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Trial Lawyer of the Year Award

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Each year, Public Justice presents its Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to the attorney(s) who made the greatest contribution to the public interest within the past year by trying or settling a precedent-setting, socially significant case.

The nomination period for the 2018 award closed on Tuesday, February 20. The award was presented at our 2018 Annual Gala in Denver in July. 

(For a look at past recipients, click here.)

2018 Winners

The 2018 co-winners are the teams from Bahamas Surgery Center v. Kimberly-Clark, regarding faulty medical equipment, and from Inetianbor v. Western Sky Financial, concerning fraudulent debt collection.

The Bahamas Surgery Center team consists of Michael J. Avenatti, Eagan Avenatti LLP, Newport Beach, CA; Edward Ricci, Ed Ricci Law, Palm Beach Gardens, FL; Ahmed Ibrahim, Filippo Marchino, Eagan Avenatti, LLP; William C. Hearon, Miami, Fla.

The Inetianbor team consists of Mona Lisa Wallace, Wallace & Graham, PA, Salisbury, NC; Janet Varnell, Varnell & Warwick, PA, Lady Lake, FL; John S. Hughes, Wallace & Graham; Cathy Anne Williams, and Aaron Goss, formerly of Wallace & Graham; Brian Warwick, Varnell & Warwick.

You can read more about these incredible cases here.

2018 Finalists

There were four finalist teams for this year’s award. In addition to Bahamas Surgery Center and Inetianbor, the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the following two cases were named finalists. Read more about each of these outstanding cases here.

Cote v. Wal-Mart (resulted in the first class certification and settlement for LGBT workers challenging workplace discrimination)

Vang v. Prataya (the first civil jury verdict in a sex tourism case)