Brad D. Brian, a litigation partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson, has been inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Brian was welcomed as a member at the organization’s Mid-Year Meeting in Chicago on July 17-21.
One of the nation’s leading trial lawyers, Mr. Brian first gained national attention in 1994 when he successfully defended Tom Spiegel, former chairman of Columbia Savings & Loan, obtaining a jury acquittal on all 45 criminal counts. An editorial in The Wall Street Journal at the time said Mr. Brian’s closing argument brought people in the courtroom to tears.
He is now lead trial counsel for the international off-shore drilling company Transocean in the New Orleans litigation stemming from the April 20, 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2011, Mr. Brian won a $67 million jury verdict on behalf of bond king Jeffrey Gundlach and his company DoubleLine Capital in a case against Mr. Gundlach’s former employer, Trust Company of the West. He also successfully guided Rhonda Byrne, author of the best-selling “The Secret,” through a federal copyright case in Chicago. Hired just six weeks before the trial started, Mr. Brian convinced the jury to reject all claims against Ms. Byrne.
Mr. Brian is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been identified by Chambers USA as one of the top 25 trial lawyers in the country. In January 2013, Best Lawyers named Mr. Brian a “Lawyer of the Year” for Bet-the-Company Litigation. For more than a decade, Mr. Brian has been named to the Daily Journal’s “Top 100” list of lawyers in California.
Mr. Brian’s civic work is equally broad. He launched the Darfur Legal Training Project to assist Sudanese lawyers in obtaining justice for genocide victims, is former Chairman of the RAND Civil Justice Institute Board of Directors and previously served on the board of the Joffrey Ballet. Mr. Brian is a past chair of the American Bar Association Section on Litigation.
The International Academy of Trial Lawyers limits membership to 500 Fellows from the United States. The Academy seeks out, identifies, acknowledges and honors those who have achieved a career of excellence through demonstrated skill and ability in jury trials, trials before the court and appellate practice. Members are engaged in civil practice on both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s side of the courtroom, and the trial of criminal cases. The Academy invites only lawyers who have attained the highest level of advocacy. A comprehensive screening process identifies the most distinguished members of the trial bar by means of both peer and judicial review. Mr. Brian has been evaluated by his colleagues and the judges in his jurisdiction and has been highly recommended by them as possessing these qualifications and characteristics.
Chartered in 1954, the Academy’s general purposes are to cultivate the science of jurisprudence, promote reforms in the law, facilitate the Administration of Justice, and elevate the standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession.