The Recorder has named three Keker, Van Nest & Peters partners as California Trailblazers, “a handful of individuals that are truly agents of change.” Simona Agnolucci was profiled for winning a rare class action trial for her client Public Storage. Elliot Peters was recognized for his years-long defense of cycling legend Lance Armstrong and achieving a settlement of a False Claims Act case with the U.S. government. Dan Purcell was profiled for his arbitration win that recovered $40 million for Oakland and Alameda County when the Golden State Warriors left Oracle Arena and attempted to scuttle its debt owed for stadium renovations.
Simona Agnolucci litigates high-stakes, complex defense matters when there is an existential threat to the company. The Recorder wrote: “Typically settled, few class actions go to trial in California. Even rarer: a class action trial first-chaired by a woman who is just 12 years out of law school. So when Simona Agnolucci won a defense verdict for client Public Storage in a 700,000-member class action suit, she became a unicorn of sorts. She credits a trial team comprised exclusively of women and lawyers of color for making the experience unique and special.”
Elliot Peters’s highest-profile clients aren’t just people or organizations accused of wrongdoing. They are American icons. The Recorder wrote: “For several years, Peters represented the cyclist Lance Armstrong, who overcame cancer and won the Tour de France a record seven times. But in 2012, Armstrong faced possible criminal charges for using performance enhancing drugs. Because of media leaks, ‘it was well known publicly there was a criminal investigation’ when Peters took the case. But he persuaded prosecutors not to charge Armstrong - and to take the rare step of announcing their decision publicly. Still, Peters’s work for Armstrong wasn’t finished. Peters defended Armstrong against civil claims that he defrauded the U.S. Postal Service, his cycling team’s sponsor…and helped Armstrong settle for just $5 million, rather than the $100 million the postal service sought.”
Dan Purcell describes himself as a “general purpose trial lawyer” but he has handled some highly complex cases, including copyright disputes and a lawsuit over the reasonableness of water rates in Southern California. The Recorder wrote: “Purcell represented Oakland and Alameda County before an arbitrator who ordered the Warriors’ owners to pay $40 million they owed for renovating Oracle Arena in the 1990s. When you have a really difficult problem that can’t be resolved short of trial itself, we’re the firm you go to. I’ve tried to shape my career in that mode.”
Follow these links to read the profiles of Simona, Elliot, and Dan.