"There is no one in the world like Tom." - Stephanie Cirami, IAOTP President
The International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) has bestowed the honor of "Lawyer of the Decade" on 2015 LCA President Thomas V. Girardi, founding partner of the Girardi | Keese law firm in Los Angeles, California.
So, who is a Lawyer of the Decade, exactly?
In Ms. Cirami's words, Mr. Girardi's "continued support and generosity has a significant impact on people's lives and he leaves his mark on whomever or whatever he is involved with. He is an extraordinary human being and a one-of-a-kind successful, brilliant, gracious, charming man who couldn't be more deserving of this award."
A Long and Illustrious Career
Indeed, Mr. Girardi has spent 50 years as a practicing attorney and since founding Girardi | Keese after graduating from Loyola Law School in the 1960s, has become one of the nation's top trial lawyers with a truly impressive list of legal victories that have made a positive impact on both the law and on his clients' lives.
The Erin Brockovich Case
One of these victories was the Erin Brockovich case, colloquially named after the famous law clerk (now long-time consumer rights activist) who pursued Pacific Gas and Electric Company over polluted groundwater that seriously sickened the residents of Hinkley, California. Working as a lead trial lawyer on the case, he helped to achieve two multi-million dollar settlements against PG&E, in the amounts of $333 million and $300 million, respectively. The case was later portrayed in the movie Erin Brockovich, starring Julia Roberts, who won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Mr. Girardi's record of legal victories includes more than 30 verdicts over $1 million, 100 settlements of $1 million or more, more than 100 jury cases tried, and a handful of billion-dollar settlements, such as the $4.85B settlement against Merck pharmaceutical company over the dangerous drug Vioxx, an arthritis painkiller.
The Library of Congress 'Girardi Collection'
Tom's interests extend beyond the practice of law, as well, such as courtroom illustrations of notable figures like O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson. The Girardi Collection was named after Tom for his generous donation to the Library of Congress. His donation consisted of 96 drawings, which, according to the Library of Congress, made its exhibit of courtroom illustrations "the most comprehensive in any American institution."
Widely regarded by his peers as one of the nation's top trial lawyers and with nearly fifty years of experience representing victims, Thomas V. Girardi has obtained numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, handling claims involving wrongful death, commercial litigation, products liability, bad faith insurance, and toxic torts. In 2003, he received the most prestigious honor of being inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame by the California State Bar. Mr. Girardi is a Member of the Board of Directors and former President of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only worldwide organization, limited to 500 trial lawyers. Mr. Girardi is also the first trial lawyer to be appointed to the California Judicial Council, the policymaking body of the state courts. He was the 2015 President of the Litigation Counsel of America.