Litigation Departments of the Year

Eyes on the Big Picture

Patton Boggs deals with product liability defense in multiple forms and venues

New Jersey Law Journal

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Patton Boggs' litigation department
Left to right, Patton Boggs' Stephanie Feingold, Patrick Gilmartin, Ora Sheinson, Anthony Molloy, Erika Lopes-McLeman, Anneberkie Carrasco, Amer Pharaon, Alyson Villano, Mark Errico, John McGahren, Joseph Hopkins, James Tyrrell Jr., Mark Sheridan, Erin Kahn, Calvin Souder, Jonathan Peck, Elissa Glasband, Adlai Small, Jason Rockwell, Lisa Ann Ruggiero and Anthony Laura

Patton Boggs' product liability and mass tort group prepares complex, multifaceted scientific and medical defenses in single and multiplaintiff actions in state and federal court on behalf of individual clients and groups of defendants.

The lawyers in the New Jersey office have expertise in defending complex cases that customarily involve claims for substantial damages, and often threaten the commercial viability of an entire product line or product design.

Often, these representations require coordination of hundreds of individual cases in courts around the country, as well as the defense of class-action claims. The firm has been retained to handle sensitive matters before the Consumer Products Safety Commission and other state and federal authorities. It also provides counseling on product development, labeling and warnings.

Practitioners have established an extensive network of experts in a broad range of disciplines and are experienced with various types of products, including automobiles, all-terrain vehicles, paint sprayers, adhesives, chemicals, orthopedic devices, stents, children's products, smoke detectors, silica, cement dust and other respirable dusts and substances, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin, playground equipment, electric power supply equipment, telecommunications equipment and related software, diet drugs, synthetic estrogen and nutritional supplements.

In addition to litigation counseling, Patton Boggs advises on industrial crisis management, regulatory compliance, waste management and hazardous substance contamination and product-liability risk assessment.

A unique and distinguishing characteristic of the product-liability and mass-tort practice is its close working relationship with the firm's public-policy, government-affairs, and lobbying practice. The firm provides clients with comprehensive representation before courts, regulatory agencies, Congress, and state attorneys general, in view of the relationship between private product-liability actions and governmental action.

Attorneys in the New Jersey office also handle complex commercial litigation, food and drug, governmental and internal corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense.

Due to the sensitive business concerns surrounding documentary and deposition discovery of corporate defendants, the firm's lawyers take a consistent approach to discovery across many related cases, using state-of-the-art data- and document-management systems, and addressing the significant public-access and media issues surrounding the production of confidential and commercially sensitive information.

The firm also has extensive experience in managing large-scale electronic and hard copy document productions in mass-tort litigation.

Patton Boggs by the Numbers
  Firm-wide N.J. Office
Department Size 172 61
Department as percentage of firm (head-count) 33% 75%
Department as percentage of firm (revenue) 98% 51%

 

Major Litigators:

• James Tyrrell Jr. (partner, Newark, admitted 1974) — came to Patton Boggs to head New York-area offices in 2006 after nine years litigating toxic tort and environmental matters at Latham & Watkins, where he was managing partner of the firm's Newark office; national chairman of Patton Boggs' toxic torts and product liability practice groups; executive committee member.

• Anthony Laura (partner, Newark, 1986) — has extensive experience representing manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers; previously a partner at Reed Smith, where he headed the New Jersey trial practice group; past chairman of New Jersey State Bar Association's Product Liability and Toxic Tort Section.

• Christopher DiMuro (partner, Newark, 1988) — represents large chemical, medical device, health-care and consumer-products companies; has served as regional and national coordinating counsel and de facto general counsel for several companies in connection with recurring tort and product liability claims; one of 30 attorneys who, along with Tyrrell, came from Latham & Watkins' litigation department in 2006.

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