I have always respected the plaintiff lawyers I've worked with on the big cases, and I'm fortunate to have developed lasting friendships on both sides of the bar
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Los Angeles (PRWEB) March 5, 2007
In a bold and unusual move in the world of high-stakes tort litigation, prominent products liability and class action defense litigators Thomas M. Moore and Ronald Labriola have left Drinker Biddle & Reath to open a new Southern California-based law firm focusing on the representation of plaintiffs in complex litigation matters, coordinated mass tort proceedings and consumer fraud and false advertising actions. The new firm, Moore Labriola LLP, will also counsel select clients on risk identification and management, alternative claims resolution and certain non-litigation-related issues.
"We think we can bring a unique perspective to prosecuting consumer-oriented litigation," says Moore. "Developments in the fields of heath care, financial services, and information technology afford the public great opportunities but also occasionally expose them to significant physical and economic injuries. We believe that these new challenges are already impacting the level of sophistication of plaintiffs' law practices at the highest levels, and we want to be a part of that ongoing evolution."
Moore, 48, started his 23-year legal career in 1984 at Haight, Brown & Bonesteel in Los Angeles, rising to senior partner status. In 2001, he moved his complex litigation practice to Drinker Biddle, opening and managing the firm's Los Angeles office. Labriola, 41, joined Moore in 1999 and followed him to Drinker Biddle where he became a partner in the firm.
"Tom and Ron are formidable litigators who no doubt will be very successful in their new endeavor," commented Alfred W. Putnam, Jr., chairman of Drinker Biddle. "We are sorry to lose them."
Moore and Labriola have defended some of the world's largest corporations, such as drug makers GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb, auto manufacturers General Motors and Ford Motor Company, as well as numerous other health care and consumer product companies. Moore was heavily involved in many of California's most significant mass tort proceedings during the past two decades, including those involving silicone breast implants, fen-phen, Rezulin®, and Baycol®. California courts appointed him as "liaison counsel" for defendants in the coordinated breast implant and fen-phen litigations, positions that required him to develop and maintain close working relationships with counterparts from the plaintiffs' bar. "I have always respected the plaintiff lawyers I've worked with on the big cases, and I'm fortunate to have developed lasting friendships on both sides of the bar," says Moore.
It was not easy for Moore and Labriola to leave their successful corporate practices. "Change is always nerve-wracking, and I am leaving a great firm and some fabulous corporate clients," Moore noted. "But, I have accomplished everything that I set out to do as a defense lawyer, and we just felt that we needed a vehicle that gave us the option to switch-hit."
Labriola agrees that flexibility was paramount in the decision to start the new firm, and says that discussions with several prominent members of the plaintiffs' bar convinced the two partners that they could successfully cross over. According to Labriola, "There is a feeling that we can bring to the table both substantive legal skills as well as a new perspective on strategic issues confronting lawyers representing consumers."
Moore and Labriola will continue to litigate high stakes complex cases in California and will participate in joint ventures with top-tier plaintiffs' practices across the country. . Several consumer-oriented firms have already contacted Moore and Labriola about collaborating on pending products liability and class action matters. "The response of the plaintiffs' bar has been gratifying and encouraging," says Moore.
FOR COMMENTS FROM PLAINTIFFS' BAR:
Former California State Senator Joe Dunn (current CEO California Medical Association): (916) 955-3400
Roman Silberfeld (Robbins, Kaplan): (310) 552-0130
Mark Robinson (Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson): (949) 720-1288
Steve Skikos (Lopez,Hodes): (415) 956-5257