Vice-Chair; Civil Procedure & Evidence News Letter, Contributor; Business Law Section)
  • American Law Institute (1993 - present; Council, 1999 - present; Adviser, the Restatement Third, Consumer Contracts project and the Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm; Members Consultative Group, the Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Physical Harm; past Adviser, the Recognition & Enforcement of Foreign Judgments project and the Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation project)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
  • Bar Association of San Francisco (Past President, Securities Litigation Section; Board of Directors, 1997 - 1998; Judiciary Committee)
  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom
  • California Constitution Revision Commission (1993 -1996)
  • California Women Lawyers
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association (Northern District of California Chapter)
  • Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee (Appointed by Supreme Court, 2011)
  • Lawyers Club of San Francisco
  • National Center for State Courts (Board Member; Mass Tort Conference Planning Committee)
  • National Judicial College (Board of Trustees)
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (Lawyer Delegate, 1992 - 1995)
  • Northern District of California Civil Justice Reform Act (Advisory Committee; Advisory Committee on Professional Conduct)
  • Northern District of California Civil Justice Reform Act (CJRA) Advisory Committee
  • Public Justice Foundation
  • Queen's Bench
  • State Bar of California
Published Works

Published Works

  • Editor-in-Chief, California Class Actions Practice and Procedures, LexisNexis, Updated Annually
  • “Punitive Damages,” Proving and Defending Damage Claims, Chapter 8, Aspen Publishers, Updated Annually
  • “The Class Abides: Class Actions and the Roberts Court,” Akron Law Review, Vol. 48, Issue 4, 2015
  • Symposium: “Enforcing the Social Contract through Representative Litigation,” 33 Connecticut Law Review 1239, Summer 2011
  • “When Worlds Collide: The Supreme Court Confronts Federal Agencies with Federalism in Wyeth v. Levine,” 84 Tulane L. Rev. 1275, 2010
  • “Apportioning Due Process: Preserving The Right to Affordable Justice,” 87 Denver U. L.Rev. 437, 2010
  • “Due Process Pre-Empted: Stealth Preemption As a Consequence of Agency Capture,” 65 N.Y.U. Annual Survey of American Law 449, 2010
  • Executive Editor, ABA Section of Litigation, Survey of State Class Action Law, 2008-2010
  • “Just Choose: The Jurisprudential Necessity to Select a Single Governing Law for Mass Claims Arising from Nationally Marketed Consumer Goods and Services,” Roger Williams University Law Review, Winter 2009
  • “California Class Action Classics,” Consumer Attorneys of California, January/February Forum 2009
  • Coordinating Editor, ABA Section of Litigation, Survey of State Class Action Law, 2006-2007
  • “The Manageable Nationwide Class: A Choice-of-Law Legacy of Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts,” University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Volume 74, Number 3, Spring 2006
  • Co-Author with Joy A. Kruse, Bruce Leppla, “Selective Waiver: Recent Developments in the Ninth Circuit and California” (pts. 1 & 2), Securities Litigation Report, West Legalworks May & June 2005
  • Co-Author with Fabrice N. Vincent, “Class Actions Fairness Act of 2005," California Litigation, Vol. 18, Nov. 3 2005
  • Co-Author, “2004 ABA Toxicology Monograph-California State Law,” January 2004
  • Co-Author, “Decisions Interpreting California's Rules of Class Action Procedure,” Survey of State Class Action Law, updated and re-published in 5 Newberg on Class Actions, ABA 2001 - 2004
  • Co-Author, “Mass But Not (Necessarily) Class: Emerging Aggregation Alternatives Under the Federal Rules,” ABA 8th Annual National Institute on Class Actions, New York (Oct. 15, 2004) & New Orleans (Oct. 29, 2004)
  • Symposium Article: “Human Rights Violations as Mass Torts: Compensation as a Proxy for Justice in the United States Civil Litigation System,” Vanderbilt Law Review, November 2004
  • “Mass Tort Class Actions,” ATLA's Litigating Tort Cases, Vol. 1, Chapter 9, June 2003
  • “A Plaintiffs' Perspective On The Effect of State Farm v. Campbell On Punitive Damages in Mass Torts,” May 2003
  • Co-Author with Fabrice N. Vincent, “Ethics and Admissibility: Failure to Disclose Conflicts of Interest in and/or Funding of Scientific Studies and/or Data May Warrant Evidentiary Exclusions,” Mealey's December Emerging Drugs Reporter, December 2002
  • “The Shareholder Strikes Back: Varied Approaches to Civil Litigation Claims Are Available to Help Make Shareholders Whole,” September 2002
  • Coordinating Editor/Co-Author, California section, ABA State Class Action Survey, 2001 - 2002
  • “Unfinished Business: Reaching the Due Process Limits of Punitive Damages in Tobacco Litigation Through Unitary Classwide Adjudication,” 36 Wake Forest Law Review 979, Winter 2001
  • “Equity for the Victims, Equity for the Transgressor: The Classwide Treatment of Punitive Damages Claims,” 74 Tulane Law Review 2005, June, 2000
  • “Class Action Trends and Developments After Amchem and Ortiz,” ALI-ABA Course of Study, Civil Practice and Litigation Techniques in Federal and State Courts, 1999
  • Contributor/Editor, Moore's Federal Practice, 1999
  • Co-Author, “Preliminary Issues Regarding Forum Selection, Jurisdiction, and Choice of Law in Class Actions,” December, 1999
  • “Life After Amchem: The Class Struggle Continues,” 31 Loyola Law Review 373, 1998
  • “Recent Developments in Nationwide Products Liability Litigation: The Phenomenon of Non-Injury Products Cases, the Impact of Amchem and the Trend Toward State Court Adjudication,” Products Liability, ABA, February, 1998
  • Contributor/Editor, California Causes of Action, 1998
  • “Beyond Bifurcation: Multi-Phase Structure in Mass Tort Class Actions,” Class Actions & Derivative Suits, Spring, 1997
  • “The Road Not Taken: Thoughts on the Fifth Circuit's Decertification of the Castano Class,” SB24 ALI-ABA 433, 1996
  • “Getting the Word Out: Pre-Certification Notice to Class Members Under Rule 23(d)(2),” Class Actions & Derivative Suits Newsletter, October, 1995
  • “Mass Tort Class Action Settlements,” 24 CTLA Forum 11, January-February, 1994
  • “Do You Know the Way from San Jose? The Evolution of Environmental and Toxic Nuisance Class Actions,” Class Actions & Derivative Suits, Spring, 1994
  • “An Oracle of Change? Realizing the Potential of Emerging Fee Award Methodologies for Enhancing The Role and Control of Investors in Derivative and Class Action Suits,” Principles of Corporate Governance, ALI, October, 1994
  • “How To Streamline Complex Litigation: Tailor a Case Management Order to Your Controversy,” 21 The Brief 12, ABA/TIPS, Summer, 1992
  • “The Applicability of the Fraud-On-The-Market Theory to Undeveloped Markets: When Fraud Creates the Market,” 12 Class Action Reports 402, 1989
  • “Mandatory Certification of Settlement Classes,” 10 Class Action Reports 151, 1987


  • Complex Litigation, Columbia University
  • Advanced Class Actions Seminar, U.C. Berkeley
Honors and Awards

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • "Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers, recognized in the category of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs for San Francisco, 2014, 2016
  • Selected for inclusion by peers in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of "Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Plaintiffs," "Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs," and "Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs," 2005 - 2016
  • "California Litigation Star," Benchmark Litigation, 2012 - 2015
  • "Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America," Benchmark Litigation, 2015
  • "Top 100 Attorneys in California," Daily Journal, 2002 - 2007, 2010 - 2015
  • "Top California Women Litigators," Daily Journal, 2007 - 2015
  • "Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America," Lawdragon, 2005 - 2015
  • "Outstanding Women Lawyer," National Law Journal, 2015
  • "Top 10 Northern California Super Lawyer," Super Lawyers, 2011 - 2015
  • "Top 50 Female Northern California Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers, 2005 - 2015
  • "Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers, 2005 - 2015
  • "Super Lawyer for Northern California," Super Lawyers, 2004 - 2015
  • "Recommended Lawyer," The Legal 500 (U.S. edition, 2000-2014)
  • "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2013
  • "Outstanding Achievement Award," Chambers USA, 2012
  • "Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award," American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, 2010
  • "Edward Pollock Award," Consumer Attorneys of California, 2008
  • "Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiffs' Lawyers," Lawdragon, Winter 2007
  • "50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal, 1998, 2007
  • "Award For Public Interest Excellence," University of San Francisco School of Law Public Interest Law Foundation, 2007
  • "Top 75 Women Litigators," Daily Journal, 2005 - 2006
  • "Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America," Lawdragon, 2006
  • "Distinguished Leadership Award," Legal Community Against Violence, 2006
  • "Women of Achievement Award," Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund), 2006
  • "Top 30 Securities Litigator," Daily Journal, 2005
  • "Top 50 Women Litigators," Daily Journal, 2004
  • "Citation Award," University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall, 2003
  • "Distinguished Jurisprudence Award," Anti-Defamation League, 2002
  • "Top 30 Women Litigators," California Daily Journal, 2002
  • "Top Ten Women Litigators," The National Law Journal, 2001
  • "Matthew O. Tobriner Public Service Award," Legal Aid Society, 2000
  • "California Law Business Top 100 Lawyers," California Daily Journal, 2000
  • "California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY)," California Lawyer, 1998
  • "Presidential Award of Merit," Consumer Attorneys of California, 1998
  • "Public Justice Achievement Award," Public Justice, 1997

"One of the nation's premier plaintiffs' firms." American Lawyer

"Representing the best qualities of the plaintiffs' bar." The National Law Journal