Kevin R. Budner
Partner, San Francisco Office
415 956-1000

Kevin R. Budner

Kevin R. Budner is a partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco specializing in complex, high-impact litigation.

Of particular note, Kevin was one of the lead attorneys prosecuting San Francisco’s case in the nationwide opioid litigation. Among other roles, Kevin directed the team’s discovery efforts against Walgreens and played a key role in the multi-month bellwether trial. In a milestone opinion, Judge Charles R. Breyer concluded that “the aggregate evidence that Plaintiff presented at trial was not only adequate to establish Walgreens’ culpability—it was devastating.” This landmark victory led to a $230 million recovery for San Francisco and was a significant factor in driving Walgreens’ multi-billion dollar, nationwide settlement.

Kevin has also had a number of success representing the owners of over-polluting and underperforming vehicles, beginning with the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” multidistrict litigation. In that case, plaintiffs alleged that Volkswagen lied to the government and misled its customers about the emissions of its diesel engine vehicles. Kevin worked closely with lead counsel, Elizabeth Cabraser, and the team’s efforts resulted in settlements worth nearly $15 billion. Kevin’s other vehicle emissions accomplishments include a recent settlement with Toyota subsidiary Hino Motors, valued at $445 million; a $307.5 million resolution in the Fiat-Chrysler “EcoDiesel” MDL; and litigation against Audi and Porsche for overstating fuel economy in hundreds of thousands of gasoline-powered vehicles. In all of these cases, Kevin and his colleagues secured meaningful results that consumers overwhelmingly supported. As one illustration, in approving an $80 million settlement with Porsche, the court noted that class members would recover “close to all of the damages they might expect to receive at trial” and applauded counsel for the “unusually successful” class participation rates.

For these and other achievements, Kevin has been recognized as a “Top 40 Under 40 Lawyer” (Daily Journal), one of the 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers in America (Lawdragon), a “Rising Star for Class Action law (Law360), a “Rising Star of the Plaintiff’s Bar” (National Law Journal), a “Rising Star for Northern California” (Super Lawyers), and “One to Watch” (Best Lawyers). He and his colleagues have also received awards for “Trial Lawyer of the Year” (Public Justice), “Trial Lawyer Excellence” (Law Bulletin), “California Lawyer of the Year” (California Daily Journal), and “Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist” (Consumer Attorneys of California).

Long form bio (click to open pdf).

  • University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Berkeley Law), Berkeley, California
    J.D. – May, 2012
    Law Journal: Berkeley Journal of International Law, Senior Editor
  • Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
    B.A. – December, 2005
  • California, 2012
  • California Supreme Court, 2012
  • U.S. Court Of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2016
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, 2016
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2014
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 2014
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2014
  • American Association for Justice
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California
  • “Ones to Watch,” Best Lawyers, 2021-2024
  • “Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers in America,” Lawdragon, 2023, 2024
  • “Lawdragon 500 X – The Next Generation,” Lawdragon, 2023
  • “Rising Star for Northern California,” Super Lawyers, 2019 – 2022
  • “Top 40 Under 40 Lawyer,” Daily Journal, 2021
  • “Rising Star for Class Action Law,” Law360, 2021
  • “Rising Star of the Plaintiffs’ Bar” National Law Journal, 2021
  • “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” Public Justice, 2019
  • “Trial Lawyer Excellence Award,” Law Bulletin, 2019
  • “California Lawyer of the Year,” California Daily Journal, 2018
  • “40 and Under Hot List,” Benchmark Litigation, 2018
  • “Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist,” Consumer Attorneys of California, 2017