Niall McCarthy JD ’92, managing partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy in Burlingame, and his colleague Justin Berger, principal at the firm, received the 2019 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award from the Daily Journal. The team was honored for securing a $102 million settlement with oil company BP, days before a month-long trial in the whistleblower case was set to begin.
“Fraud against the government is a growth industry,” McCarthy told the Daily Journal. “We see it in every sector. We’ve had cases against health care companies, tech companies, oil and gas companies.”
“Traditionally, false claims cases are on the federal side, but we’re seeing more and more on the state side,” he added. “Until some of the corporate executives who perpetrate these frauds go to jail, nothing will change.”
Many publications regularly list McCarthy among the top plaintiff attorneys in California and the country. He was included in the Daily Journal’s lists of the Top 50 Plaintiff lawyers in California in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and he has received numerous other honors and awards during his 27-year career. Martindale-Hubbell has given him the highest possible rating of AV, and he has also been awarded the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association. McCarthy has been elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), the International Society of Barristers, and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
He has also published numerous articles and books about the problem of financial and physical abuse of vulnerable adults, and he is a frequent conference speaker on elder abuse.
“We are so proud of Niall and his decades of work fighting for justice,” said Dean Lisa Kloppenberg. “He is a shining example of lawyers who lead and make a difference, and his work inspires the next generation of lawyers to do good in the world.”