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Robert R. Simpson

Robert R. Simpson

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Overview

Rob Simpson is a trial attorney with extensive experience in product liability litigation. His practice focuses on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, as well as toxic tort cases.

Rob has been first- or second-chair trial counsel in more than 25 cases that have gone to verdict. For the last several years, he has served as lead trial counsel, national counsel, and local counsel for many global pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries. Rob handles nationwide litigation relating to anticoagulants, hip implants, pelvic mesh, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and atypical antipsychotic medications, among other products. He manages all stages of pretrial proceedings, takes and defends depositions of key experts, C-suite, and other company witnesses throughout the United States and Europe, and briefs and conducts Daubert and Frye challenges. Rob’s litigation practice includes multidistrict litigation, class actions, mass torts, and claims of unfair competition and false advertising.

Rob defends automotive clients including auto manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers in product liability litigation and commercial litigation. He has litigated cases involving seat belts, air bags, ignition switches, and other transportation litigation, handling all phases of discovery and trial work. He also handles employment and commercial disputes.

Outside the firm, Rob serves as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and as a trial instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the American Bar Association. He frequently gives presentations on e-discovery, the use of technology in the courtroom, deposition techniques, and litigation management. He has held top leadership positions in the ABA Section of Litigation, the National Bar Association, and the Connecticut Bar Association. As part of his ABA and NBA roles, Rob has spearheaded several corporate counsel conferences that connect in-house counsel and law firms. These events provide opportunities to network with peers and to collaborate on issues within their industries. Rob is committed to providing his corporate clients with efficient case management through appropriate staffing and innovative technology.

Experience

  • Trial counsel for an international pharmaceutical company involving the defense of a novel oral anticoagulant and secured a defense verdict.
  • Trial counsel for an international oil company involving a case on Connecticut's complex litigation docket. The owner of a large gasoline terminal sued on antitrust violations, breach of contract, unfair trade practices, misrepresentation, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. All of the plaintiff’s claims were disposed of before trial, and the case went forward solely on our clients' counterclaim for breach of contract. After two trials and two appeals, the court awarded our clients $5.5 million in damages and attorneys' fees.
  • Defended major pharmaceutical corporation against claims brought under the Connecticut Product Liability Act. The district court granted complete summary judgment to the defendants, holding that federal law preempted plaintiff’s design defect claims.
  • Lead trial counsel for a prominent regional health care institution in a product liability lawsuit involving the use of probiotics to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants. 
  • Lead trial counsel of a national team for an international medical device company in a product liability lawsuit in Maryland involving a hip implant. Defense victory on all counts. 
  • As lead counsel, obtained complete summary judgment for major pharmaceutical company against claims under the Connecticut Product Liability Act alleging injuries related to plaintiff's use of an antipsychotic medication. 
  • Member of trial team in MDL involving a hip implant and secured a defense verdict in the first bellwether trial.
  • As member of trial team in MDL through three bellwether trials, handled C-suite level witness preparation, expert discovery, and preparation of a variety of medical and regulatory issues relating to hip prostheses.
  • As lead counsel for a Fortune 50 company in a class action litigation, defeated class certification in a mass tort action.
  • Lead trial counsel in a series of product liability and tort actions for an international oil company and obtained defense verdicts in all three cases that were tried.
  • Lead trial counsel in numerous health care litigation matters and secured more than 10 defense verdicts for physicians and/or health care institutions.
  • Lead trial counsel in the longest dental malpractice trial reported in Connecticut, resulting in a verdict that awarded plaintiff with $0 in pain and suffering.
  • Lead trial counsel for firm business clients involved in serious injuries. These representations resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts for these clients and two of the highest verdicts in Connecticut during the relevant years.
  • Lead trial counsel for auto manufacturer in a product liability and unfair trade practices claim in Massachusetts; secured defense verdict.
  • Trial counsel for auto manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers of seat belts, air bags, and ignition switches.
  • Lead counsel in representing major oil company involved in benzene litigation.  Successfully secured a Lone Pine order that ended the flow of claims.
  • Lead counsel in asbestos litigation for consumer goods and auto parts manufacturers.

Recognition

  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Nation’s Best, Lawyers of Color (2019)
  • Distinguished Leaders Award, Connecticut Law Tribune (2019)
  • The Best Lawyers in America
    • Commercial Litigation (2013–2018, 2020)
    • Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants (2018, 2020)
  • Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial (2003–2006)
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers Magazine
    • Civil Litigation: Defense (2006–2019)
    • Business Litigation (2006–2009)
  • Most Influential Black Lawyers, Savoy Magazine (2018)
  • Trailblazer Award, George W. Crawford Black Bar Association (2017)
  • Presidential Award, National Bar Association (2013)
  • Lawyers of Color: High Achievers, Connecticut Law Tribune (2011)
  • Community Service Award, Urban League of Greater Hartford (2009)
  • 40 Under Forty Award, Hartford Business Journal (2004)
  • James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation
  • New Leaders in the Law, Connecticut Law Tribune (2002)
  • Judge Maxwell Heiman Memorial Award, Hartford County Bar Association (2002)

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Regional Planning Committee (2017–present)
    • Council Member, Section of Litigation
      • Division Director (2010–2012)
      • Co-Director of Division V – Substantive Areas of Litigation Committee
      • Co-Chair, Corporate Counsel Committee, Section of Litigation (2006–2009)
      • Co-Chair, Section Annual Conference, Section of Litigation (2010)
      • Managing Co-Director, Section of Litigation (2010–present)
      • Advisory Committee, Section of Litigation (2009)
      • Advanced Planning Leadership Facilitation
  • National Bar Association
    • Past Chair, Commercial Law Section (Section of the Year, 2014)
    • General Counsel; Treasurer, Commercial Law Section
    • Chair, Corporate Recruitment Committee
  • Connecticut Bar Association
    • Federal Judiciary Committee
    • House of Delegates
    • Executive Committee, Litigation Section Executive Committee
  • Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association
  • Commission on Civil Court Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Appointed by Chief Justice Rogers, Chaired by Judge Linda Lager
  • City of Hartford
    • Democratic Town Committee, Former General Counsel
  • George W. Crawford Black Bar Association
    • Former Advisory Board Member
  • Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation Inc.
    • Former Member, Board of Directors
  • Hartford County Bar Association
    • Board of Directors
  • Hartford County Bar Foundation
    • Board of Directors
  • Leadership Greater Hartford
  • McDonough Mentoring Program
    • Founder and Mentor
  • Oliver Ellsworth American Inn of Court
  • Pathfinder Scout Group
    • Drill Instructor
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
  • Riverfront Recapture Inc.
    • Board of Directors

Speaking Engagements

  • “FDA Evidence in Device Cases: Friend or Foe?,” DRI 2019 Drug and Medical Device Litigation Seminar, Washington, D.C. (May 16–17, 2019)
  • “Practical Ways for Incorporating Diversity and Inclusion Into Your Trial Team and Litigation Strategy,” ACI's 23rd Annual Conference on Drug & Medical Device Litigation, New York, NY (November 28–30, 2018)
  • "Crafting a Compelling Company Story: Deposition of a Treating Physician," Drug & Medical Device Litigation Boot Camp, Philadelphia, PA (July 30–31, 2018)
  • "Ethics in Practice CLE," Connecticut Bar Association, New Britain, CT (January 24, 2018)
  • "Litigation Management: Results-Oriented Leadership," ABA Diversity Conference: Professional Success Summit, Atlanta, GA (November 14–16, 2016)
  • "2016 Current Issues in Pharmaceutical Medical Device and Biotech Litigation," ABA Regional CLE Workshop, Philadelphia, PA (November 4, 2016)
  • "Anatomy of a Trial: The Trial of Wyatt Earp," Scottsdale, AZ (April 9, 2014)

Credentials

Education
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D., 1993)
    • Merit Scholar
  • Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University (MBA, 1993)
  • Boston University (B.A. 1989)
    • Scarlet Key Award
Bar Admissions
  • Connecticut
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut

Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.