Jeffrey Breit

Partner

Practice Areas: Catastrophic Injuries, Burn Injuries, Bicycle Accidents, Sexual Assault

Email Address: jeffrey@bbtrial.com

While he was in college, Jeffrey Breit worked with a Federal Court Judge in New Orleans, fueling his interest in the law. As natives of the Tidewater area, Jeffrey’s father, brothers, and wife have all been attorneys at one time or another. In 1988, he left the firm where his father had practiced and (together with Jack Drescher) started “Breit, Drescher & Breit,” which later became “Breit Drescher Imprevento.” The firm focused on representing injured victims, something we still do today as “Breit Biniazan.”

After the April 20, 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, Jeffrey began a stint working cases on behalf of menhaden fishermen. Hundreds of thousands of cases were consolidated in the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans in MDL 2179. In October 2010, Judge Carl Barbier appointed 15 lawyers to the plaintiff steering committee in order to manage the litigation on behalf of all of the claimants. Jeffrey was appointed by Judge Barbier to the steering committee; eventually, he and seven members of the steering committee tried the case before Judge Barbier against the defendants BP, Halliburton, Transocean, Cameron, and others in what became the biggest environmental disaster in United States history and one of the biggest economic loss cases in history.

Jeffrey was responsible for marshaling the case against Halliburton, and after trial Halliburton, settled its portion in the amount of $1.24 billion. To date, over 250,000 businesses and individuals recovered more than $11.5 billion in economic losses; cleanup workers and coastal residents recovered over $67 million; community health grants were awarded in the amount of $105 million; tourism and seafood promotional grants were awarded $57 million; local government agencies were awarded $680 million; and $14 billion was awarded to the United States Government and Gulf of Mexico bordering states. The individual claims handled by Jeffrey (which included menhaden settlements, BP business claims, lost wage claims, seafood claims, and medical claims) were paid $29 million. Jeffrey was also retained as one of the lawyers for the state of Alabama, which recovered $1 billion dollars.

Since 2010, Jeffrey has been involved in litigation nationwide involving Chinese drywall manufacturer, Taishan Gypsum Company, Limited. In 2011, Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Company, Limited settled its nationwide Chinese drywall contamination lawsuit for an amount in excess of $1 billion. The Chinese drywall cases continued against Taishan Gypsum with litigation in Louisiana, Florida, and Virginia. In 2019, Taishan Gypsum settled all United States cases, including Virginia’s, in a settlement of $248 million. More recently, after May 31, 2019, Jeffrey was appointed to manage the Virginia Beach tragedy fund where he distributed an excess of $4 million to victims.

As former President of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Jeffrey has been instrumental in persuading Virginia’s General Assembly to raise the cap on damages plaintiffs may receive in medical malpractice suits. Jeffrey has been characterized as tough, fair, and honest. According to Jack Harris, Executive Director of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, “[Jeffrey] personally met with legislators for months, helping them to understand the need to raise the medical malpractice cap, which had been frozen for 17 years. That was a major triumph. He’s driven to be the best and has had far-reaching accomplishments that will be felt for years to come.”

Throughout his successful career, he has continued to work hard to improve the reputation of attorneys representing injured people, as well as training the next generation of trial lawyers. Jeffrey is an adjunct professor of law at William & Mary Law School and  had the privilege to spend three years as an evidence professor at Harvard Law School and one year at Columbia Law School, as well. Jeffrey is passionate about helping future litigators find their best selves, which in turn benefits the clients they will eventually represent. Under his tutelage, the William & Mary Law School Trial Team has been able to secure 29 champion, finalist, and semi-finalist titles in the last 10 years.

Jeffrey is a proud member of The Inner Circle of Advocates, as well as an active member of the American Associates for Justice (AAJ) and Virginia Poverty Law Center’s Advisory Council. Jeffrey has also been recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer® since the awards inception in 2006, as well as a Top 100 Virginia Super Lawyer® since 2019 and a Top 10 Virginia Super Lawyer® 2020-2022. In 2021, he was also recognized by Best Lawyers in America® as Product Liability Litigation-Plaintiffs’ Lawyer of the Year.


Recent posts from Jeffrey Breit


Awards

Education

  • J.D., Tulane University of Louisiana
  • B.A., Tulane University of Louisiana

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia
  • Louisiana
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Washington, D.C.

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Teaching Experience

  • William & Mary Law School Adjunct Professor of Law (2004-Present)
    • Courses: Trial Strategy and Persuasion, Pre-Trial Procedures, Depositions, and Trial Advocacy
  • William & Mary Law School – Advisor for National Trial Team (2004-Present)
  • Harvard Law School Co-Professor with Kenneth Feinberg/Evidence Course (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Columbia Law School Co-Professor with Kenneth Feinberg/Evidence Course (2014)
  • Virginia Supreme Court – Appointed to teach the Virginia State Bar Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention – Taught the Virginia Tort Law Updates for 6 years
  • Taught 300+ hours of Continuing Legal Education Courses in 15 states over the past 40 years for a variety of lawyer associations in Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, and New Jersey

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America® “Virginia Beach Product Liability Litigation-Plaintiffs’ Lawyer of the Year” (2021)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association – Distinguished Service Award (2019)
  • William & Mary Law School St. George Tucker Adjunct Professorship Award Recipient (2008)
  • American Association for Justice – Master of Trial Law (2019)
  • The Litigator Awards – Ranked Top 1% of Lawyers (2014)
  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America®
  • Listed, Who’s Who in American Law
  • Listed, Super Lawyers® One of the Top 100 Lawyers in Virginia (2013, 2014, 2019-2022)
  • Listed, Super Lawyers® One of the Top 50 Lawyers in Virginia (2007, 2009)
  • Listed, Super Lawyers® One of the Top 10 Lawyers in Virginia (2006, 2020-2022)
  • Virginia Lawyers Weekly – “Hall of Fame” (2019)

Professional Associations

  • The Inner Circle of Advocates Member
  • MDL Deepwater Horizon (BP Oil Spill) Member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
  • William & Mary Law School – Adjunct Professor of Law
  • Virginia Poverty Law Center Advisory Council – Member
  • National College of Advocacy, AAJ – Fellow
  • Mid-Winter Convention (2020) – Education Course Advisor
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association – Member of Williamsburg Society; Member of Board of Governors (1983-1993); President (1998-1999)
  • Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, New York, and District of Columbia Bar Associations – Member
  • American Bar Association – Member
  • Virginia Beach and Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Associations – Member
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States – Member
  • The American Association for Justice – Member of Board of Governors (1988-Present)
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers – Member
  • North Carolina Trial Lawyers Association – Member
  • Operation Smile – President (1986-1988)
  • Board of Editors, Maritime Law Reporter, Butterworth – Member (1986-1988)
  • GRAMMY Awards – Voting Member (Until 2019)

Publications & Presentations

  • Tulane Maritime Law Review – Editor-in-Chief (1978-1979)
  • William & Mary Law School – “Master the Art of Trial Advocacy” with Jeffrey Breit
  • Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Convention, Steamboat Springs, CO – Author, “Most Effective Techniques in Opening Statements” (August 7, 2015)
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Winning with Experts Seminar, Greensboro, NC – Author, “Effective Use of Demonstrative Evidence” (February 13, 2015)
  • North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, Raleigh, NC – Author, “Technology in the Courtroom” (October 10, 2008)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Brain Injury Retreat, Richmond, VA – Panel Discussions: “Having the Plaintiff at Trial” and “Effective Witnesses the Defense Does Not Anticipate” (September 27, 2008)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Virginia College of Trial Advocacy, Williamsburg, VA – Author, “Opening Statements” (May 2008)
  • Brain Injury Association of America Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV – Lecture: “Focus Groups in Brain Injury Cases” (April 2008)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Convention, The Homestead – Author, “Tort Law Update” (March 2008)
  • Kentucky Justice Association, Annual Convention, Lexington, KY – Author, “Use of Demonstrative Evidence for Direct and Cross-Examination: Entertaining Story With Pictures and Words” (September 27, 2007)
  • North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, Sunset Beach, NC – Author, “Use of Demonstrative Evidence for Direct and Cross-Examination: Entertaining Story With Pictures and Words” (June 16, 2007)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Convention – Author, “Opening Statements” (April 2006)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Annual Convention, Toronto – Author, “Enhancing Damages by Proving a Defendant’s Bad Conduct” (July 2005)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Annual Convention, Toronto – Author, “The Things They Didn’t Teach You in Law School” (July 2005)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, New Approaches to Damages Seminar, New Orleans, LA – Author, “Damages in Opening Statement” (October 2004)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Brain Injury Retreat, Richmond, VA Author, “Tips to Motivate a Jury in a Traumatic Brain Injury Case” (October 2004)
  • NABIS Annual Conference, Vail, CO – Author, “Dealing with Defenses” (September 2004)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Annual Convention – Author, “Improving the Jury Using Juror Questions” (July 2004)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Convention – Author, “Conflict Between Attorney and Client on Settlement vs. Trial” (April 2004)
  • Virginia Bar Association – Author, “The Wired Courtroom” (January 2004)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Convention – Author, “Supreme Court Update, 2003” (2003)
  • New Jersey Trial Lawyers, Annual Convention – Author, “Using the Jury’s Imagination to Maximize Damages” (April 2003)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, NCA Trial Advocacy College, Harvard Law School – Author, “Responding to Difficult Courtroom Situations: Ethical Considerations,” “Direct Examination,” and “Closing Argument” (March 1999)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America – Author, “Deflating Defense Counsel’s Arguments at Voir Dire” (July 1999)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, NCA Premises Liability Seminar, Phoenix, AZ – Author, “Negligent Hiring and Retention in Violent Crime Cases” (February 1999)
  • Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, New Orleans, LA – Author, “Premises Liability (3rd Party Criminal Attacks) Inadequate Security” (December 1998)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Convention – Author, “Tort Law Update – Virginia Supreme Court” (March 1998)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Convention – Author, “The Thing They Didn’t Teach (in Law School) – Now I Know that the Following Are Bad Things To Do” (April 1996)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Colorado – Author, “Thoracic Outlet Syndrome” (March 1993)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Colorado – Author, “Cross-Examination of Experts and Other Ways to Lose a Case” (March 1993)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Trial Advocacy Seminar – Author, “Excessive and Inadequate Verdicts” (1994)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Trial Advocacy Seminar – Author, “Payback of Worker’s Compensation and Health Care Liens” (1994)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, New Orleans, LA – Author, “Proving Loss of Society & Services in Wrongful Death” (April 1993)
  • Lawyers Alert – Author, “Premises Liability” (1989)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Reno, NV – Author, “Crafting the Closing and Rebuttal Argument & Closing Argument” (October 1992)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association – Author, “Personal Injury and Death in Maritime Law” (1987)
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association – Author, “Wrongful Death-Wage Earner” (1986)

Community Involvement

  • Operation Smile – President (1986-1988)

Product Liability

$1 Billion

Product Liability

$248 Million

Car Accidents

$60 Million

Product Liability

$29 Million

Premises Liability

$20 Million

Car Accidents

$20 Million

Brain InjuryCar AccidentsWrongful Death

$11 Million

Car Accidents

$7.5 Million

Motor Vehicle Accident

$6.5 Million

Wrongful Death

$4.7 Million

Motor Vehicle Accident

$4.5 Million

Product Liability

$3.5 Million

Maritime Accident

$2.4 Million

Brain Injury

$1.95 Million

Car Accidents

$1.8 Million

Personal Injury

$1.67 Million

Maritime Accident

$1.45 Million

Truck Accidents

$1.44 Million

Personal Injury

$1.4 Million

Wrongful Death

$1.275 Million

Bicycle Accident

$1.275 Million

Wrongful Death

$900,000

Premises Liability

$650,000

Car Accidents

$500,000

Wrongful Death

$500,000

We are personal injury attorneys

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