Laurie Strauch Weiss


New York

Laurie Strauch Weiss is a partner in the New York office. She represents clients in large, complex and multi-party class action litigation, and has handled significant actions involving the chemical, tobacco and medical device industries.

Laurie advises companies on overall strategies, from pre-litigation assessments to the final resolution of matters, which often involve novel scientific issues. Her clients frequently enlist her to strategically address the scientific claims asserted by non-governmental organizations, the plaintiffs' bar and consumer advocacy groups which affect the reputation of their products both before and during litigation.

Laurie is a frequent lecturer, author and media source on topics concerning mass tort/class actions, complex scientific issues and expert witnesses.

Prior to joining Orrick, Laurie was an associate at Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine LLP, where she gained extensive experience in complex litigation including class actions based on product liability, securities RICO and fraud claims.

    • Alien Tort Statute (ATS), chemical and environmental pollution litigation. Ms. Strauch Weiss represented Dow Chemical and Dow AgroSciences in Viera v. Eli Lilly, a lawsuit alleging violations of ATS. The case, filed by 40 Brazilian residents in federal court in Indiana, claims personal injuries as a result of localized environmental pollution allegedly emanating from manufacturing sites in Brazil. In September 2010, Laurie's team obtained a dismissal with prejudice of plaintiffs' claims based on the ATS. Plaintiffs's subsequent motion to reconsider the dismissal was denied in May 2011. It was a precedent-setting ruling in that it denied alleged international environmental pollution claims brought pursuant to the ATS.
    • Breast implant/medical device litigation. Laurie represented The Dow Chemical Company with respect to claims involving silicone breast implants manufactured by Dow Corning Corporation (DCC), as well as counseling on the overall strategy to litigate and resolve breast implant litigation against the company which resulted in the successful consensual resolution of that case. She continues to advise Dow Chemical regarding matters related to the Settlement Facility-Dow Corning Trust, the DCC Litigation Facility, Inc., and foreign litigation.
    • Agent Orange herbicide litigation. Laurie represented Dow Chemical in its historic and complete win in actions brought under the ATS filed by Vietnam War veterans and by Vietnamese nationals alleging personal injuries from exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange. In the case, the Second Circuit issued three opinions affirming summary judgment for Dow, as well as for the other defendants. The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in March 2009. When The American Lawyer gave Orrick an honorable mention in its "Litigation Department of the Year" 2010 issue, the magazine cited the Agent Orange victory as an example of our firm's sterling appellate record for product liability defendants. Ms. Strauch Weiss also represents Dow Chemical in ongoing litigation related to Agent Orange.
    • Asbestos litigation. Laurie acts as counsel to Union Carbide in connection with asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits. In that capacity, she has developed and coordinated a national scientific and medical defense for Union Carbide.
    • Asbestos litigation. Laurie represented the Manville Trust in a series of multibillion dollar suits brought in federal court against the tobacco industry to recover tobacco's share of liability for those injured by occupational and other exposure to asbestos.