A. Ilyas Akbari is a partner at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, and has been with the firm since 2005. He concentrates his practice on commercial transportation accidents, as well as medical device and pharmaceutical drug product liability resulting in catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death.
He is listed in the oldest and most highly-respected peer review legal guide, Best Lawyers in America®, and has earned the highest AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating through Martindale Hubbell®. He has also earned the highest Avvo.com superb score of 10 and is listed in Southern California Super Lawyers.
Ilyas’ bioengineering degree has proven very beneficial in the trials in which he assists, as well as with the handling of his cases in general. In fact, Ilyas is in his element when he can blend his expertise in science and law.
Whether it is finding the chemical reaction associated with pharmaceutical side effects, the mechanism of injury and lasting effects of traumatic brain injuries, or the engineering flaw that caused an aircraft crash, Ilyas devotes himself to the investigation and discovery involved in litigation.
Ilyas has participated in many of the firm’s most successful cases. He was part of the team of Baum Hedlund lawyers who obtained one of the largest verdicts in Ohio State’s history in a truck accident case, resulting in $7M for the death of an unmarried person. He was also an integral part of the firm’s trial team which tried an aviation accident product liability case against Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. in Los Angeles, resulting in a settlement after several weeks of trial.
He served on a trial team in Colorado, helping another firm in a trial against Riddell, a football helmet manufacturer. The jury returned a verdict of $11.5M against Riddell and several high school administrators and football coaches over brain injuries suffered by a teenager. The jury found that Riddell was negligent in failing to warn people wearing its helmets about concussion dangers, making the company responsible for $3.1 million of the damages.
Ilyas also helped litigate the 2015 Philadelphia Amtrak 188 derailment cases and the 2012 CSX coal train derailment in Ellicott City, Maryland and was on the team that litigated the two largest commuter rail disasters in Southern California, the 2005 Glendale crash and the 2008 collision in Chatsworth.
When looking back at Ilyas’ success and fortitude, one would never know the struggles his family faced as refugees from Afghanistan. When Ilyas was just three-years-old, his familyescaped the dangerous and war-torn country of Afghanistan to pursue the American Dream. Having spent their entire life savings to smuggle their young family to California, the Akbaris had nothing. With sheer determination Ilyas’ father built a life for his family and always did what he could for others. This example has driven Ilyas to fight for people who have lost it all: their lives or the lives of loved ones.
His harrowing and uplifting story was featured on Superlawyers.com in 2010. Below is an excerpt from the article:
At a time when children were prohibited from leaving the country, the Akbaris’ drugged their 3- and 2-year-olds, stuffed them into suitcases, and spent their life savings bribing their way out of Afghanistan. Akbari’s father was a prosecutor and his mother a teacher when they fled Kabul, but they didn’t know English; so they worked multiple jobs, took English classes, and Akbari’s father became an auto mechanic. Through sheer determination and hard work, he opened his own shop and now employs several people. Part of his American Dream was to send his son to college, and he did.
Ilyas earned his B.S. degree in Bioengineering in 2000 from U.C. San Diego. U.C. San Diego’s prestigious Bioengineering Department is consistently ranked as one of the top fiveprograms in the world. While at U.C. San Diego, he was the founding Vice President of the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers. It was through this society that Ilyas met several scientist-attorneys, who inspired him to continue on to Southwestern University School of Law. While at Southwestern, he served as President of the Student Bar Association. He was also a Certified Law Clerk at the District Attorney’s Office in East Los Angeles, where he conducted preliminary hearings and misdemeanor trials.
Having worked as a defense lawyer for the first few years after law school, Ilyas has a unique perspective into the opposing side. This experience, coupled with his scientific trainingand his passion to help others, has proven invaluable to his practice.
Ilyas has worked on many of the firm’s cases and has experience handling many different types of wrongful death and personal injury cases, including aviation accidents, traumatic brain injury cases, truck crashes, pharmaceutical injuries and toxic poisoning cases.
Admission Dates & Jurisdictions
- California, 2003
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 2003
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2006
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 2006
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, 2008
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 2008
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, 2008
- U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2009
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, 2015
- University of California, San Diego, (B. S., Bioengineering, 2000)
- Southwestern University School of Law (J.D., 2003)
- Leadership Member, Ad hoc, Asiana Airlines Flight OZ214 litigation, MDL-2497, in re Air Crash at San Francisco, on July 6, 2013
- Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, MDL-2085, In Re: Air Crash near Clarence Center, New York, on February 12, 2009 (Colgan Air dba Continental Connection)
- Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, MDL-1967 In Re: Bisphenol-A (BPA) Polycarbonate Plastic Products Liability Litigation, 2009
- Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, MDL-1953, Heparin Products Liability Litigation, 2008
- Leadership Group, East Coast Jets, Owatonna, Minnesota, July 31, 2008
Honors & Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 – 2018 (Copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC)
- Selected to: Southern California Super Lawyers® 2017 – 2018
- Selected to: Southern California Super Lawyers® – Rising Stars, 2007 – 2016
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- Up-and-Coming 100: 2016 Southern California Rising Stars – Top List
- Up-and-Coming 100: 2015 Southern California Rising Stars – Top List
- Avvo.com Superb Score 10 out of 10
- AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating through LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell®
- Nation’s Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel
- Listed, The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™
- Recipient, Provost Honors
- Recipient, Paul Wildman Scholarship, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03
- Recipient, Mary E. Waters Scholarship, 2001-02, 2002-03
- State Bar of California
- American Association for Justice: Leader’s Forum; Aviation Law Section; Products Liability Section; Railroad/Highway Crossing & Derailment Litigation Group; Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group
- American Bar Association: The Forum on Air and Space Law; Litigation Section and Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
- Consumer Attorneys of California
- Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
- Biomedical Engineering Society
- North American Brain Injury Society
- Brain Injury Association of America
- California Brain Injury Association
- Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association
- Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
- Founding Vice President, International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers, 1999 – 2000
- Member, Sangam Community Service Organization
- President, Student Bar Association, 2001 – 2002, elected position
- Member, Entertainment Law Society, 2001 – 2003
- Bloomberg TV Asia
- KCBS News Los Angeles
- KCAL New Los Angeles
- KNBC News Los Angeles
- KTTV Fox 11 News Los Angeles
- KNX 1070 Newsradio CBS Los Angeles
- KQED Public Radio for Northern CA
- Andrews Litigation Reporters
- Associated Press
- Athletic Business
- Bloomberg BNA
- Los Angeles Times
- Mealey’s Emerging Drugs & Devices
- National Law Journal
- Seattle Times
- Sports Business Daily
- USA Today
- Westlaw Journal, Products Liability
- Selke v. Germanwings GmbH, 261 F. Supp. 3d 645 (E.D. Va. 2017) (Virginia court had personal jurisdiction over a German airline, involving Germanwings Flight 9525 from Barcelona, Spain to Düsseldorf, Germany, whose pilot committed suicide by crashing the plane into the French Alps and killing all 150 on board, because the airline sold its tickets to passengers that resided in Virginia through its authorized agent, United Airlines)
- Topic: Liability of Airlines in Intentional Downing of Aircraft
Organization: American Association for Justice
Event: AAJ 2017 Annual Convention – Aviation Law Section
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Date: July 22, 2017
- Topic: Aviation and Space Law “From Cockpit to Courtroom”
Organization: American Bar Association
Event: 2016 ABA TIPS Aviation and Space Law Committee meeting
Location: Ritz Carlton, Washington, D.C.
Date: November 3-4, 2016
- Topic: Current Issues of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Drones
Organization: American Association for Justice
Event: AAJ 2016 Annual Convention – Aviation Law Section, Nuts-and-Bolts of Handling an Aviation Case
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: July 23, 2016
- Topic: A Global View: What’s New In Aviation and Space Law – Litigation in the U.S. and Abroad
Organization: American Bar Association
Event: 2014 ABA TIPS Aviation and Space Law Committee meeting
Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: October 23-24, 2014
- Liability of Airlines in Intentional Downing of Aircraft, American Association for Justice 2017 Annual Convention, July, 2017
- Current Issues of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Drones, American Association for Justice 2016 Annual AAJ-PAPERS 44, July, 2016
- The Exclusionary Rule in Strict Liability Cases: A Defect in the Law – American Association for Justice – Products Liability Newsletter Vol. 15, No. 1, Fall, 2010
- Honorary Board of Governors, Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities, 2014-present