Kevin R. Budner is a partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, and a tireless advocate for consumers and personal injury victims.
Kevin is part of the leadership team in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” multidistrict litigation, in which plaintiffs allege that Volkswagen intentionally and systematically cheated its customers, lied to the government, and misled the public about the emissions of its diesel engine vehicles sold under the Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brands. The Court granted final approval to a partial class settlement worth $10.03 billion in October 2016, and a second partial class settlement valued at between $1.2 billion and $4.1 billion in May 2017. The team won the California Daily Journal’s “California Lawyer of the Year” award, was honored as finalists by the Consumer Attorneys of California for their prestigious Consumer Attorney of the Year award, and continues to prosecute claims under the Lanham Act on behalf of competitor dealerships that allege they lost sales as a result of Volkswagen’s fraud.
Kevin is also part of the leadership team in the Fiat-Chrysler “EcoDiesel” multidistrict litigation, which, like the Volkswagen litigation, involves allegations that Fiat-Chrysler cheated its customers and misled the public by including a “defeat device” in more than one hundred thousand Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel vehicles. Those defeat devices, plaintiffs allege, enable the supposedly “Eco” vehicles to emit noxious pollutants at over 20x the legal limit.
Examples of other consumer cases to which Kevin contributes include Hale, et al. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., et al.—in which a class of State Farm policyholders alleged that State Farm conspired to secretly support the election of an Illinois State Supreme Court Justice who voted to overturn a $1 billion judgment pending against State Farm based on the company’s practice of equipping their insured’s vehicles with sub-standard replacement parts—that resulted in a $250 million settlement on the verge of trial. Kevin and others were honored as the “Trial Lawyers of the Year” by Public Justice for their work on this historic case.
Kevin also has experience litigating personal injury claims, and has helped secure settlements for dozens of personal injury and wrongful death victims related to the General Motors Ignition Switch Defect and the Medtronic Infuse litigation.
Prior to joining Lieff Cabraser, Kevin was a Judicial Clerk to U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn. He also served the community through his works as a Certified Student Counsel at the East Bay Community Law Center and a Homeless Policy Assistant to the Office of Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Kevin graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Berkeley Law), where he was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award in Advanced Legal Research, the Prosser Prize in Negotiation, and the Edwin A. Heafey, Jr. Trial Fellowship. During law school, he served as a Board of Advocates Trial Team Member and as a Senior Editor for the Berkeley Journal of International Law. He was also the 2012 National Semi-finalist and the 2011 Regional Finalist for the American Association of Justice Trial Competition. Kevin received his B.A. from Wesleyan University.