Fred Baron (lawyer) : biography

20 June 1947 - 30 October 2008

Baron indicated on August 8, 2008, two months before his death at age 61, that he had given monetary assistance to the woman John Edwards had an affair with, Rielle Hunter. He claims he paid her directly, not using campaign money.

Asbestos litigation tactics

Baron & Budd have been criticized by attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants for their role in asbestos litigation in aggressively seeking payment for plaintiffs who have suffered no injury; as a result, many defendants have been bankrupted and seriously injured plaintiffs have been unable to recover.Thomas Korosec, , Dallas Observer, 26 Sep 2002

The Baron & Budd asbestos memo is alleged to have been a subornation of perjury and a cover-up.Lester Brickman, , 31 Pepperdine L. Rev. 33 (2004). It is cited by United States civil justice reformersWalter Olson, , Reason (June 1998) and politiciansAdditional View of Senator Kyl, at pp. 81-184 (21 Jul. 2003) (reprinting memo in full). as an example of ethical problems in the plaintiffs' bar and asbestos litigation. Baron and some academics argue that the memo was the act of a single paralegal, and that it was within the bounds of "zealous representation."W. William Hodes, The Professional Duty To Horseshed Witnesses—Zealously, Within The Bounds Of the Law, 30 TEX. TECH L. REV. 1343 (1999). See also Charles Silver, Preliminary Thoughts on the Economics of Witness Preparation, 30 TEX. TECH L. REV. 1383, 1398-1401 (1999)(discussing forces affecting the preparation of witnesses in civil cases, including mass tort lawsuits). However, the Dallas Observer conducted an investigation of the memo, and found that "a number of former Baron & Budd employees say that the information and techniques contained in the memo are widely used, even taught to employees" and that the "memo was not truly an aberration, but a written example of how the product-identification staff works at Baron & Budd."Julie Lyons, Patrick Williams, Thomas Korosec, and Christine Biederman, , 13 Aug. 1998Thomas Korosec, , Dallas Observer, 29 March 2001Julie Lyons, , Dallas Observer, 13 Aug. 1998.

In 2002, Baron left Baron & Budd along with his wife, Lisa Blue. Baron sued his former firm for breach of contract; Baron & Budd counterclaimed alleging that Baron and Blue breached contractual, fiduciary and legal obligations to the firm by failing to receive prior consent from Baron & Budd for plans to form a new firm.Brenda Sapino Jeffreys, , Texas Lawyer, 11 Dec 2006

Baron lived in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of north Dallas.

Awards and honors

  • Fred Baron has been honored as a lawyer who helped shape Texas law during the 20th century in Legal Legends: A Century of Texas Law and Lawyering.Texas Lawyer commemorative publication, June 2000
  • Named as one of the nation's top plaintiff's lawyers by Forbes magazine (2001).
  • Named one of Dallas' top lawyers by D Magazine (May 2001 and May 2005).
  • In 2001, The University of Texas School of Law endowed a chair in his name.
  • Past president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA);
  • A member of the Board of Governors of ATLA, as Chairman of the Public Affairs Committee on the Board of Governors, and Chairman of its Section on Toxic, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Torts;
  • Past president of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice;
  • A member of the Board of Directors of The American Constitution Society;
  • A member of the American Law Institute, serving on the Products Liability sub-committee;
  • Vice-Chairman of the Toxic and Hazardous Substances and Environmental Law Subcommittee for the American Bar Association;
  • Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates;
  • Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and Dallas Bar Foundation;
  • Former member of the Board of Advisors to the Toxic Law Reporter (B.N.A.);
  • Former Trustee for the Civil Justice Foundation;
  • Member of the Advisory Board of Texas Citizen Action;
  • Director of the Texas Law Review Association;
  • Director of the Irving Selikoff Foundation (Charitable Trust);
  • Trustee of the Manville Victims Special Trust (Charitable Trust);
  • Trustee of the Democratic National Committee;
  • On the Texas Advisory Board of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine