American Lawyer | April.01.2019
Orrick partner Morty Dubin has been named American Lawyer’s Litigator of the Week, along with his co-counsel Allison Brown of Weil Gotshal, in recognition of a “slam dunk victory” for Johnson & Johnson in the latest trial involving claims of asbestos in its baby powder products. Following four weeks of trial in New Jersey state court, the jury returned a 6-0 verdict in J&J’s favor after deliberating for less than 25 minutes.
This is Morty’s second complete defense verdict for J&J. He previously secured a win for the company in a Los Angeles trial — the nation’s first trial involving claims that asbestos in J&J’s baby powder causes mesothelioma.
In an interview with the American Lawyer, Morty described the strategy that helped them secure this victory. “Jurors are smart enough to understand critical scientific issues. Plaintiffs’ counsel suffer when they attempt to over simplify the case to the point where they are blatantly trying to misrepresent documents for their prejudicial impact, rather than presenting an honest scientific case. We made a deliberate strategic decision to trust the jury to understand important distinctions in the scientific evidence,” he explained, adding that “the speed with which they returned a defense verdict makes clear they did.” Read the full interview here.
In addition to Morty, the Orrick team included Kevin Hynes, Chuck Rasmussen Goodwin, Trudy Harris, Denise Montiel and the firm’s entire J&J team, led by Peter Bicks and Lisa Simpson together with John Ewald, Kristen Fournier, Kathy O’Connor and many others who contributed at a moment’s notice.