Two events coincided to produce this week’s episode of Lawyer2Lawyer. First, the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame — an institution devoted to honoring the nation’s most exceptional trial lawyers — marked the grand opening last month of its permanent home at Temple Law School in Philadelphia. Around the same time, legendary plaintiffs’ lawyer Fred Levin — who has been called the man who took down Big Tobacco and who was a 2009 inductee in the Hall of Fame — had a biography come out about him, And Give up Showbiz?, written by Josh Young, co-author of five New York Times bestsellers.
So this week on Lawyer2Lawyer, in a special extended episode, we bring together four of the top plaintiffs’ lawyers to discuss their careers and share insights about their work and practices. In the first half of the show, we have a roundtable, of sorts, featuring Mike Papantonio, Howard Nations and Thomas Girardi. In the second half, we go one-on-one with Fred Levin about his accomplished and sometimes controversial career.
- Mike Papantonio is a senior partner at Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor and cohost of the nationally syndicated talk show Ring of Fire with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder. Instrumental in the creation of the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, Papantonio is nationally known for his many successes in mass tort litigation. He is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards and the accomplished author of several motivational books for lawyers.
- Howard Nations is a 2012 inductee of the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame whose national practice is currently working on litigation for Actos bladder cancer, defective hip implants, transvaginal mesh, Pradaxa, and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As a pioneer in courtroom technology, Nations was the first attorney to have computer-generated liability and medical animations admitted into evidence at trial. Among his many awards, he is the recipient of the W. McKinley Smiley, Jr., Lighthouse Award; the Belli Society’s Mel Award; and MTMP’s Clarence Darrow Award.
- Thomas Girardi is a 2014 inductee of the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame who is perhaps best known for his work in Anderson v. Pacific Gas & Electric, the case that inspired the 2000 movie Erin Brockovich. Among his numerous headlines, Girardi secured a $4.85 billion settlement from Merck for Vioxx, a $785 million verdict from Lockheed for personal injuries, and a $1.7 billion settlement from the state of California for manipulating natural gas prices.
- Fredric Levin is a founder and senior partner of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor and is often described as the man who brought down Big Tobacco. To date, he has won over 100 jury verdicts and settlements worth at least one million dollars. During his colorful career he represented heavyweight boxing champion Roy Jones Jr., helped start the national firm of Johnnie Cochran, befriended multiple presidential candidates, and been investigated for murder twice.