Donald C. Arbitblit
Partner, San Francisco Office
415 956-1000

“In many cases, from toxic spills to drug defects, you need to know the science to win. We put science to work for our clients, with experts from the best universities and our own attorneys and staff.”

Donald C. Arbitblit

Donald C. Arbitblit

Donald C. Arbitblit is a leader among plaintiffs’ attorneys in assessing the legal, medical, and scientific aspects of personal injury, mass torts, and environmental and toxic exposure litigation. Don has served on Plaintiffs’ Science/Expert Committees in several national cases and served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Actos bladder cancer injuries federal multidistrict litigation that settled in 2015 for $2.4 billion.

Don was a member of the trial team that won the first Actos bellwether trial in April 2014, including a $9 billion punitive damage award. Don was also Chair of the Epidemiology/Causation Subcommittee of the federal Vioxx litigation from 2005-2010, and he was a member of the trial team that won a plaintiffs’ verdict in that litigation in 2006. Between 1998 and 2014, Don has served on science and expert witness committees in the ActosYazFen-Phen Diet Drug, Rezulin, BaycolVioxx, and Sulzer hip implant cases.

Since 2018, Don has served as a leader of the Plaintiffs’ Expert Witness Committee in the national Opioids Litigation MDL, working with experts in the fields of addiction medicine, psychiatry, pain management and epidemiology. Don was listed in the 2021 Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers guide, based on “submissions, journalistic research and editorial vetting from a board” of his peers.

Long form bio (click to open pdf).

  • University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Berkeley Law), Berkeley, California
    J.D. – 1979
    Honors: Order of the Coif
  • Tufts University, Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts
    B.S. (Magna Cum Laude) – 1974
  • California, 1986
  • Vermont, 1979
  • California Supreme Court, 1986
  • U.S. Court Of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1986
  • ACTOS MDL Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Co-Chair, California JCCP Yaz Science Committee, 2010-Present
  • Federal Science and Expert Witness Committees (Diet Drugs MDL; Baycol MDL; Rezulin MDL)
  • State Bar of California
  • VIOXX MDL Chair of the Epidemiology/Clinical Trials Subcommittee
  • YAZ MDL Federal Court-appointed Science Executive Committee
  • Co-Author with Wendy Fleishman, “The Risky Business of Off-Label Use,” TRIAL Magazine, March 2005
  • Co-Author with William Bernstein, “Effective Use of Class Action Procedures in California Toxic Tort Litigation,” West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, No. 3, 1996
  • “Comment on Joiner: Decision on the Daubert Test of Admissibility of Expert Testimony,” 6 Mealey’s Emerging Toxic Torts, No. 18, December 1997
  • “The Plight of American Citizens Injured by Transboundary River Pollution,” 8 Ecology Law Quarterly, No. 2, 1979
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion by peers in The Best Lawyers in America in fields of “Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs” and “Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs,” Best Lawyers, 2012 – 2024
  • “Super Lawyer for Northern California,” Super Lawyers, 2004, 2006 – 2008, 2014 – 2023
  • “Lawyer of the Year for Mass Tort & Class Action Litigation,” Northern California, Best Lawyers, 2022
  • “Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers in America,” Lawdragon, 2021, 2022
  • Legal 500 recommended lawyer, 2013
  • “Lawdragon Finalist,” Lawdragon, 2009 – 2011