Experience and National Recognition
Baron & Budd has more than 40 years of experience, gleaned from decades preparing for and being in the courtroom against skilled adversaries, is an asset we bring to every new client.
Our national reputation amongst legal industry leaders means that we have consistently delivered high-quality results to our clients.
Russell Budd was one of the original firm founders and still serves as President and Managing Shareholder of the firm today. That consistency in leadership over more than three decades has earned Baron & Budd a national reputation as a leader among plaintiffs’ lawyers.
Baron & Budd proudly employs a diverse group of individuals which contributes to the high level of service we provide to all our clients. From our shareholders, attorneys, and paralegals to our managers and staff, Baron & Budd has employees who represent a broad spectrum of race, gender, and sexual orientation. In 2019, the firm was honored to be recognized by Law 360’s Glass Ceiling Report as one of the top law firms for female attorneys with one-third of the shareholders at Baron & Budd being female. While the firm is proud of our diversity rankings, we know there is always room for improvement. We hope to continue to be an example of diversity in the law profession as we keep hiring extremely talented, qualified, and diverse individuals who can represent our firm and our motto of “protecting what’s right.”
Key Accolades Include:
U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®
Baron & Budd has received the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” ranking for eight straight years.
Firms included in U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must first have a lawyer recognized in The Best Lawyers in America©, which recognizes the top 5% of private practicing lawyers in the United States. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.
Ranked firms, presented in three tiers, are recognized on a national and regional-based scale. Firms that received a tier designation reflect the highest level of respect a firm can earn among other leading lawyers and clients from the same communities and practice areas.
The Dallas headquarters of Baron & Budd has been consistently recognized as a Metropolitan Tier 1 firm for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation and the Los Angeles based office has been recognized as a Metropolitan Tier 1 firm for Commercial Litigation.
The Best Lawyers in America
Best Lawyers was founded in 1981 with the purpose of highlighting the extraordinary accomplishments of those in the legal profession. Attorneys named to The Best Lawyers in America are recognized by their peers in the legal industry for their professional excellence in 145 practice areas.
Baron & Budd president and managing shareholder, Russell Budd, has been named one the Best Lawyers in America every year since 2014 in the practice areas of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.
Shareholder Scott Summy has also been selected by his peers for inclusion on the list every year since 2006 for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs. Since 2013, shareholder Roland Tellis has been on the list for the practice area of Commercial Litigation.
The National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ “Hot List”
This recognition is given to “firms in the United States that have done exemplary, cutting-edge work on the plaintiffs’ side.”
Each year, the National Law Journal profiles approximately a dozen plaintiffs’ firms that have had substantial victories and have litigated cases that helped shape the law in significant ways.
The Legal 500The Legal 500 as one of the country’s premier law firms in mass tort claims and class action litigation for the firm’s work on toxic tort claims.
The Legal 500 describes its United States legal directory as “the guide to the preeminent firms in the world’s strongest and most competitive legal market.” According to its editors, The Legal 500 uses independent researchers interviewing thousands of clients in 90 countries worldwide to select “the best of the best” and provides commentaries on its recommended law firms based on feedback from clients, judges and other attorneys.
Based on this extensive research, The Legal 500 selected Baron & Budd as one of the top two law firms in the nation for toxic tort claims in 2008. The directory specifically noted the company’s “strong water contamination practice” and continuing success in litigating serious asbestos cases.
In 2013, the firm was selected yet again as one of only two top tier plaintiffs’ law firms in the area of mass torts and class actions. The publication noted the firm’s “excellent” legal team that provides “outstanding” service to clients. The firm’s atrazine case and a landmark mesothelioma verdict were mentioned.
In 2014, the firm was honored yet again by being named to the prestigious list recognized for a significant mesothelioma verdict on behalf of a mesothelioma patient. The firm’s water contamination team, headed by shareholder Scott Summy, was recognized as a “popular choice” for public water providers and school districts. Shareholders Russell Budd and Steve Baron were also mentioned.
California Lawyer’s “Attorneys of the Year” Award for Environmental Law
John Fiske and Torri Sherlin of Baron & Budd, P.C. have been named 2020 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) by the Daily Journal. The CLAY award recognizes attorneys throughout California whose work made a significant impact on the law, the legal profession, or a practice area. Fiske and Sherlin work in the Baron & Budd Environmental Law Group litigating complex environmental cases all over the country, and they share the honor with Shareholder Scott Summy and Stephen Johnston, and with the entire wildfire litigation team.
Fiske and Sherlin were honored with the CLAY award because of their work representing public entities in the only major California wildfire settlement in 2019. They were able to obtain a $360 million settlement with Southern California Edison on behalf of 23 public entities for the taxpayer, public, and environmental losses caused by the 2017 Thomas and Koenigstein Fires, the 2018 Montecito Debris Flows, and the 2018 Woolsey Fire.
In 2001, before joining Baron & Budd, now shareholders Scott Summy and Celeste Evangelisti received the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Award for Environmental Law for their work on behalf of the California non-profit organization Communities for a Better Environment. The resolution of this precedent-setting case required the nation’s major oil companies to clean up more than 1,000 sites contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE.
Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees
Baron & Budd attorneys currently serve and have served on a number of Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees (PSC) in various types of litigation, ranging from complex water contamination cases to national and statewide securities fraud cases and national litigation to protect consumers from fraud.
Currently, Scott Summy, head of the firm’s water contamination litigation group, is serving as co-lead counsel in AFFF MDL No. 2873 pending in federal district court in South Carolina. This litigation focuses on PFAS contamination to the environment by its use in fire foam. The litigation focuses on the manufacturers of AFFF and PFAS and seeks damages for extensive contamination. This is the hottest environmental issue in the United States presently.
Mr. Summy is also serving as Co-Chair of the General Liability Discovery Committee and the Science Committee. Baron & Budd Shareholder Carla Burke is also serving as Co-Chair of the Law and Briefing Committee.
American Association for Justice’s Wiedemann Wysocki National Finance Council Award
Russell Budd, along with shareholder Burton LeBlanc, were among 14 attorneys nationwide to be honored with the prestigious Wiedemann Wysocki National Finance Council Award from the American Association for Justice (AAJ) in 2007. The award recognizes attorneys for their commitment to the legal profession and their efforts to improve the civil justice system. In 2010, LeBlanc received the award for the second time.
Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award
Baron & Budd attorneys received the prestigious Trial Lawyer of the Year award in 2006 from Trial Lawyers for Public Justice for their combined work on two cases that spanned 21 years and involved more than 1,600 plaintiffs injured by groundwater contamination in Tucson, Arizona.
In 2004, American Lawyer (an Incisive Media publication) listed Baron & Budd as one of the 16 most successful plaintiffs’ firms in the country.