Fred is the complete product liability and catastrophic event defense litigator. He has served as national counsel for clients and defense liaison counsel in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), and has successfully tried significant exposure cases (including wrongful death, quadriplegia and amputation). 

With a unique depth and breadth of experience based on more than 35 years representing clients across the nation in diverse industries in litigation, Fred has acquired a multi-angle view of the litigation landscape and provides clients with thoughtful advocacy. He crafts and executes cost effective, successful strategies to meet client needs and the challenges of litigation, whether in mass torts, class actions or “one off” cases. While bringing creative and strategic legal analysis to the specific problem or litigation, Fred understands and digs into the technical issues, especially expert opinions that are often critical to a successful outcome.

Presentations and Publications

Publications

  • Co-Author with Bill Womble, Jr. of the North Carolina Section of the Product Liability Desk Reference, A Fifty-State Compendium, 2010-2013 Editions, Aspen Publishers
  • Co-Author with Bill Womble, Jr. of the North Carolina Section of the Tort Law Desk Reference and Business Torts: A Fifty-State Guide, 2010-2013 Editions, Aspen Publishers
  • Ignore Product Liability at Your Peril, published by North Carolina Citizens of Business and Industry, October 2005

Presentations

  • When the Unthinkable Happens:  Preparing for Industrial Catastrophes, Association of Corporate Counsel, Annual Meeting October 2011, Denver, Colorado
  • Preparing for and Responding to Catastrophes - From Explosions to Fraud and Beyond, Research Triangle Area Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, July 2011, Research Triangle Park, NC
  • Preparing for Industrial Catastrophes: The First 24 Hours, North Carolina CLE, May 2011, Greensboro, NC
  • Subject Injury and Indemnification Issues in Clinical Trials, MAGI's Clinical Trial Conference, May 2011, Philadelphia, PA
  • Trials, Torts & Courts: Civil Litigation Arising out of Clinical Trials, MAGI's Clinical Trial Conference, October 2010, San Francisco, CA; May 2009, Miami, Florida; October 2008, Las Vegas, NV; May 2008, Arlington, VA; October 2007, San Diego, CA; May 2007, Atlantic, NJ
  • Mock Trial of a Clinical Trial Case (with Allan Milstein), MAGI's Clinical Trial Conference, October 2008, Las Vegas, Nevada; May 2008, Arlington, VA
  • Clinical Trial and Errors, Annual Meeting of Greater Charlotte Association of Clinical Research Professionals, October 2007, Charlotte, NC
  • Steering Clear of Integrity Problems and Conflicts of Interest in Clinical Trial Research, ACI, 7th National Conference on Managing Legal Risk in Structuring and Conducting Clinical Trials, July 2007, San Francisco, California
  • Trials, Torts & Courts: Civil Litigation Arising Out of Clinical Trials, SRI's 17th Clinical Trial Conference, May 2006, Cambridge, Massachusetts; September 2005, San Diego, CA; May 2005, Philadelphia, PA
  • Keynote Address: Litigation Risks in Clinical Trials: Design Issues and Vulnerable Population Subjects, Center for Business Intelligence, 3rd Annual Seminar on Limiting Exposure to Liability in Clinical Trials, Philadelphia, Pa., December 2005
  • Class Actions in North Carolina - Overview of Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Greensboro, North Carolina, November, 2005
  • Mock Trial demonstrating differing impact of U.S. domestic product standards from international product standards for an international industry material handling equipment group in California, November 2005 
  • Product Liability and Negligence Issues in Clinical Trials, Center for Professional Innovation and Education, Malverne, Pa., June 2004
  • Conflicts of Interest in Clinical Trials, Center for Professional Innovation and Education, Malverne, Pa., June 2004
  • Pitfalls in Recruiting Subjects for Clinical Trials, Center for Professional Innovation and Education, Malverne, Pa., June 2004
  • Coordination of Case Handling in Mass Tort Litigation, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 2003
Professional Activities
  • Product Liability Advisory Council
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys (Chair, Product Liability Practice Section, 2004-06)
  • Propane Gas Defense Association
  • Defense Research Institute (Vice Chair, Mass Tort and Class Action, Special Litigation Group 2011-present; North Carolina State liaison 2011-present)
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Wake County Bar Association
    Experience

    Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

    • Coordination of national propane supplier’s response to massive fire at its Florida facility, conducting detailed internal corporate investigation into incident which include: development of factual and technical defenses to anticipated issues, claims and litigation; coordinating corporate interactions with various state and federal agencies; defending litigation with OSHA over multiple citations issued; coordinating response to state and federal environmental agencies; and defending company in significant personal injury litigation.
    • Representation of scaffolding company in connection with multiple deaths resulting from collapse of mastclimber equipment during disassembly at a high rise building, including: coordination of corporate investigation into incident; interaction and litigation with state OSHA over citations; and defense of company in multiple wrongful death claims.
    • Member of national counsel team defending manufacturers of EIFS exterior building claddings (so-called synthetic stucco), including coordination of defendants’ MDL litigation and defense of putative state-wide class action in New Jersey for residential and commercial owners of EIFS clad buildings.
    • Defense of clinical trial sponsors for a biologic on novel claims of allegedly defective exclusionary criteria and ethical issues associated with the use of placebos in clinical trials.
    • Defense of several hundred product liability claims for motor vehicle manufacturers (US, Japanese and European) on claims of crashworthiness (including 10 years on regional counsel team defending post-collision fuel-fed fire cases), unintended acceleration, steering systems, restraint systems, vehicle stability and brake systems.

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    Bar admissions

    1979, New Jersey

    1983, Pennsylvania

    1999, North Carolina

    Fred is admitted to practice before:

    • United States District Courts for the Eastern
    • Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
    • United States District Court for District of New Jersey
    • United States District Courts for Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
    • Third Circuit Court of Appeals
    • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

    Education

    • J.D., 1979, Boston College
      • Editor and Staff, Uniform Commercial Code Reporter Digest, 1977-79
    • B.A., 1976, Holy Cross College: Economics
      • cum laude 
      • Phi Beta Kappa
      • Omicron Delta Epsilon
      • Member of the College Honors Program
      • Scholar Athlete Award 1976

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