Brian A. Zemil

Partner
Zemil Brian

Brian Zemil is a litigator who focuses on the defense against claims involving occupational and para-occupational exposure to asbestos, and other mass toxic tort litigation. He has national and lead counsel experience, managing complex, industry-wide, multijurisdictional cases in U.S. federal and state courts. Brian served as asbestos NCC for two asbestos clients and lead counsel for a silica defendant.

Brian has represented various asbestos clients defending against claims filed in Baltimore. There, he tried to verdict four asbestos lung cancer cases and successfully prosecuted contribution claims that resulted in the reduction of the verdict by one-half (cost savings equaling $5M). Brian has developed asbestos medical experts and worked with other experts to successfully advance novel theories to secure summary judgment in asbestos cases. He has also argued Daubert- and Frye-Reed-type motions and has an established record as an appellate advocate, successfully winning an appeal that resulted in the dismissal of over 100 mesothelioma cases.

Brian currently manages ongoing litigation before Maryland state courts and U.S. federal district courts. Beyond day-to-day legal representation, Brian has worked to promote and support a wide range of civic and charitable endeavors, as well as public interest law and legal education. Various civic organizations have recognized his leadership in this area, bestowing on Brian the Educator of the Year Award, the Ed Shea Award, the Ben Civiletti Pro Bono Award, and the Maryland Bar Foundation award for the Advancement of Unpopular Causes in a pro bono case. 

Brian has also served as a leader in the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation, where he served twice as editor-in-chief for the Litigation Section’s national publication, Litigation News. He has also published dozens of law-related articles and is currently the publication’s standing columnist on civil procedure; in this position he writes on various topics, including ESI.

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Tried to verdict a contribution claim against a co-defendant in each of four product liability cases, consolidated in a 28-day trial
  • Argued and prevailed before the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, resulting in dismissal of more than 100 cases (Brannan v. The Wallace & Gale Asbestos Settlement Trust, 208 Md. App 164, 2012)
  • Directed nationwide mass tort silica litigation as lead national and trial counsel, and implemented an early exit strategy that resulted in the dismissal of his client from all of its silica cases in the multidistrict litigation
  • Argued and prevailed before the Court of Appeals of Maryland, resulting in the transfer of more than 200 cases to a jurisdiction more favorable to the client
  • Argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for support of post-trial court rulings, in a case he tried to verdict
  • Defending a contractor in more than 30,000 asbestos-related personal injury and wrongful death cases filed in the state of Maryland

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. cum laude University of Tulsa College of Law 1994
    • JoeAnn E. Long Memorial Award
  • B.A. Albright College 1990

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • National delegate, American Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Governors, Maryland State Bar Association
  • Past chair, MSBA, Young Lawyers Section
  • Associate editor, Litigation News
  • Past editor-in-chief, Litigation News
  • Civil procedure columnist, Litigation News

Recognition
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  • Super Lawyers, Maryland, 2016 – 2020
  • Maryland Bar Foundation
    • Professional Legal Excellence Award for the Advancement of Unpopular Causes,
    • Maryland State Bar Association
    • Edward F. Shea, Jr. Professionalism Award, 2005 (awarded in recognition of a Maryland attorney who exemplifies professionalism, civility, integrity, compassion, and commitment to public service)
  • Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, Educator of the Year Award

Community
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Pro Bono

  • Tried a prisoner's rights case in federal court, where a jury awarded punitive damages to the client
  • Tried a murder case challenging expert testimony relating to ballistics and firearms
  • Author, MVLS Maryland Expungement Handbook

Volunteerism

  • Active community volunteer, including and raising awareness and money for organizations seeking a cure and treatments for arthritis and melanoma.

Personal Activities

Brian is an activist and outdoor enthusiast.