Alan J. Lazarus is an experienced trial and appellate attorney with a focus on products liability, consumer protection, toxic substances and environmental litigation. He also has experience handling commercial litigation, insurance coverage litigation and litigation arising from professional errors and omissions.
Alan has defended clients in a wide variety of matters involving prescription and over-the-counter drugs, medical devices, vehicles, chemical exposures, asbestos exposures, nutritional supplements, homeopathic remedies, construction equipment, firearms and environmental contamination. He has appeared as lead counsel in multidistrict litigation and statewide coordinated proceedings and has defended nationwide and statewide class actions.
In addition to his trial and appellate case load, Alan is often called upon to counsel clients and attorneys on product labeling and product stewardship-related issues and consult on appellate strategy.
Alan writes and lectures frequently on products liability and appellate practice topics. From 1992 to 1999, he was co-author and the editor of “Products, General Liability and Consumer Law: Annual Survey of Recent Developments,” which appeared annually in the Tort & Insurance Law Journal. He frequently serves as amicus counsel filing briefs on behalf of the Product Liability Advisory Council in California and Federal appellate courts. From 1996 to 1997, he served as the Defense Research Institute’s liaison to the American Law Institute project formulating the Third Restatement of Torts: Products Liability.
A former law clerk to the late Hon. Cecil F. Poole of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Alan is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Specialist in Appellate Law. He is also a trained mediator and has served as a panelist on the First District Court of Appeal’s appellate mediation program.
Alan is a former vice chair of the firm's Products Liability and Mass Tort Group.
Alan has extensive experience representing clients in a wide variety of product liability, toxic tort, and commercial litigation matters. His representative matters include:
- 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, 2009-2012.
- Numerous appellate engagements for automotive manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and chemical suppliers.
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).
- 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).
Best Lawyers®, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2020)
Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1987, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Journal of Communications and Entertainment Law
- State University of New York at Oswego, B.A., 1982, magna cum laude
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
- American Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Product Liability Advisory Council, amicus program