Law360 has published an in-depth profile on Lieff Cabraser founding partner Elizabeth J. Cabraser, named a 2018 “Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar.” Last given in 2014, the “Titans of the Plaintiffs Bar” awards recognize lawyers who “not only excel in the courtroom in large-scale litigation, but also take on leadership roles at their firms.”
Law360’s piece highlights Cabraser’s role as sole Lead Counsel and Chair of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in multidistrict litigation over Volkswagen AG’s diesel emissions fraud scandal. Cabraser helped drivers secure more than $15 billion in settlements and assurances that the polluting vehicles would be made emissions-compliant or taken off the roads.
“For the law to work, it not only has to work, but people have to perceive that it works for them,” noted Cabraser.
In the VW consumer fraud case, more than 1,000 lawsuits were corralled into litigation against Volkswagen in San Francisco federal court in 2016 after VW publicly admitted that it had rigged emissions testing and production in the diesel engines of approximately 11 million vehicles worldwide. Cabraser was directly involved in negotiating the settlements, in addition to leading the 21-firm Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. “The process taught her that for large-scale litigation to succeed, all parties must be motivated to reach a resolution,” said Law360.
“Americans expect the law is going to deliver protections and benefits to them, and that’s how they test it,” Cabraser said. “So for lawyers, it’s very important that the law works not only on the grand-scheme level, but that it works on the everyday, retail level as well.”
As Law360 notes, “Cabraser recognizes that her work is a pursuit of justice that won’t end in her lifetime. Each day is filled with its own set of victories and defeats, and she cautions against mistaking a victory in one battle as the end of a war.”
“There is no such thing in the law as mission accomplished. And that’s good,” explains Cabraser. “There’s always something more to do. There’s always a way to make something better.”
About Elizabeth Cabraser
A name partner and co-founder of Lieff Cabraser, Elizabeth Cabraser chairs the firm’s personal injury and environmental litigation practice groups. One of the nation’s leading class action litigators and possessing unparalleled expertise in complex civil litigation, she has served as court-appointed lead, co-lead, or class counsel in scores of federal multi-district and state coordinated proceedings. Today, she serves in court-appointed leadership positions in several of the nation’s highest profile civil cases, including a solo leadership role in the VW “Clean Diesel” Emissions case, as well as lead positions in the GM ignition switch defect and Takata defective airbag cases, and the recently-filed Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge diesel emissions fraud litigation, Generic Drugs Pricing antitrust litigation, and the National Prescription Opiates litigation.