Whitney K. Barrows is an attorney with Cetrulo LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. Her practice focuses on toxic tort and asbestos litigation. She has been handling asbestos matters for nearly 10 years. She serves as both national coordinating counsel and local counsel for a number of asbestos clients. Whitney has practiced in the area of complex civil litigation, with a focus on toxic tort and asbestos litigation, since she started with the firm in 2006. She is well-versed in the steps required to mount a successful defense, from pre-suit investigation through trial, for a wide variety of clients, including product manufacturers and distributors. She has focused, in particular, on the development defense experts, marshalling and coordination of discovery, and preparation of cross-examinations and motions to challenge key plaintiffs' experts. Whitney has extensive experience, both as local and national counsel, working with opposing counsel and developing case-specific defenses resulting in the successful dispositions of clients' cases.
Barbara D. Beck, PhD, DABT, ATS is an expert in toxicology and in health risk as-sessment for environmental chemicals, especially metals and air pollutants, and is the author of over 100 book chapters and journal articles on these topics. She has performed site-specific and chemical-specific risk as-sessments, developed exposure and risk assessment methodologies, and has presented the results to differ-ent audiences including regulatory agencies, the US Con-gress, and the public. Before joining Gradient, she was Chief of Air Toxics Staff for US EPA Region I.
Mark A. Behrens co-chairs the Public Policy Group of Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. A substantial part of his practice is working to improve the civil litigation environment through legislation; in the courts through amicus curiae briefs on behalf of business, civil justice and defense lawyer organizations; through legal scholarship and judi-cial education; and in the court of public opinion. Mark has helped enact asbestos bankruptcy trust transparency laws in over a dozen states. Mark also helped enact state laws that require asbestos claimants to demonstrate present physical impairment in order to bring an asbes-tos-related lawsuit. These laws give priority to deserving claimants while preserving the claims of the unimpaired. Mark frequently lectures and writes about asbestos liti-gation trends. His articles have been cited by a number of courts.
Bruce T. Bishop is a member of Willcox & Savage P.C. in Norfolk, Virginia. Mr. Bishop has extensive experience since 1977 in toxic tort and environmental litigation. Mr. Bishop has developed a nationwide reputation in the medical and state-of-the-art issues associated with toxic tort litigation, appearing at numerous national seminars on the topic and trying cases throughout the country involving such issues. Mr. Bishop received his B.S. from Old Dominion University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia. Bruce is the co-vice program chair for this program.
Paolo Boffetta, MD is Professor of Medicine, Global Health, Oncological Sciences and Environmental Health and Associate Director for Global Oncology of The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Professor at the University of Bologna, Italy. Dr. Boffetta is Adjunct Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, Vanderbilt University and the Catholic University of Rome. Dr. Boffetta has authored over 1,250 peer-reviewed publications, mainly in the field of epidemiology of chronic diseases. He is associate editor of multiple peer reviewed publications and is a member of over 10 editorial boards of scientific journals.
Rick Braun is a shareholder at Collins Einhorn Farrell PC, a defense litigation firm headquartered in Southfield, Michigan. Rick is a member of the firm's national Asbes-tos/Toxic Tort practice group. He regularly works with expert witnesses in various disciplines including industrial hygiene medical causation, and technical scientific areas in defending clients nationally and in Michigan in asbestos cases. He is a member of the DRI For Life Committee, a past chair of the Oakland County Bar Association's Ener-gy, Sustainability, and Environmental Law Committee and currently serves on the Brownfield Redevelopment Au-thority in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Elizabeth Sorenson Brotten is a Partner in the Minneapolis office of Foley & Mansfield and a member of the firm's Executive Committee. She focuses her practice on the defense of high-risk toxic tort and product liability toxic tort cases, with a specialty in the defense of asbestos claims throughout the Midwest. Her experience includes serving as national coordinating counsel for a contractors and equipment manufacturers in asbestos claims pending throughout the country. Liz has tried cases to verdict in both Minnesota and North Dakota.
Jessica J. Burgasser is a veteran of the Upstate New York asbestos arena, Jessica manages the Buffalo office of Wilbraham Lawler and Buba. She leads her litigation team in actively defending complex litigation matters. In addition to asbestos litigation, Jessica has experience in toxic torts such as lead paint and oil spill matters, as well as eviction and lien law matters, motor vehicle accidents, and premises liability cases. Jessica is a graduate of the Nichols School, Canisius College, and University at Buffalo Law School.
Marcus A. Carter was born in Chicago, Illinois and primarily raised in Washington D.C. After law school Marcus accepted a position with Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP as a litigation attorney and handled arbitration proceedings and trials on behalf of many clients, including Shell Oil Company, BP Wells Fargo Bank, etc. In September of 2012, Marcus joined Shell's Global Litigation Department managing a variety of Downstream and Upstream matters. Currently, Marcus manages Shell's Asbestos, Silica, Vinyl Chloride, Underground Storage Tanker Reimbursement Dispute and Catalyst litigations and is also the lead attorney on the Medicare Team as well as the Subpoenas Team.
Bernadette W. Catalana is a partner in MG+M's New York office. Her practice focuses on toxic exposure cases. For one of her Fortune 100 clients, she serves as National Coordinating Counsel. Her strong writing and editing skills are em-ployed daily to prepare legal filings and high-level client communications. Catalana is also an experienced negoti-ator, assisting multiple clients with case resolution. Ber-nadette is also an active mentor, working with young lawyers to develop their skills and, ultimately, their ca-reers. Her love of mentoring has inspired her Mentoring Moment posts on LinkedIn and Candid Talk Women. Candid Talk Women is designed to educate and support women pursuing legal careers, encouraging them to "opt in" to the practice of law.
Kathleen (Kate) Chetta is an associate in the Firm's Toxic Tort litigation group. She graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Prior to attending law school, she worked for the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Ms. Chetta has litigated complex Toxic Torts, Products Liability and Insurance Defense matters. Prior to living and working in Morristown, New Jersey she worked with a firm in Western New York.
Bob Chlopak is the founding partner of CLS Strategies, Bob has more than 30 years of experience working with clients navigating hostile regulatory and legal environments, controversial public policy debates and contentious business and market place decisions. Bob has extensive experience counseling clients facing high profile investi-gations and litigation. He has worked with dozens of leading law firms across the country on complex U.S. and international litigation to communicate the client's posi-tion on investigations and settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, state attorneys general and private individuals. His guidance and extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants has helped to protect and strengthen his clients' reputations, advance their legal theories, and mobilize support from third parties.
Eric D. Cook of Willcox & Savage, P.C., in Norfolk, Virginia focuses his practice on asbestos defense, products liability, and toxic torts. Eric tries asbestos cases in jurisdictions around the country. He developed an expertise in medical and state-of-the-art issues associated with toxic tort litigation, and routinely handles expert development, deposition, and trial examination issues.
Evelyn Fletcher Davis is a senior partner at Hawkins Par-nell & Young, LLP. As one of the leading toxic tort and product liability defense lawyers in the United States, she has tried, managed, and settled thousands of complex cases. She has litigated cases involving exposures to as-bestos, silica, mold, benzene and other chemicals, in ad-dition to personal and commercial insurance liability. She serves over 40 corporations as national, regional, and lo-cal counsel with an emphasis on jurisdictions in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. She is the program chair of this seminar.
David G. Dodge, DABT, CIH is a scientist with the consulting firm Gradient. He is board-certified in toxicology and industrial hygiene and specializes in applied toxicological research, occupa-tional health, risk-based human health evaluations, his-torical state-of-knowledge assessments, and risk com-munication. On behalf of clients in law, industry, and government, Mr. Dodge has characterized current and historical exposure to and health risks from a diverse ar-ray of chemical agents in products, workplaces, and the environment.
Marcella C. Ducca focuses her practice on the representation and defense of manufacturers in products liability litigation. She has experience litigating a variety of complex matters in both state and federal courts, including multidistrict litigation. Marcella has taken an increasingly larger role in complex litigations, particularly in areas surrounding women's health and medical devices. In what has been called by some the most complicated mass tort in history, Marcella selected and managed dozens of trial experts and also helped build strategy for depositions of thou-sands of plaintiffs and physicians across the country. She has also been a key member of several trial teams, in-cluding taking on responsibility for day-to-day case man-agement, development of case strategy, and all aspects of fact and expert discovery.
Christopher C. Ege is on the executive committee of Haw-kins Parnell & Young and partner-in-charge of the Austin office. As a trial lawyer for almost 20 years, he has exten-sive experience in Texas and throughout the country defending companies in high risk litigation including business litigation, product liability, toxic exposure cases and employer liability claims. His clients range from sev-eral large Fortune 500 companies to individuals and small business owners. Chris serves as national trial counsel and national coordinating counsel to several corporations in environmental and toxic tort litigation. He has also served as a resource on tort reform issues for Senate and House Committees in the Texas Legislature.
Mary Margaret Gay is a founding member of Gay Jones & Kuhn in Jackson, Mississippi, a women-owned and oper-ated law firm founded on principles of entrepreneurship and focused on diversity, equality, and innovation. Mary Margaret focuses her practice on identifying and creating strategies for her clients to better anticipate and elimi-nate risk. She represents clients locally, regionally, and nationally in product liability and environmental litigation. Mary Margaret and her partners pioneered a database program used to assist asbestos defendants and their counsel nationwide to develop alternative exposures and estimate asbestos bankruptcy trust claims values. Mary Margaret and her team are regularly called on to assist with deposition preparation for alternative exposure development, briefing of trust transparency issues, esti-mations of trust offsets and as support for the lobby for trust transparency legislation. Mary Margaret also assists clients in monitoring and predicting trends in litigation, including filing rates, verdicts, and jurisdictional changes. Mary Margaret, who is known by her peers and clients for her innovative solutions, is currently working on sev-eral web-based projects to increase the availability of information on trust values and alternative exposures, as well as utilization of predictive risk analytics to assist de-fendants and their counsel manage risks.
Catherine E. Goldhaber is Partner-in-Charge of the Chicago office of Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP. She is a seasoned litigator who defends claims related to product liability, exposure to toxic substances and transportation-related injuries. She handles matters directly and manages multi-state litigation as national coordinating and trial counsel. Furthermore, Catherine counsels clients in Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) issues, particularly as the issues arise throughout discovery and in resolution. Clients retain Catherine for her extensive knowledge of methods to avoid and/or lessen the impact of litigation. In helping businesses resolve disputes, her goal is to provide clients with an objective "big picture" while keeping track of the minute details, resulting in cost-effective case management. Catherine currently serves as Chair of DRI's MSP Task Force. She is the co-vice program chair of this seminar.
Kevin Hannemann is a member of Riverstone's Asbestos Cross Functional Unit where he helps drive strategic initiatives across all asbestos accounts. His focus is on litigation management and trial strategy. Since 2015 he has overseen verdicts in more than seventy-five trials with overall positive results for policyholders and stakeholders.
Eric T. Hawkins focuses on representing businesses in product liability, toxic tort, environmental, and related litigation. He defends a wide variety of complex claims involving asbestos, talc, silica, benzene, premises liability, and personal injuries. As national and local counsel to several corporate clients, he develops cutting-edge litiga-tion strategies for jurisdictions throughout the United States. Eric has an extensive knowledge of medical, en-gineering, and industrial hygiene issues that he uses to cross-examine and defend expert witnesses. He spends a considerable amount of time working with expert wit-nesses and is often called on to develop cross-examination strategies for the firm's clients. He also manages and develops expert witnesses for clients across the country. Having developed a creative motion practice to defend cases, Eric has successfully drafted and argued numerous motions for summary judgment and other pretrial motions that resulted in the dismissal of claims against his clients. He also has drafted several Daubert motions that resulted in the exclusion of expert witnesses and causation testimony.
Richard A. Janisch is the founder of Arcina Risk Group, a leading insurance archaeology and claims consulting firm serving companies, non-profits, public entities and insur-ers. A licensed attorney and respected practitioner on mass tort and complex claims, Richard has particular ex-pertise with insurance archaeology recovering billions of dollars from historic policies for clients. He has consulted with companies across a variety of industries on both their domestic and international claims issues. Working closely with the C-suite and legal counsel, Richard builds strategies to address high-risk financial exposure and complex hazard liabilities and is skilled in managing com-plicated insurance settlements and transactions with complex risk transfers.
James A. Lowery III is a Partner in the Dallas office of Gordon & Rees and a member of the Environmental/Toxic Tort, Commercial Litigation, Trucking & Transportation and Professional Liability Defense practice groups. Mr. Low-ery has helped multiple clients develop comprehensive environmental programs to help minimize long term en-vironmental risks. He served more than 4 years as lead in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 corporation, super-vising its national toxic tort litigation, which included an asbestos docket of more than 45,000 cases. Mr. Lowery has written several articles on asbestos and other toxic tort litigation and is a frequent contributing author on the topic of challenging plaintiff's experts in all jurisdictions.
Danielle R. Luisi is an associate with Husch Blackwell LLP in Chicago, Illinois, where she focuses her practice on the defense of toxic tort and asbestos claims. She is part of a trial team for an international steel company defending product and premises liability cases in Illinois and Mis-souri. Ms. Luisi has served as national coordinating coun-sel and local counsel for clients ranging from Fortunate 500 companies to small businesses, executing the de-fense of asbestos claims in various state and federal ju-risdictions across the country.
Mark A. Maddaloni, DrPH, DABT is a Senior Managing Health Scientist with Cardno ChemRisk, Mark has over 35 years of experience in the areas of environmental health, toxicology, and human health risk assessment. Prior to joining Cardno ChemRisk, he served as a senior toxicologist and the Regional Risk Assessment Coordinator in the Office of the Regional Administrator for EPA - Region 2. Mark has served on numerous EPA National Work Groups including: metals, asbestos, chemical mixtures, PCBs, perfluoroalkyl sub-stances, and bioavailability. Mark is a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology and a member of the Society of Toxicology.
Fionna S. Mowat, PhD is with Exponent and has multidisciplinary experience in risk and exposure assessment, including evaluation of exposures to metals, mineral fibers, and nanoparticles in occupational, non-occupational (e.g., home and hobbies) and environmental settings, and from use of consumer products. She has designed, conducted and/or published asbestos exposure simulations involving mastics, phenol-ic materials, automotive friction materials, roofing cements, and gaskets, and used the results from these simulations and other published information to evaluate the potential for fiber/chemical release during handling of these products.
Shelley K. Napolitano is a senior associate in the New Orle-ans office of Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy. Shelley is a member of the firm's Product Liability and Mass Toxic Tort litigation team, focusing in the areas of talc and asbestos. In addition to managing day-to-day aspects of litigation, she has served a vital role in con-ducting large scale fact investigation projects as well as corporate deposition preparation. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the DRI Publications Board as well as the DRI Young Lawyers Marketing Vice Chair.
Farah S. Nicol is the Co-Chair of Polsinelli's Products Liability and Toxic Tort practice,and works closely with clients to develop effective litigation and settlement strategies. Her sub-stantial skill in assessing risk, developing a cost effective and efficient approach to cases nationally, managing teams of attorneys in multiple jurisdictions, and over-seeing complex litigation strategies has earned the re-spect of Fortune 50/Fortune 500 clients and colleagues alike. With over 25 years of experience handling mass tort litigation, Farah is skilled at understanding a client's business and the potential impact that toxic tort and products liability claims can have on future marketability and profitability.
Nora Ostrofe has served as a forensic economist for the past twenty years. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from UCLA, an MBA from St. Mary's College, and a Certificate in Accounting with Distinction from U.C. Berkeley. She has valued claims of economic loss in asbestos litigation for the past twelve years and her firm, HSNO, serves as economist for asbestos defendants for cases venued in Alameda, San Francisco, and Solano counties for Spanos Przetak, as well as greater California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. She works on a national basis.
Vincent J. Palmiotto with Clyde & Co. has been a trial attorney for twenty years. He focuses his practice on the defense of complex product liability matters, toxic tort and personal injury litigation. He has extensive litigation experience, including significant first-chair trial experience in a variety of jurisdictions. He has handled cases at both the local and national level for a variety of product manufacturers. He has experience as national coordinating counsel for a number of companies. In his capacity as national coordinating counsel, he has supervised all aspects of trial strategy and trial preparation. Vince has worked closely with clients to develop cost effective litigation strategies that maximize their chance for success.
Albert H. (Al) Parnell is a nationally recognized trial attorney. He has spent his entire career preparing, managing, and trying product liability, environmental and toxic tort cases. Mr. Parnell has tried more than 300 cases in 32 states. Mr. Parnell, an authority on asbestos medicine, is frequently requested to speak on medical, state of-the-art, firm management, and ethics issues. He is a founding member of DRI's Law Institute and a former member of the DRI Board of Directors. Retired from Hawkins Parnell & Young LLP, he currently serves on Boards and performs independent consulting work.
Ricky A. Raven is a Partner in the Complex Litigation Group at Reed Smith, LLP and serves as Co-leader of the Mass & Toxic Torts team. Ricky is a trial lawyer who focuses on products liability and mass tort litigation. Ricky has first-chaired more than 115 jury trials to verdict and serves on national trial teams in multidistrict litigation cases. He has been recognized annually by the Best Lawyers in America and Texas Super Lawyers.
Carrie Scott is a Vice President at KCIC, a nationally recognized technology and consulting firm that focuses on the management of product liabilities and insurance assets. As the firm's technology lead, Ms. Scott is responsible for ensuring KCIC's technology is leading-edge and supports the client's needs. Ms. Scott is able to leverage her deep understanding of technology on the consulting side of the business where she leads many KCIC clients through their day-to-day and long-term strategic goals. Her extensive background in data analysis has also supported her expertise in complex data analysis and reconstruction. Ms. Scott provides expert and fact-witness testimony for cases involving claims administration procedures and industry standards, insurance allocation and billing practices, proof of underlying exhaustion, data migration, and database analysis.
Paul F. Slater is Senior Counsel, Corporate Environmental Programs, at General Electric Company. In this role, Paul has presided over GE's strategy in several of the compa-ny'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 oversee-ing GE trials in several jurisdictions, including San Francis-co and Madison and Cook counties in Illinois. Paul 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 is-sues associated with existing and new products.
David A. Speziali is a partner at Speziali, Greenwald & Hawkins PC in Williamstown, New Jersey. Since 1981, he has managed and tried asbestos related claims on behalf of dozens of corporate defendants in more than 40 states. Mr. Speziali has conducted numerous training programs and lectured across the country.
Patrick J. Sweeney is admitted to practice in State and Federal Courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mr. Sweeney practices in the areas of transportation, product liability, premises liability, and matters of general liability. He is actively involved in local, state and national defense organizations. Mr. Sweeney served on the Defense Research Institute's (DRI) Board of Directors from 2006 – 2009. DRI is a national organization of civil defense trial lawyers and corporate counsel with over 23,000 members. Mr. Sweeney served as the Chair of DRI's Product Liability Committee for 2013 – 2015. He served on Pennsylvania Defense Institute's (PDI) Executive committee for three years and was the President of PDI for 2012 – 2013. Mr. Sweeney is also a member of the Transportation Lawyers Association. Mr. Sweeney was recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyer – Rising Star for three consecutive years by Law & Politics and Philadelphia Magazine. Patrick is a current member of DRI's Law Institute.
Samuel Lewis Tarry, Jr. is a member of the Firm's Trial Practice Steering Committee and a past chair of the Product and Consumer Litigation department. For more than two decades, he has represented clients in tort, environmental, and public health litigation in state and federal courts across the country, and he has successfully managed thousands of cases to resolution. Sam has served as punitive damages counsel for a variety of clients when corporate conduct is at issue, coordinating defenses at both the trial and appellate levels. He is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues relating to professional ethics in mass tort litigation.
E. Ben Thames has focused his practice on the defense of manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and premises owners, particularly in toxic/mass tort and environmental litigation. Ben also has extensive experience representing insurance companies in product and premise liability cases. His comprehensive knowledge helps clients manage complex litigation. He has significant experience in managing the caseload of manufacturers in mass tort cases throughout all phases of litigation, including discovery, negotiation and trial. Ben is an active volunteer for the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri where he provides consultation and representation to those who would otherwise not be able to afford an attorney.
Deborah St. Lawrence Thompson represents a broad array of clients in complex cases in jurisdictions around the country, primarily in the areas of commercial litigation, mass tort litigation, products liability, toxic torts, labor and employment law. Ms. Thompson also coordinates commercial and products liability litigation outside the United States. She has earned a reputation among her peers as a tough litigator who carefully prepares each case with a common sense, efficient, practical focus to meet client needs and goals.
Caroline M. Tinsley with Tucker Ellis, manages complex and individual litigation for manufacturers and distributors of consumer products, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. She is experienced in multidistrict litigation and class action product litigation in industries ranging from board games to medical devices and pharmaceutical products. Experienced in e-discovery issues, Caroline manages large-scale document productions for clients. She also handles all aspects of state and federal civil litigation and defends clients in general civil and business litigation matters. Litigation is a stressful time for companies, and each litigation presents unique challenges and concerns. Caroline works as a trusted partner to find innovative solutions to address clients' needs.
Cameron D. Turner is a shareholder in the Chicago office of Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney. His practice fo-cuses on toxic tort, products liability and commercial liti-gation matters. He has served as national trial, national coordinating and local counsel for dozens of defendants in asbestos litigation over the past 22 years. Mr. Turner is licensed in Illinois, Missouri, Florida and Wisconsin.
Trisha Volpe is a Barnes & Thornburg litigator and a trial consultant and legal communication strategist for ThemeVision LLC which is affiliated with Barnes & Thornburg.
David Weill, MD is the Principal of the Weill Consulting Group, providing consultation in occupational lung dis-eases, advanced lung conditions, and organ transplanta-tion. He has authored numerous publications on various aspects of lung disease and led a research effort exam-ining exposure, radiographic changes, and lung function in Libby, Montana. In addition, Dr. Weill has testified in the United States Senate on two occasions and in the Texas State Legislature regarding various aspects of as-bestos related diseases and is currently the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Sand, Stone, and Gravel Association.