Leila J. Noël is recognized as one of the Top Women Lawyers in California, with expertise in complex litigation including complex commercial litigation, lender liability, class actions and catastrophic personal injury/wrongful death.
Ms. Noël has tried or co-tried most of the firm’s largest cases, and has obtained jury verdicts in excess of $125 million and negotiated more than $130 million in settlements and workouts.
She was named one of the “Top 75 Women Litigators” in California for 2011 and one of the “Top 100 Women Lawyers” in California for 2013 by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals. She also was named Southern California Super Lawyer in 2012 and 2013. She is consistently listed in the “Who’s Who of Professional Services” by the Pacific Coast Business Times and was named one of the “Top 50 Women in Business” in 2016 and 2017 by the paper.
Her jury verdicts include a $70.8 million verdict for a small aircraft manufacturer against General Electric Capital Corporation, and a $23.1 million wrongful termination verdict against Johnson Controls, Inc.
Ms. Noël represented the parents of a 4 ½ year old boy who drowned in an exclusive athletic club due to the negligence and willful misconduct of the club and its employees; the jury returned a verdict of $16.2 million, one of the largest in the country’s history for a child wrongful death case. Ms. Noël also has been co-lead counsel in class and mass action cases that have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in compensation to class members.
As co-lead counsel, she represented hundreds of victims of cancer and their families in a protracted litigation against Boeing for toxic air contamination in neighborhoods surrounding Boeing facilities in the Simi and San Fernando Valleys, just north of Los Angeles. The 8 ½ year case resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement for the individuals harmed and the families of those that died.
Ms. Noël was co-lead counsel with Mr. Cappello in an Unruh Civil Rights Act class action against Wells Fargo Bank. In 2011, a jury returned a multi-million-dollar verdict penalizing the bank for lending discrimination and compensating Los Angeles area minority borrowers in the class. The bank appealed the jury verdict, but the appellate court ruled in the borrowers’ favor. This sweeping decision is a blueprint for stopping discrimination against minority borrowers.
Noël was co-lead counsel to parents of a teenager killed in a wrong-way-driver accident. She argued that the inappropriate actions of a Santa Barbara County Sherriff led to the death of the teenager, and she defeated the defendants’ claim of statutory pursuit immunity – a turning point in the case. Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara County Sherriff’s Department settled with the teen’s parents for $4.8 million.
Besides her trial work, Ms. Noël has successfully completed numerous settlements on behalf of the firm’s clients resulting in more than $130 million in loan discounts and cash payments. Ms. Noël obtained $2 million in settlements for medical product liability claims against an orthopedics company, and she litigated and negotiated a favorable $54.8 million buyout of a multi-complex real estate subdivision.
Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, Scotland
University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A. with honors, 1980
Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary, J.D., 1983
State Bar of California, 1984
U.S. District Court, Central and Eastern Districts of California, 1986
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2004
Member, Board of Directors, Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County
State Bar of California
Consumer Attorneys of California
American Association for Justice