September 16, 2019 — Press Release

Boston – The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) is pleased to announce that Elizabeth J. Cabraser was selected to receive the 2019 Vern Countryman Award, consumer law’s most prestigious award. One of the nation’s most accomplished plaintiffs’ attorneys, Cabraser is a co-founder and partner of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, one of the country’s largest law firms serving clients seeking redress for financial and consumer fraud, anti-competitive practices, harmful drugs and products, and illegal employment practices. Lieff Cabraser is based in San Francisco, California.

“Elizabeth Cabraser has an extraordinary track record of fighting for and winning justice for consumers,” said National Consumer Law Center Executive Director Rich Dubois. “She has been at the forefront of some of the largest class actions over the past 40 years, recovering billions of dollars for millions of consumers, while halting unlawful and fraudulent corporate practices. Moreover, she has used her expertise to teach, encourage, and mentor others in the consumer law community. We are so pleased to honor Elizabeth for her deep commitment to advancing social and economic justice, and her efforts to build the growing consumer law movement.”

Vern Countryman Award-winners are nominated by their peers and chosen by the NCLC’s Board of Directors. Cabraser was nominated by a number of consumer lawyers from across the nation, including Mark Chavez of Chavez & Gertler, LLP, in Mill Valley, California; Bryan Kemnitzer of Kemnitzer, Baron, & Krieg, LLP, in San Francisco, California; Janet R. Varnell of Varnell & Warwick in Lady Lake, Florida; and Michael Donovan of Donovan Litigation Group, LLC in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

In his nomination, Attorney Mark Chavez explained that “Elizabeth is a titan of the plaintiffs’ bar and a formidable litigator who has inspired an entire generation of lawyers to pursue class actions to protect low-income consumers. Additionally, she has contributed significant financial resources and time to assist the work of a large number of public interest organizations that directly assist low-income consumers, including the Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Public Justice, and the Bay Area Legal Aid.” For the past seven years, Cabraser has also chaired the National Consumer Law Center’s Partners Council.

“Elizabeth Cabraser is the consumer movement’s greatest single ambassador to the rest of the legal profession,” noted attorney Janet R. Varnell in her nomination. “She has made vast and innovative contributions to consumer law. She teaches, she collaborates, she leads and makes us all feel proud about who we are, what we can do, and what we can accomplish.”

The Countryman Award is presented each year to a legal services or other public interest attorney whose special contributions to the practice of consumer law have strengthened and affirmed the rights of low-income Americans. Since the first award was presented in 1990, it has become the preeminent honor for consumer attorneys.

Cabraser will receive the award at the National Consumer Law Center’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in Boston, Massachusetts on November 15, 2019, an event also featuring U.S. Representative Katie Porter and other high-profile speakers. The celebration is part of the 2019 Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, the largest annual gathering of consumer law experts from across the nation.

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