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Wisner Baum AV® Rated Attorneys

Wisner Baum attorneys have earned Martindale-Hubbell’s best AV® Peer Review Rating. AV rated attorneys are recognized for their outstanding legal skills and professional ethics.

Martindale-Hubbell® has been evaluating the legal abilities and ethical standards of practicing attorneys for over 130 years using its Peer Review Ratings system, which is based solely on confidential opinions from rated and non-rated members of the Bar and the Judiciary.

Representatives from Martindale-Hubbell conduct interviews with other members of the Bar and Judiciary to discuss lawyers under review. A compilation of various opinion sources is necessary to form a consensus, and lawyers under review are sometimes asked to provide professional references to assist with the process. Additionally, confidential questionnaires are sent to attorneys and judges within the same geographic region or practice area as the lawyer being rated.

What is an AV Rating and Why is it Important?

What does AV rating mean? The “A” represents the highest possible peer rating for legal ability. The “V” represents a “very high” peer rating for professional ethical conduct.

Why does AV rating matter? The search for an attorney can be a difficult task. If you have been in an accident, for example, someone close to you might recommend their attorney, or a lawyer they know and trust. Before you decide on an attorney to represent your interests, you should do some research to see if they have strong credentials and a proven track record of results that apply to your case.

Martindale-Hubbell is a valuable resource for consumers and referring counsel to perform due diligence in finding some of the best attorneys and law firms. Receiving Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® rating is significant; it means that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the very highest level of professional excellence. 

Less than 5% of all lawyers have earned an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. It is an honor that truly demonstrates the highest level of legal ability and ethical standards.

Wisner Baum AV Preeminent Attorneys

​Michael L. Baum | AV Preeminent Attorney

Michael L. Baum is a senior partner of Wisner Baum. He has been an AV rated attorney since 1990. He has successfully led the firm through thousands of wrongful death and personal injury cases stemming from major pharmaceutical drug mass tort lawsuits, harmful consumer products, and commercial transportation mass disasters.

Michael works on the firm’s mass torts, including defective or harmful pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and consumer products. During his 29 years as the firm's managing partner, Wisner Baum developed a reputation as one of the nation's leading plaintiff law firms that is known for cutting edge, superior legal work; a firm that has successfully litigated major cases against some of the largest companies in the world.


​Clay Robbins III | AV Preeminent Attorney

Clay Robbins III is an AV rated attorney and partner in the Los Angeles office of Wisner Baum where he concentrates his practice on commercial transportation accident litigation and mass disasters. 

A third-generation California lawyer with more than three decades of experience, Clay has worked on numerous catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, obtaining justice and compensation for his clients.

Clay has extensive experience litigating aviation, truck, bus and train accidents across the nation.


​Fran Phares | AV Preeminent Attorney

Frances M. Phares is Of Counsel to Wisner Baum. She focuses her practice on personal injury and wrongful death litigation stemming from major transportation disasters, pharmaceutical product liability and toxic exposure (Monsanto-Roundup cancer) cases.

In addition to her Martindale Hubbell AV Rating, Fran has earned the Silver Client Champion award, which recognizes her services as affirmed by her clients. The Client Champion award, which is based on the quantity and quality of an attorney’s Martindale-Hubbell client reviews, demonstrates an ongoing commitment to delivering excellent client service.

The following former partners of Wisner Baum also received AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell:

Locally & Nationally Recognized


  • $2.0 Billion Verdict Personal Injury

    In May of 2019, the jury in the case of Pilliod et al. v, Monsanto Company ordered the agrochemical giant to pay $2.055 billion in damages to the plaintiffs, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a Bay Area couple in their 70s.

  • $289.2 Million Verdict Personal Injury

    On Aug. 10, 2018, a San Francisco jury ordered Monsanto to pay $39.25 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages to Mr. Johnson, a former groundskeeper who alleged exposure to Monsanto’s herbicides caused him to develop terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

  • $265 Million Settlement Fatal Train Crash

    In 2016, Wisner Baum attorney Timothy A. Loranger and six other attorneys in the Plaintiffs’ Management Committee were able to secure a $265 million settlement for victims of the 2015 Amtrak 188 derailment in Philadelphia, one of the largest in the U.S. for 2016.

  • $105 Million Settlement Pharmaceutical Settlement

    Wisner Baum obtained $105 million on behalf of multiple clients involved in a pharmaceutical negligence case.

  • $80 Million Verdict Personal Injury

    Wisner Baum attorneys served on the trial team in the case of Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, which resulted in an $80 million jury verdict for the plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman.

  • $63 Million Settlement Paxil Pediatric Class Action

    $63 million pediatric class action re false promotion of Paxil. Judge approves final terms of improved national pediatric paxil class action settlement – consumers get a better deal.



We believe our track record speaks for itself. But you don’t have to take our word for it. See what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "I Can’t Imagine a Better Law Firm"

    Multiple lawyers recommended Wisner Baum to me and I have been consistently impressed with the quality of their work.

    - Best Law Firms Survey
    "They Are About Changing the Systems..."

    Wisner Baum are not only amazing attorneys but more importantly, they are activists. They are about changing the systems which got us into trouble in the first place. They understand their role in the process of making change.

    - Kim Witczak
    "Top Legal Minds in the Country"

    The Wisner Baum firm has some of the top legal minds in the country; they are driven, determined, trustworthy, ethical and passionate.

    - From Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms
    "Diligent & Professional Representation"

    Thanks to your efforts I was able to recover from a tragic experience and turn my life around for the best.

    - W.T.
    "Our Best Interest Was Always Number One on Your List"

    A special thank you to your Spanish-speaking staff for the extra effort put into this case. The language barrier was never a problem, and we are so very thankful to them. Your name holds much respect in our family.

    - G.C. & C.C
    "We Have Never Met a More Wonderful Group of People"

    It is obvious that the people at Wisner Baum believe in what they do. And that you all really care about your clients.

    - The B. Family
    "They Worked Very Hard and Kept in Contact, Which Is Very Important to Me"

    I appreciate that you care about how I feel and that you take time to use your talents to ensure your every contact with me is warmly professional.

    - A.D.B.
    "Your Expertise in This Field Gave Me the Utmost Trust and Confidence"

    I wanted a fair settlement within an appropriate time frame, and without any public scrutiny. With your hard work and dedication, we were able to achieve those goals.

    - T.O.

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