Kevin R. Budner is a partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco specializing in complex, high-impact litigation.
Of particular note, Kevin is 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 was a landmark victory for the People of San Francisco and a significant factor in driving Walgreens’ developing 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 cases include the Fiat-Chrysler “EcoDiesel” MDL, which led to a $307.5 million settlement for owners of over-polluting diesel trucks, and cases 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, hard-fought results that large classes of consumers overwhelmingly supported. As one illustration, in approving a recent, $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), 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).