Orange County Business Journal – County Home to Big Name Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

Orange County Business Journal
Monday‚ January 14th 2008

County Home to Big Name Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

By Jessica C. Lee

Orange County has dozens of law firms that specialize in corporate work. But the county’s also a hotbed for their rivals-plaintiff’s lawyers. The county counts a number of nationally prestigious plaintiffs’ lawyers. The names and faces in this story won’t surprise you-chances are many law firms have gone toe to toe with these guys before. Here’s a look at some of the big guns who take on Corporate America and the government.

Mark P. Robinson Jr.‚ Senior Partner
Robinson Calcagnie‚ Inc.‚
Newport Beach

Robinson has taken on some of the biggest names in corporate America‚ including drug makers‚ two of the Big Three automakers and one of the biggest medical device makers. He spearheaded the product liability case against New Jersey’s Merck & Co‚ over its Vioxx drug‚ an arthritis medication that has been linked to increased risk of heart attacks.

Merck faces more than 20‚000 lawsuits over Vioxx‚ which was pulled from the market in 2004. Robinson‚ who represented Gerald Barnett-a retired FBI agent who suffered a heart attack after taking Vioxx for more than two years-in 2006 won a $51 million verdict from a federal judge in New Orleans. Late last year‚ U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon upheld the verdict but lowered the award to $1.6 million in damages. The original award was excessive‚ Fallon said. Barnett accepted. “I was working every night…until 2 or 3 (in the morning)‚” Robinson told Lawyers USA. “It was very intense and it really is a heavy battle.”

Robinson also is spearheading lawsuits against New York’s Pfizer Inc‚ for its Bextra and Celebrex drugs. He’s also led a case against medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp‚ over its cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers.

His other big wins include a $4.9 billion verdict against General Motors Corp. and a $3.3 billion Los Angeles County tobacco settlement. Robinson also won a $128 million verdict against Ford Motor Co‚ over a Pinto that caught on fire…