James D. Pagliaro

James D. Pagliaro is a partner in Morgan Lewis’s Litigation Practice, the leader of the firm’s Product Liability and Mass Tort Practice, and head of the firm’s Technology Industry Initiative. Mr. Pagliaro focuses his practice almost exclusively on mass tort and product liability litigation, and he has acted as national coordinating and trial counsel for more than a dozen Fortune 500 companies and several international corporations. Mr. Pagliaro served as the global leader of the firm’s Litigation Practice from 1999 to 2009, during which time he was instrumental in expanding the practice geographically in California, Houston, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia and substantively in its class action, securities, white collar, and complex commercial litigation capacities.

As a trial lawyer, Mr. Pagliaro has led defense teams in jury trials across the United States in complex litigation matters involving class action allegations, large mass tort filings, and serious bodily injury claims. He has litigated mass tort matters across the spectrum of personal injury, medical monitoring, and property damage claims involving exposure to lead, chromium, diacetyl, sulphur compounds, asbestos, beryllium, manganese, mercury, and other chemicals.

Selected representations include:

Acting as national coordinating and lead trial counsel for a pharmaceutical company named in federal and state product liability, mass tort actions, including an MDL proceeding, based on allegations of personal injury and wrongful death from the use of prescription testosterone replacement therapy.

Acting as lead counsel for one of the major manufacturers of U.S. drywall to defeat a series of national class and individual actions claiming property damage and bodily injury

Representing a large consumer products company in an arbitration involving a Naming Rights Agreement and the value of naming rights in a major U.S. sports arena

Coordinating and presenting the defense of a large global manufacturer of welding products in a national products liability litigation involving alleged personal injury from exposure to welding fumes

Handing the appeals of corporations in the Pennsylvania appellate courts in matters of first impression involving significant damage awards and statutory interpretations

Defending global corporations in trials involving catastrophic personal injury and property damage, including the trial of a neighborhood class action claiming bodily injury and property damage and alleging diminution of property values for residents surrounding a plant that used lead in a densely populated urban area in Philadelphia

Defeating a class action in Houston involving claims of negligence, trespass, and nuisance brought by the property owners surrounding a chemical plant

Coordinating the defense of an owner of former manufactured gas plant facilities around the United States

Defending a chemical manufacturer in multiple class actions claiming bodily injury, diminution of property values, and medical monitoring and filed on behalf of the residents dwelling in an area surrounding the Lipari landfill, which was listed as the first site on the EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List

Acting as national coordinating and trial counsel in the defense of an international manufacturer of butter flavoring in a series of cases brought in Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, and Missouri

Defending high-profile, national mass tort actions, including two law suits involving thousands of claimants initiated by law firms employing Erin Brockovich

Coordinating and defending a series of benzene personal injury cases

Handing the defense, trial, and appeals of dozens of asbestos property damage and personal injury cases filed in Pennsylvania, California, Montana, New Jersey, Illinois, Washington, Hawaii, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Texas

Mr. Pagliaro has tried several cases involving novel and unique scientific and medical issues in mass tort litigation. Additionally, he was lead trial counsel for the defense in two product liability cases featured by the National Law Journal as “Top Ten Defense Verdicts” of the year. Mr. Pagliaro also has experience handling general commercial litigation, environmental liability, pharmaceutical and medical device product liability, and OSHA law matters.

Mr. Pagliaro served as Firm Managing Partner from 2009 to 2013 and was primarily responsible for the firm’s client relationships, including managing the firm’s client feedback program, implementing initiatives to expand the firm’s relationships with its clients, and supervising all aspects of the firm’s client outreach projects, marketing, communications, public relations, and business development. Mr. Pagliaro is the Chair of the Morgan Lewis Trial Academy and plays a significant role in the training of the firm’s lawyers in trial skills and courtroom advocacy. Additionally, he has served several terms on the firm’s Advisory Board and Compensation Committee. He has been listed for products liability matters in The Best Lawyers in America and as a Leading Lawyer for Business in Chambers USA.

From 1979 to 1985, Mr. Pagliaro was an attorney with the Office of the Regional Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, in Philadelphia, where he handled OSHA prosecutions. Later, he was named Senior Trial Counsel with responsibility for the Department of Labor’s Black Lung litigation efforts in Region III.

An active speaker and writer, Mr. Pagliaro has had several articles published in the National Law Journal. He also has written extensively on product liability issues, including published articles comparing Japan’s and the European Commission’s product liability laws with U.S. product liability.

Mr. Pagliaro has lectured on “Deposition Tactics,” “Essentials of Pennsylvania Practice,” “Jury Selection,” “Successful Opening and Closing Arguments,” and “Class Actions” for the Trial Academy and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. In October 2000, he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Mr. Pagliaro is also a Chair of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Corporate Executive Board and an ex officio member of the museum’s Board of Trustees.

Mr. Pagliaro is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Litigation, 2) Product Liability & Mass Torts, 3) Class Actions, 4) National Trial & Coordinating Counsel, 5) Life Sciences, 6) Advertising, 7) Consumer Protection, 8) & Privacy, 9) Radiation Litigation, 10) Energy Litigation and 11) Washington Strategic Government Relations and Counseling
Law School Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law.
Education LaSalle College, 1973, B.A.
Bar Member / Association State Bar of Pennsylvania
Most recent firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
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