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Gabriel A. Jackson

Partner

E gaby@wfbm.com
T (415) 781-7072
| F (415) 391-6258

Overview

Gabriel Jackson is a nationally recognized litigator who focuses on complex product liability litigation. She was first involved in toxic tort cases when she began representing an asbestos product manufacturer, Eagle-Picher. Later, she was asked to supervise their Northern California defense efforts in over 4,000 cases pending in the Bay Area and in counties north to the Oregon border. This involved discovery management, expert and fact witness development, pretrial preparation and trials.

In 1985, she joined the San Francisco office of Bingham McCutchen where she was a member of the Product/Tort Group, defending complex toxic tort cases. In addition to defending GAF in asbestos cases, Gaby handled defective residential piping litigation for the Hoescht-Celanese Corporation, first as local counsel and then as part of the National Coordinating Counsel team. During this time, she was also regional punitive damages counsel for Eagle-Picher in nine Western states where she oversaw all briefing and witness preparation in any cases where punitive damages were alleged.

After establishing her own firm in 1988, Gaby continued to represent asbestos defendants throughout California. In 1991 she assumed the role of California counsel for a wire and cable manufacturer and later that year became their National Coordinating Counsel overseeing the defense of all cases nationwide which had reached over 100,000 in number. Her duties included implementing strategies tailored to each jurisdiction’s unique legal climate and working closely with a network of counsel in developing expert and fact witnesses and co-chairing trials. She was the first California attorney to be named national counsel in the asbestos litigation. In 1997 she became National Coordinating Counsel to a drywall manufacturer for their asbestos litigation in California, Washington and Oregon. In 1998 she assumed the defense of a building products manufacturer in a property damage case in Hawaii where the State of Hawaii was prosecuting four building products manufacturers for abatement and removal of products utilized in thousands of the state’s public buildings and housing projects.

Gaby is currently the National Coordinating Counsel to an electrical component and fixture manufacturer, a power generation manufacturer and a food product manufacturer and she currently coordinates their defense efforts in over ten jurisdictions.

Gaby has tried ten complex multi-party cases to verdict in California, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. She was appointed Judge Pro Tem by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and she presided over citizens’ claims against the Municipal Transit Authority. She has also served as an expert consultant and witness in legal malpractice and complex insurance coverage matters.

Gaby has received the Martindale Hubbell “AV” rating from her peers and the judiciary from 1991 to the present. San Francisco Magazine has named her a Northern California Super Lawyer each year since 2004, among the “Top Attorneys in Northern California” since 2012, and a “Top Women Attorneys in Northern California” since 2015. In 2015 she was also named to the list of “Best Attorneys in America” and “America’s Most Honored Professionals.” She has also been nominated to the Who’s Who professional listing. In 2001 she was given the Award of Merit by the Legal Marketing Association and she is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. In 2008, she was named a “Woman of the Year” by the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco for her community service, volunteer work and leadership in the non-profit sector. In 2007 she was named Sustainer of the Year by the Junior League of San Francisco.

Gaby has lectured frequently and has been on the faculty at conferences presented by the Defense Research Institute, HarrisMartin Publications, the University of San Francisco School of Law, Andrews Continuing Education Institute, Mealey’s Publications, Queen’s Bench, the Bar Association of San Francisco, The Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada and the Institute for International Legal Studies in Austria.

Representative Successes
  • Summary judgment victory in Federal Court in North Carolina on all causes of action where the client was the only defendant in the case.
  • Summary judgment granted in the MARDOC MDL docket in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on the Government Contractor Defense.
  • Prevailed in pretrial motions involving successor liability, government contracts and foreign treaties resulting in the trial court ordering offers of proof by plaintiffs who then dismissed our client.
  • Fernando Jauregui v. Valley Crest Tree Company – Obtained a defense verdict after a five-week jury trial after less than two hours of deliberations in a living mesothelioma case with a 27-year old plaintiff. Tried the case just six weeks before trial commenced, assembling the experts and defense strategy from scratch. The plaintiff’s demand during trial was in the eight figures.
  • Negotiated the dismissal of over 90,000 cases pending nationally.
  • Nine Consolidated Lung Cancer Cases – Obtained a complete defense verdict on the medicine in all nine cases after a two month-long trial in this reverse bifurcated case in Philadelphia.
Industry Involvement

Professional Affiliations:

  • San Francisco Bar Association
  • Irish American Bar Association
  • California Women Lawyers
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada
  • Queen’s Bench
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow

Recognitions and Awards:

  • AV Preeminent® Rated by Peers and Judiciary, 1991 to present
  • Northern California Super Lawyers®, 2004 to present
  • “Woman of the Year” award by the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco for volunteer work in the non-profit sector, 2008
  • Award of Merit, Legal Marketing Association, 2001
  • Appointed Judge Pro Tem, presided over claims against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (“MUNI”), 1994

Professional Presentations:

  • “Punitive Damages: Verdicts Strategies and Issues”
  • “Challenges to Single Fiber and Fiber Drift Theories”
  • “Effective Deposition Practices in the Asbestos Litigation”
  • “The Defense of Household and Take-Home Exposure Cases”
  • “Masters in Marketing: Cross Marketing your Firm’s Practice Groups to Current Clients”
  • “Household Exposures to Asbestos”
  • “Substantial Factor Under California Law”
  • “California Asbestos and Silica Litigation Overview”
  • “Trends in Claim Filings and Asbestos Verdicts”
  • “Navigating Damages in Multiple Fatalities Cases”
  • “Recent Developments in Premises Liability Cases”
  • “Medical Record Review and Cross-Examination of a Treating Physician”
  • “Selecting Experts to Avoid a Daubert Attack”
  • “Litigation Strategies for Peripheral Defendants”
  • “Focus on Women and Marketing”
Beyond the Office

Gaby is married and the mother of three Millennials! She is a proud fourth generation San Franciscan and a dedicated Bay Area sports teams fan who has also attended six Olympic Games across the globe. Between college and law school, Gaby began a Master’s program in Modern European History at the University of San Francisco which she left to pursue her legal studies. She remains a passionate history buff.

Gaby is a committed community volunteer and has worked in fundraising for the non-profit sector for over 35 years. She currently sits on the Foundation Board of an international non-profit organization. Her volunteer focus has been on mentoring college-age women, volunteer promotion and training, grant-writing and autism awareness. She currently serves as a mentor for college women at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco as an advisor to her sorority’s chapters on those campuses. In that role, she conducts leadership, risk management, resume building and career development seminars. She is also a certified presenter of the American Association of University Women’s seminar “Work Smart” which is a curriculum centered around reducing the gender pay gap and empowering women entering the workforce to stand up for fair compensation. In 2020 she was elevated to the Tri Delta Foundation Board of Trustees which oversees the funding of programs including “Not Anymore”, a seminar dedicated to supporting college women to combat sexual violence on college campuses.

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