The California Daily Journal’s 2023 CLAY award recognizes Lieff Cabraser, Robbins Geller, and the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office for their collective efforts in winning a landmark opioids bench trial against Walgreens pharmacy for substantially contributing to the opioid epidemic in San Francisco

We are proud to announce that the California Daily Journal/California Lawyer has selected a team of lawyers from Lieff Cabraser, Robbins Geller, and the San Francisco City Attorney’s office as co-recipients of a 2023 “California Lawyer of the Year” (CLAY) award for their successful efforts against Walgreens in a 2022 opioids harm bench trial in SF.

In August 2022, the Court found Walgreens liable for substantially contributing to the opioid epidemic in San Francisco, making this the second such trial to decide in a plaintiff’s favor in the national opioid litigation, and the first bench trial to find Walgreens liable. Subsequently, Walgreens and the two other major chain pharmacies agreed to settle the national opioids litigation for a combined total of nearly $14 billion.

Led by partners Richard M. Heimann, Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Paulina do Amaral, Mark P. Chalos, Kevin R. Budner, and Michael Levin-Gesundheit, Lieff Cabraser’s litigation team also included:

Don Arbitblit
Jacob Polin
Miriam Marks
Britt Cibulka
Matias Bustamante
Ian Bensberg
Emily Lovell
Malcolm Rayburn
Anthony McDaniel
Juliana Remuszka
Cecilia Atkins
Chris Munoz
Jesse Nankin-Royer
Anthony Grant
Major Mugrage
Marissa Svec
Ryan McCullough
Hazel Archer
Richard Texier
Divya Sundar
Michelle Baker
Victoria Chinn
Laura Haley
Andreea Miclut
Katherine Post
Olivia Vetesi
Phillippe Benoit
Patrick Ryan
Coleen Liebmann
Jose Garcia
James Herd
Ryan Sturtevant

The Robbins Geller team included:

Paul Geller
Mark Dearman
Tom Egler
Dory Antullis
Jay Alvarez
Lea Bays
Taeva Shefler
Nicolle Brito
Hadiya Deshmukh
Kyle Wheeler
Stepheney Windsor
Andrea Fiore
Cachel Chapman
Bianca Papp
Amy Yates
Steven Sarpy
Ron Thistlethwaite
Brendan Lawless
Gil Garra
Michael Bilan
Sabrina Montalvo
Christopher Collins
Pamela Mitchell
Kirsten McCormack
Casey Reis
Deb Tack
Patty Puerto
Katina Hanson
Deborah Dash
Stephanie Winkles
Carol Reynolds
Yvette Gray
Chris Clark
Camielle Peters
Matt Rhodes
Diego Eros
Christine Milliron
Michael Torres
Oya Dela Osa
Sadie Walton

The San Francisco City Attorney Office team included:

David Chiu
Dennis Herrera
Phillip Wilkinson
Michaela O’Rourke
Sarah Gutierrez

Special thanks also go to Simmons Hanly Conroy’s Jayne Conroy and Levin Papantonio’s Peter Mougey, the firms of Weitz & Luxenberg, Andrus Anderson, the Lanier Law Firm, Seeger Weiss, Skikos Crawford, and their respective teams.

Congratulations to all!

About Lieff Cabraser’s Opioids Litigation Work

In addition to our work on behalf of the City of San Francisco, Lieff Cabraser represents other cities, counties, Native American tribes, and tribal health organizations across the U.S. seeking justice and restitution from opioid makers and distributors for their role in the devastating opioid addiction and overdose crisis that has ravaged the nation for nearly two decades. We were also instrumental as part of the plaintiff team that won a $26 billion national settlement with opioid distributors and manufacturers that will provide thousands of U.S. communities with opioid recovery and remediation funds. In 2022, we also served on the negotiating committee responsible for additional national settlements with Teva/ Allergan and the three major chain pharmacies, bringing the total of opioids litigation settlements to date to nearly $50 billion.

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