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Elizabeth J. Cabraser

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-956-1000
Fax: 415-956-1008
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2022
Licensed in California Since: 1978
Practice Areas: Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff, Securities Litigation, Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff
Attorney Profile

A Champion for Justice

Under Elizabeth Cabraser’s leadership, Lieff Cabraser has become one of the country’s largest law firms serving clients seeking redress for financial and consumer fraud, anti-competitive practices, harmful drugs and products, and illegal employment practices. For nearly four decades, Elizabeth has made sure that our firm remains dedicated to its core values.

Possessing unparalleled expertise in complex civil litigation, Elizabeth has served as court-appointed lead, co-lead, or class counsel in scores of federal multi-district and state coordinated proceedings. These cases include multi-state tobacco, the Exxon ValdezdisasterBreast ImplantsFen-Phen (Diet Drugs), Vioxx, Toyota sudden acceleration, numerous securities/investment fraud cases, and Holocaust litigation. Today, Elizabeth serves in court-appointed leadership positions in several of the nation’s highest profile civil cases: the BP Gulf Oil Spill, GM ignition switch defect, and Takata defective airbag litigation, as well as serving as sole Lead Counsel and Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Emissions litigation and the Fiat Chrysler Ecodiesel Emissions litigation.

A Pillar of the Plaintiffs’ Bar

Elizabeth has been repeatedly recognized as one of the foremost litigators in our nation, including being selected an unprecedented four times as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal, which has called her “a pillar of the plaintiffs’ bar.”

In 2017, Elizabeth was was named “Plaintiff Attorney of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation, which noted that she “is known nationwide for having handled some of the largest class actions in US history, as well as being one the firm’s — and the country’s — foremost trial lawyers.” Also in 2017, the National Law Journal selected her as an “Energy and Environmental Law Trailblazer,” and Chambers USA named her a “Leader in the Field” for General Litigation (California) and Product Liability (Nationwide).

In 2016, Benchmark recognized her as a “Top 10 Female Litigator,” noting “Elizabeth Cabraser is one of the best trial lawyers to be found anywhere. She has an unassuming yet massive courtroom presence.” Also in 2016, Law360 named Elizabeth a “Most Valuable Player” in Class Action Law.

In 2015, the National Law Journal named her as one of the 75 outstanding women lawyers in America. She has been named repeatedly to the Lawdragon 500, The Top 100 California Lawyers, and as a SuperLawyer in multiple fields.

The California Daily Journal has described Elizabeth as

"a commanding attorney and a role model for other litigators, especially fellow female lawyers."

Law360 noted in a profile of Elizabeth that

"Her reputation among defense attorneys is that of a formidable opponent who comes to cases thoroughly prepared and can win a Judge’s ear."

Commitment to Advancing the Legal Profession and Society

Elizabeth serves on the Executive Committee of the Council of the American Law Institute (ALI) and is an advisor to several ALI projects, including Aggregate Litigation, the Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm. Since 2011, she has served on the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee.

Elizabeth has written and spoken extensively on substantive legal issues as well as ones related to the advancement of women in the profession, including last year for Trial magazine, published by the American Association for Justice, a commentary entitled “Where are all the women in the courtroom?”

Elizabeth’s dedication to the advancement of civil justice extends beyond cases. She lectures on class action and complex litigation at Berkeley and Columbia Law Schools, has written extensively on these issues, and has also lectured and conducted seminars for the Federal Judicial Center, ALI-ABA, the National Center for State Courts, Vanderbilt University Law School, and the Practicing Law Institute.

In 2010, the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession honored Elizabeth with its Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. The award recognizes the accomplishments of women lawyers who have excelled in their field and have paved the way to success for other women lawyers. It is regarded by many as the highest honor in the legal profession for women lawyers.

Elizabeth is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Many of our nation’s most accomplished leaders from academia, the social sciences, the study and practice of law, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts are members of the Academy.

Top Lists

About Elizabeth J. Cabraser

First Admitted: 1978, California

Professional Webpage:


  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell; Selected for inclusion by peers in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of “Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Plaintiffs,” “Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs,” “Product Liability Litigation-Plaintiffs,” and “Consumer Protection Law,” 2005-2022; “Lifetime Achievement Award,” National Law Journal, 2022; “Top California Women Lawyers,” Daily Journal, 2007-2020, 2022; "Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers, Lawdragon, 2019-2022; "Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers," Lawdragon, 2019-2021; “Top 50 Women Northern California Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers, 2005-2018, 2020, 2021; “Top 10 Northern California Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers, 2011-2018, 2020, 2021; “Super Lawyer for Northern California,” Super Lawyers, 2004-2021; “Top Plaintiff Lawyers,” California Daily Journal, 2016-2017, 2019, 2021; “Top Lawyers of the Decade,” Daily Journal, 2021; “Lawdragon 500 Hall of Fame,” Lawdragon, 2021; “Top 100 Lawyers in California,” Daily Journal, 2002-2007, 2010-2016, 2019, 2020; “Top 250 Women in Litigation,” Benchmark Litigation, 2016-2020; “Lawyer of the Year,” Best Lawyers, recognized in the category of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation-Plaintiffs for San Francisco, 2014, 2016, 2019, 2020; “Vern Countryman Consumer Law Award,” National Consumer Law Center, 2019; “Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America,” Lawdragon, 2006-2019; "Trial Lawyer Excellence Award," Law Bulletin, 2019; “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar,” National Law Journal, 2018; “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America,” Benchmark Litigation, 2015, 2017, 2018; “Champion of Justice,” Public Justice, 2018; 2018 “National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame,” National Trial Lawyers Association; “Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar,” Law360, 2018; “California Lawyer of the Year,” California Lawyer, 2018; “Plaintiff Lawyer of the Year,” Benchmark Litigation, 2017; “Lifetime Achievement Award,” National Law Journal, 2017; “Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist,” Consumer Attorneys of California, 2017; “Top 10 Women in Litigation,” Benchmark Litigation, 2016, 2017;; “Energy and Environmental Law Trailblazer,” National Law Journal, 2017; “Leader in the Field” for General Commercial Litigation (California); Product Liability – Plaintiffs (Nationwide), Chambers USA, 2017; “MVP for Class Action Law,” Law360, 2016; “Litigator of the Week,” American Lawyer Litigation Daily, October 28, 2016; “Judge Learned Hand Award,” American Jewish Committee, 2016; “25 Most Influential Women in Securities Law,” Law360, 2016; “California Litigation Star,” Benchmark Litigation, 2012-2017; “Legends of the 500,” Lawdragon, 2015; “Women Trailblazers in the Law,” Senior Lawyers Division, American Bar Association, 2015; “Outstanding Women Lawyer,” National Law Journal, 2015; “Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyers,” Super Lawyers, 2005-2016; “Recommended Lawyer,” The Legal 500 (U.S. edition, 2000-2014); “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” The National Law Journal, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2013; “Lifetime Achievement Award,” American Association for Justice, 2012; “Outstanding Achievement Award,” Chambers USA, 2012; “Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award,” American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, 2010; “Edward Pollock Award,” Consumer Attorneys of California, 2008; “Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers,” Lawdragon, Winter 2007; “50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America,” The National Law Journal, 1998, 2007; “Award For Public Interest Excellence,” University of San Francisco School of Law Public Interest Law Foundation, 2007; “Top 75 Women Litigators,” Daily Journal, 2005-2006; “Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America,” Lawdragon, 2006; “Distinguished Leadership Award,” Legal Community Against Violence, 2006; “Women of Achievement Award,” Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund), 2006; “Top 30 Securities Litigator,” Daily Journal, 2005; “Top 50 Women Litigators,” Daily Journal, 2004; “Citation Award,” University of California, Berkeley Law, 2003; “Distinguished Jurisprudence Award,” Anti-Defamation League, 2002; “Top 30 Women Litigators,” California Daily Journal, 2002; “Top Ten Women Litigators,” The National Law Journal, 2001; “Matthew O. Tobriner Public Service Award,” Legal Aid Society, 2000; “California Law Business Top 100 Lawyers,” California Daily Journal, 2000; “California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY),” California Lawyer, 1998; “Presidential Award of Merit,” Consumer Attorneys of California, 1998; “Public Justice Achievement Award,” Public Justice, 1997, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Speaker, National Consumer Law Center Consumer Rights Litigation Conference & Class Action Symposium, November 2020; Faculty Member, “Mass Tort MDL Certificate Program,” Duke Law School Bolch Judicial Institute, 2019-2021; Editor-in-Chief, California Class Actions Practice and Procedures, LexisNexis, Updated Annually; Executive Editor, ABA Section of Litigation, Survey of Federal Circuit Courts’ Class Action Decisions – 2018; Co-author with Samuel Issacharoff, “The Participatory Class Action,” New York University Law Review, Vol. 92 (October 2017); “Punitive Damages,” Proving and Defending Damage Claims, Chapter 8, Aspen Publishers, Updated Annually; “The Class Abides: Class Actions and the ‘Roberts Court’,” Akron Law Review: Vol. 48: Iss. 4, Article 3; “Symposium: Enforcing the Social Contract through Representative Litigation,” 33 Connecticut Law Review 1239, Summer 2011; “When Worlds Collide: The Supreme Court Confronts Federal Agencies with Federalism in Wyeth v. Levine,” 84 Tulane L. Rev. 1275, 2010; “Apportioning Due Process: Preserving The Right to Affordable Justice,” 87 Denver U. L.Rev. 437, 2010; “Due Process Pre-Empted: Stealth Preemption As a Consequence of Agency Capture,” 65 N.Y.U. Annual Survey of American Law 449, 2010; Executive Editor, ABA Section of Litigation, Survey of State Class Action Law, 2008-2010; “Just Choose: The Jurisprudential Necessity to Select a Single Governing Law for Mass Claims Arising from Nationally Marketed Consumer Goods and Services,” Roger Williams University Law Review, Winter 2009; “California Class Action Classics,”Consumer Attorneys of California, January/February Forum 2009; Coordinating Editor, ABA Section of Litigation, Survey of State Class Action Law, 2006-2007; “The Manageable Nationwide Class: A Choice-of-Law Legacy of Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts,” University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Volume 74, Number 3, Spring 2006; Co-Author with Joy A. Kruse, Bruce Leppla, “Selective Waiver: Recent Developments in the Ninth Circuit and California” (pts. 1 & 2), Securities Litigation Report, West Legalworks May & June 2005; Co-Author with Fabrice N. Vincent, “Class Actions Fairness Act of 2005,” California Litigation, Vol. 18, Nov. 3 2005; Co-Author, “2004 ABA Toxicology Monograph-California State Law,” January 2004; Co-Author, “Decisions Interpreting California’s Rules of Class Action Procedure,” Survey of State Class Action Law, updated and re-published in 5 Newberg on Class Actions, ABA 2001 – 2004; Co-Author, “Mass But Not (Necessarily) Class: Emerging Aggregation Alternatives Under the Federal Rules,” ABA 8th Annual National Institute on Class Actions, New York (Oct. 15, 2004) & New Orleans (Oct. 29, 2004); “Human Rights Violations as Mass Torts: Compensation as a Proxy for Justice in the United States Civil Litigation System,” Vanderbilt Law Review, November 2004; “Mass Tort Class Actions,” ATLA’s Litigating Tort Cases, Vol. 1, Chapter 9, June 2003; “A Plaintiffs’ Perspective On The Effect of State Farm v. Campbell On Punitive Damages in Mass Torts,” May 2003; Co-Author with Fabrice N. Vincent, “Ethics and Admissibility: Failure to Disclose Conflicts of Interest in and/or Funding of Scientific Studies and/or Data May Warrant Evidentiary Exclusions,” Mealey’s December Emerging Drugs Reporter, December 2002; “The Shareholder Strikes Back: Varied Approaches to Civil Litigation Claims Are Available to Help Make Shareholders Whole,” September 2002; Coordinating Editor/Co-Author, California section, ABA State Class Action Survey, 2001 – 2002; “Unfinished Business: Reaching the Due Process Limits of Punitive Damages in Tobacco Litigation Through Unitary Classwide Adjudication,” 36 Wake Forest Law Review 979, Winter 2001; “Equity for the Victims, Equity for the Transgressor: The Classwide Treatment of Punitive Damages Claims,” 74 Tulane Law Review 2005, June, 2000; “Class Action Trends and Developments After Amchem and Ortiz,” ALI-ABA Course of Study, Civil Practice and Litigation Techniques in Federal and State Courts, 1999; Contributor/Editor, Moore’s Federal Practice, 1999; Co-Author, “Preliminary Issues Regarding Forum Selection, Jurisdiction, and Choice of Law in Class Actions,” December, 1999; “Life After Amchem: The Class Struggle Continues,” 31 Loyola Law Review 373, 1998; “Recent Developments in Nationwide Products Liability Litigation: The Phenomenon of Non-Injury Products Cases, the Impact of Amchem and the Trend Toward State Court Adjudication,” Products Liability, ABA, February, 1998; Contributor/Editor, California Causes of Action, 1998; “Beyond Bifurcation: Multi-Phase Structure in Mass Tort Class Actions,” Class Actions & Derivative Suits, Spring, 1997; “The Road Not Taken: Thoughts on the Fifth Circuit’s Decertification of the Castano Class,” SB24 ALI-ABA 433, 1996; “Getting the Word Out: Pre-Certification Notice to Class Members Under Rule 23(d)(2),” Class Actions & Derivative Suits Newsletter, October, 1995; “Mass Tort Class Action Settlements,” 24 CTLA Forum 11, January-February, 1994; “Do You Know the Way from San Jose? The Evolution of Environmental and Toxic Nuisance Class Actions,” Class Actions & Derivative Suits, Spring, 1994; “An Oracle of Change? Realizing the Potential of Emerging Fee Award Methodologies for Enhancing The Role and Control of Investors in Derivative and Class Action Suits,” Principles of Corporate Governance, ALI, October, 1994; “How To Streamline Complex Litigation: Tailor a Case Management Order to Your Controversy,” 21 The Brief 12, ABA/TIPS, Summer, 1992; “The Applicability of the Fraud-On-The-Market Theory to Undeveloped Markets: When Fraud Creates the Market,” 12 Class Action Reports 402, 1989; “Mandatory Certification of Settlement Classes,” 10 Class Action Reports 151, 1987

Bar/Professional Activity

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Fellow); American Association for Justice (Fight for Justice Campaign; Women Trial Lawyers Caucus; California State Liaison); American Bar Association (Committee on Mass Torts, Past Co-Chair; Committee on Class Actions and Derivative Suits; Tort and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS); Rules & Procedures Committee, Past Vice-Chair; Civil Procedure & Evidence News Letter, Contributor; Business Law Section); American Law Institute (Council; International Jurisdiction and Judgments and Aggregate Litigation Projects, Advisor); Association of Business Trial Lawyers; Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit; Bar Association of San Francisco (Past President, Securities Litigation Section; Board of Directors, 1997-1998; Judiciary Committee); Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom; California Constitution Revision Commission (1993-1996); California Women Lawyers; Consumer Attorneys of California; Federal Bar Association (Northern District of California Chapter); Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee (Appointed by Supreme Court, 2011); Lawyers Club of San Francisco; National Center for State Courts (Board Member; Mass Tort Conference Planning Committee); National Judicial College (Board of Trustees); Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (Lawyer Delegate, 1992-1995); Northern District of California Civil Justice Reform Act (Advisory Committee; Advisory Committee on Professional Conduct); Public Justice Foundation; Queen's Bench; State Bar of California.

Educational Background

  • University of California at Berkeley (A.B., 1975)
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Office Location for Elizabeth J. Cabraser

275 Battery Street
29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

Last Updated: 3/15/2022

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