Leila Noël

Leila Noël

Leila Noël, partner with the Santa Barbara law firm of Cappello & Noël LLP, has been named one of the Top 75 Women Lawyers in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals.

Noël was the only attorney selected from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. The list of top attorneys was released this week.

“There are over 75,000 women members of the California Bar,” said A. Barry Cappello, Noël’s legal partner. “It’s a tremendous achievement to be named one of the top 75 women lawyers in the state. When only a very few women lawyers were chosen from firms outside of Los Angeles and San Francisco, it takes an exceptional lawyer to stand out. We are proud that Leila’s efforts on behalf of our clients have been recognized.”

Noël has tried many high-profile cases. In a 2008 child wrongful death case, she represented the parents of a 4½-year-old boy who drowned in an exclusive athletic club in Goleta. The jury returned a verdict of $16.2 million, the largest child drowning wrongful death verdict in California history.

This year, Noël represented the plaintiffs in a lending discrimination class action against Wells Fargo Bank under the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The suit brought to light discriminatory lending practices against borrowers in minority neighborhoods in Los Angeles, resulting in higher loan costs for those borrowers. In March 2011, the jury found that the bank violated the act, and returned a multimillion-dollar verdict penalizing Wells Fargo for its violation of its customers’ civil rights.

Noël represents plaintiffs in lender liability matters, complex business litigation and catastrophic personal injury cases.

“Individuals and businesses are fortunate to have an attorney of Leila’s caliber here in Santa Barbara,” Cappello said. “They do not have to travel to Los Angeles or San Francisco in order to receive outstanding legal representation.”

— Diane Rumbaugh is a publicist.