Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Nancy Drabble

Illustration by Chris Shary

55. Nancy Drabble

California voters will be delighted to learn that a high-stakes November ballot initiative involving the decades-old medical malpractice law won’t be on the ballot, after all. Nancy Drabble is one of the reasons. She’s the executive director of the Consumer Attorneys of California, which was known for decades as the California Trial Lawyers Association until it changed its name in 1995. She helped warring parties – doctors, lawyers, insurers and others – come to a compromise on the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, or MICRA. Drabble and her team were deeply involved in the negotiations and, as one of our trusty sources told us, had a “really, really, really good year.” Over time, the deal raises the 47-year-old $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages in malpractice cases and ultimately pegs it to inflation – something lawyers have demanded for years. But the changes happen gradually, and the parties – all of whom have deep pockets – get to avoid another bruising, costly ballot battle. Drabble, a UC Berkeley graduate, came to CAOC in 1986 after a stint with “Nader’s Raiders,” led by consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

Updated Aug. 9, 2022

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