David R. Lira, Esq. | Johnston Hutchinson & Lira LLP
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  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Boston College

Bar Admissions

  • 1988, California



David R. Lira is a nationally recognized trial lawyer focused on the prosecution of high stakes personal injury and wrongful death cases. Recently described by Law Dragon Magazine as a “living legend,” David has earned a reputation for skilled advocacy and high integrity.


Mr. Lira holds the rank of Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates (“ABOTA”) and is President-Elect of the Los Angeles Chapter of ABOTA for 2021.

Mr. Lira has obtained more than 200 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million dollars against such diverse companies as airplane manufacturers, automobile manufacturers, oil and gas companies, insurance companies, car rental companies and amusement parks. These include a $45.5 million jury verdict against Ford Motor Company for a defective seat belt; a $30 million settlement against an insurance company for wrongful denial of a claim; an $18.9 million jury verdict against a professional sports team (Bryan Stow v. Los Angeles Dodgers); a $14 million settlement after closing arguments for a defective amusement park ride; a $10.5 million settlement for tire failure causing deaths; and a $7.9 million settlement in a defective airbag case causing brain injuries to a child, to name a few.


Mr. Lira was a lead trial lawyer for the nationally regarded firm Girardi & Keese until he formed Johnston Hutchinson & Lira LLP with partners Thomas Johnston & Nicholas Hutchinson.


In 2010, Mr. Lira obtained a unanimous United States Supreme Court decision in Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America which held that the doctrine of preemption does not apply to seat belt product liability claims. This case allowed hundreds of cases to proceed in the product liability arena.


Among his most well-known cases, Mr. Lira won a major monetary settlement in a suit involving a defective child’s toy chest that caused the death of a young child. Mr. Lira’s investigation of the toy chest resulted in a national recall of the toy chest by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.


In 2003, Mr. Lira was lead counsel in representing a five-year old boy who was rendered a paraplegic as a result of being restrained in a rear-center seat lap belt instead of what should have been a lap-shoulder belt during a head-on collision. The jury returned a verdict of $45 million and assessed punitive damages against Ford Motor Co.


Recently, Mr. Lira represented thirteen (13) families who lost loved ones on the Lion Air Flight 610 disaster. Mr. Lira filed against Boeing, Inc. over the design of Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (“MCAS”) of the 737 Max Series aircraft.


Mr. Lira’s accomplishments have been recognized by the legal profession’s leading publications and organizations. Mr. Lira is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only worldwide organization limited to 500 trial lawyers. He is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (Rank: Advocate) and the Multi-Million Dollars Advocates Forum.


In 2015 and 2017, Mr. Lira was named one of California’s “Top Plaintiffs’ Lawyers” by The Daily Journal. Mr. Lira has repeatedly been named by Lawdragon Magazine to its list of “The 500 Leading Lawyers in America.” He has also been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in Los Angeles Magazine in its 2004 – 2020 editions.


In 2019, Mr. Lira, along with 30 lawyers across the Nation, was recognized as a “Lawdragon Legend” for having “obtained hundreds of millions for consumers injured through faulty seatbelts, bus rollovers, and construction accidents.”


In 2018, Mr. Lira was named “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) organization. The CAOC organization had previously selected Mr. Lira as a finalist for “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award in 2004, 2010 and 2016. He earned a similar recognition from the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles in 2006.


Mr. Lira is a frequent lecturer and author on trial techniques. Mr. Lira has been an instructor at the Jack Daniels Trial School, ABOTA’s “Masters in Trial” and the California Judicial College.


Mr. Lira received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles (1983) and his law degree from Boston College (1986).