Gabriel A. Jackson
Gabriel A. Jackson is one of the nation’s foremost attorneys in asbestos litigation. For over 40 years, she has counseled and defended product manufacturers and premises owners in jurisdictions throughout the United States in complex toxic tort and product liability matters.
Many clients trust Gaby with their regional and national caseloads in toxic tort and product liability litigation. She has served as national coordinating counsel for multiple national companies, including manufacturers of asbestos products, drywall, electrical components and fixtures, power generation, wire and cable, and food products. She has overseen more than 100,000 cases nationwide, determining strategy and managing discovery, expert witness development, and trial preparation. Her focus includes tailoring strategies to a jurisdiction’s unique legal environment and working alongside regional or local counsel to develop expert witnesses in preparation for trial.
Gaby has tried 10 complex multi-party cases to verdict in California, West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. She has served as a Judge Pro Tem, appointed by the San Francisco mayor and she presided over citizens’ claims against the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority. She has also served as an expert consultant and witness in legal malpractice, complex insurance coverage and reinsurance matters.
During her career, Gaby has helped shape case law and is a nationally recognized thought leader in complex product liability litigation. She lectures frequently and has been on the faculty at conferences presented by Perrin Conferences, the Defense Research Institute, Bar Association of San Francisco, Andrews Continuing Education Institute, University of San Francisco School of Law, and HarrisMartin Publishing.
Among her many accolades, Gaby received the Martindale Hubbell “AV” rating from her peers and the judiciary beginning in her tenth year of practice. San Francisco Magazine has named her a Northern California Super Lawyer each year since 2004. She is also a Senior 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 nonprofit sector. In 2007 she was named Sustainer of the Year by the Junior League of San Francisco.
Gaby has represented defendants in general litigation, toxic tort and asbestos matters for more than 40 years. She has prepared hundreds of cases for trial, many of which concluded before verdict by way of settlement or dismissal. Below are some highlights of her trial results.
- Obtained favorable settlement during the plaintiff’s case in chief involving a premises claim against a local construction company, the first asbestos case to start trial in San Diego County in over 10 years. The case was prepared in just three weeks.
- Trial counsel in a complex case where the plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $6 million for diminution of value of 30 acres of real property in San Diego County resulting from the extraction of several mature trees, including claims of punitive damages against the client. After the jury’s apportionment of fault to the parties, the client’s net verdict was $175,600.
- Obtained dismissal of the case during trial against the client in a disputed asbestosis case which involved successor liability, foreign treaty issues, and government contracts by persuading the judge to require the plaintiffs to make an offer of proof on key issues.
- Earned a defense verdict after less than two hours of jury deliberations in a 27-year-old living mesothelioma case which was referred to the firm just six weeks before the first day of trial. With virtually nothing done by two sets of previous counsel, the team investigated the exposure, prepared strategies, retained experts, and conducted a five-week jury trial.
- Acted as lead counsel in pretrial motions and handled jury selection in a case which ultimately resolved for all but one defendant, who went on to receive a defense verdict by the selected jury.
- Defended one of 20 parties involved in a case which, at the outset, involved much controversy among the defendants and counsel as to how the case should be tried, how the jury should be selected, and how to share duties in pretrial matters. The firm had several clients in the case, all of whom ultimately settled during the trial. The two defendants who did go to verdict were victorious.
- Earned summary judgment in the U.S. District Court in North Carolina on all causes of action where the client was the only defendant in the case.
- Earned summary judgment in the MARDOC MDL docket in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on the Government Contractor Defense.
- Negotiated the dismissal for no indemnity payments of over 90,000 cases pending nationally.
- Obtained dismissal for the client after openings in a living mesothelioma case against a number of wire and cable defendants. Was asked to stay and assist with the trial for the remaining wire and cable defendants. Coordinated all experts for the defense, prepared the directs and crosses, and worked with the witnesses in preparation for their testimony. The lone remaining defendant received a defense verdict.
- Achieved a complete defense verdict for a wire and cable defendant in a consolidated group of seven living lung cancer cases tried in reverse bifurcation.
- Handled the pretrial matters and jury selection, then succeeded in securing the dismissal, with prejudice, before opening statement in a multi-case, multi-party trial in then “litigation happy” West Virginia. The dismissal disposed of almost 2,000 cases pending.
- Defended the client in a consolidated action involving thousands of cases pending. The only issue actually litigated was whether the manufacturer defendant’s products were defective under West Virginia product liability law. Because of a last-minute reversal by the judge on a motion to include appropriate jury instructions, the jury found against all defendants, but no damages were assessed as that was to be litigated in the next phase of mini trials. No liability trials were ever sought and the verdict remains, with no real impact in the state’s litigation.
- Acted as lead defense counsel for a group of wire and cable defendants in a reverse bifurcated bench trial. It resulted in a $3.5 million verdict which was resolved in phase two, the liability phase of the trial.
- Early in her career, she began trial in more than 40 lung cancer and asbestosis cases in Northern California counties. Most resulted in settlements during different phases of the trials. Tried a colon cancer case which resulted in a defense verdict. Tried an asbestosis case which also resulted in a defense verdict.
Honors & Awards
Litigation Counsel of America: Senior Fellow
Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent
City and County of San Francisco Woman of the Year, 2008
Junior League of San Francisco Sustainer of the Year, 2007
Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004-21
Legal Marketing Association Award of Merit, 2001
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Central Districts of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Supreme Court
- University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., 1980
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1979-1980
- Institute of International Legal Studies, University of Salzburg, Austria, 1978
- University of San Francisco, Department of History, Masters Candidate, 1975-1976
- University of California at Davis, B.A, History, 1975
- Defense Research Institute
- Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International
- Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
- Foundation Board of Delta Delta Delta Women’s Fraternity: Trustee
- Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco
- Ignatius Church, San Francisco
- Junior League of San Francisco
- American Association of University Women
Publications & Events
- “Talc Litigation Update,” (Co-Presenter), Emerging Risks CE/CLE, March 15, 2022
- “A Review of Key Jurisdictions—Practice, Procedure, Verdicts, and Jury Pools in Illinois, Missouri, California, and Washington,” (Co-Presenter), GS Webinar Series, January 27, 2022