Warriors. Healers. Advocates.

Through their impactful results and recent landmark verdicts, Athea Trial Lawyers continually strengthens the plaintiffs’ bar in California and nationwide.

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Image by Athea Trial Lawyers


Justin Smulison

June 28, 2024 12:00 AM

The motto on the California State Seal is the Greek word, Eureka, which means, “I have found it!” These famous words were attributed to the ancient Greek scientist Archimedes. This motto also appropriately applies to the formation of one of the most prestigious national plaintiffs’ firms to emerge from the state, Athea Trial Lawyers.

Founders Charla Aldous, Randi McGinn, Bibi Fell, Lisa Blue, Zoe Littlepage and Deborah Chang are all leaders of their respective firms. However, in 2022, through mutual respect, they realized combining their talents would provide injured victims and their families an opportunity to find the best trial advocates. Headquartered in Southern California, Athea Trial Lawyers has emerged as a prominent force in the legal landscape, as evidenced by being ranked Tier 1 in Los Angeles for Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs by Best Law Firms® annually since its inception.

“Our namesake is the Greek goddess Athena, who demonstrated how to heal after igniting the warrior within,” says Chang, who was named the 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs in Los Angeles by The Best Lawyers in America®. “This inspires our very being as courtroom fighters, whose constant goal is to help our clients recover physically and emotionally.”

“Every client should be treated with dignity,” says Fell, “and our results uncover recklessness trends in healthcare systems that need to stop. The impact of our advocacy should be received at every level of an organization – especially at the top.”

“These varied cases are all reflective of behavioral patterns and systemic problems in California that are harming and killing people,” notes Blue. “Our advocacy will hopefully stop these avoidable incidents and prevent future harm to others.”

Honoring a Legacy in the Courtroom

Athea Trial Lawyers pooled their legal knowledge and courtroom skills in federal court in 2022, securing a favorable verdict on behalf of the husband and family of Esther Nakajjigo, Uganda’s Ambassador for Women and Girls. Nakajjigo was accidentally killed by a loose security gate while exiting Arches National Park in Utah in June 2020. Over a five-day trial in December 2022, McGinn, Chang and Littlepage secured a $10.5 million verdict allocated to Nakajjigo’s family – the largest wrongful death verdict issued by a federal court judge in the history of Utah.

“It was a privilege to serve as a representative for the family of an activist whose remarkable endeavors enhanced the wellbeing of countless women and teenage girls in her home country,” McGinn says. “Detailing her life to the judge and jury was a poignant reminder of the profound impact one person’s commitment to a cause can have on society.”

“Our ability to tell Esther’s story resonated with the entire courtroom,” Littlepage adds, “as evidenced by the U.S. government admitting fault and apologizing for the tragedy and as per Judge Bruce Jenkins’ considerate decision.”

Establishing a Reputation for Inspiration in California

Athea Trial Lawyers accept meritorious cases that have the potential to create change through their extraordinary results. But the progress does not stop in the courtroom.

Founders Aldous* and McGinn** have also been named “Lawyer of the Year” several times by The Best Lawyers in America® in various practice areas since 2009. Fell, Blue and Littlepage have also been praised by legal media for securing precedent-setting, nine-figure resolutions and their leadership positions in the legal community.

Athea Trial Lawyers’ reputation as a Best Law Firm is further solidified by its contributions to California’s legal and professional communities. Its founders are all members of prestigious legal organizations. In their roles as members and leaders, they have spearheaded efforts to empower women and strengthen diversity initiatives in organizations such as the Consumer Attorneys of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Alliance of Women Trial Lawyers, the American Association for Justice and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

The firm’s logo is an olive branch, symbolizing their constant outreach to women considering joining the profession. Through their mentorship and collaborations, they aim to fulfill a critical mission of promoting and advancing women in courtrooms.

“We believe that by bringing more women into the profession – in every role, from paralegals to judges – California’s court system, and society at large, will benefit from our unique ability to find and deliver justice and fairness,” Aldous says. “Our mission harkens back to balancing the warrior and healer traits of Athena. It is a challenge but extremely gratifying.”

Rewriting 𝙃𝙀𝙍𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 one verdict at a time.

*Charla Aldous is a founder of Athea Trial Lawyers and a partner of the Dallas-based law firm of Aldous \ Walker LLP. She was recognized by Best Lawyers® as “Lawyer of the Year” in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs in 2009, 2017 and 2019 and Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs in 2013, 2016, 2018, 2021 and 2024.

**Randi McGinn is a founder of Athea Trial Lawyers and a partner with the New Mexico firm of McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry, PA. She was recognized by Best Lawyers® as “Lawyer of the Year” in Albuquerque, NM for Criminal Defense: General Practice in 2011, Criminal Defense: White-Collar in 2013, Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs in 2014 and 2019 and Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs in 2015.

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