HarrisMartin's MDL Conference: Biomet and Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Litigation Faculty
With a diverse career spanning nearly 30 years, Richard J. Arsenault’s experience as a trial lawyer, author, speaker, mediator, expert witness, and teacher has provided a unique foundation for navigating complex litigation.
At a recent class action fairness hearing, Harvard Law Professor Arthur Miller testified that Arsenault is one of the “leaders in the area of complex litigation.” Likewise, Professor Edward Sherman, former dean of Tulane Law School and author of the Complex Litigation treatise, has described Arsenault as one of the “experts” in class actions.
The National Law Journal has recognized Arsenault as having one of the nation’s largest personal injury verdicts. He has Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards and is listed in other peer reviewed publications including the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and “Best of United States”. He has appeared in the “Best Lawyers in America” publication for over 15 consecutive years. He also serves as a faculty member for LSU Law School’s Trial Advocacy Program; a faculty composed of Federal and State Court Judges, professors and prominent attorneys. He has been a part of that program since its inception nearly 20 years ago. In addition to a busy litigation practice, Arsenault has also been retained to provide expert testimony and has served as a mediator in mass tort litigation. Additionally, Trial Magazine has called upon Arsenault to peer review articles they consider for publication.
The architect of many significant litigation recoveries, Arsenault has been appointed to negotiating teams in major multidistrict litigation. He served on the Executive Committee and as Class Counsel in environmental litigation where the defendant agreed to a substantial settlement just days before trial. He was also appointed to the Vioxx MDL Plaintiff Steering Committee, where there is likewise a substantial pending settlement. Whether through trial or creative alternative dispute resolution, Arsenault has the experience to tackle and resolve complex litigation.
Ken’s practice focuses on litigating product liability and commercial disputes. Over the years, Ken has litigated pharmaceutical and medical device cases involving orthopedic hip and knee implants, coronary angioplasty and stent devices, defibrillators, pacemakers, and several brand-name and generic pharmaceuticals. He has won trial verdicts in complex business litigation matters as well as insurance bad faith lawsuits.
Ken is an accomplished trial lawyer, with extensive experience in both personal injury and complex commercial and class action litigation. Known nationally for his pharmaceutical and medical device litigation practice, Ken served as national litigation counsel for Sulzer Orthopedics in more than 4000 civil actions following a product recall. He has been appointed by federal and state judges to leadership positions in coordinated litigation proceedings involving recalled DePuy hips, Medtronic defibrillators and Zicam nasal products, as well as other cases.
In addition, Ken has acted as settlement counsel; most recently as national settlement counsel for a publicly-traded consumer products company in successfully negotiating and implementing a national class action settlement involving hundreds of PPA cases valued at over $100 million.
Ken publishes frequently in areas of his expertise. He authors the updates to the CEB (Continuing Education of the Bar) publications “California Tort Guide” and “California Tort Damages Guide.” Ken is also a frequent lecturer, and has presented seminars and published numerous professional articles on topics such as “Litigating Class Actions,” “Litigating Insurance Bad Faith Claims,” and “Scientific and Expert Testimony at Trial.” Ken has been recognized in San Francisco Magazine as one of Northern California’s “Super Lawyers” each year since 2005.
Ken also devotes considerable time to pro bono projects and was awarded the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights’ Father Moriarty Award for his work on behalf of political asylum applicants as well as the Lawyers’ Committee’s “Living the Dream” award for his career-long support.
Brian Devine is one of the founding partners of Seeger Salvas LLP. His litigation practice focuses on complex product liability matters. And his results speak themselves: In the last few years alone, he has recovered more than $20 million for the plaintiffs he represented and he has helped to guide two defendants out of financial peril by helping to negotiate global product liability settlements of $1 billion and $100 million.
Product Liability Litigation
Brian’s unparalleled depth of knowledge of orthopedic implant litigation stems from his years working in the medical device industry. Brian attended law school at night while working as the risk manager at Sulzer Medica, a firm based in Switzerland that made complex medical devices such as pacemakers, heart valves, and orthopedic implants. As Sulzer Medica’s Assistant General Counsel, Brian was responsible for all of the firm’s product liability cases worldwide. When the company suddenly had to recall several thousand hip and knee implants in December 2000, Brian was given lead responsibility for managing the resulting avalanche of litigation. He managed thousands of individual cases and directed attorneys in almost every state in the country. He also managed a federal Multi-District Litigation proceeding and several coordinated state court proceedings. He then took a leading role in negotiating a nationwide class-action settlement which literally saved the company from financial disaster. Brian helped guide Sulzer Medica from the brink of bankruptcy, increasing its share price by 650 percent from $2 per share to over $15 per share after the settlement was confirmed.
In 2002 Brian founded the law firm Seeger Salvas LLP with his partners Ken Seeger and Adam Salvas. At Seeger Salvas, Brian represents plaintiffs in orthopedic and medical implant cases. Brian’s legal and medical knowledge combined with the unique perspective he gained while in-house makes him a formidable adversary. Brian’s skill as an advocate is best proven by his results. In the last few years alone, he has recovered more than $20 million for his clients. He has scored five victories in excess of $1 million, and his largest victory is a $3.7 million settlement on behalf of a single client.
Brian’s experience includes managing litigation at all stages of the lifecycle from pre-litigation through appeal. Additionally, Brian has significant experience managing coordinated actions, both in federal court and state court. In the last few years alone, Brian has participated in four federal Multi-District Litigation proceedings and several state coordinated proceedings. He is currently representing patients affected by the DePuy hip replacement recall.
Brian has been invited to share his unique perspective on product liability litigation with both medical device companies and groups of attorneys representing plaintiffs. He has written extensively about medical device litigation, most recently publishing two articles about medical device litigation in California’s Civil Litigation Reporter.
Much of Brian’s time is devoted to pro bono cases. He works with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights where he successfully represents clients seeking political asylum. His most memorable case involved a Colombian woman who had to flee her homeland after witnessing the assassination of a high-profile political leader. Brian obtained asylum for her at the Immigration Court and he successfully defended the favorable ruling before the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Admitted: 1985, New York, New Jersey and U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey; 1986, U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; 2000, U.S. Supreme Court
Law School: Rutgers University Law School, J.D., 1984
College: Cornell University, B.A., cum laude in History, with distinction, 1980
Member: New Jersey State; New York State (Co-Chair, Toxic Torts Committee of Environmental Law Section, 1988-1994) and American Bar Associations; The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (Past Chair, Section on Toxic, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Torts); The American Association for Justice (current Chair of the Section of Toxic, Environmental and Pharmacuetical Litigatation).
Wendy R. Fleishman, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, New York