ASWT Managing Partner Mike Arias Named California Lawyer of the Year by Daily Journal
Founding and managing partner of ASWT LLP Mike Arias was honored by the Daily Journal as a California Lawyer of the Year in its annual CLAY award supplement.
Mr. Arias, as well as co-plaintiff liaison counsel John Manly, and other co-counsel, were honored with the CLAY award for their work obtaining an $852 million settlement against the University of Southern California.
In the article, Mr. Arias discussed the painful fallout of the sex abuse scandal involving a former USC gynecologist and the hundreds of women he molested over decades, and the victims’ lawyers, who would strike an $852 million deal with the school deposed scores of the 710 clients they represented.
The nine-figure settlement is the largest known in a sexual abuse case in U.S. history, as well as the largest known personal injury settlement against a university. The average payout will be $1.2 million for the plaintiffs in this case, Jane Doe 3 et al. v. University of Southern California.
In addition to his work on this case, Mr. Arias coordinated support for AB 1510, a law to create a retroactive exception to the statute of limitations to ensure their clients could participate in the case, speaking out became even more important “Many gave up their anonymity to go to Sacramento to testify for the sake of themselves and other women,” Arias said. “They definitely had a voice.”
The complaints filed on behalf of these women alleged that Dr. Tyndall used his position as a trusted and credentialed medical professional to commit a series of abusive acts toward his patients.
Arias said his clients opted out of the class to proceed with their individual claims. “I’m proud of advising the women to go with us, and I’m proud of them for having faith in us,” he told the Daily Journal.
He said that the national notoriety attracted by the huge sum USC must pay had a wakeup-call effect on institutions facing similar risks in the #MeToo era. “It made many evaluate their procedures to try to avoid all this.
The partners of Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP (ASWT) have been practicing law on a national level since the 1980’s. The firm handles litigation matters in state and federal courts in multiple states throughout the country from its offices in Los Angeles and Oakland, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Montreal, Canada.
ASWT’s attorneys possess over 200 years of combined legal experience. The firm’s attorneys are admitted to practice law before state and federal courts in California, Illinois, New York, Nevada, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Quebec and Ontario, Canada.