HarrisMartin's MDL Conference: The Mass Tort Litigation Landscape - A Critical Analysis Faculty
Richard Arsenault has been recognized as one of America’s Most Influential Trial Lawyers by Trial Lawyer Magazine. He has participated in over 25 multidistrict litigation proceedings and currently serves as Co-Lead Counsel in the Actos MDL where a jury rendered a historic $9 billion dollar punitive damage verdict which has been reported as one of the nation’s largest personal injury verdicts. He subsequently served on the Actos MDL team that negotiated a $2.4 billion dollar settlement which is the largest single mass tort settlement for a drug that is still on the market. In the Pinnacle MDL pending in Dallas federal court where Richard serves on the Executive Committee, he was part of the Trial Team that secured a $502 million dollar jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy, after an 11 week trial. Richard was nominated for the 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Public Justice Foundation and also selected as a 2015 member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. The National Trial Lawyers recognized Richard as the 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year Civil Plaintiff Finalist.
The New York Times has referred to Arsenault as a “big player” in the legal community. The Wall Street Journal has described him as having “national notoriety” and as a “big gun” among attorneys in competition for national leadership roles. They also noted he hosts “must-attend” legal seminars on the “hot cases” of the moment. Business Week has referred to him as “a Dean of the Louisiana tort bar”, USA Today featured him as a member of the “Legal Elite” and the New Orleans Times Picayune has referred to him as “an authority on class actions.”
Richard has over 300 articles and presentations to his credit and has authored many Law Review articles including one published in Federal Courts Law Review. Among other writings, he co-authored the chapter on Multidistrict Litigation in an ABA treatise. Richard was also asked by Judge Heyburn, JPML Chair, to participate in the Panel’s “Multidistrict Litigation Study Project”. He has personally participated in negotiating over $3.5 billion in complex litigation settlements in the last five years. Through a multi-phase selection process, the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys has chosen Richard to receive the organization’s Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Louisiana.
Richard’s commitment to legal excellence is reflected in years of serving as a faculty member for LSU’s Trial Advocacy Program, lecturing at Judicial Colleges and assuming leadership roles in both local as well as national Bar Associations. For over 25 years, Richard has had Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating. He likewise is recognized by many other peer reviewed publications including the “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers,” “Best of United States,” “SuperLawyers” and the “Best Lawyers in America.”
In 2010, Aimee became a founding partner of Andrus Wagstaff. Since that time, she has dedicated the entirety of her professional life fighting against pharmaceutical and medical device companies who harm her clients by continually putting profits before safety. The vast majority of Aimee’s litigation is done through national mass tort consolidations, usually multidistrict litigations (MDLs) or Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCPs). In that regard, Aimee has been appointed by federal and state court Judges across the country to co-lead four national litigations by the age of 40, such litigations representing tens of thousands of injured claimants.
In 2016, the Honorable Vince Chhabria appointed Aimee to serve as national Co-Lead counsel of MDL 2741- In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, situated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In that MDL, Plaintiffs allege that exposure to Monsanto’s billion dollar weed killer, Roundup, causes cancer. Because Roundup is sprayed on (an estimated) 80 percent of the food we eat, the case has generated considerable media attention. Here are a few of the articles: “EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto ‘Kill’ Cancer Study”, “Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety in Unsealed Documents”, “Monsanto Ghostwrote Cancer Studies of Its Own Weed Killer, Plaintiffs in Lawsuit Say.”
Eric D. Holland was born in Illinois, growing up in a construction-trades family. During high school, Eric earned varsity letters in three sports (baseball, basketball and golf) and began working construction during summer breaks. Following high school, he attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics. He attended the St. Louis University School of Law, where he was elected to the Law Review. Eric worked his way through college and law school in the construction business, often working overtime with his father and learning the value of hard work and precision. Since his graduation from law school, he has been admitted to the state bars of Illinois, Missouri and Michigan as well as federal courts in Texas and Colorado. He has also been admitted to practice in particular cases in dozens of other states and forums and has led litigations from coast to coast. He now leads a nationally-recognized law firm based in St. Louis.
Eric limits his practice to railroad and transportation accidents, mass torts, class actions and other complex litigation. He has litigated cases throughout the United States and has obtained a host of record-setting jury verdicts and settlements. In single injury cases, he obtained over 25 multi-million dollar results in the first 20 years of his law practice involving railroad, product liability, and trucking matters. Over the last decade, Eric has developed his firm's aggregate litigation practice, which has followed the path of his early career. Most recently, he served as Plaintiffs' counsel where he successfully represented over 200 franchise owners in a business interruption matter that resulted in a multi-million dollar recovery and as co-lead counsel in a banking class action that resulted in a settlement valued at $20 million. His acumen in complex litigation was noted by a judge presiding over one of Eric's cases, finding that his handling of the case was “exemplary” and that he had a “command of complex litigation” that the judge praised. Eric is regularly hired by the country’s seriously injured railroad workers, catastrophic injury victims and their families, as well as a wide variety of other clients including publicly-traded companies, water districts, hospitals, villages, international companies, judges and consumers. He is also approved counsel for a national labor union.
Shean D. Williams, The Cochran Firm, Atlanta