1 HB Litigation Conferences Presents 4 th Annual Emerging Trends in Asbestos Litigation April 7-8, 2011 Faculty Biographies Conference Chairs Scott L. Frost is a partner in the Dallas office of Waters & Kraus, LLP. Mr. Frost is licensed to practice law by the state bars of California, Texas, Georgia, Kentucky and Indiana. He also formerly served with the Judge Advocate General s Corps of the U.S. Army. Mr. Frost is a cum laude graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Recognized in Texas Monthly magazine on the 2005 Thomson Reuters Texas Rising Stars list, Scott is a frequent presenter at asbestos conferences. His pro bono work includes of counsel appointments by Public Justice for asbestos removal litigation involving the St. Louis Airport, the Fort Worth Cowtown Inn project, and St. Bernard Parish. Mr. Frost is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Kentucky Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, and the State Bar of Texas. William J. Sayers is a partner in the Los Angeles office of McKenna Long & Aldridge. Mr. Sayers focuses his practice on the defense of product liability and toxic tort lawsuits. His trial practice has included more than thirty trials involving products liability, legal malpractice and toxic torts. Before joining MLA, Mr. Sayers spent four years as a judge advocate and military judge in the Marine Corps and five years as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles. As an Assistant Division Chief he handled one of the first criminal RICO cases in the Central District of California. In his thirty years of practice in the area of Toxic Torts, he has served as national, regional and local counsel for clients involved in claims arising from exposures to formaldehyde, asbestos, beryllium and pesticides. In 1994 he was admitted to the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mr. Sayers has been recognized as a "Southern California Super Lawyer" in the Los Angeles Super Lawyers Magazine annually since Mr. Sayers holds a B.A. from Oklahoma State University (1969) and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law (1972).
2 Thursday, April 7, :30 Current Outlook and Emerging Trends Kathy Byrne has been practicing in the field of asbestos litigation since She exclusively represents plaintiffs in product liability litigation at both trial and appellate levels in Illinois. She is also a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Trial Bar, the Seventh Circuit Appellate Bar, and has also argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Bankruptcy Court. Ms. Byrne was appointed by the Court to the committee which framed the criteria for the Cook County asbestos registry, which has since been adopted as a model in other jurisdictions. Ms. Byrne was heavily involved with the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association s successful challenge to the constitutionality of the Illinois Legislative Tort Reform package. Her Appellate Brief was the first Amicus Curiae brief accepted by the Illinois Supreme Court in the tort reform challenge. Ms. Byrne s legal knowledge and experience at trial has made her a popular lecturer in Illinois and around the United States. Ms. Byrne is a graduate of Loyola University School of Law and Saint Mary s College of Notre Same. She has been an attorney with the law firm of Cooney & Conway, located in Chicago, since Anissa M. Mediger, a Shareholder at Murnane Brandt, is a civil litigator focusing her areas of practice in product liability, mass toxic tort, insurance and retailer defense. Anissa represents corporate clients in product liability cases and has earned a national reputation in asbestos litigation. She is admitted to practice in Minnesota and Nevada, the United States District Court, District of Minnesota and Nevada. In addition, Ms. Mediger has been admitted pro hac vice to represent clients in product liability matters in Illinois, North Dakota, Missouri and Wisconsin. Before joining Murnane Brandt, she served as a judicial law clerk to Judge John S. McGroarty, Eighth Judicial District Court, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and served as a judicial extern to Judge A. William Maupin who formerly sat on the Nevada Supreme Court. Anissa received her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law in 1997 and her B.A, cum laude,. in geology and history from Gustavus Adolphus College. While attending Hamline University, she studied abroad attending Charles University School of Law in Prague, Czech Republic. Anissa is a member of the Gustavus Adolphus College Leadership Committee for the class of In addition, she was a member of the Warren E. Burger Inn of Court in She was also appointed to the Women in the Legal Profession Committee of the Minnesota Bar Association in Peggy Byrne is a partner at the law firm of Swanson, Martin & Bell in Chicago. She has represented various defendants in asbestos litigation since She has served as both local and national counsel and has tried numerous cases throughout the country in both state and federal court. Ms. Byrne has represented manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and premises defendants. She has also selected and supervised outside counsel in her former capacities as in-house counsel for a major insurance company and corporate counsel for a Fortune 500 company. Benjamin Shein has successfully represented asbestos victims and their families for more than 25 years. He has settled hundreds of asbestos, personal injury, and wrongful death lawsuits arising from mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases. He has also obtained several multimillion dollar jury verdicts on behalf of his clients in asbestos and product liability cases. A renowned expert in mesothelioma and asbestos, Attorney Shein has lectured to doctors, lawyers, insurance representatives, and union leaders on asbestos exposure and disease. He is a founding member of Asbestos Victims against Default and Delay, and a member of Asbestos Victims of America. Mr. Shein is a member in good standing of the bars of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the state of New Jersey and also of the local and state trial lawyers and bar associations. He is a member of the Leaders Forum of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and a sustaining member of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. Mr. Shein is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for obtaining settlements, verdicts, and awards for his clients in excess of $1 million. Mr. Shein was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. After graduating from The Episcopal Academy in Merion, Pennsylvania, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in He attended law school and received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1984 from the University of Miami, School of Law in Coral Gables, Florida. He has been actively involved in protecting legal rights since 1977 when he served as a law clerk while still in
3 high school. He became a practicing attorney in 1985 and has devoted 100% of his professional time and attention to seeking justice for injured people. 9:15 Equipment, Valve & Component Manufacturers Part 1: Case Law Update Cameron D. Turner has been with Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney since early in his career as an attorney and was elected shareholder at the firm in He has worked on a variety of cases for dozens of the firm's clients in the areas of asbestos, silica and other toxic tort matters, as well as construction, medical device and commercial litigation. Mr. Turner prides himself on his hands-on approach to his cases and his dedication to keeping his clients involved and informed on the matters he handles. Mr. Turner has commenced dozens of trials in jurisdictions all around the country, including Illinois, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Ohio. Several of those cases have gone to verdict. Mr. Turner has been complimented by opponents, co-defendants and juries alike for his skills as a trial lawyer and he is viewed as a credible and effective trial threat by others in the industry. Mr. Turner is licensed in both Illinois and Missouri and has been admitted to practice pro hac vice in numerous other states. He is a member of the firm's Hiring and Diversity Committees. 10:00 Equipment, Valve & Component Manufacturers Part 2: Trial Strategies Michael J. Angelides is the Managing Partner of Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC. Over the last decade, Mr. Angelides has worked with hundreds of families affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, helping recover millions of dollars on their behalf. Mr. Angelides has extensive experience litigating personal injury and commercial cases in both federal and state courts. In his leadership role at the Simmons firm, Mr. Angelides recently helped establish the Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to supporting researchers and treatment specialists in their search to cure mesothelioma. In 2010, he was named one of St. Louis 40 Under 40 by the St. Louis Business Journal. Mr. Angelides is a member of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys (MATA) and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA). He is also a member of the American Association for Justice's Leaders Forum. James A. Lowery III is a partner in the Dallas office of K&L Gates. Mr. Lowery has developed his litigation and trial practice with a focus on construction and engineering, product liability, premises liability, toxic tort and commercial cases. He successfully tried to verdict several high risk cases on behalf of manufacturers and contractors in toxic tort lawsuits. Mr. Lowery also maintains a significant practice in consulting to business, industry and the financial community on litigation-related issues. Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Lowery was a partner of a Dallas law firm. He also served for more than four years as lead in house counsel for a Fortune 500 corporation, supervising that company s national asbestos, welding rod, and other toxic tort litigation. He was recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly Magazine in 2004 and Mr. Lowery is AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell. J. Hayes Ryan is the Managing Partner of Gordon & Rees Chicago office. He defends toxic tort, environmental and mass tort matters, with his experience including lead counsel roles in jury trials and arbitrations. Mr. Ryan currently serves as a National Coordinating Counsel for the largest full line wheelservice equipment manufacturer in North America. Further, he regularly defends Fortune 500 companies in actions involving diacetyl, ethylene oxide and benzene. Finally, Mr. Ryan is a Lord Rothermere Scholar following his studies at New College in Oxford, England in 1994.
4 10:45 Update on the Bankruptcy Trusts A. Rachel Grinberg, PhD, is a Manager at Bates White, where she directs econometric and empirical analyses in complex, data-intensive matters including insurance coverage disputes, antitrust matters, and proposed legislation. In particular, she focuses on developing robust estimation techniques in the presence of missing, corrupt, and contaminated data. In the area of insurance coverage disputes, Dr. Grinberg s work includes providing estimates of the number of future claims, the magnitude of future liability, and the manner in which both historical and future claimants were exposed to asbestos. She has provided estimates of future liability and insurance policy valuation in the context of corporate due diligence, policy buy-back negotiations, and reinsurance arbitrations. Prior to joining Bates White, Dr. Grinberg was a researcher at the Department of Mathematics at the University of California at San Diego. She received the Alexander von Humboldt research fellowship, which promotes academic cooperation between scientists and scholars from abroad and in Germany. Steven Kazan is founding, senior and managing principal of Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood & Harley, PLC. He is admitted to New York (1967) and California (1970) Bars; U.S. Courts of Appeals, Third, Fifth and Ninth Circuits; California and U.S. District Courts, Northern and Eastern Districts of California; U.S. Supreme Court; Harvard University (LL.B., 1966); Brandeis University (A.B., 1963). Mr. Kazan filed his first case on behalf of an asbestos victim in 1974, and since then has represented thousands of injured workers and their family members in court cases. He has also represented their interests through his service on creditors' committees for asbestos disease victims in the reorganizations of asbestos companies. He is a member of the Federal, New York State, California State, and Alameda County Bar Associations, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, AFL-CIO Lawyers' Coordinating Committee, New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association of Justice, and Great Britain's Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). Prior to starting the firm in Oakland in 1974, Mr. Kazan was an Assistant to the General Counsel of the Interstate Commerce Commission in Washington, D.C. ( ); an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of California ( ); and an associate at Werchick & Werchick, a plaintiffs' medical malpractice specialty law office in San Francisco ( ) Natalie D. Ramsey is a partner in both the Corporate and Litigation Departments at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP, where her practice focuses on bankruptcy, financing, acquisition and complex commercial transactions and litigation. She is Chair of the Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring section of the Corporate Department. Ms. Ramsey has been active in asbestos bankruptcy matters since Among other representations, she served as special counsel to the Celotex Corporation in its chapter 11 case and as co-counsel to the prevailing plaintiffs in Combustion Engineering. She presently serves as counsel to the asbestos committees in the Leslie Controls and SPHC/Bondex chapter 11 cases. She has been awarded Board Certification in Business Bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification, accredited by the American Bankruptcy Institute. 11:45 Latest Developments in the Federal MDL Kyle E. Bjornlund practices in the Toxic Tort Litigation Group of Cetrulo & Capone, LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Bjornlund is part of a team that represents Fortune 100 companies as local, regional, and national coordinating counsel in toxic tort litigation. Mr. Bjornlund has successfully defended clients in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island in multi-party, multijurisdictional, mass tort litigation alleging injuries from exposure to asbestos, lead pigment, benzene, and radiation. Mr. Bjornlund has also been retained by prospective buyers to perform risk management assessments of the toxic tort liabilities of target companies. Mr. Bjornlund currently represents a building products manufacturer in the civil litigation arising out of the 2003 fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, involving over 550 plaintiffs, 98 defendants, and a collective settlement in principle of $176 Million. Mr. Bjornlund recently co-authored the following articles relevant to toxic tort litigation: Federal MDL Centralization: The Mystique of the Process & Why It Matters, For The Defense Magazine, March 2011; A Duty Too Far? Courts Tackle Component Parts Liability, American Bar Association, Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Committee Newsletter Fall/Winter, ; and Getting It Right From the Start: Managing BPA Litigation Sensibly, Drawing Lessons From Other Toxic Torts, Defense Research Institute, 2010.
5 Nathan D. Finch brings more than fifteen years of experience in complex civil litigation and trial work to Motley Rice. With a diverse background and recognized litigation and negotiation skills, he holds a central role in the firm s work on behalf of clients in several practice areas, including asbestos, other toxic torts and securities and consumer fraud. He is a proven leader among his colleagues and the many cocounsel who seek his advice and help on challenging cases and other legal matters. Prior to joining Motley Rice, Mr. Finch was a partner with a Washington, DC-based law firm and frequently collaborated with Motley Rice attorneys in trial work and negotiations involving the structured settlements of large asbestos manufacturers emerging from bankruptcy. His focus during the bankruptcy confirmation hearings was trying cases involving the medical and scientific factors associated with asbestos-related diseases and asbestos exposure, and he continues to add his thorough knowledge of this area to Motley Rice s occupational disease and toxic tort team, representing those injured by asbestos and other toxic products. Mr. Finch s understanding of the intricate legal challenges inherent in complex cases combined with his trial experience has positioned him as a considerable resource within Motley Rice s many practice areas, a sought after consultant to co-counsel with other law firms and a frequently invited speaker regarding a variety of legal matters. In addition to serving as a speaker at the Infovest Investors Seminar in New York for activist managers and investors and various asbestos litigation and bankruptcy conferences, he is a guest lecturer at the Georgetown and George Washington University law schools on topics relating to mass tort litigation and the differences between litigating in Article III and Article I courts. Named a Top Lawyer in both the 2009 and 2010 editions of Chambers USA and recognized as an AV rated attorney by Martindale- Hubbell, Mr. Finch is a member of the American Bar Association, American Association for Justice and The Barristers. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif. Bernard L. Levinthal, a member of Goldfein and Joseph, P.C., concentrates his civil litigation practice in the areas of toxic tort, medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful discharge, casualty claims, commercial and estate litigation. He has coordinated and supervised mass tort litigation and tried cases in a variety of venues for clients regionally and nationally. Mr. Levinthal frequently serves as a faculty member of the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program of The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and has presented at seminars on the topic of asbestos litigation and various aspects of trial practice. He graduated from The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where he was a finalist in the intramural moot court competition, served as Editor-in-Chief of the Moot Court Board and was selected for the student trial advocacy program of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He earned his undergraduate degree from Temple University. Mr. Levinthal is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland and has been admitted pro hac vice in numerous jurisdictions throughout the country. James M. Kramer is an associate at Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP, where he focuses on asbestos litigation. Prior to joining LPK, Jim clerked for the Honorable Francine Axelrad, Presiding Judge in the New Jersey Appellate Division. Mr. Kramer is licensed to practice law in New York, the Southern District of New York, and New Jersey. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Rutgers University in He received his Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law Camden in During his second year of law school, he joined the staff of the law review, The Rutgers Law Journal, and was elected Editor-in-Chief his third year. Mr. Kramer also participated in the Children s Justice Clinic, where he advocated for juveniles in court, and in his school s moot court program, where he won multiple awards for his legal writing and oral advocacy skills.
6 1:45 In-House Counsel Perspective How Can We Still Be HERE? Gary D. Elliston is the senior founding partner of DeHay & Elliston, L.L.P. and specializes in the areas of toxic tort, commercial litigation, medical malpractice, professional and product liability litigation, including catastrophic and wrongful death injury cases. He is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court, Texas Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas, and the U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit. He is also licensed in New York, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. He graduated cum laude from Howard Payne University in 1975, and as a Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Scholar, cum laude, from Southern Methodist University Law School in In 2007, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Howard Payne University. Mr. Elliston is respected throughout the United States for his distinguished career as a trial lawyer. He has been engaged in the trial of cases involving thousands of claimants involving multimillion dollar claims. He has served as a member of numerous professional, community and charitable organizations. A few representative organizations include: State Bar of Texas, Bar Association Fifth Circuit, Dallas Bar Association, Texas Association of Defense Counsel (Board of Directors, 1990 to 1991; 1997 to 1998; Trial Academy Director), International Association of Defense Counsel, Defense Research Institute, Dallas Association of Defense Counsel (President, 1994 to 1995), American Board of Trial Advocates, Texas Bar Foundation (Life Fellow), College of the State Bar of Texas, Howard Payne University Board of Trustees (1993 to 2002; Chairman, 2000 to 2002), Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom Board of Trustees (1993 to 2002), Baylor Oral Health Foundation (2006 to Present), Baylor Board of Regents (2006 to Present). He has been recognized multiple years as a Texas Super Lawyer and Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Elliston endowed the Gary D. Elliston Moot Court Program at Howard Payne University. In addition, he serves as an adjunct professor at Baylor University s Truett Seminary where he teaches a seminar on Rhetoric and the Art of Persuasion. Mr. Elliston is also a frequent lecturer and author on issues involving trial tactics, mass torts, and toxic tort litigation. Paul F. Slater is Senior Counsel for Corporate Environmental Programs at General Electric Company. In this role, Mr. Slater has presided over GE s strategy in a number of the Company s most complex litigations in the areas of toxic tort. He has played a leading role in designing and implementing GE s strategy in its Asbestos Litigation, including overseeing GE trials in a number of jurisdictions, including Madison and Cook County, IL and San Francisco, CA. Mr. Slater is also involved in internal Health and Safety policy and provides counsel to GE regarding general environmental liability and risk issues, including working on product liability issues associated with existing and new products. Mr. Slater is a graduate from Brooklyn Law School (JD, 1987) and Hamilton College in Clinton, NY (BA, 1984). James Dorion is the Global Leader of the Mass Tort and Complex Liability Practice at Marsh Risk Consulting. Before assuming this role in 2009, Mr. Dorion worked within the Mass Tort and Complex Liability Practice for eight years, solving the difficult claim problems facing many of Marsh s largest clients. He is also Marsh s leading claim practitioner with respect to London market Schemes of Arrangement, having personally negotiated the recovery of many eight figure legacy claim settlements. Prior to joining Marsh in 2000, Mr. Dorion worked for an international risk management consulting firm as a Senior Consultant. In this capacity, he partnered with his clients senior level management to reduce the impact of liabilities on their financial performance. Also, while working on behalf of major insurers, he gained valuable experience analyzing the coverage and allocation issues resented by asbestos and environmental claims in the insurance and reinsurance arenas. Mr. Dorion speaks frequently on risk management issues at conferences and seminars (e.g., American Bar Association Environmental Litigation Conference) and has authored numerous articles (e.g., Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Business Insurance) and technical papers. Tyler G. Mercer is Senior Counsel-Litigation at The Valero Family of Companies. Mr. Mercer has been with Valero since Since joining Valero, he has been responsible for managing Valero's toxic tort docket and overseeing all phases of that litigation nationwide. Mr. Mercer also handles other types of personal injury claims as well as matters involving real estate and construction. Prior to joining Valero, he clerked for the Honorable H.F. Hippo Garcia of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas and practiced at Akin Gump in San Antonio. Mr. Mercer received his BA from Southwestern University and his M.PA and J.D. from Texas Tech University. Mr. Mercer is a member of the State Bar of Texas,
7 the San Antonio Bar Association, and the Corporate Counsel Association. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Southern Districts of Texas and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Mr. Mercer has also been certified as a mediator by Mediation Training Institute International. The publishers of Texas Monthly recognized him as a Rising Star in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and :45 Conduct-based Claims & Juror Perceptions: Punitive Damages and Intentional Torts Lisa L. Oberg is a partner in the San Francisco office of McKenna Long & Aldridge, where she handles toxic tort, products liability, contract and general liability litigation. Ms. Oberg has developed substantial expertise in the management of mass torts. She has represented a wide variety of companies brought into asbestos personal injury and property damage cases in California, ranging from manufacturers and distributors of products to premises owners and contractors. Ms. Oberg coordinates the defense of thousands of cases on behalf of her clients in the Bay Area, and has tried and supervised trials in dozens of asbestos cases. Oberg has served on joint and defense committees addressing and suggesting revisions to the asbestos general orders in the local jurisdictions, and is closely involved in litigation management issues with the courts. Ms. Oberg has also handled environmental remediation and property damage claims, including CERCLA, RCRA and regulatory enforcement proceedings. She has litigated claims alleging pesticide and chemical exposures resulting in personal injuries and property damage, and involving FIFRA and other pre-emption issues. Her early legal career involved representing companies litigating against major airlines in cases ranging from aircraft disasters to contract and other commercial claims. Recently, Ms. Oberg was honored as a Northern California Super Lawyer (2010). Ms. Oberg was law clerk to the Honorable Albert Lee Stephens, Jr., U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California. Michael W. Drumke is a partner at HeplerBroom LLC in Chicago. Mr. Drumke focuses his practice on trials involving complex business litigation matters, including Toxic Torts, Product Liability, Class Actions, and Commercial Litigation Mr. Drumke has represented clients in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Alabama, Washington, Oregon, California, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Louisiana and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He serves as national counsel for a manufacturer defendant named in asbestos-related litigation across the country. He also serves as lead counsel for several premises owners named in toxic tort litigation in the Midwest. Awards, Honors, and Distinctions include: Member Leading Lawyers Network since 2008 (Class Actions/Mass Tort Defense Law, Products Liability Defense Law and Toxic Torts Defense Law);Illinois Super Lawyers (Class Action/Mass Torts); Law and Public Service Honor Roll, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association; 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch, Chicago Lawyer and Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (2001); Fellow, American Bar Foundation; Fellow, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association; and AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Drumke holds a B.A. cum laude from Tufts University (1988) and a J.D. from University of Wisconsin Law School (1991). Christopher J. Placitella is a shareholder in the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, and concentrates his practice on product liability, toxic and mass tort litigation, representing individuals and their families in occupational injury and disease cases. Mr. Placitella also advises numerous labor unions and consumer organizations concerning issues relating to occupational safety and health. He also represents individuals, governmental entities and companies seeking to recover for environmental damages. Mr. Placitella is a 1978 graduate of Fordham University with a B.S. summa cum laude in Accounting, and received his law degree at the Syracuse College of Law in 1981 where he graduated cum laude, where he served on the Law Review and was a member of the Legal Honors Society. Chris is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and New York, as well as the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, and the U.S. District Court of New York for the Southern District. Mr. Placitella is nationally known for fighting for the rights of asbestos victims. He has won numerous trials for asbestos victims in New York and New Jersey. He participated as trial counsel in the largest consolidated asbestos trial in New York City history, as well as obtained the largest punitive damage verdict against an asbestos company in New Jersey s history. Mr. Placitella has participated in a number of landmark cases including: representing the State of New Jersey against the
8 tobacco industry; helping to negotiate the largest settlement of any kind in the history of New Jersey totaling 7.6 billion dollars. Mr. Placitella also participated as one of the lead trial counsel in the largest environmental tort settlement on behalf of individuals in New Jersey history to 38.5 million dollars. Deborah Schweizer is a partner with Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason, one of the first law firms in Northern California to represent victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Ms. Schweizer is among the top female trial lawyers in California representing victims of asbestos-related diseases, receiving multiple verdicts in excess of a million dollars for her clients. An accomplished litigator, Ms. Schweizer works on all phases of the cases handles by the firm. She served as both the trial and appellate attorney on the precedent-setting apportionment cases of Greathouse v. Amcord Inc. (1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 831. In addition to her work in asbestos litigation, Ms. Schweizer has litigated insurance bad faith, discrimination and employment cases. Ms. Schweizer is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and obtained her law degree from New York Law School. She has served as part of a team of lawyers consulting with judges in various jurisdictions to develop rules and procedures that govern the smooth administration of asbestos lawsuits. Ms Schweizer also volunteers her time to help parties explore alternative dispute resolution and participates in various programs that educate young people about the legal system. 3:45 State of the Risk Transfer Market for Asbestos Robert C. Petersen is a Managing Director in the Chicago office of PACE Claims Services, as subsidiary of Navigant. He specializes in insurance, risk transfer, litigation, operations, outsourcing, information technology, and information management / analysis matters with a particular emphasis on mass tort claims. Since joining the Firm in 1990, Mr. Petersen has advised clients on a myriad of mass tort claims operational and management issues including assisting clients in business process transformations, development of mass tort claims systems platforms, development of business intelligence solutions, outsourcing of claims operations, and providing financial risk mitigation advisory services for mass tort claim exposures. He also has advised on product liability and facility management matters, with emphasis on resource optimization, information technology, financial analysis and accounting issues. Mr. Petersen received a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance and minor in Communications with Honors and Distinction from Iowa State University. Jennifer Biggs, FCAS, MAAA, is Director, Consulting Services, at Towers Watson. Ms. Biggs specializes in quantifying asbestos liabilities of insurers and reinsurers as well as individual corporations named as defendants by asbestos claimants. She has authored several articles and is a frequent speaker regarding asbestos liabilities. Additional she has provided expert testimony in various matters. Ms. Biggs co-authored the firm s study regarding the $200 billion asbestos universe published in May She has also authored articles relating to quantification of asbestos liabilities of insurers and reinsurers and relating to asbestos litigation disclosures in SEC Form 10-Ks of corporate defendants. She served as chairperson of the American Academy of Actuaries Mass Torts Subcommittee from 2001 to Under her direction, a public policy monograph, Overview of Asbestos Issues and Trends, was originally released in December 2001 and updated in August 2007 and an Asbestos Issue Brief was released in February Ms. Biggs testified before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) regarding asbestos issues. She provided expert testimony in an asbestos bankruptcy case and in an insurance allocation dispute. Ms. Biggs has a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and a business minor with College Honors from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA). Vikram Sidhu is counsel in Mayer Brown s New York office. He focuses on insurance and reinsurance corporate and regulatory matters, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate and commercial matters. Mr. Sidhu regularly assists clients on structuring and documenting complex transactions, including insurance and reinsurance arrangements, credit enhancements, financial reinsurance, new product development, run-off solutions and exit strategies, portfolio transfers, and mergers and acquisitions focusing on run-off, closed-block businesses and assumption transactions. He advises
9 clients on various insurance regulatory issues, including licensing, change of control, credit for reinsurance, risk transfer, permissible investments under insurance investment laws and related collateralization requirements. In addition, Mr. Sidhu s prior broad-based experience includes various types of corporate and commercial transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, and commercial contracts (supply, distribution, agency, licensing and services agreements), as well as litigations, arbitrations and government investigations. Mr. Sidhu holds a BA magna cum laude from Cornell University (1997) and a JD from Harvard Law School (2001). 4:30 Greetings from the Judiciary - What s Happening in Hot Jurisdictions Scott L. Frost is a partner in the Dallas office of Waters & Kraus, LLP. Mr. Frost is licensed to practice law by the state bars of California, Texas, Georgia, Kentucky and Indiana. He also formerly served with the Judge Advocate General s Corps of the U.S. Army. Mr. Frost is a cum laude graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Recognized in Texas Monthly magazine on the 2005 Thomson Reuters Texas Rising Stars list, Scott is a frequent presenter at asbestos conferences. His pro bono work includes of counsel appointments by Public Justice for asbestos removal litigation involving the St. Louis Airport, the Fort Worth Cowtown Inn project, and St. Bernard Parish. Mr. Frost is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Kentucky Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, and the State Bar of Texas. Judge Jo-Lynne Q. Lee, Judge in the California Superior Court, Alameda County, was appointed to the bench in In January 2011 she was assigned to the asbestos calendar where she manages all asbestos cases filed in Alameda County from filing of the complaint through trial. Judge Lee grew up in New York City and graduated from Columbia University Law School in She has been a criminal prosecutor (Assistant District Attorney. Bronx County; Assistant United States Attorney, N.D. California); a civil litigator (various firms in the S.F. Bay Area and ultimately of counsel to Kennedy, Gong, Mitchell & Lee, LLC); a researcher (National Center for State Courts trial court delay project); and a mediator and court appointed Special Master/Discovery Referee (Griffiths & Castle, Special Masters). Hon. William D. Maddux has served as the Presiding Judge of the Law Division in the Circuit Court of Cook Count since October From February 1995 to October 2001 he served in the Circuit Court with an individual calendar in the Law Division. He served as Supervising Judge, Abuse and Neglect, Juvenile Division of Circuit Court from February 1994 to February In 1991, he was appointed to the Circuit Court of Cook County, and elected to a six year term in November Judge Maddux began his legal career in 1960 with the firm of Kirkland & Ellis, where he eventually became a partner. In 1975 he started his own firm, William D. Maddux Ltd., now Johnson & Bell. In 1979 he practiced as William D. Maddux & Associates (now Kralovec Jambois & Schwartz) on the side of the plaintiffs. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in He continued his education at the Georgetown Law Center, Washington, D.C. He graduated from Georgetown law in 1959 with a JD.
10 Friday, April 8, :00 Bonus Session - Asbestos Related Malignancies Harvey I. Pass, M.D., is Professor of Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Vice Chairman & Research Director in the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology at NYU Langone Medical Center and Cancer Center. Dr. Pass joined NYU Langone Medical Center in 2005 as Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Surgery, and the first Division Chief of Thoracic Surgery/ Thoracic Oncology at NYU School of Medicine. His previous positions include Chief, Thoracic Oncology at the Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, affiliated with Wayne State University, and he was the Head of the Thoracic Oncology Section of the National Cancer Institute for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland from 1986 to He is an internationally recognized expert in lung cancer and mesothelioma, and has maintained extramural funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Cancer Institute for his translational laboratory since He is presently funded by the Early Detection Research Network for the Mesothelioma Biomarker Discovery Laboratory, the Center for Disease Control for the Mesothelioma Virtual Tissue Bank, and by the NCI for the Program Project entitled Pathogenesis of Mesothelioma. Dr. Pass received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from Duke University. He completed his surgical residency at Duke and University of Mississippi. He completed his residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Pass also completed a fellowship in Thoracic Oncology at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Pass has published over 320 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine regarding the discovery of osteopontin as a possible early detection biomarker for mesothelioma. He is the lead editor on all four editions of the reference text Lung Cancer: Principles and Practice. He is co-editor of both editions of Surgery: Basic Science and Clinical Evidence, and Oncology: An Evidence Based Approach, and has also edited Malignant Mesothelioma: Advances in Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Translational Therapies and 100 Questions & Answers about Mesothelioma. He is Associate Editor for the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Surgical Editor for Clinical Lung Cancer, and a member of the editorial board for Clinical Cancer Research. He is presently on the Board of Directors for the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, the International Mesothelioma Interest Group, and the Lung Cancer Alliance. Tina Bocker Edmonston, M.D., joined Rosetta Genomics in July 2009 to direct the CLIA-certified Diagnostics Laboratory in Philadelphia, PA. Previously, she was the Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, from Dr. Edmonston holds an M.D. and a Dr. med. degree from Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany. After four years of residency training in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Regensburg, Germany, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA from , studying the molecular pathology of colorectal cancer. Dr Edmonston is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology by the American Board of Pathology, as well as in Molecular Genetic Pathology by the American Board of Pathology and the American Board of Medical Genetics after completing residency training at Thomas Jefferson University and fellowship training at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author/co-author of over 40 peer-reviewed publications and more than 40 abstracts. Dr. Edmonston is a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists and an active member of the Association for Molecular Pathology and the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.
11 8:00 The Latest On Friction Product Cases Jonathan George serves as of counsel to Waters & Kraus, LLP. Since 1985, Jonathan has focused his practice on asbestos litigation. He is licensed by the State Bars of Virginia, Texas, California, and Pennsylvania. He is also certified in civil trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Jonathan was awarded both his bachelor's and his Juris Doctor degree from the College of William and Mary. While in law school, he was a member of the National Moot Court Team and served a third-year practice internship at the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Norfolk. He earned membership in the Order of the Coif by finishing in the top 10 percent of his law school class. Following graduation, he served as pro se law clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Jonathan has tried numerous asbestos cases to verdict in Virginia, Texas, California, and Washington State, and has many multimillion-dollar verdicts. He has been recognized for his pro bono work on behalf of Eastern Virginia Legal Services, and served on the Board of Governors of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association from 2000 to He is a frequent invited speaker for various professional organizations and continuing education seminars. Joseph Satterley is a managing partner of Sales, Tillman, Catlett, Wallbaum & Satterley, PLLC in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a 1997 graduate of the Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia. He is licensed to practice law in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and recently took the California Bar Exam. He has represented hundreds of injured workers & family members due to Mesothelioma from a wide variety of exposures in our society. Mr. Satterley has represented Plaintiffs in trials to verdict in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, & California. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Satterley comes from a family of union workers. He has been honored to have the opportunity to represent injured workers and their families due to Malignant Mesothelioma. Matt O Connell is a founding partner of Sutter, O Connell and Farchione in Cleveland, Ohio and Nashville, Tennessee. He is a 1979 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a 1983 graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His practice focuses primarily on products liability and toxic tort cases. Matt has tried over 30 cases defending manufacturers of automobiles, railroad cars, machine tools, woodworking equipment, and recreational boats, as well as a variety of asbestos products. He is a member of DRI, the International Association of Defense Counsel, the Litigation Counsel of America, the John M. Manos American Inn of Court, as well as numerous bar associations. He has enjoyed an AV rating by Martindale Hubbell for over ten years. Matt currently is chairman of the Environmental and Toxic Law Committee of the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys. He is licensed on Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee as well as in a variety of Federal courts. Kay B. Baxter is a founding partner of Swetman Baxter Massenburg, LLC and practices in its New Orleans office. Ms. Baxter is a 1994 graduate of Loyola University's School of Law; and is admitted to practice in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. While she has successfully practiced in many areas of the law, she has always been a litigator. In recent years she has specialized in toxic tort and environmental law in both state and federal courts. Her litigation practice, like that of her partners, focuses on the defense of toxic torts, occupational disease and environmental claims alleging personal injury, as well as property damage. These matters include individual claims as well as mass torts and class actions. Her defense in these areas has encompassed a wide range of industries, including public utilities, shipyards, chemical facilities, refineries, as well as local manufacturing and construction. She has become a widely acknowledged expert in her field of practice, most recently being asked to defend the first Chinese Drywall claim accepted for defense by one of the largest insurance companies in the United States. Because of her litigation skills she has been retained by Fortune 500 companies and was one of a handful of female attorneys selected for the national trial team of one of these. Ms. Baxter has extensive experience in the defense of cases involving asbestos, benzene, silica, chemical solvents, and noise, to name a few. She has practiced in venues across the country. Ms. Baxter is adept at developing strong, effective new experts for her clients through an intensive background investigation and interview process. She has access to the foremost nationally and internationally known experts in their various fields of expertise. She was instrumental in the successful Daubert challenge of two nationally-known plaintiff experts through her review of their backgrounds, research and insufficiently supported opinions in nationwide litigation. Ms. Baxter maintains close professional associations with experts of many varied disciplines. Furthermore, she has developed successful new defenses for her clients which include:
12 premises, product manufacturers, contractors, subcontractors, home builders, equipment manufacturers, distributors, employers, product suppliers, and their executive officers. These defenses were developed through carefully developed expert testimony, extensive review of records, exhibits and fact witness testimony, and research of data from state and federal agencies. Ms. Baxter is also routinely invited to speak at, and chair, national seminars in her practice specialties. She was most recently invited to speak at two separate seminars on the subjects of Chinese drywall litigation and Louisiana legislation which had the potential to impact asbestos litigation. 9:00 Insurance Carrier In-house Counsel Perspectives Eliot S. Jubelirer, a partner at Schiff Hardin LLP, has varied and extensive experience in toxic tort and product liability litigation, commercial litigation, legal malpractice litigation, and construction defect cases. He has tried numerous jury trials, court trials, and arbitrations to verdict. His recent trials and arbitrations have included defense of a wrongful discharge and libel action brought by a bond portfolio manager; successful prosecution of a claim brought by a computer equipment manufacturer against a Taiwanese supplier of peripherals; successful defense of three construction bond surety companies in a complex construction case; successful defense of a large national law firm against allegations that it tortuously hired away key partners from a competitor. Mr. Jubelirer has successfully briefed and argued appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Sixth Circuits on behalf of an international shipping company, and numerous cases in California appellate courts on behalf of a variety of clients. One of his petitions to the California Supreme Court was featured in an article in the American Bar Association Journal. He is an adviser on a national level on toxic tort issues for clients involved in mass tort litigation. His practice includes construction and commercial litigation at the trial court and appellate levels. Mr. Jubelirer is a nationally recognized speaker on toxic torts, occupational lung injuries, and asbestos litigation. Mr. Jubelirer founded Morgenstein & Jubelirer with partner Marvin Morgenstein and others in March In January 2007, Morgenstein & Jubelirer joined forces with Schiff Hardin LLP. He holds a B.A., Political Science, with honors from the University of Wisconsin (1971) and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (1974), Order of the Coif, Research Editor, California Law Review. Michael J. Sehr is President, Resolute Management, Inc. Midwest Division, the administrator of certain asbestos and pollution claims on behalf of various CNA underwriting companies. Previously, Mr. Sehr was Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of CNA's Environmental & Mass Tort Claims Department. He joined CNA in 1998 as Vice President of Y2K claims. While at CNA, Mr. Sehr held various leadership positions including head of CNA's In-house Coverage Counsel firm and CNA's Extracontractual and Strategic Claims areas. From 2002 to 2010, he led the Environmental, Pollution & Mass Tort Claims area and in 2004 Construction Defect claims were transferred to him. Prior to joining CNA, Mr. Sehr was managing partner at the Chicago law firm of Haskell & Perrin where he began his legal career in 1977 upon graduating from the University of Chicago Law School. In private practice, Mr. Sehr was both a trial and an appellate lawyer handling airplane crash litigation and complex coverage litigation for various insurance carriers. John I. Tammes has been a Claim Specialist with the Mass Litigation and Pollution office at Zurich American Insurance Company since He manages various toxic tort and mass tort claims for Zurich insureds, including asbestos, lead, silica, chemical, benzene and various class action suits. Previously, Mr. Tammes was one of John Crane Inc. s National Trial Counsel, working at O Connell & Associates from He tried over a dozen asbestos cases to verdict in the Philadelphia CCP and Cuyahoga County, OH. Prior to working at O Connell & Associates, Mr. Tammes was an Assistant State s Attorney in Kane County, Illinois. He became a member of the Illinois Bar in Each of his last three jobs has been interrupted by being deployed as a member of the Army National Guard or Army Reserve to Afghanistan, Bosnia or Iraq. He sincerely hopes this conference will not trigger any such event.
13 George A. Ammon is Assistant Vice President in the APH Direct Claims Department of Swiss Re American Holding Corporation located in Armonk, New York. Mr. Ammon is responsible for various asbestos, pollution and health hazard claims on behalf of various former GE Insurance Companies which are now part of SRAH. Mr. Ammon joined SRAH in Upon graduation from Tulane University School of Law in 1988, Mr. Ammon began his insurance career as a Marine Claims Adjuster acting on behalf of various London and Scandinavian vessel underwriters. Prior to joining SRAH, Mr. Ammon worked as a Professional Liability Claims Adjuster in the Architects and Engineers Claim Departments of The Hartford and, most recently, Liberty International Underwriters. Mr. Ammon first gained his asbestos and pollution experience while working for a New York law firm and then in the Claims Department of Odyssey Re. 10:15 Trying Cases in Offbeat Jurisdictions Michael G. Terry is a partner in the Corpus Christi office of Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer & Kern, L.L.P. He has been a personal injury trial lawyer for more than thirty years. He has tried every kind of personal injury case, including a personal injury class action. He has represented corporations, insurance companies and individuals, both as a defense attorney and as a plaintiff s attorney. His accomplishments as a trial lawyer have been recognized by his peers on numerous occasions. He has been elected as a fellow in the American Board of Trial Advocates and as one of the Best Lawyers in America. Professional Affiliations include: Member State Bar of Texas; American Bar Association; Corpus Christi Bar Association; Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization; American Board of Trial Advocates; Texas Association of Defense Counsel; Best Lawyers in America; The Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Texas Trial Lawyers Association; and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Terry served as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army from He holds a B.A. from St. Louis University (1968) and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law (1974). Christian H. Hartley has spent all of his career, since 1994, as a trial lawyer working for the victims of wrongdoing. Mr. Hartley has concentrated his practice on asbestos trial work since about After several years as associate and partner with well-known asbestos firms (Ness, Motley, Loadholt, Richardson & Poole and Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC), Mr. Hartley decided to open HartleyLaw, LLC in October, HartleyLaw, LLC focuses entirely on asbestos-cancer cases. Mr. Hartley enjoys all aspects of preparing and trying mesothelioma cases, but takes special interest in matters of scientific evidence and debunking defense arguments.
14 11:00 Asbestos Claims Against Employers Ed Slaughter is Partner-in-Charge of the Dallas office of Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP. Mr. Slaughter has been representing corporations and individuals in high risk litigation for more than fifteen years including asbestos, benzene, and other toxic exposure cases. He has represented defendants as national trial counsel and national coordinating counsel including industrial employers and premises owners, friction product suppliers, retailers of joint compound and equipment manufacturers. Mr. Slaughter has served as lead counsel in trials across the country, including the landmark defense victory in O Neil v. Crane et al, and the recent defense verdict in the Los Angeles mesothelioma trial of Farag v. Advance Auto Parts et al. As national coordinating counsel, he manages expert development and retention and national trial preparation. Mr. Slaughter has successfully managed dockets of mass tort cases, obtaining thousands of dismissals without payment in the earliest stages of litigation. Mr. Slaughter has also been actively involved in reshaping the Texas litigation landscape through tort reform. He assisted in drafting legislative proposals and testified before the Texas House Civil Practices Committee to close the loophole that allowed thousands of out-of-state claims to be filed in Texas. Mr. Slaughter is also a frequent author and invited speaker of various topics, including alternative fee arrangements and developing efficient models for legal project management and cost control in litigation. John Mismas is a nationally known Plaintiffs asbestos litigator. Never worried about a good fight, and willing to take on the most challenging cases. He has taken on numerous fortune five hundred companies. From big tobacco to big oil, Mr. Mismas takes them all on. He has secured a number of seven figure settlements for his clients. As a nationally known asbestos litigator he has been invited to speak at plaintiffs litigation conferences. He has prosecuted cases in Delaware, Ohio, Texas, and Illinois to name a few states. He has also argued numerous appeals, and has argued on behalf of an asbestos victim in the Ohio Supreme Court. He is licensed in Ohio, the Federal Courts in the Northern District of Ohio and the Southern District of Ohio. John believes in putting people over corporate profits, and fights for the individual. He is very selective in the cases he actually takes each year. Mr. Mismas received his undergraduate degree from Kent State University, earning a B.S. in Education. He earned his law degree from the University of Akron School of Law, where he was on the moot court team. Before starting the Mismas Law Firm, Mr. Mismas worked at a large Plaintiffs asbestos law firm in the Cleveland area where he ran the firm s asbestos docket. Mr. Mismas is the son of a retired Cleveland police officer, and is heavily involved in helping police officers who have been killed or injured in the line of duty. He has also sponsored events for the Cleveland Food Bank, and is involved with the Lake County Humane Society. Mr. Mismas lives in Willoughby, Ohio with his wife Candice, who is a special education teacher. Mr. Mismas is a member of The Ohio Bar Association, The American Association for Justice, The Ohio Association for Justice, and Public Justice.
15 11:45 Ethical Issues in Settlement Negotiations Lawrence R. Cohan, a Shareholder and Senior Trial Attorney at Anapol Schwartz, chairs the firm s Toxic Tort Litigation Department. He also serves as the Managing Partner and Senior Trial Counsel for our Cherry Hill, New Jersey office. Mr. Cohan concentrates his practice in toxic torts, including asbestos, chemicals and other dangerous products; medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability; environmental claims; vaccine related injuries; products liability; FELA; and complex personal injury matters. Serving in leading roles in many complex cases, Mr. Cohan has forged new law at both the trial and appellate court levels in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. He presently serves as lead plaintiff s counsel in the human tissue Multi-District Litigation. He also obtained the first plaintiff s verdict in an asbestos case in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with the first verdict of its kind against asbestos friction product defendants GE, GTE and Eaton Cutler-Hammer Corporation. Mr. Cohan has obtained million dollar jury verdicts in toxic tort and medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including a recent $8.4 million jury verdict in a medical malpractice verdict in Cumberland County, New Jersey, a record verdict for that rural county. He also represents victims suffering from adverse reactions to vaccines before the United States Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. On a regular basis, Mr. Cohan writes and lectures about asbestos, medical malpractice, toxic torts, pharmaceutical, environmental, vaccine and lead, doing so both locally and nationally. In 1976, Mr. Cohan earned his Bachelor s degree, summa cum laude, from Boston University. He received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1979, where he served for two years as President of the Law School Environmental Law Group. Lynn Luker founded Lynn Luker & Associates, LLC. in 1999 after 18 years at Adams and Reese, in its New Orleans office. Her practice areas are business litigation, including toxic tort, maritime, and product liability law. Ms. Luker has served as national, regional, and local trial counsel in asbestos cases for over 20 years. She holds as J.D., LL.M. in Admiralty, and an LL.M. in Energy and Environmental Law from Tulane Law School, where she has served as Professor and Co-Director of the Trial Advocacy Program since Ms. Luker is the former chair of the ABA TIPS Toxic Tort Section and the Admiralty Law Section, and former chair of the IADC Maritime and Energy Law Section, and she also served on the faculty of the IADC National Trial Academy. She is also the former chair of the Louisiana Judiciary Commission, the state disciplinary board for judges, and served on the Louisiana Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee. Ms. Luker recently completed her two year term as President of the Tulane American Inn of Court. She currently serves as Vice-chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association Section of Civil Law & Litigation. Ms. Luker served as co-director for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) for many years at both its trial and deposition programs, and is a frequent presenter at continuing legal education programs, including several Trial By Masters programs. Ms. Luker is admitted to practice in all Louisiana courts, both state and federal, the United States Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Luker has been named as a SuperLawyer each year since 2007, a Leader in Law by New Orleans CityBusiness, and as one of the Best Lawyers in America since She holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Brian S. Michaels has served since 2007 as General Counsel of Waterville Advisors and Brook-Hollow Financial LLC, financial services companies headquartered in Chicago, Illinois that specialize in providing structured settlement and related settlement consulting services. Mr. Michaels also serves as general counsel to Kenmare Assignment Company Ltd., in Dublin, Ireland, an independent assignment company that accepts periodic payment obligations for deferred attorney fees and tort settlements. Mr. Michaels was previously a tax attorney with Deloitte & Touche and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, where he specialized in taxation matters related to individuals, business transactions and closely held businesses. Mr. Michaels is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and William Mitchell College of Law and is a member of both the Arizona and Minnesota Bars and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER. Mr. Michaels is a recognized expert in the area of structured settlements and settlement related tax issues. He has presented numerous seminars over the past 20 years on tax and settlement related topics to attorneys, CPAs and related professionals and recently had an article titled, Plaintiff Attorneys Get a (Tax) Break! published in the most recent issue of The Trial Lawyer magazine.