Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC

Aviation and truck crash lawyers representing clients across the nation. Over $1.6 billion recovered for our clients across all areas of practice.

Firm Overview

The truck crash lawyers at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman are committed to help reduce unsafe and illegal trucking practices in all 50 states. We have represented over 200 victims of commercial trucking accidents across the nation and have recovered over $165 million for our past truck accident clients.

We have handled truck accident cases against major trucking companies, such as:

Allied Waste Industries; CR England; CSX Corporation; Eagle Systems; FedEx; Food Express, Inc.; Food 4 Less; GARDA, Inc.; J.B. Hunt; Kimberly-Clark; Lucky; Schneider National Trucking Company; Swift

Our firm has recovered over $1.2 billion for our past clients in all areas of practice. We have handled over 8,000 cases across the United States.

Many of our attorneys have earned Martindale-Hubbell's highest AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, and our law firm is also listed in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, 2014 and 2015 Top Ranked Law Firms and U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers Best Law Firms for 2014 and 2015. Additionally, five of our attorneys are listed in the Nation's Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel.


Our past performance, verdicts or settlements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Past results obtained or overall performance must be confined to that particular case, its factual and legal circumstances and legal surroundings. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

"AV Preeminent is certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies." "An AV rating reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence. He or she has usually practiced law for many years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity." Best Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America are registered trademarks of Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC.
Main Office
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC
12100 Wilshire Boulevard
Suite 950
Los Angeles  CA  90025
  • 310-207-3233 or 800-827-0087
  • 310-820-7444


Free Initial Consultation?

Office Information

Office Hours
8:00am to 5:00pm
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish, French, Farsi

Other Offices

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC
2101 L Street NW
Ste. 400
Washington,  DC  20037
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC
1500 Market Street
12th Floor East Tower
Philadelphia,  PA  19102
Trucking Accident
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC helps truck crash victims and their families across the nation. Our firm has handled thousands of cases across the U.S., including those involving truck crashes, recovering over $1.6 billion for our clients.
Baum Hedlund's truck accident attorneys help clients overcome the grief following a serious trucking accident, pursue answers being kept from them and obtain compensation they will need in the future.

The firm has extensive experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases involving major commercial transportation accidents, including airline crashes, general aviation accidents, bus crashes, structure collapses, train derailments and truck crashes.

More than 8,000 people have trusted Baum Hedlund to handle their most important cases against companies such as:

Ground transportation companies

Allied Waste Industries; Amtrak; CR England; CSX Corporation; Eagle Systems; FedEx, Food Express, Inc.; Food 4 Less; Ford Motor Co.; GARDA, Inc.; Greyhound; J.B. Hunt; Kimberly-Clark; Lucky's; Roadway Express; Ryder Truck Rental; Schneider National Trucking; Swift Transportation; Tyson Foods; and Werner.


Baum Hedlund's staff includes attorneys from top law schools, the majority of whom have earned the highest attorney AV Preeminent Peer Review rating through Martindale-Hubbell, resulting in becoming one of the few 2014-2015 Top Ranked Law Firms. The firm is also listed in Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers 2015 Best Law Firms, Martindale Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Marquis Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Communication is the cornerstone of our practice. Our clients can always reach us. They can always visit our offices located throughout the United States or we will go to them. Most communication is handled over the phone or via email. Sometimes even through online video. We use many different means for staying in good communication with our clients.

Our firm strives to maintain close relationships with our clients to help guide them through the legal process during such a difficult time. Over many years of practicing law, we believe that it is important to our clients to stay in communication with them about the status of their case, promptly return their telephone calls, and listen to their concerns with a caring and friendly approach. Our clients have often told us that our firm provided them with more than "lawyering" and that they considered us to be their friends.

Michael L. Baum

Michael L. Baum is the senior managing partner of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. He has successfully led the firm through thousands of wrongful death and personal injury cases stemming from major pharmaceutical drug catastrophes and commercial transportation mass disasters. He began his career more than 30 years ago, primarily handling airline accidents and other commercial transportation disasters as well as some pharmaceutical product liability litigation. While he oversees all aspects of managing the firm, Michael currently heads the firm's pharmaceutical litigation department and focuses on drug product liability mass tort and class action litigation as well as whistleblower qui-tam actions.

Under Michael's leadership, Baum Hedlund has developed a reputation as a law firm that can be counted upon to go above and beyond what is needed to get the job done; a firm that has successfully litigated personal injury, wrongful death and consumer fraud cases against major pharmaceutical companies such as Alpha Therapeutic, Armour Pharmaceutical Co., Baxter Health Care Corp, Bayer Corp., Dalkon Corporation, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer.

In addition, his firm is known for successfully resolving major transportation disaster cases against companies such as Airbus, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Amtrak, Bell Helicopter Co., Beechcraft, Boeing, Cessna, China Eastern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, EgyptAir, Ford Motor Co., McDonnell Douglas, Piper, Robinson Helicopter Co., Sikorsky, SwissAir, TACA Airlines, TWA, United Airlines, and US Airways, among many others.

"Rigorously investigating and litigating the types of devastating cases we handle on a daily basis requires relentless focus and dedication to our clients' causes. Approaching things from the perspective that every problem has an optimum solution waiting to be apprehended simplifies our team's outlook on every aspect of each case we handle."

Medical officials from foreign governments in countries such as Ireland, Japan, Russia and Taiwan have sought Michael's advice and assistance with their countries' public policies concerning consumer drug safety. They've done so after becoming aware of Michael's impressive understanding of biomedical research, clinical trials, statistics, the pharmaceutical industry and marketing, as well as his firm's successful and effective discovery procedures and extensive work with experts on complicated scientific issues related to Baum Hedlund's pharmaceutical litigation.

Michael has served on numerous trial teams and plaintiffs' steering committees in mass tort litigation involving pharmaceutical product liability cases as well as major airline crashes.

He has an AV 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating through Martindale Hubbell, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Southern California Super Lawyers, Who's Who in American Law, and Aviation Counsel Magazine's List of Recommended High Flyers.

In his spare time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, playing foosball, softball, volleyball, and boogie-boarding.
  • Bar Number: 119511
    California , 1985
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    J.D. , 1985
    Los Angeles, CA

Ronald Goldman Board Certified Trial Lawyer

Ronald L. M. Goldman is a veteran trial lawyer, board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Civil Trial Advocate and Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate. He is a senior partner and the senior trial attorney for Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. Since becoming a lawyer more than 50 years ago, Ron has handled a wide variety of sophisticated litigation at both the trial and appellate levels and he has litigated hundreds of cases involving personal injury and wrongful death related to commercial transportation liability and to drug product liability.

He is a pilot and the head of the firm's aviation disaster litigation team. Ron taught for 21 years at Pepperdine School of Law as an adjunct Law Professor, where he created and taught the course on Aviation Accident Law. He also taught courses in Torts, Insurance Law, Legal Writing and Analysis.

In 1969 Ron handled his first aviation case and has continued handling aviation cases ever since, in accidents such as: the 1972 British European Airways crash near London; the 1978 Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182 / Cessna 172 Midair Collision at San Diego, California; the 1986 Aero Mexico Flight 498 / Piper Midair Collision at Cerritos, California; and the 2000 Southwest Airlines runway accident at Burbank, California. He also handled the September 11, 2001 aviation (passenger) tort litigation in which he also served on the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee. Since joining the firm in 2003 he has worked on all of the firm's general aviation and airline disaster cases.

He was the lead negotiator in one of the firm's most significant aviation litigation achievements. He won, as part of the settlement in the January 8, 2003 Air Midwest Flight 5481 crash in Charlotte, NC, the agreement of the airline and maintenance company, in an organized ceremony, to deliver an unprecedented official public apology to the families for the crash. Three years later Ron appeared in a dramatic re-enactment of the crash, its subsequent investigation and the ultimate public apology, which aired on National Geographic Television.

Ron was involved in ground-breaking pharmaceutical litigation which helped pave the way for the drug product liability litigation lawyers are facing today. In the 1960s he was actively involved in exposing Richardson-Merrell's (later known as Marion Merrell Dow) cholesterol-lowering drug, MER/29 (triparanol), which was blamed for severe side effects and birth defects. The company was ultimately indicted for supplying the FDA with falsified information about the drug.

He is an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated lawyer through Martindale Hubbell and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Who's Who in America, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and The Best Lawyers in America 2013-2017 (Copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). He is also published in Million Dollar Verdicts by the Masters and has been selected for inclusion in the 2005-2017 Southern California Super Lawyers.As lead trial counsel, Ron won one of the largest verdicts of its type in Ohio's history in December of 2006. The case concerned an unmarried person who died in a Tyson Foods truck crash. The case, Brumfield v. Tyson Foods, Inc., N.D. Ohio Case No. 1:05CV847, before Judge Donald C. Nugent, resulted in a jury verdict of $7,028,687.

Ron Goldman has appeared in the media more than 2,000 times concerning aviation accidents and pharmaceutical drug product liability, including safety oversight issues. Numerous media have sought Ron's expert opinion as a pilot and former adjunct aviation accident law professor concerning airline accidents in the U.S. and abroad as well as regarding runway incursions at LAX.

He has been seen on TV, radio, and in newspapers such as BBC Radio, ANN News Tokyo, Associated Press, Bloomberg News, BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter, Chicago Tribune,, Fox News Channel, Guardian Limited, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, National Law Journal, NPR, and the Washington Post.

Ron received his B.S.L. in 1960 and his law degree in 1962, both from the University of Southern California.
  • University of Sounthern California
    J.D. , 1962
    Los Angeles, CA

A. Ilyas Akbari

A. Ilyas Akbari is a partner at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, and has been with the firm since 2005. He concentrates his practice on commercial transportation accidents, as well as medical device and pharmaceutical drug product liability resulting in catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death.

He is listed in the oldest and most highly-respected peer review legal guide, Best Lawyers in America, and has earned the highest AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating through Martindale Hubbell. He has also earned the highest superb score of 10 and is listed in Southern California Super Lawyers.

Ilyas' bioengineering degree has proven very beneficial in the trials in which he assists, as well as with the handling of his cases in general. In fact, Ilyas is in his element when he can blend his expertise in science and law.

Whether it is finding the chemical reaction associated with pharmaceutical side effects, the mechanism of injury and lasting effects of traumatic brain injuries, or the engineering flaw that caused an aircraft crash, Ilyas devotes himself to the investigation and discovery involved in litigation.

Ilyas has participated in many of the firm's most successful cases. He was part of the team of Baum Hedlund lawyers who obtained one of the largest verdicts in Ohio State's history in a truck accident case, resulting in $7M for the death of an unmarried person. He was also an integral part of the firm's trial team which tried an aviation accident product liability case against Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. in Los Angeles, resulting in a settlement after several weeks of trial. Ilyas also served on a trial team in Colorado, helping another firm in a trial against Riddell, a football helmet manufacturer. The jury returned a verdict of $11.5M against Riddell and several high school administrators and football coaches over brain injuries suffered by a teenager. The jury found that Riddell was negligent in failing to warn people wearing its helmets about concussion dangers, making the company responsible for $3.1 million of the damages.

In addition, Ilyas has served in numerous leadership positions, overseeing major litigations involving large numbers of plaintiffs. He is currently serving on the ad hoc committee formed to work up the liability case and coordinate all of the lawsuits filed as a result of Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash at San Francisco International Airport in 2013. Three passengers were killed and more than 180 people were injured in this crash. He has also served on the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee for the 2009 Colgan Air crash near Buffalo, New York, which killed 50 people, and the Plaintiffs' Steering Committees for the Bisphenol-A (BPA) Polycarbonate Plastic Products Liability Litigation and the Heparin Products Liability Multi District Litigation (MDL). Ilyas also served as a member of a small team of attorneys prosecuting a 2008 Hawker 800 crash in Owatonna, Minnesota, which killed eight people during a failed attempt to abort a landing.When looking back at Ilyas' success and fortitude, one would never know the struggles his family faced as refugees from Afghanistan. When Ilyas was just three-years-old, his family escaped the dangerous and war-torn country of Afghanistan to pursue the American Dream. Having spent their entire life savings to smuggle their young family to California, the Akbaris had nothing. With sheer determination Ilyas' father built a life for his family and always did what he could for others. This example has driven Ilyas to fight for people who have lost it all: their lives or the lives of loved ones.

Ilyas earned his B.S. degree in Bioengineering in 2000 from U.C. San Diego. U.C. San Diego's prestigious Bioengineering Department is consistently ranked as one of the top five programs in the world. While at U.C. San Diego, he was the founding Vice President of the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers. It was through this society that Ilyas met several scientist-attorneys, who inspired him to continue on to Southwestern University School of Law. While at Southwestern, he served as President of the Student Bar Association. He was also a Certified Law Clerk at the District Attorney's Office in East Los Angeles, where he conducted preliminary hearings and misdemeanor trials.

Having worked as a defense lawyer for the first few years after law school, Ilyas has a unique perspective into the opposing side. This experience, coupled with his scientific training and his passion to help others, has proven invaluable to his practice.

Ilyas has worked on many of the firm's cases and has experience handling many different types of wrongful death and personal injury cases, including aviation accidents, traumatic brain injury cases, truck crashes, pharmaceutical injuries and toxic poisoning cases.
  • University of California, San Diego
    B.S. , 2000
    San Diego, CA
  • Southwestern University School of Law
    J.D. , 2003
    Los Angeles, CA

Paul Hedlund

Paul J. Hedlund is a senior partner and trial lawyer for the national law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman which handles major transportation accidents and pharmaceutical drug product liability cases. Paul focuses his practice on commercial transportation accidents including, aviation, bus, train and truck crashes. He received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and his law degree from UCLA.

For over 20 years, Paul and his firm have handled more than 850 commercial transportation personal injury and wrongful death cases across the country. Paul was appointed to the Plaintiffs Steering Committees in the United 232 Sioux City crash, the Alaska Airlines crash off Pt. Mugu, CA, the September 11, 2001 Tort Litigation and the Metrolink Collision Cases, Chatsworth, California, 2008. He was also part of the team that negotiated, as a term of the settlement, an unprecedented public apology by the president of Air Midwest in a formal ceremony to the families of the victims of the crash of Air Midwest Flight 5481, which crashed on January 8, 2003 at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

Mr. Hedlund has the highest 5.0 out of 5 AV® Peer Review Rating through Martindale Hubbell and the highest superb score of 10. He has been selected to Southern California Super Lawyers and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in the World. He is also listed in Aviation Counsel Magazine's List of Recommended High Flyers, believed by the International Air Transport Association's Legal Dept. to be one of the most elite lists of aviation law practitioners ever produced.

Because of his expertise as a mechanical engineer, Paul was the only attorney to testify about train configurations and safety at a California state hearing in 2005, looking into the cause of the worst train disaster in Metrolink’s history, in which his firm represents 15 passengers.

Paul was also the only attorney to testify in 1990 about the need for labeling earthquake susceptible buildings, before the California State Legislature Seismic Safety Commission hearing regarding the October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. His client’s son died when a commercial building known to be vulnerable to tremors, collapsed on him during the quake.

Paul is among the relatively few attorneys who have argued a wrongful death case before the United States Supreme Court.

The press have interviewed Paul on numerous occasions. He has appeared in the media more than 150 times on TV and radio programs such as, ABC’s PrimeTime Live with Sam Donaldson, ABC World News Tonight, CNBC, CNN, Court TV, EXTRA, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NPR, and all of the Los Angeles news stations. He has also appeared in print media such as, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, National Law Journal, and the Washington Post.

  • Bar Number: Patent Law, U.S. Pat
    , 1978
  • University of Michigan
    B.S. , 1968
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law
    J.D , 1973
    Los Angeles, CA

Timothy A. Loranger

Timothy A. Loranger is an attorney and partner at the national mass disaster law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. A consumer attorney, pilot and avid citizen advocate, Tim concentrates his practice on product liability law, aviation and commercial ground transportation accidents, resulting in catastrophic personal injury or death.

Tim has experience working on numerous commercial truck, bus and aviation cases involving negligent design, operation, and maintenance. His experience in these cases, combined with a varied background in science and mechanics, has given him significant insights into finding and proving the causation in these accidents.

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Tim served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His experience as a Marine prepared him for a career in the legal field where service, honor, compassion, perseverance, and dedication are essential traits.

During this time, Tim worked as an aircraft mechanic throughout the U.S., including the Marine Corps and Navy Air Stations in El Toro, California; San Diego, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and Jacksonville, Florida. The focus of his training and work was on RF-4b, F/A-18, and C-130 aircraft at both the squadron and intermediate maintenance levels. During this time, Tim expressed his strong passion for aviation and aviation safety.

Tim developed a life-long desire to fly at a young age and earned his pilot's license over 15 years ago. He still finds time to fly even with the full-time practice of law.After serving in the Marines, Tim earned a bachelor's degree in Biology from California State University, Northridge and his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law.

As a proud member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), Consumer Attorneys of California, and the American Association for Justice, Tim is a part of an extensive association of plaintiff attorneys dedicated to representing consumers in, and protecting them from, unsafe products, unsafe medicine, unfair business practices and unscrupulous, negligent corporate conduct.

Tim dedicates himself beyond the courtroom by lobbying for consumer safety legislation as a strong advocate for victim's rights and equal access to justice. He is a proud member of the CAALA Board of Governors, as well as an active member of various committees within CAALA, including, the Government Relations Committee, the Public Relations Committee, the Listserve Committee, the New Lawyers Committee, and the Mentor Program.

CAALA has honored Tim with three Presidential Awards for his tireless efforts to preserve victims' rights and for his advocacy for consumer safety.

In his spare time, Tim raises money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Livestrong; runs in marathons and trains and competes in triathlons, with plans for a full distance Ironman Triathlon in the works. He receives his greatest joy spending time with his wife, Desiree, and their daughter, Elizabeth.

Tim was also an active member of the Boy Scouts of America and the Civil Air Patrola benevolent, nonprofit organization and auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force, dedicated to aerospace education.
  • Southwestern University School of Law
    J.D. , 2002
  • California State University Northridge
    Biology , 1999

Katherine Harvey-Lee

Katherine Harvey-Lee is a partner at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. She litigates complex catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases stemming from commercial vehicle crashes involving busses, big-rigs, military vehicles, off-road vehicles, and other commercial vehicles, including those involving automotive defects.

Kate is the Chair-Elect for the American Association for Justice Bus Accident Litigation Group. She has extensive experience handling bus crash and truck crash cases across the United States. In 2013, Trial magazine published her article, "Put the Brakes on 'Curbside' Bus Abuse" in their "Danger on the Road" edition in which Kate discusses poor oversight and the easily manipulated licensing laws that make it simple for cut-rate carriers to hide from lawsuits. With careful discovery, she explains in the article, how attorneys can identify the corporate owners and obtain compensation for accident victims.

Her clients and peers have given her high marks, resulting in Kate being listed in The Best Lawyers in America, The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Southern California Super Lawyers, and on with a Superb Score of 10. She has appeared on Los Angeles TV and radio news on many occasions concerning truck and bus crashes. She has published multiple articles and lectured to professional organizations on issues of automotive defects and commercial transportation, as well as litigation practice.

Kate holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While an undergraduate and research assistant for the Software Engineering Institute, she published a major technical report on maintaining quality assurance in large organizations during the development of software and other engineered products. She earned her law degree from Whittier Law School, where she graduated third in a class of over 150. During her entire career as an attorney, Kate has devoted her practice to fighting for victims in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases at several of California's most prestigious plaintiffs' firms, focusing primarily on issues of automotive and transportation safety.
  • Whittier Law School
    J.D. summa cum laude , 2001
  • Carnegie Mellon University
    B.F.A , 1987

Diane Marger Moore

Diane Marger Moore is board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a civil trial attorney. She is an accomplished attorney, public servant, magistrate, educator, mediator, arbitrator, lecturer, writer, editor, and community service volunteer. Throughout her career she has tried over 200 jury trials in courts across the United States. As an attorney at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, she focuses on the firm's whistleblower protection cases and commercial transportation accident litigation.

In a career spanning four decades, Diane has gained a wide array of experience from positions she has held in private practice and those committed to public service and protection. She began her career as a public servant by accepting judicial appointments of cases and conducting complex federal criminal litigation as a federal public defender, handling securities fraud, mail fraud, tax fraud, and general criminal matters.

She later worked as a Deputy Attorney General in Indiana's Federal Litigation Division, Civil Rights Section where she defended the State of Indiana in federal civil rights cases and general federal litigation matters. She then prosecuted arson cases, among others, as the Chief Deputy Arson Prosecutor and Felony Court supervisor where she supervised other senior prosecutors and litigated complex circumstantial felony cases.

Diane went onto become a Master Commissioner and Magistrate in the Major Felony Division of Indiana's Marion County Superior Court where she served as a judicial officer presiding over non-jury and jury trials and hearings. She also served in the Civil Division where she handled complex civil cases.

As a senior attorney for the Division of Insurance Fraud, a state law enforcement agency known as DIF, in the Florida Department of Financial Services, Diane prepared complex, high profile fraud cases for prosecution throughout the State of Florida. She later served as the managing attorney for Children's Legal Services for Florida's Department of Children and Families.

She also practiced law in the state of Georgia, which is where she handled her first cases involving aviation law. She represented the Fulton County Aviation Authority in defending many aviation matters. She also has experience representing trucking companies (through their insurers) and handling other substantial insurance litigation, with an emphasis on complex causation, fraud and arson matters, in Florida and Indiana.

Diane's experience in working with government agencies gives her distinctive insight into conducting investigations and working with prosecutors in whistleblower qui tam litigation and mass disaster litigation. Her success arguing cases as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney in civil and criminal proceedings makes her uniquely suited to handle a variety of complex cases.

She has held several legal teaching positions throughout her career, starting out as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Georgia, School of Law in Athens, Georgia, during which time she also provided legal counsel to Georgia's maximum security prisoners. Diane then developed and taught advanced criminology courses to law enforcement officers as an Assistant Professor of Criminology at Tift College.

A few years later Diane became an Adjunct Law Professor at Nova University (Florida), where she taught Master level law courses and the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at the university's Center for Study of Law. She then moved to Indiana where she became the Department Head for the Paralegal Program at the International Business College in Indianapolis, just before beginning her position at the Office of Attorney General.
  • University of Georgia
    J.D. , 1978
  • Florida State University
    B.A. , 1978

Frances M. Phares

Frances M. Phares is of counsel to Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, where she focuses her practice on personal injury and wrongful death litigation stemming from major transportation disasters, pharmaceutical product liability cases and toxic exposure across the nation.

Ms. Phares earned her law degree from Tulane University Law School and holds an undergraduate degree in Zoology from Louisiana State University. While in law school she clerked for the Orleans Parish District Attorney and tutored Tulane undergraduates in English.

After law school Fran worked as an Assistant District Attorney prosecuting cases for victims of felony crimes such as armed robbery, theft, rape, child abuse, and murder. During that time, she obtained the first-ever conviction in Louisiana of pharmacists for illegally selling prescription drugs to addicts. Thereafter, she gained much valuable research and writing experience and hands-on exposure to civil litigation as a Law Clerk for the 22nd Judicial District Court in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, Louisiana. She also served for many years as a Magistrate Hearing Officer for child support issues in divorce lawsuits.

Before joining Baum Hedlund, Fran was instrumental in the settlement of over four hundred claims by hemophiliacs for AIDS infection from contaminated blood products. At Baum Hedlund she has worked to eliminate laws protecting tobacco companies from lawsuits by successfully urging the California Supreme Court to reject the notion that smokers are presumed to know that smoking is addictive and that smoking causes health hazards. This has cleared the way for long-time smokers to file claims for injuries which may have occurred decades after a smoker first became addicted to cigarettes. She has also successfully represented the families of antidepressant suicide victims in their cases against drug manufacturers.

Fran has participated in numerous writing and trial-skills seminars. She is a certified suicide-prevention counselor and hospice volunteer and has created a workshop for people who are adjusting to grief, loss and aging issues.

She has traveled to India where she studied global ethics and sociology and partnered with Tibetan refugees in a cultural exchange program. She created a dental program in Dharamsala known as Tibetan Smiles to provide low-cost dental care to the Tibetan community. In an effort to be more attuned to her clients' needs and provide more empathetic and comprehensive service, obtained a dual master's degree in pastoral studies and counseling from Loyola University New Orleans.

In her spare time, Fran enjoys visiting art museums, reading historical novels, golfing, playing the piano, fishing, and walking her Welsh Corgi, Windsor. She facilitates a spirituality group for women in her community, volunteers at the local retirement home and serves as a lay pastoral assistant.
  • Tulane Law School
    J.D. , 1981
  • Louisiana State University
    B.S. , 1975
  • Loyola University New Orleans
    Master of Pastoral Studies , 2012
  • Loyola University New Orleans
    M.S. Counseling , 2016

Cara J. Luther

Cara J. Luther has been an attorney at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman for over 20 years and has worked on many of the firm's mass disaster cases and commercial transportation accident cases.

She concentrates her practice on catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases stemming from aviation accidents (including airline, helicopter and small planes), bus crashes, rail disasters, commercial truck crashes and defective pharmaceutical products.

Helping her clients through very difficult times in their lives, winning their trust and helping them understand the legal process, is the most rewarding aspect of her work. Cara remains passionate about her clients and has dedicated herself to championing their rights.

Cara came to Baum Hedlund with skills in the medical and insurance fields which have proven critical to her cases.

While earning her biology undergraduate degree, Cara focused her studies on medical technology. She went to work in the field of medical research, where she became familiar with medical documents, records and terminology. Cara has found this experience to be invaluable in personal injury and wrongful death cases where reading and understanding medical records plays an indispensible role.

After working in the medical field, Cara continued into insurance, working as a sales person, then as a claims adjuster. This experience also proved very beneficial in her role at Baum Hedlund, since it gave her distinct insight into the perspective of the defense. Cara credits her insurance background with giving her the ability to communicate effectively with counsel for the defense and their insurance adjusters during these complex and difficult cases.

Cara also remains very involved in her community. Based out of our Washington D.C. office, Cara is an active member of numerous church committees in the D.C. area, giving pro bono legal advice and assisting underprivileged groups in finding education, employment and success. She maintains that her community service keeps her in touch with people and their needs, an experience that enhances her work at Baum Hedlund.
  • University of Maryland School of Law
    J.D. , 1986
  • University of North Carolina
    B.A. , 1968

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