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R. Brent Wisner Featured on the Cover of Super Lawyers Magazine
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, August 12, 2021

R. Brent Wisner, Trial Lawyer

August 12, 2021, Los Angeles, California - - Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman senior shareholder and vice president R. Brent Wisner is featured on the cover of the 2021 Southern California Super Lawyers® Rising Stars magazine. The cover story, titled "The 2 Billion Dollar Man," profiles Wisner's ascent from an associate attorney at the Los Angeles law firm to one of the country's leading plaintiff's lawyers.

In 2018 and 2019, Wisner helped earned multiple jury verdicts against agrochemical giant Monsanto Company (now part of Bayer) worth a combined $2.42 billion. These verdicts helped lay the groundwork for a $10.9 billion in settlements with Bayer last year, an agreement Wisner and several other leading lawyers helped negotiate to resolve tens of thousands of Roundup cancer cases.

Baum Hedlund was among the first law firms in the country to take the fight to Monsanto on behalf of people stricken with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after spraying Roundup. Before trial dates were set, Wisner and some of his colleagues declassified and published internal Monsanto documents obtained during discovery. These documents became known as the Monsanto Papers. Before publishing these on his firm's website, Wisner emailed 200 documents to the California EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the U.S. Department of Justice, and members of the European Parliament. Investigative journalists from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Le Monde, The Intercept and many others went on to publish articles based on the unsealed documents revealing Monsanto's scientific manipulation, including ghostwriting of scientific reviews, bullying of independent scientists, its collusion with the EPA, efforts to capture regulators, and many other issues. 

"We get these really incredible documents that affect people's public health, and we make a point to get them unsealed," Wisner told Super Lawyers magazine. "Most lawyers don't bother or care to do that because it doesn't really affect the case; but for us it's a greater good kind of thing."

Two weeks before the first Monsanto trial was scheduled to begin, Baum Hedlund received a call from Mike Miller of The Miller Firm, who was lead counsel for the plaintiff, Dewayne "Lee" Johnson. Miller was in a terrible accident and would not be able to try the case. From his hospital bed, Miller asked Wisner if he would co-try the case with David Dickens, a partner at The Miller Firm. Wisner, just 34 at the time, dove into the case, setting the stage for a David vs. Goliath legal battle.

The jury in Johnson v. Monsanto Co. returned a verdict after roughly six weeks of trial. Wisner, Dickens, and their team shocked the world, winning a historic $289 million.

In 2019, Wisner and Mike Miller led a team of attorneys from their respective firms and two others in the case of Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto Co. Wisner and Miller were co-lead trial counsel. With additional evidence they could not use in the first trial, the team of lawyers and support staff earned a $2.055 billion verdict, the ninth-largest personal injury jury verdict in U.S. history at the time. Wisner became the youngest attorney to ever earn a multi-billion-dollar jury verdict, and all of the lawyers on the trial team ended up being inducted in the Verdicts Hall of Fame by The National Law Journal.

According to Wisner, the trials and the settlement negotiations put a lot of pressure on Bayer, which ultimately led to the massive settlements. He stresses that the trial results and the nearly $11 billion in settlements were earned as a team with several firms taking on the work and huge financial commitment to secure justice and compensation for Roundup plaintiffs.

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Name: Robin McCall
Title: Media Relations Director
Group: Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman
Dateline: Los Angeles, CA United States
Direct Phone: 310-207-3233
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