Alan J. Lazarus

Partner

Overview

Alan Lazarus is an experienced litigator with a stellar reputation for resolving high-stakes and complicated cases, including trials and appellate matters. Alan pursues clients’ interests in a variety of contexts, including product liability, consumer protection, toxic tort and environmental litigation. He has tried cases involving toxic exposures, motor vehicles, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs and medical devices, and he has conducted Daubert hearings involving the admissibility of expert testimony. Alan has directed defense teams as national coordinating counsel and lead counsel in multidistrict litigation and statewide coordinated proceedings, and he has defended nationwide and statewide class actions. His name appears on over 25 published appellate opinions.

Alan was a law clerk to the late Honorable Cecil F. Poole of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Commercial Litigation

Alan has represented clients in product liability, toxic tort and commercial disputes involving:

  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Prescription drugs
  • Medical devices
  • Clinical trials
  • Motor vehicles
  • Chemical exposures
  • Asbestos exposures
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Consumer products
  • Construction equipment
  • Pipeline equipment
  • Firearms
  • Environmental contamination
  • Insurance coverage

To help clients avoid litigation exposure, Alan counsels on product labeling and product stewardship issues.

Alan is a trained mediator who helps resolve disputes out of court. He has served as a panelist on the First District Court of Appeal’s appellate mediation program.

Appellate Litigation

In addition to directly advocating for clients in appellate courts, Alan is often called upon by peers to consult on appellate strategy. He has defended automotive manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and chemical suppliers on appeal.

Alan often serves as amicus counsel, filing briefs on behalf of trade organizations and advocacy groups, including the Product Liability Advisory Council, in California, federal and other state appellate courts.

Alan’s published appellate opinions include:

  • Honda Motor Co. Ltd. v. Superior Court, 10 Cal.App.4th 1043 (1992)
  • Xuereb v. Marcus & Millichap, 3 Cal.App.4th 1338 (1992)
  • Aerojet-General Corp. v. Transport Indem. Co., 18 Cal.App.4th 996 (1993)
  • Glover v. BIC Corp, 6 F.3d 1318 (9th Cir. 1993)
  • Kennedy v. Baxter Int’l, 43 Cal.App.4th 799 (1996)
  • Transwestern Pipeline Co. v. Monsanto Co., 46 Cal.App.4th 502 (1996)
  • Fang v. United States, 140 F.3d 1238 (9th Cir. 1998)
  • Decker v. Yorkton Securities, Inc., 106 Cal.App.4th 1315 (2003)
  • Friedman v. Merck Co., Inc., 107 Cal.App.4th 454 (2003)
  • Yun v. Ethicon, Inc., 65 Fed. Appx. 644 (9th Cir. 2003)
  • Klima v. Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 2003 WL 22172417 (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2003)
  • Fox v. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., 35 Cal.4th 797 (2005)
  • In re Firearm Cases, 126 Cal.App.4th 959 (2005)
  • Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Superior Court (In re Clergy Cases), 126 Cal.App.4th 1131 (2005)
  • In re: Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Products Liability Litigation, 460 F.3d 1217 (9th Cir. 2006)
  • Blanco v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 158 Cal.App.4th 1039 (2008)
  • Hood v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., 50 So.3d 1166 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010)
  • Liu v. Superior Court, 2013 WL 1731752 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 19, 2013)
  • Bunin v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., 197 So.3d 1109 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016)
  • Estuary Owners Ass’n v. Shell Oil Co., 13 Cal.App.5th 899 (2017)
  • Liu v. Janssen Research & Dev. Co., 2017 WL 1094354 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 23, 2017)
  • Trejo v. Johnson & Johnson, 13 Cal.App.5th 110 (2017)
  • Wendell v. Glaxosmithkline LLC, 858 F.3d 1227 (9th Cir 2017)
  • Liu v. Janssen Research & Dev. Co., 2018 WL 272219 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 3, 2018)
  • Wishnev v. Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co., 880 F.3d 493 (9th Cir 2018)
  • Nguyen v. Nissan North America, Inc., 932 F.3d 811 (9th Cir. 2019)
  • Wishnev v. Northwestern Mutual Life Inc. Co.,  ___ Cal.5th ____ (Nov. 24, 2019)

Representative Experience

  • National Coordinating Counsel for Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.’s Zicam litigation, 2004-2018, including acting as lead defense counsel in MDL. No. 2096, In re Zicam Cold Remedy Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, and Arizona Coordinated Proceeding (Medel v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.), Maricopa County, Arizona Superior Court No. CV 2007-020006, and California Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding No. 4616, Matrixx Initiatives Products Cases, San Francisco County, California Superior Court, and consumer class actions
  • Lead defense counsel for several national chemical distributors in coordinated semiconductor clean room toxic tort litigation, In re: San Jose IBM Workers Litigation, Santa Clara County, California Superior Court Master Case No. 772093, 1998–2003
  • Lead defense counsel for several firearms distributors in California Coordinated class actions alleging public nuisance and unfair business practice liability for distribution of firearms throughout the State, People ex rel Delgadillo v. Arcadia Machine & Tool, Inc., Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding No. 4095, San Diego County, California Superior Court, 1999–2005
  • Lead defense counsel for Hyland’s, Inc. and Standard Homeopathic Company in consolidated personal injury cases, In re: Quinine Sulfate Litigation, Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No. 4565, Los Angeles County, California Superior Court, 2009-12
  • Numerous appellate engagements for automotive manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and chemical suppliers

Personal Interests

A transplant to California from Long Island, Alan remains an ardent fan of New York sports teams. A former DJ and band leader, he has maintained a lifelong interest in popular music.

Credentials

Bar Admissions

California

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

Certifications
  • State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization — Certified Specialist in Appellate Law
Education

University of California, Hastings College of the Law
J.D. magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Journal of Communications and Entertainment Law (1987)

State University of New York at Oswego
B.A. magna cum laude (1982)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Products, General Liability and Consumer Law: Annual Survey of Recent Developments
    Co-author and editor, Tort & Insurance Law Journal, annual publication, 1992-99
  • Faegre Drinker on Products, a product liability blog
    Frequent contributor and chief editor 

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

Alan has represented a Texas death row inmate in ongoing habeas corpus proceedings for 15 years.

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association — Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section (Chair), 2001-02
  • Defense Research Institute — Liaison to the American Law Institute project formulating the Third Restatement of Torts: Product Liability, 1996-97
  • Product Liability Advisory Council — Case Selection Committee member and participating appellate brief author and editor in Amicus program

Firm Leadership

  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP— Vice Chair, Products Liability and Mass Tort Group

Honors

  • Best Lawyers®, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2020

Awards Methodology

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