Market Overview

Wildfire Victim Advocates Attorneys Brian Panish & Rahul Ravipudi Named Plaintiffs' Co-Lead Counsel in California Thomas Fire Litigation


Wildfire Victim Advocates attorneys Brian
and Rahul
of Panish
Shea & Boyle LLP
have been named as Individual Plaintiffs'
Co-Lead Counsel, representing more than 1,500 individual plaintiffs
filing lawsuits against Southern California Edison as a result of the
Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flows in Montecito, California. The
appointment was made following a case management hearing in Los Angeles
County Superior Court on July 5, and signed by the Honorable Daniel J.
Buckley on July 11, 2018.

"Utility company negligence and its culture of putting profits over the
safety of people has destroyed thousands of lives and continues to put
the lives of all Californians at risk," says Ravipudi. "We're ready to
get to work, holding those accountable for the catastrophic losses of
the victims and fighting proposed legislation that would allow utilities
companies to pass the cost of their negligence on to the ratepayers."

"We recognize that with this great honor comes an even greater
responsibility to ensure that the voices of the victims and survivors
are heard," adds Panish. "Our goal is justice for the victims, the
survivors and their families, both in the courtroom and in Sacramento."

Serving as Co-Lead Counsel, attorneys Panish and Ravipudi, as well as
Robert Nelson and Lexi Hazam of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP,
will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating all of pretrial
activities in the complex litigation, including the briefing, filing and
arguing of motions, taking all discovery, as well as appearing before
the court and presenting the position for individual plaintiffs at all
court ordered proceedings.

Wildfire Victim Advocates attorney Lyssa
with Panish Shea & Boyle LLP was also appointed by Judge
Buckley to serve as Plaintiffs Co-Liaison Counsel alongside Walter Lack
and Greg Waters of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack. Their responsibilities
include receiving and distributing orders, notices and correspondence
from the court to plaintiffs' counsel, as well as maintain and make
available a complete set of all filed pleadings and orders filed and/or
served in these coordinated proceedings.

In addition, Wildfire Victim Advocates attorneys Frank
and Allison
of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP as well as Michael
A. Kelly
and Khaldoun
of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger have been named
members of the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee. They will serve in
partnership with attorneys from nine additional law firms to coordinate
pretrial activities and work performed by lead counsel and liaison
counsel, as well as call meetings and consult with individual
Plaintiffs' counsel on matters of common concern.

The Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding is being heard in the
Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. (Southern
California Fire Cases (JCCP No. 4965))

If you or someone you love has been affected by the Thomas Fire in Santa
Barbara and Ventura counties – including the subsequent debris flows in
Montecito on January 9, 2018 – please call our Wildfire Victim Advocates
attorneys at (805) 210-8528 to schedule a free consultation and discuss
your legal options.

For more information, visit

About Wildfire Victim Advocates

Thomas Fire Wildfire Victim Advocates includes the law firms of Panish
Shea & Boyle LLP
, Cotchett,
Pitre & McCarthy LLP
and Walkup,
Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
. These powerhouse firms have
extensive experience in litigation against utility companies and,
together, have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for fire
victims. Members of this consortium have led the charge for victims
impacted by the 2010 San Bruno Gas Explosion, the 2015 Butte Fire in
Amador County, and serve as leadership counsel to thousands of
individual plaintiffs who have suffered total property loss or the loss
of a loved one as a result of the 2017 North Bay Fires in Northern

View Comments and Join the Discussion!