Accomplished San Francisco Trial Lawyer Represents Fiduciaries

Preeminent legal services for fiduciaries of trusts, at trial and afterwards

Complex civil and commercial litigation often involves the interests of persons or entities that are not named parties in the immediate dispute, but who, nevertheless, must live with the outcome. In those instances, a fiduciary can be appointed by the court to represent those interests.  At Fergus, A Law Office, I have been appointed numerous times by federal courts as the trial lawyer for court-appointed fiduciaries representing the interests of tens of thousands of unknown individuals, who in the future will be diagnosed with serious, debilitating asbestos-related diseases.  These cases are illustrative of the services I am prepared to provide to fiduciaries in equally complex matters.

Capable management of trial responsibilities

In state and federal court trials that require court-appointed fiduciaries, millions, if not billions, of dollars are at stake. Documentation is voluminous and the roster of potential witnesses is lengthy. The ability to digest vast quantities of data, distill the essential information upon which the case will turn, and communicate effectively with major and minor players, requires a rare combination of talent, training and experience.   As the one of the lead trial lawyers I participated in all aspects of trial preparation and presentation of evidence at trial.  The cases in which I participated settled favorably for the beneficiaries of the trusts set up pay injured victims for decades into the future. What follows is a more detailed treatment of my duties and the case outcomes.

Brief summaries of my role representing court appoint fiduciaries in asbestos litigation

In the first trial in In Re Western Asbestos, in 2002, I represented former Deputy Attorney General and former District Court Judge Charles Renfrew. In addition to deposing opposing experts, I was responsible for preparing key experts for the present and the future claimants on a number of future asbestos claims. I also took depositions of key defense experts on the validity of the plan and its structure. I was one of two lawyers making opening statements and closing arguments. I cross-examined approximately one third of the defense witnesses at trial. During trial there were settlements of more than $1.2 billion dollars, where I was a key part of the negotiating team.  At the end of the day, there was more than $2.2 billion dollars in aggregate settlements. (The first $900 million in settlements occurred before my client was appointed by the court and before I was retained.)

In 2006, I represented the Futures Representative at trial and did the lion’s share of the court room work in terms of cross-examining witnesses, opening and closing arguments. This was the In re J.T. Thorpe where the final settlements were approximately $260,000,000.

In 2008,  in connection with In re Thorpe Insulation (similar name, different company), I represented the Futures Representative at trial and made a significant contribution to the court room work in terms of cross-examination of witnesses, opening and closing arguments and negotiating settlements. The final settlements were approximately $700,000,000.

In 2012 to 2013, in connection with In re Plant Asbestos I did the majority of the court room work and almost all of the discovery depositions in two separate trials. The final settlements totaled over $300,000,000.

After trial, helping trusts keep the trust

After the trials are over, my client becomes the representative appointed by the court to serve as the future representative for each of the trusts. These trusts are expected to exist for the next 40 years, so it is important to have continued representation for future claimants. I have played a significant role in the post-trial trusts, including:

  • Helping to set conservative earnings estimates
  • Helping to set realistic  and conservative payment schedules
  • Helping to protect assets set aside for future claims from specious claims

Contact Fergus, A Law Office for fiduciary representation on the highest level

Fergus, A Law Office has a proud record of protecting future trust fund claimants in complex civil litigation. To schedule a consultation, call us at 415.537.9030 or contact my San Francisco office online.