Goldberg Segalla LLP

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Manufacturing

Goldberg Segalla has long served as a trusted advisor and steadfast protector of the manufacturing industry. Whether seeking proactive counsel to avoid disputes or facing a bet-the-company lawsuit that puts everything on the line, manufacturers count on us because we are driven by the same commitments to quality, thoroughness, and efficiency upon which the manufacturing community is proudly built.

Fueled by these values, our lawyers have handled thousands of complex and high-value matters for clients that range from global enterprises and Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and emerging leaders. Drawing from our team’s vast collective experience representing manufacturers, coupled with the in-house, industry, and technical experience of several members, we speak the language of manufacturing and understand the operations, philosophies, and goals behind every engagement.

Our Services
We help manufacturers, distributors, and others in the production and supply chain protect their interests — and their bottom lines — with a truly comprehensive suite of litigation and counseling services.

Product Liability — Law360 ranks Goldberg Segalla on its list of the 100 U.S.-based firms with the most product liability partners globally. Our roster includes some of the foremost practitioners in product liability defense in the United States, including:

  • Two of the youngest members ever inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Dreier Award for Excellence in Product Liability Law
  • Past president of the Defense Research Institute
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
  • Authors and editors of numerous journal articles and volumes, including the Products Liability in New York: Strategies and Practice treatise
We have successfully defended high-exposure product liability actions — including those involving catastrophic injuries and death — brought against the makers of products including but not limited to:

  • Cars and trucks
  • Appliances
  • Toys and children’s products
  • Clothing
  • Heavy machinery
  • Sporting goods
  • Power tools
  • Food and beverages
  • Chemicals
  • Medical devices and pharmaceuticals
Toxic Tort — We have a long history of aggressively defending the interests of high-profile clients and trying toxic tort cases to verdict. Market-leading companies from a vast array of industries trust Goldberg Segalla to handle their toxic tort litigation and to provide preventive counsel to help minimize the risk of a lawsuit.

Our toxic tort team is more than 50 lawyers strong and has handled the defense of thousands of claims involving alleged exposure to:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Legionella bacteria
  • Talc
  • Mold
  • Benzene
  • Zinc
  • Foodborne bacteria
  • Pesticides
  • Discetyl
  • Silica
  • Thimerosal
— as well as cases involving environmental contamination and indoor air quality issues. We regularly defend equipment manufacturers, including makers of pumps, valves, brakes, boilers, electrical products, and aviation-related products; building product manufacturers and sellers, including manufacturers and distributors of insulation, joint compound, gaskets, and furnace cement; and residential product manufacturers, including manufacturers of washing machines and dryers, residential irons, and hair dryers and curlers.

Class Action Defense — We have decades of experience defending complex class action and consumer fraud litigation involving product manufacturers and distributors. This includes handling national and state class actions for clients that include two of the world’s largest makers of toys and children’s products, one of the most prominent women’s clothing companies, and a market-leading herbicide manufacturer. One of our partners currently focuses his practice on the cutting-edge area of data breach class action defense and incident response litigation.

Our firm is also home to one of the leading authorities on electronic discovery. This gives our clients a stronger and more efficient defense against plaintiffs’ class action lawyers who attempt to use discovery of vast amounts of electronic records in an effort to pester defendants and drive up litigation costs.

Risk Avoidance — We understand that avoiding a lawsuit is more important than winning one. Clients frequently turn to us for proactive help minimizing and managing the risks associated with designing, manufacturing, and selling products. We regularly advise on the scope and application of industry and governmental standards, and we guide clients through preparing appropriate owners’ manuals, warnings, and instructions regarding the proper use — and dangers of misuse — of products. We also help manufacturers implement practical and effective document management policies, a risk avoidance component that is essential in today’s trigger-happy litigation climate.

Transportation and Logistics — Goldberg Segalla provides comprehensive transportation litigation services and counsel to help insured and self-insured manufacturers reduce risk and minimize exposure or the interruption of business in the event of an accident.

Leading manufacturers and transportation providers regularly retain our attorneys to try their most serious cases, based on our extensive experience handling multimillion-dollar traumatic injury matters involving virtually all aspects of vehicle design as well as road design and other defense-critical issues. We maintain a 24/7 Emergency Response Team to manage the initial response to an accident, when every second is critical for building the foundation of a stronger defense. Whether the matter involves delivery cars, long-haul tractor-trailers, rail cars, or aircraft — and no matter where it occurs — our team is ready and equipped to protect the company.

To every transportation-related matter we bring an exceptional understanding of the myriad issues involved, including the relationship of the parties involved, contractual relationships, additional insured status of various parties, property damage, underinsured motorist coverage, excess/primary insurance obligations, permissive use, and scope of employment.

In addition, manufacturers often turn to us for matters involving the business and commercial aspects of developing and maintaining their distribution networks and contractual relationships with other companies. Whether in an advisory role or as litigation counsel, we help manufacturers keep their products moving to their destinations.

Insurance and Risk Management — With one of the most highly acclaimed insurance coverage teams in the world, we help manufacturers analyze and implement insurance policies and other business relationships aimed toward building a seamless and comprehensive blanket of risk protection. Our team has extensive experience assisting policyholders and self-insured entities in analyzing risks and exposures and assisting with the procurement and placement of insurance coverage, with recommendations tailored for their specific needs and rooted in our understanding of manufacturing operations.

Employment and Labor — Manufacturing businesses are major employers that rely upon a broad range of professionals and employee types to succeed. To address these needs, we provide comprehensive employment and labor services to manufacturers, including day-to-day human resources counseling and representation in matters involving:

  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Harassment
  • Whistleblowing
  • Family leave
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act as amended
  • Public accommodations
  • Labor law and union avoidance
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Wage and hour audits
  • Professional misconduct reviews
  • Employment agreements
  • Restrictive covenants

Our team also provides staunch advocacy in litigation, arbitration, and National Labor Relations Board and other administrative proceedings.

Workers’ Compensation — Every day, we successfully represent clients from numerous industries in workers’ compensation litigation. Our team is well-versed in the full range of cases involving both major and minor injuries, in the accident as well as occupational disease contexts. Our unique practice model involves handling each claim from beginning to end, staying abreast of even the most minor changes in interpretive language used by the courts, and developing strategies tailor-made for each unique situation — an approach our clients find leads to better results and greater efficiency.

Regulatory Compliance — We take pride in our productive working relationships with governmental agencies and in our creative resolution of compliance issues. We regularly counsel and advise clients on numerous issues concerning compliance with safety regulations, mandatory reporting requirements, and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Our lawyers represent product manufacturers and importers before the Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, and other federal and state regulators in product defect investigations, investigations regarding civil penalties, enforcement proceedings, and product recalls.

Data Security and Cyber Risk — Our firm helps companies effectively manage the wide range of risks associated with data use and storage, cloud computing, and social media. This includes developing preventive measures and providing proactive counseling on how these evolving issues impact employment concerns, insurance coverage, business agreements, regulatory compliance, and more. If needed, we are well equipped to advise and protect our clients in the aftermath of data spills, hacking, and other exposures, including emergency response and notification management.

Corporate Law, Contracts, and Transactions — We provide manufacturers with practical legal advice and transactional guidance to help them achieve strategic growth. Leading this team is a former inside counsel who spent 20 years in that role for a multibillion-dollar global company, and many of our team members have decades of experience advising on a broad spectrum of business matters and disputes, both in-house and as outside counsel. Our experience covers all types of corporate law and contractual issues; growth, finance, and asset protection; and. intellectual property.

Real Estate Development, Leasing, and Litigation — Our commercial real estate and development team combines years of multi-disciplinary experience with in-depth knowledge of state and federal real estate regulation to guide corporations of all sizes through the real estate transaction process.

Our commercial rest estate and development team is here to help you with:

  • Drafting and negotiating Purchase Agreements
  • Environmental concerns, including Phase I and Phase II environmental audits
  • All types of commercial loan agreements and ancillary documentation
  • Land use and zoning issues, including New York Article 78 actions
  • Commercial leases (gross leases; single, double, and triple net leases; and modified gross leases)
  • Construction agreements focusing on AIA contracts, owner-architect, contractor and sub-contractor, and development agreements
In addition, our Real Estate Litigation and Title Disputes practice offers a full range of real estate litigation services to help property owners (as well as lenders and title insurance companies). These services include:

  • Title and priority issue litigation
  • Equity analysis surrounding mortgages, property liens, and subrogation
  • Property conveyance negligence actions
  • Diminution in value analysis
  • Lobbying efforts to resolve issues with prior governmental properties
  • Coverage investigation, response, recoupment, and litigation
  • Expert opinions in bad faith litigation
  • Tax certiorari matters
Our Commitment to Manufacturing
Goldberg Segalla works tirelessly to advance the development of caselaw favorable to the manufacturing industry. We accomplish this through consistently achieving favorable results for our clients in a broad array of litigation — even in the country’s toughest, most plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions.

We also contribute extensively to judicial and tort reform efforts. We actively and proudly encourage these efforts through our support of, and membership in, organizations such as Lawyers for Civil Justice and the Defense Research Institute. Our lawyers also prepare and submit amicus briefs on behalf of the Product Liability Advisory Counsel (PLAC).

In fact, our team is proud to have six members of the PLAC, a highly selective group of leading product manufacturers and the most elite product liability defense counsels operating in the U.S. and abroad. Induction into the PLAC requires swearing an oath never to represent a party against a manufacturer.

We also have practical experience on top of our legal abilities. A small sampling of the experience our team members obtained outside their legal careers includes more than a decade working as an industrial hygienist advising large companies on regulatory issues related to occupational exposure, a previous career designing air and spacecraft wing and fuselage structures as an aerospace engineer, and working in global supply chain logistics and freight management.

Our team also includes leaders and members in the Defense Research Institute, the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, the Trucking Industry Defense Association, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and other national and international groups that share our dedication to manufacturing.

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  • 5.0/5.0 Review for John M. Allen by a Associate on 05/04/16 in General Liability

    John is an excellent civil defense attorney. Most importantly, he seeks resolutions that are fair to the parties. This is a trait not often found in litigation matters. Given that John and I were on opposite sides of the fence in a recent case, my... Read more

    Read more

    John is an excellent civil defense attorney. Most importantly, he seeks resolutions that are fair to the parties. This is a trait not often found in litigation matters. Given that John and I were on opposite sides of the fence in a recent case, my comments stem from personal knowledge of this gentleman. Read less

    Read less
  • 5.0/5.0 Review for Michael Rubin by a Partner on 05/28/15 in Civil Litigation

    Mike is an excellent attorney, a strong client advocate and worthy adversary.

    Mike is an excellent attorney, a strong client advocate and worthy adversary. Read less

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Diversity

Both within our own firm and across the wider business and legal communities, Goldberg Segalla’s commitment to diversity is strong, sincere, and a critical component of our firm’s mission and culture. Our philosophy has always been that we hire people who are excellent at what they do, and even better human beings. Period. We feel we would be doing a disservice to our firm and to our clients if we didn’t include contributions from every available resource.


We are extremely proud that our commitment has received regional and national recognition for the innovative programs we have developed and the results we have been able to achieve. The following is a sampling of the firm-wide or individual honors we have received for implementing initiatives that make a difference:


  • George B. Vashon Innovator Award, Minority Corporate Counsel Association
  • MCCA Firm Affiliate Network
  • Vault/MCCA Commitment to Diversity
  • Community Service Award, Defense Research Institute
  • Good Works Award, American Bar Association Section of Litigation
  • Outstanding Committee Chair, ABA Section of Litigation
  • Diversity Trailblazer Award, New York State Bar Association
  • Legal Service Award, Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • Lawyer of the Year, Bar Association of Erie County
  • Legal Community Leader Award, National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York
  • Diversity Excellence Award, Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association
  • Value Award for Diversity, Leadership Buffalo
  • Western New York Game Changers, Buffalo Spree magazine

What we are most proud of, though, is that our efforts have shown significant results and continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of many.

Leadership and Action

To put our philosophy and commitment into practice, we have a Diversity Task Force, which includes our managing partner, in place to conceptualize and implement diversity-focused programs as well as give diversity a voice in our decision-making at the highest level. The individuals on this task force share the firm’s strong commitment to increasing diversity, and they use their unique experiences and backgrounds to support and advance that goal. The team meets regularly to create programs, schedule events, establish diversity initiatives both inside and outside of the firm, set long-term goals, and develop the strategy to recruit and retain people from diverse backgrounds.


The chair of our Diversity Task Force, Joseph M. Hanna, has spearheaded numerous diversity initiatives in various organizations and outreach programs, serves on several diversity-related committees, and is a frequent author and speaker on diversity. Among other positions, he is co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyer Leadership Program, former chair of the association’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee and its Special Committee on Human Rights, and former editor-in-chief of the ABA’s Minority Trial Lawyer; a 2014 fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD); a past president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY) and the MBAWNY Foundation; and the Diversity Liaison for several committees at the 22,000-member DRI.


For more than a decade, Goldberg Segalla has proudly supported the ABA’s Judicial Internship Opportunity Program, which provides racial and ethnic minority law students, along with members of other groups underrepresented in the legal profession, opportunities to serve as an intern with a judge during the summer after their first or second year of law school. Joe Hanna — an alumni of the program himself — acts as a mentor and leader in the program, through which he has conducted more than 100 interviews for students across the country.

In 2017, Goldberg Segalla participated in the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, the New York City Bar Association’s flagship pipeline program for high school students. As a participating legal employer, we hosted high-achieving inner-city students for the summer and collaborate with the NYC Bar to provide them with additional programming before, during, and after the summer designed to help them prepare for a legal career.

Each summer, Goldberg Segalla proudly welcomes interns through a formal Diversity Clerkship Program that was conceived by Joe while he served as president of the MBAWNY. The program was developed in collaboration with the MBAWNY and the SUNY Buffalo Law School to provide opportunities for minority UB Law students to gain firsthand experience in the legal system. Since it was launched in 2011, the program has placed more than 100 students in clerkships in area courts as well as in several area law firms, with more judges and law firms asking to participate every day. It provides participants with an in-depth look at the legal process and the interaction between the bench and the bar that they would not otherwise get. At our firm, a dedicated team of partners monitors the work of these law clerks and ensures they obtain valuable experience to help develop important legal research, writing, case management, and client service skills critical to their long-term success. Our program earned the firm the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 2012 George B. Vashon Innovator Award.


We also have sponsored Success in the City, an annual diversity networking and mentoring event developed by Joe that brought together students, legal and business professionals, educators, nonprofits, and political leaders to make lasting partnerships. Many employment, business, and mentoring relationships resulted from this event. Past events have drawn more than 500 political and business leaders, legal professionals, and students. Success in the City has influenced the development of similar programs in Baltimore, Cleveland, Birmingham, Dallas, and elsewhere.


Our firm is committed to spreading the message throughout the broad legal and business communities that embracing diversity contributes to greater overall success. We conduct training sessions for in-house counsel at Fortune 500 corporations on increasing and promoting diversity. Our attorneys have authored articles and delivered presentations on diversity for various legal organizations, including DRI and the ABA, and our efforts and accomplishments in this area have been profiled in publications such as Law360, the New York State Bar Association’s State Bar News, Business First of Buffalo, the Buffalo Law Journal, and others.


In one example of our work to provide inspiration and raise awareness of diversity and women’s issues in the legal community, Caroline Berdzik, chair of our Employer and Labor Practice Group, spoke to Law360 for the publication’s “Female Powerbrokers” series. In the interview, Caroline discussed her career, the challenges of being a woman at a senior level at a law firm, the work-family life balance, and the importance of taking risks. She also offered guidance to female attorneys on moving their careers forward and advice to law firms on both increasing the number of women partners and retaining top female talent. Her longtime advocacy for women (at her previous firm, she served on the Women’s Business Development Committee and was a member of what became the national Women’s Presidents Organization) helped earn her a spot on the 2015 NJBIZ list of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business.


Joe Hanna also was featured by Law360 in its “Minority Powerbrokers” series, in which he shared his perspective on breaking the glass ceiling in the legal industry, the challenges of being a lawyer of color at a senior level, how law firms can increase diversity in their partner ranks, and Goldberg Segalla’s core commitment to diversity.

Partnerships

Goldberg Segalla is proud to be a member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association Firm Affiliate Network, which was created by the MCCA to assist and acknowledge law firms that are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.


We are also a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a national organization of leaders in law firms and corporate legal departments dedicated to creating a truly diverse legal profession. As noted earlier, Joe Hanna was a fellow of the LCLD in 2014. In this position, he played a critical role in organizing the first-ever New York City LCLD Fellows Roundtable event, and he was instrumental in establishing a mentorship program in Hartford for local diverse first-year law students.


We support the diversity efforts of numerous organizations, including:

  • American Bar Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of New York
  • Columbian Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Korean American Association of Greater New York
  • League of First Nations
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • National Bar Association
  • Native American Rights Fund
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals
  • National Congress of American Indians
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Seneca Free Trade Association
  • SUNY Buffalo Law School
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York

Our outreach efforts led to the creation of a comprehensive database of more than 500 minority law organizations throughout the United States. Contact between these organizations takes place in anticipation of bringing CLE and legal programs together. This group of minority bar associations includes both local and national organizations, such as:

  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • National Association of Muslim Lawyers
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar
  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
  • South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia
  • Vietnamese American Bar Association of North Carolina

A Talented and Diverse Team

Diversity is further evident within our firm through the many languages and dialects spoken by members of our team, including Albanian, Arabic, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin, Marathi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, and Urdu.


Goldberg Segalla’s culture is one that values team-spiritedness, collegiality, and interpersonal harmony within our working community. We are a firm that believes in diversity in the workplace, and we are proud to offer a professional and positive work environment for each and every member of our team.


On these values, and on our commitment to diversity, we will never waver. We are proud of what we have accomplished thus far, but we also realize that this is a long-term mission. We will continue to innovate and to improve diversity in law and business — both within Goldberg Segalla and across the communities in which we live and work.

Diversity Matters — Join the Conversation

If you have questions regarding any of the firm’s diversity initiatives or would like to discuss ideas regarding increasing diversity in the legal profession, please contact Joe Hanna (716.566.5447; [email protected]) or another member of our Diversity Task Force:

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