J. Clark Aristei

J. Clark Aristei: Attorney with Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C.

Biography

J. Clark Aristei has been practicing law for over 35 years. He is of counsel to Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, focusing on all of the firm’s commercial transportation disaster litigation stemming from aviation, bus, maritime, train, and truck accidents.

In recent years, Clark has focused a significant part of his practice on two of the worst train disasters in history, in which he personally represented 24 passengers who were injured or killed. He was liaison counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), working with lead trial counsel for over 30 law firms overseeing all of the 2005 Metrolink Glendale, California crash cases, more than 110 in total.

He was also a member of the PSC for the 2008 Chatsworth, California Metrolink collision cases. His legal research and writing skills helped remand the cases from federal court back to state court. In addition, he also served on the “Zap the Cap” committee that sought to obtain legislative relief for the Metrolink passengers who were denied full compensation due to the $200M liability cap on victim compensation.

In addition to his leadership in train disaster litigations, Clark was on the PSC for the cases arising from the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 into the Pacific Ocean, near Pt. Mugu, California in 2000. Clark played a key role in obtaining the court’s ruling that maritime law provided the correct applicable law for the families of the victims. Without this win, the families would not have received proper compensation.

Clark was also essential in obtaining U.S. jurisdiction for two foreign tour bus crashes in Cancun, Mexico and Kent, England, in which the firm represented 28 Americans injured or killed.

As designated plaintiffs’ counsel in the Coordinated Discovery Cases for the Southwest Airlines Flight 1455 accident at Burbank, California in 2000, he successfully represented airline passengers injured in that crash. He was also on the trial team in 2003 that obtained an $8.5M verdict for his client in the 2001 Airborne Charter Inc./Avjet jet which crashed in Aspen, Colorado. He was also trial co-counsel in 2006 for the 1998 Bell Helicopter crash in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California in which his firm successfully represented the families of three paramedics who were killed in that crash.

Clark has represented over 50 passengers in catastrophic rail disasters and he successfully took two cases to trial as a result of the 1993 Sunset Limited derailment into a bayou near Mobile, Alabama. He was lead trial counsel for two passengers and co-counsel for a third trial.

In a truck accident case against Tyson Foods, Clark worked as co-trial counsel in 2006 for the family of an unmarried 22-year-old Marine, survived by his parents and a brother. The Marine was killed by a Tyson Foods truck near Crestline, Ohio in 2004. In that trial, the jury returned one of the largest verdicts of its type in Ohio’s history, $7,028,687 for pre-impact distress and wrongful death.

From 1986 to 1997, Clark was an adjunct professor of law at the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. He has earned the highest 5.0 out of 5 AV® Peer Review Rating through Martindale Hubbell, Lexis-Nexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Client Distinction Award, and the highest Avvo.com superb score of 10. He has been selected to Southern California Super Lawyers for six years in a row and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, and Who’s Who in American Law.

For many years, Clark was an avid cyclist. He even took his bicycle to Europe to see and ride part of the race route of the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. In his free time, Clark and his wife, Caro Louise, operate Breezy Bluff Ranch in Escondido, California. They grow and market avocados, pomegranates, persimmons, figs, and citrus. They are active in the California Farm Bureau Federation, the California Avocado Commission, and the Escondido Historical Society.Awards and Honors: AV® Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating through LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell® The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 – 2018(Copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). Selected to: Southern California Super Lawyers® 2005, 2008 – 2018 Avvo.com Superb Score 10 out of 10 Lexis-Nexis® | Martindale-Hubbell® Client Distinction Award Listed, The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ Who’s Who in America Who’s Who in American Law Who’s Who in the World National Air Disaster Foundation Safety Award, 2002 Recipient, American Jurisprudence Award in Constitutional Law, 1973


Litigation Leadership:

“Zap the Cap” Committee, which sought legislative relief for the Metrolink passengers who were denied full compensation due to the $200M liability cap on victim compensation Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee Member, Chatsworth Metrolink Collision Cases, Chatsworth, California, 2008 Trial Co-Counsel, 2006; 2004 Tyson Foods truck crash near Crestline, Ohio Trial Co-Counsel, 2006; 1998 Bell Helicopter crash in Los Angeles, California Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel, Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee Member, Glendale Metrolink Derailment Cases, Glendale, California, 2005 Trial Team Member, 2003: Airborne Charter Inc./Avjet, Aspen, Colorado, 2001 Co-Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel for the Coordinated Discovery Cases, Southwest Airlines Flight 1455 accident, Burbank, California, 2000 Lead Trial Counsel, 2000: Two trials as a result of the 1993 Sunset Limited Amtrak derailment near Mobile, Alabama

Areas of Practice (10)

  • Catastrophic Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Bus Accidents
  • Products Liability
  • Railroad Accidents and Injuries
  • Mass Disaster Litigation
  • Complex Litigation
  • Multi-District Litigation
  • Aviation Litigation
  • Maritime Accidents

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
University Attended:
Los Angeles Harbor College, A.A., 1968; California State University at Long Beach, B.A., cum laude, 1971
Law School Attended:
University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 1975
Year of First Admission:
1975
Admission:
1975, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California; 1996, U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York; 2010, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin; 1993, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; 2006, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois; 1979, U.S. District Court, Central District of California; 1997, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit; 1975, California
Memberships:
State Bar of California and Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Special Agencies:
Consumer Attorneys of California Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles California Farm Bureau Federation
Languages:
English
Birth Information:
Washington, D.C., 1948
Reported Cases:
McCoy v. Southwest Airlines Co., Inc. 208 F.R.D. 617 (C.D.Cal. 2002) McCoy v. Southwest Airlines Co., Inc. 211 F.R.D. 381 (C.D.Cal., 2002) In re Air Crash Off Point Mugu, California, on January 30, 2000 145 F.Supp.2d 1156 (N.D.Cal., 2001) Cheng v. United Airlines, Inc. 1995 WL 42157 (N.D. Ill. 1995) reconsideration denied by Cheng v. United Airlines, Inc. 1995 WL 314575 (N.D. Ill. 1995) Geffen v. County of Los Angeles 197 Cal. App. 3d 188, 242 Cal. Rptr. 492 (1987) Penner v. Falk 153 Cal. App. 3d 858, 200 Cal. Rptr. 661 (1984)
ISLN:
909390899
Payment Information:
  • Free Initial Consultation
  • Fixed Fees Available

Peer Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0 (10 reviews)
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

    5.0/5.0
  • Analytical Capability

    5.0/5.0
  • Judgment

    5.0/5.0
  • Communication

    5.0/5.0
  • Legal Experience

    5.0/5.0
  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Sole Practitioner on 03/05/13 in Civil Litigation

    I have known Clark for over 30 years. I have always found him to be an attorney of the highest caliber, both in terms of intellect, professionalism, and integrity.

    I have known Clark for over 30 years. I have always found him to be an attorney of the highest caliber, both in terms of intellect, professionalism, and integrity. Read less

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  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Sole Practitioner on 03/23/13 in Litigation

    Mr. Aristei is a gentleman - professional - a pleasure to work with - Honest

    Mr. Aristei is a gentleman - professional - a pleasure to work with - Honest Read less

    Read less

See All 10 Reviews »


*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Client Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0 (2 reviews)
  • 100% (2 recommendations)
  • Communication

    5.0/5.0
  • Responsiveness

    5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service

    5.0/5.0
  • Value for Money

    5.0/5.0
  • Recommended 5.0/5.0 Rated on 09/29/12 in Personal Injury.

    Clark, your kindness over the phone was such a reassurance as we faced the mediation. I truly was impressed by what you’d learned of my Dad by reading the mounds of information I’d shared. I knew you cared and I appreciated that you&rsquo... Read more

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    Clark, your kindness over the phone was such a reassurance as we faced the mediation. I truly was impressed by what you’d learned of my Dad by reading the mounds of information I’d shared. I knew you cared and I appreciated that you’d taken the time to know him. The fact you had 3 attorneys sitting with us at the table for the mediation was amazing to me. To consider that with the caseloads you carry and all the good you do for your clients, you flew across the country to support us. Read less

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  • Recommended 5.0/5.0 Rated on 11/14/10 in Personal Injury.

    Thank goodness there are people like you that are so knowledgable and compassionate. There is no way on earth that we could ever have gone through the maze of such a large lawsuit without the help of you.There are so many legalities that the common... Read more

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    Thank goodness there are people like you that are so knowledgable and compassionate. There is no way on earth that we could ever have gone through the maze of such a large lawsuit without the help of you.There are so many legalities that the common citizen would never know how to maneuver through the maze of litigation.In the future I would be honored to recommend your thorough,complete,and timely services.We were also very happy with the contract and Percentage basis you offered us. Read less

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