Gilbert L. Purcell

E-mail MeGilbert L. Purcell

Senior Trial Partner
Location:
Novato, California
Phone:
415-895-2669
800-598-0314
Fax:
415-898-1247
Email:

See a full list of Mr. Purcell's trials

Born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma, Gil Purcell relocated to California in 1971 when Chevron closed its Midwest offices and his family moved to San Francisco. He attended Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, California where he was Valedictorian of his 1976 class. In 1979 Mr. Purcell attended Pembroke College at Cambridge University, studying International Economics and Courts before returning to UCLA to complete his B.A. in Economics. He studied law at Pepperdine University Law School, clerking for famed trial lawyers, Girardi & Keese in Los Angeles and was a founding member of a mid–sized plaintiffs firm with trial lawyers Federico Sayre (former founding partner with legendary trial lawyer Melvin Belli) and Raymond Boucher. He tried his first asbestos case in 1986 before California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George. After achieving a sizeable verdict, and one of the first verdicts against the John Crane Packing Company, he was asked to return to the Bay Area and try asbestos cases for Steve Kazan, founding and senior partner of Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood and Harley, PLC in Oakland.

It was through this trial work that he met current partner, Alan Brayton. Before relocating to the Bay Area, Mr. Purcell tried to verdict the first successful asbestos property damage action in California against W.R. Grace & Co., manufacturer of asbestos–containing spray–applied fireproofing, obtaining the first of several multimillion-dollar verdicts. In that case, Mr. Purcell represented the owners of a 32–story condominium building in downtown Los Angeles and had many current and former Superior Court Judges and prominent attorneys as clients.

Widely regarded as the premiere asbestos trial lawyer - Mr. Purcell has tried, and been more successful in obtaining verdicts for victims of asbestos disease, than any other attorney. His trials span the western United States (Washington, Oregon and Utah) and throughout California (Alameda, Los Angeles, Solano, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Orange, Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Contra Costa counties). In addition to numerous mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis trials, Mr. Purcell tried the very first asbestos-related non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases in Washington and Oregon, as well as asbestos related colorectal cancer case in California.

He has argued multiple successful appeals before the California Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, the Utah Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and in Federal Courts involving complex asbestos, shipyard, railroad–related FELA/BIA/Preemption and personal injury issues. For an example of his trial work, see his record of trial verdicts.

Mr. Purcell has testified before the California Legislature on behalf of the Los Angeles Community College District addressing the injustice of limitations running against public entities barring pursuit of remedial asbestos cost recovery litigation.

Admissions, Associations, Activities and Accolades

Mr. Purcell was admitted to California Bar in 1984 and is also admitted before the U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. District Courts, Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California; District of Columbia, Court of Appeals. He is the author of "Rostker v. Goldberg: A Step Backward in Equal Protection, or a Justifiable Affirmation of Congressional Power?" Pepperdine Law Review, Vol.9, No. 2, p. 441.

He is on the Board of Directors and Board of Governors for the Consumer Attorneys of California; and a member of the American Association for Justice (former Acting Chair, AAJ Railroad Law Section). He is also a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los AngelesPublic JusticeLitigation Counsel of America – Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, and the American Bar Association. Since its inception in 2007, Mr. Purcell has been honored by the National Trial Lawyers as a member of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in California.  Mr. Purcell became the youngest member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) to achieve the designation of diplomat in 2008. He was selected to the Lawdragon Top 500 Attorneys for 2012. More recently, Mr. Purcell was the recipient of the 2013 Pepperdine University School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award.

Mr. Purcell has been an invited speaker at educational seminars teaching other attorneys how to try asbestos cases, including specific assistance with:

  • Jury selection
  • Opening statements
  • Witness preparation & presentation
  • Closing arguments
  • Jury instructions

Additionally, he lectures on substantial factor causation in asbestos litigation at American Lung Association meetings, the Cedars Sinai Medical Center Forums on Asbestos Diseases; the Andrews Publications Annual Asbestos Conferences in New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco and Colorado; the Perrin Conferences Asbestos Litigation Conference; Plaintiffs Asbestos Litigation Seminar with founder and colleague Shepard Hoffman; KPIX radio; the National Lawyers Guild; and the Bay Area Community Law Foundation—Litigating for Social Justice Program Series. He also lectures on trial practice at law schools throughout California.

He is rated "AV Preemient" by Martindale–Hubbell, indicating that he has achieved the height of professional excellence. This peer–reviewed rank indicates the highest level of skill and integrity in an attorney’s practice areas. His peers have also selected Mr. Purcell as a Northern California Super Lawyer for ten consecutive years.

Personal Interests

Mr. Purcell is a graduate of the Jim Russell Racing School, having driven at Laguna Seca and Infineon Raceways. He hopes to someday compete in the USAC Formula Russell Pro Series Racing Championship, and regularly attends Indy Car, Formula One, and IRL races, including the annual Indianapolis 500 since 1985.

Mr. Purcell actively supports and defends animal rights – regularly assisting humane societies including Pets Without ParentsVoices for Pets, and the Marin Humane Society with their legal issues.

Mr. Purcell lives in Sausalito with Roxanne Sheridan and their ten cats, all of who were rescued from Bay Area animal shelters. Never to shy away from a challenge, he has worked to painstakingly restore a Sausalito historical landmark since 2003.

Gil Purcell on Google+

 

Areas of Practice

  • Asbestos
  • Personal Injury -- Plaintiff

Litigation Percentage

  • 90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Civil Trial Attorney

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1984
  • District of Columbia, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

  • Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California
    • J.D. - 1983
    • Law Review: Pepperdine University Law Review
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    • B.A. - 1980
    • Honors: Alumni Scholar
    • Major: Economics
  • Pembroke College at Cambridge University
    • Major: International Economics and Courts

Published Works

  • "Rostker v. Goldberg: A Step Backward in Equal Protection, or a Justifiable Affirmation of Congressional Power?", Pepperdine Law Review, Vol.9, No. 2, p. 441

Representative Cases

  • John & Mary Beth Perniz v. Certainteed Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2013)
  • Richard Luros, M.D. v. Amcord Inc., et al. (Superior Court: Alameda County 2013)
  • Michael Villaverde et ux v. Fluor Corporation et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2013)
  • Flora Olson et ux v. Timec Company Inc., et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2013)
  • Michael Todd v. Todd Shipyard Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2013)
  • David and Gail DeCeoursty v. Fraser's Boiler Service, Inc. et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2013)
  • Melvin Desin v. Asbestos Corporation Ltd, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2012)
  • John and Sandra Leonard v. Metalclad Insulation Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2012)
  • Oscar Bonetto v. Kelly Moore Paint Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2012)
  • Thomas Metcalf, et ux. v. San Francisco Gravel Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2012)
  • Judith Black v. Certainteed Corporation (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2011)
  • Margaret Watson v. Honeywell Corporation; Borg Warner Company, et al. (Superior Court: King County, Washington 2011)
  • Sandra Austin, et ux. v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc. (fka Bechtel Corp.); Fluor Corporation; Del Webb Corporation; et al. (Superior Court: Los Angeles County 2011)
  • John Casey and Patricia Casey v. FDCC (fka Dinwiddie Construction Co., Inc.); Kaiser Gypsum Company; et al (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2010)
  • John Casey and Patricia Casey v. FDCC (fka Dinwiddie Construction Co., Inc.); Kaiser Gypsum Company; et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2011)
  • Pauline Thompson v. General Electric Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: King County, Washington 2010)
  • Charles Akins v. Thomas Dee Engineering Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2010)
  • Judy Oxford v. Foster Wheeler Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2010)
  • Thomas and Victoria Olson v. Pacific Coast Building Products, Inc., et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2010)
  • Vickie Warren v. Georgia Pacific; Hamilton Materials and Union Carbide Corporation (Superior Court: Salt Lake City, Utah 2010)
  • Christopher Bakkie; Charles Bakkie v. Union Carbide Corporation (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2010)
  • Al Samuelson v. Amcord, Inc., et al. (Superior Court: Los Angeles County 2009)
  • Al Samuelson v. Amcord, Inc., et al. (Superior Court: Los Angeles County 2010)
  • Mareta Ryan, et ux. v. Gardner Denver, Inc., et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2009)
  • Bernice Cox, et ux. v. Leslie Controls, Inc., et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2009)
  • Bruce Wall, et ux. v. J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc; Wickes, Inc.; et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2009)
  • Patricia Pascale, et ux. v. Cleaver Brooks, Inc.; Quintec, Inc.; et al. (Superior Court: Los Angeles County, California 2009)
  • Jack Reynolds v. Hamilton Materials, Inc. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2009)
  • Charlotte Smith, et ux. v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc.; Foster Wheeler LLC, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2009)
  • Pamela Baur, et ux. v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc., et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2009)
  • Stephanie Berg, et ux. v. Scott Company of California, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2009)
  • Connie Trujillo, et ux. v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc.; Fluor Corporation; et al., Superior Court: San Francisco, California (2009)
  • Margaret Simpson, et ux. v. Union Carbide; J S Guerin Co.; SF Gravel Co.; et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2009)
  • Robert Hilt, et al. v. Metalclad Insulation Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2008)
  • Marissa DuRette, et al. v. Dana Companies, LLC (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2008)
  • Mary Marcelja, et al. v. Leslie Controls Company, Inc. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2008)
  • Anne Vanden Broek, et al. v. Plant Insulation Company (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2008)
  • Kenneth Martin, et al. v. COE Manufacturing Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco, California 2008)
  • Richard and Betty Palmer v. Rockwell Automation Inc., et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2008)
  • Eunice McClure v. Plant Insulation Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2008)
  • Barbara J. Walker, et al. v. Foster Wheeler Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2008)
  • Estate of Otto Schiebold v. Plant Insulation Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2008)
  • Judy Oxford, et al. vs. Foster Wheeler Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2007)
  • Judy Oxford, et al. vs. Foster Wheeler Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2008)
  • Jersey & Shirley Gray v. Allis–Chalmers Prod. Liability Trust, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2007)
  • Twila Harford v. Union Pacific Railroad Company (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2007)
  • Shirley McClure v. Plant Insulation Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2007)
  • In re Asbestos Groups 378/391 (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2007)
  • Albert Cook v. Plant Insulation Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2007)
  • Edward McIntyre v. Metalclad Insulation Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2007)
  • Peter and Agnes Reiss v. Pneumo–Abex Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2007)
  • Janet Blakley v. Metalclad Insulation Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2007)
  • Rollen Cox (Family) and Wenton Hutchinson (Family) v. Beazer East, Inc., et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2007)
  • Samuel Barrick v. Allen Bradley Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2007)
  • Joseph Kotarski v. Rheem Manufacturing Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2007)
  • Richard Campbell v. Kaiser Gypsum Co, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2006)
  • Houston Muckelvane v. Highland Stucco and Lime Company, et al. (Superior Court: Orange County, California 2006)
  • David Bakkie v. Union Carbide Corporation (Superior Court: San Francisco County 2006)
  • Charlton Clemmer, et al. v. John Crane, Inc. and Thorpe Insulation Company (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2006)
  • Alan Reinstein v. Kentile Floors Inc.; Bondex International Company (Superior Court: Los Angeles County, California 2005)
  • Alan Reinstein v. Kentile Floors Inc.; Bondex International Company (Superior Court: Los Angeles County, California 2006)
  • Genaro Garcia and Delia Garcia v. Duro Dyne Corporation and Holmes & Narver, Inc. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2005)
  • Walter Cozad v. Certainteed Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2005)
  • John Surprenant v. 20th Century Fox Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: Los Angeles County, California 2005)
  • Shaheed Nuriddin v. Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2005)
  • Ralph Pierce v. Certainteed Corporation (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2005)
  • Ernest Coulter and Lerose Coulter v. ACandS, Inc., et al. (Superior Court: King County, Washington 2005)
  • Patricia Moore v. Harley Davidson Corp, et al. (Superior Court: King County, Washington 2005)
  • In Re Group 283 Asbestos Cases (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2005)
  • Tommy Archibeque v. Rockwell Automation Corporation (Superior Court: Los Angeles County, California 2005)
  • Robert Botorff v. Asbestos Defendants BP, et al. (Superior Court: Los Angeles County, California 2005)
  • Chester Harris v. Sequoia Ventures Inc. (fma Bechtel Corporation), et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2005)
  • David Dryden v. Volkswagen of America Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2005)
  • Donald Perman v. Duro Dyne Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • In Re Group 282 v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • Thomas McClure v. Fluor Corporation, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • Anne Mader v. Owens Illinois Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • Stanley Ives v. Hamilton Building Materials Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • David Davis v. Kelly Moore Paint Company, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • Richard Reynolds v. Hill Brothers Chemical Company (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • Harlan Ketchum v. Union Carbide Corporation (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • Morris Nagl and Donna Nagl v. Dowman Products Inc. (Circuit Court: Multnomah County, Oregon 2004)
  • In Re Department of Justice – September 11 Victim Relief Fund (Department of Justice: New York City, New York 2004)
  • Robert Ryan v. Asbestos Corporation Ltd. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • John Kiss v. Asbestos Defendants, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2004)
  • Patricia Anderegg, et al. v. Center for Claims Resolution (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2003)
  • Carl Ransdell v. Sequoia Ventures, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2003)
  • Clarence Green v. Union Carbide Corp, et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2003)
  • Norman Hopkins v. Union Carbide Corp., et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2003)
  • Gertrude Bailty, et al. v. Oscar Erickson, Inc. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2003)
  • Otto Schiebold v. Asbestos Defendants (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2003)
  • Judy Arndt v. Ford Motor Company (Superior Court: King County, Washington 2003)
  • Lester Tims v. Ford Motor Company (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2003)
  • Milt Johnson/Alex Mendoza v. Asbestos Defendants (Oregon Circuit Court: Multnomah County, Oregon 2002)
  • Perry Wells v. Allen Bradley Company, Inc. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2002)
  • Alfred Todak v. Foster Wheeler L.L.C. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2002)
  • Joseph and Thomas Soares (Minor Twins) v. Tile Council of America, Inc. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2002)
  • Mark Compton, et ux. v. Asbestos Defendants (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2001)
  • Anthony Gallegos, et al. v. Dick Simon Trucking, Inc. (District Court: Salt Lake City, Utah 2001)
  • Group 193 (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California)
  • Robert Alexander v. Union Pacific Railroad/Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Co. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2001)
  • Ray Sundberg v. ACandS, Inc., et al. (Superior Court: King County, Washington 2001)
  • Fred Robertson v. Westside Building Material Co., et al. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2001)
  • Dennis Emrick v. WR Grace & Co., et al. (Oregon Circuit Court: Multnomah County, Oregon 2000)
  • Theodore Norman/Marion Norman v. US Gypsum Co and Krueger Lumber Co. (Oregon Circuit Court: Multnomah County, Oregon 2000)
  • Alfred McKeown v. Center for Claims Resolution Defendants (Oregon Circuit Court: Multnomah County, Oregon 2000)
  • Donald Benedict v. Center for Claims Resolution (Oregon Circuit Court: Multnomah County 2000)
  • Bernie Chavers v. Owens–Illinois, Inc.; Gatke Corporation (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 2000)
  • Lynda Broussard v. Graybar Electric Company (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 1999)
  • Dona Cottam v. Rapid American Corp. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 1999)
  • Sandra Holland v. U.S. Mineral; Douglas Insulation Co. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 1999)
  • Robert Bush v. Kaiser Gypsum (Oregon Circuit Court: Multnomah County, Oregon 1999)
  • Jim White v. ACandS, Inc. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 1999)
  • Tracy Thompson v. T&N PLC (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 1999)
  • Arthur Manners v. E.J. Bartells Co. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 1999)
  • Janis Hoffman v. Mobil Oil Co. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 1999)
  • Frank Dens v. Burlington Northern Railroad (Superior Court: Los Angeles County, California 1999)
  • Kenneth Kugelman v. John Crane Co. (Opening Statement) (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 1999)
  • Donald Dressler v. Lear Siegler Co. (Superior Court: San Francisco County, California 1999)

Classes/Seminars

  • Speaker, Try Asbestos
  • Lecturer, Substantial Factor Causation in Asbestos Litigation , American Lung Association Meetings
  • Lecturer, Trial Practice

Honors and Awards

  • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2004 - 2013
  • Rated AV - Preeminent; Highest Possible Rating by Martindale–Hubbell
  • 2011 Attorney of the Year - The Recorder
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award 2013 - Pepperdine University School of Law
  • 2013 Commencement Address - Graduation Ceremonies - Pepperdine University School of Law

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), Board of Governors
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Diplomat, 2008
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Board of Directors
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Board of Governors
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Member
  • Public Justice, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Girardi & Keese