Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman changed its name to Wisner Baum in January 2023.

  • Profile
  • Awards

Paul J. Hedlund was an attorney for 45 years and a member of our team at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman for 30 of those years. He served as one of the firm’s senior shareholders for more than 20 years, overseeing the firm’s major transportation accident cases. Paul focused his practice on commercial transportation accidents including, aviation, bus, train and truck crashes. He received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and his law degree from UCLA.

Over the course of his career, Paul handled thousands of personal injury and wrongful death cases across the country. Paul was appointed to the Plaintiffs Steering Committees in the United 232 Sioux City crash, the Alaska Airlines crash off Pt. Mugu, CA, the September 11, 2001 Tort Litigation and the Metrolink Collision Cases for the 2008 crash in Chatsworth, California. He was also part of the team that negotiated, as a term of the settlement, an unprecedented public apology by the president of Air Midwest in a formal ceremony to the families of the victims of the crash of Air Midwest Flight 5481, which crashed on January 8, 2003 at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

Mr. Hedlund has the highest 5.0 out of 5 AV® Peer Review Rating through Martindale Hubbell and the highest superb score of 10. He has been selected to Southern California Super Lawyers and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in the World. He is also listed in Aviation Counsel Magazine’s List of Recommended High Flyers, believed by the International Air Transport Association’s Legal Dept. to beone of the most elite lists of aviation law practitioners ever produced.

Because of his expertise as a mechanical engineer, Paul was the only attorney to testify about train configurations and safety at a California state hearing in 2005, looking into the cause of the worst train disaster in Metrolink’s history, in which his firm represented 15 passengers.

Paul was also the only attorney to testify in 1990 about the need for labeling earthquake susceptible buildings, before the California State Legislature Seismic Safety Commission hearing re: the October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. His client’s son died when a commercial building known to be vulnerable to tremors, collapsed on him during the quake.

Paul is among the relatively few attorneys who have argued a wrongful death case before the United States Supreme Court.

The press has interviewed Paul on numerous occasions. He has appeared in the media more than 150 times on TV and radio programs such as, ABC’s PrimeTime Live with Sam Donaldson, ABC World News Tonight, CNBC, CNN, Court TV, EXTRA, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NPR, and all the Los Angeles news stations. He has also appeared in print media such as, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, National Law Journal, and the Washington Post.

Practice Areas


  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (B.S.M.E., 1968)
  • University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law (J.D., 1973)

Court Admissions

  • California, 1973
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1977
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 1978
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 1991
  • District of Columbia, 1994
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 1994
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2009


  • Patent Law, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 2011

Awards and Honors

Litigation Leadership

  • Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee Member, Chatsworth Metrolink Collision Cases, Chatsworth, California, 2008
  • Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, September 11, 2001 Tort Litigation
  • Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, MDL-00-1343-CAL, Alaska Airlines Crash, off Point Mugu, California, 2000
  • Trial Team Member, 1991-1992, United Airlines Crash, Sioux City, Iowa: Member, 1989
  • Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, MDL 817, United Airlines Crash, Sioux City, Iowa, 1989


  • State Bar of California, Retired
  • American Association for Justice: Leader’s Forum; Aviation Law Section; Railroad Law Section
  • Staff Engineer, Southern California Edison, 1968-1970
  • Moot Court Judge, Pepperdine University School of Law

Presentation / Speeches

  • Topic: “Plaintiff’s Marketing Strategies In The New Millennium”

    Organization: American Bar Association

    Event: American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Aviation and Space Law Committee Presents: On The Horizon Securing Safety, Insuring Fully and Litigating Fairly Part II

    Location: Washington, D.C.

    Date: October 26 – 27, 2006

  • Topic: “Successful Handling of Wrongful Death Cases in California”

    Organization: Lorman Education Services

    Event: Seminar

    Location: Los Angeles, California

    Date: August 2001 and January 2002

  • Topic: Panel Moderator: “Aviation Issues in the New Millennium – Ramifications of the RAND Report,” “Safety in the Skies – Personnel and Parties in NTSB Aviation Accident Investigations”

    Organization: American Bar Association

    Event: Presented by the Aviation and Space Law Committee of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Practice Section and the Aviation Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation

    Location: Tampa, Florida

    Date: October 19, 2000

  • Topic: Lewis v. Sacramento County Re: High Speed Police Pursuits

    Organization: University of San Diego School of Law

    Event: Lecture for law students

    Location: San Diego, California

    Date: 1998

  • Topic: “Mapping the Maze of Considerations in Disaster Litigation”

    Organization: Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles

    Event: Annual Convention

    Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

    Date: October 6, 1996


Governmental Testimony

  • California State Assembly Hearing on California commuter rail safety as a result of the January 26, 2005 Metrolink derailment, July 20, 2005
  • California State Legislature, Seismic Safety Commission hearing re October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damage after the death of our client’s son due to the collapse of a building known to be vulnerable to tremors during an earthquake, 1990

Published Cases

  • Butler v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. 109 Cal.App.4th; 135 Cal. Rptr. 2d 762 (2003)
  • In re Air Crash Off Point Mugu, California, on January 30, 2000, 145 F.Supp.2d 1156 (N.D.Cal., 2001)
  • Prudential Home Mort. Co. v. Superior Court 66 Cal.App.4th 1236 (1998)
  • County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523, U.S. 833, 140 L. Ed. 2d 1043, 118 S. Ct. 1708 (1998)
  • Lewis v. Sacramento United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 98 F.3d 434, 65 USLW 2319, 96 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 7501, 96 Daily Journal D.A.R. 12353 (1996)
  • Sigala (Rachelle) v. Anaheim City School District Court of Appeal, Fourth District, 19 Cal.Rptr.2d 38, 15 Cal.App.4th 661, 82 Ed. Law Rep. 143 (1993)
  • Curry v. Continental Airlines 513 F. 2d 691 (9th Cir. 1975)

Notable Media Appearances

  • TV
    • ABC PrimeTime Live with Sam Donaldson
    • ABC World News Tonight
    • KABC Los Angeles News
    • KCBS Los Angeles News
    • KNBC Los Angeles News
    • Celebrity Justice
    • CNBC Rivera Live
    • CNN
    • Court TV
    • EXTRA
    • FOX News Channel
    • Geraldo At Large
    • Meridian TV – England
    • MSNBC Rivera Live
  • Documentaries
    • “Listen to Hear” [confronts accusations concerning the dangers in the decibel levels of Mp3 players and portable devices]
  • Radio
    • ABC Radio Larry Elders Show
    • Justice Talking Live
    • KFBK Radio Sacramento
    • KFWB News Radio Los Angeles
    • KIRO Radio Seattle
    • KNX 1070 News Radio Los Angeles
    • KPFK Pacifica Radio
      KSDO SD, Stacy Taylor Show
    • NPR – National Public Radio
    • WLW AM 700 News Radio Cincinnati
    • WMAL Radio, Charlie Warren Show
    • AM 590, Albany
    • USA Today Radio
  • News
    • Airjet Airline World News
    • Airline Industry News
    • Andrews Litigation Reporters
    • Associated Press
    • Baton Rouge Advocate
    • Bloomberg News
    • Daily News (New York)
    • Dow Jones News
    • Knight-Ridder Tribune Business News
    • La Opinion
    • Los Angeles Times
    • National Law Journal
    • Newsweek
    • Sacramento Bee
    • San Diego Union Tribune
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • San Jose Mercury News
    • Seattle Times
    • St. Louis Post Dispatch
    • Wall Street Journal
    • Washington Post

  • 45+ Years of Experience
    45+ Years of Experience
  • AV Preeminent Rating
    AV Preeminent Rating
  • Avvo 10.0 Rating
    Avvo 10.0 Rating
  • Client Distinction –
    Client Distinction –
  • Aviation Counsel High Flyers
    Aviation Counsel High Flyers
  • The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
    The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

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