The Daily Journal has selected Christopher B. Dolan, founder and Chief Legal Counsel of the Dolan Law Firm, P.C. as 2021 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY). The CLAY Awards recognizes California lawyers whose work has made a significant impact on public policy, the law, the profession, or a particular practice area.
Dolan was recognized for his work in In Re: Ghost Ship Fire Litigation (Alameda Co. Super. Ct., filed December 23, 2016) representing survivors and families of the victims in a catastrophic fire that occurred on December 2, 2016 at an Oakland warehouse called Ghost Ship, which killed 36 and injured many others. Dolan worked with a coalition of attorneys from 25 firms representing 78 plaintiffs as an executive committee member with Robert Bale and Thomas Brandi and liaison counsel Mary Alexander.
As noted in the Daily Journal, Alexander and executive committee members Bale, Brandi and Dolan resolved this matter with a $32.7 million settlement with Oakland officials, an undisclosed amount from PG&E and additional millions more from the building’s owners.
“This case required all of my life experience, education and decades of ‘figuring it out’. As a young man, I worked in dirty, hot, tiring jobs in construction to fund my studies. As a young lawyer, I renovated two old San Francisco buildings including our Market Street headquarters, learning about electrical systems, transformers, voltage drop, metering, and building/electric codes involved in old buildings. So much of what I bring to the table is practical knowledge.” Dolan said.
The team relentlessly pursued the City of Oakland with several arduous but successful trips to the court of appeals and PG&E with multiple depositions and a mountain of documents to build a case and hold them accountable for this tragedy.
For more on the case in the 2021 CLAY Awards publication, visit DailyJournal.com