Brian Panish and Rahul Ravipudi have been named among the 2023 Top 100 Lawyers in California by Daily Journal. The annual publication features 100 attorneys throughout the state who are doing cutting-edge legal work on behalf of their clients.
Mr. Panish, who served as co-lead counsel in both the Thomas Fire and the Woolsey Fire litigations, is no stranger to representing plaintiffs who have suffered losses due to utility company negligence. He recently led a team of lawyers in obtaining a landmark settlement for thousands of residents as a result of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility Blowout.
“It was a long fight,” Mr. Panish said. “There was a huge amount of sanctions. We recovered almost $6 million in monetary sanctions for discovery abuse. We were on the verge of trial, and then we were able to work out the $1.8 billion global settlement.”
Mr. Ravipudi, who also served as lead counsel in the Thomas Fire and subsequent Montecito mudslides as well as lead counsel alternate in the Woolsey Fire litigation, helped position settlements for 99 percent of the victims which totaled to more the 3,900 households. Settlement amounts have not been released but defendant Southern California Edison agreed to pay $550 million to the California Public Utilities Commission and billions to insurance companies.
Now, in the wake of the Maui wildfires, clients are reaching out to Mr. Panish and Mr. Ravipudi for assistance.
“It’s just heartbreaking that other utility companies are not learning the lessons from these catastrophes and actually doing something about it,” said Mr. Ravipudi. “At the core, hopefully, when you look at what we’ve done and continue to do, I take incredible pride in having the priviledge to help peopleand achieve justice on behalf of my clients against corporate negligence and others.”
Read the featured profiles of Mr. Panish and Mr. Ravipudi in the Special Reports section at dailyjournal.com.