Brayton Purcell

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Brayton Purcell LLP
Brayton Purcell, LLP logo 02.jpg
Headquarters Novato, California
No. of offices 4
No. of attorneys 50+
No. of employees 150+
Major practice areas asbestos, mesothelioma, toxic substances, medical malpractice, personal injury
Key people Alan Brayton, Gil Purcell (Senior Partners)
Date founded 1983
Slogan Attorneys Helping People

Brayton Purcell, LLP (also known as Brayton Law) is a law firm based in Novato, California. The firm has 45 attorneys and 220 support staff.[1] The majority of the firm's cases involve personal injury, and 75% of all cases are asbestos related.[2]

About the Partners[edit]

Prior to law school, founding partner Alan Brayton graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1971. In 1972 he received a master's in finance from UCLA, and in 1976 he earned his J.D. from UC Berkeley. [3]

In 1983, founding partner Alan Brayton established the firm until in 1995, senior partner and lead trial counsel Gilbert Purcell, joined to name the partnership Brayton Purcell.[2][4]

In 2006, Alan Brayton was named president of the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation. [5]

In 2011, James Nevin became a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates at the age of 36, making him the youngest ever member.[6]


In 2002, a California jury granted the largest asbestos case award to the plaintiff in a case tried by Brayton Purcell employees. Alfred Todak v. Foster Wheeler LLC resulted in a $33.7 million verdict for the former Navy electrician and his wife.[7]

In 2007, allegations were made that the law firm "lied to the court, submitted fraudulent asbestos claim forms and broke other rules" in an asbestos-related case.[8] As a result, the firm was barred from participating in the rest of the case.[9] The event led to further litigation when the Brayton Purcell attorney who was directly responsible for the court sanction charged in his own case against his former employer that he was provided with false information by Brayton staff members and attorneys.


Attorney misconduct[edit]

A former Brayton Purcell associate filed suit against the firm in California in 2013 for failing to reimburse him for the costs associated with a malpractice claim. The complaint was filed by Christopher Andreas. Andreas was hired in 1995 and he specialized in workplace exposure to toxic chemicals such as asbestos. Andreas was hired with the understanding that he would be covered by malpractice insurance.[10]

Brayton worked to revive the Western Asbestos Company in order to find and exploit untapped liability insurance coverage so that asbestos victims could receive additional compensation. The firm won hundreds of millions of dollars in default judgements which were later paid by Western Asbestos' insurers through its bankruptcy trust. Brayton served on the board of the trust. It was later determined that some of the money received by Brayton's clients was paid in error. Brayton did not advise Western Asbestos' bankruptcy trust of the mistake. Andreas claimed to have had no involvement in this decision. These claim form errors were raised by opposing counsel in another case in Ohio that Andreas was working on. Despite withdrawing from the case Andreas was accused of misconduct in Ohio and was self-reported this matter to the California Bar as required. The California Bar started an investigation and Andreas was forced to engage a California attorney that specializes in disciplinary matters and another attorney in Ohio. Brayton refused to indemnify him for the fees incurred.[10]

In May of 2015, a federal judge in California sternly sanctioned and fined Brayton Purcell partner Gilbert Purcell for lying about witness testimony. Purcell and several other members of his team were fined $250 each. Purcell lied about whether a particular witness would testify about how chemotherapy may have exacerbated his client's kidney problems.[11]


  1. ^ "Attorneys". Brayton Purcell. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Schuyler, Nina (2011). "Gilbert Purcell: Brayton Purcell" (PDF). Representing Plaintiffs (Fall 2011): 38. Retrieved 6 May 2013. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Connell, Mary (July 27, 2006). "Al Brayton to lead trial lawyers' foundation". Marinscope Community Newspapers. Retrieved 2017-04-18. 
  4. ^ Holley, Ray. "35 Years of Law". NorthBay biz. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Connell, Mary (July 27, 2006). "Al Brayton to lead trial lawyers' foundation". Marinscope Community Newspapers. 
  6. ^ Ellison, Stephen (August 2005). "Profile: James Nevin" (PDF). Plaintiff Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  7. ^ Ellison, Stephen (May 2009). "Profile: Alan Brayton". Plaintiff Magazine. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  8. ^ Hirsch, Matthew (22 January 2007). "Judge: Firm Submitted Fraudulent Claim Forms". The Legal Intelligencer. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Davies, Paul (20 January 2007). "Plaintiffs' Team Takes Hit on Asbestos". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Bass, Nathan (5 July 2013). "Complaint details unethical conduct by asbestos attorneys". Legal NewsLine. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  11. ^ Koenig, Bryan (26 May 2015). "Atty Sanctioned For Sneaking Evidence In Navy Asbestos Suit". Law360. Retrieved 27 July 2017.