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January 2019

Gordon & Rees Further Expands with Addition of Preeminent Toxic Tort Group

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani welcomes the addition of 20 attorneys who will join the Environmental/Toxic Tort practice group in its Dallas, Los Angeles and St. Louis offices. The group includes 10 partners and 10 associates, all of whom previously practiced with Hawkins Parnell & Young, LLP.

“We could not be more pleased to welcome attorneys of this stature to Gordon & Rees,” commented Dion Cominos, Firmwide Managing Partner. “Their technical savvy and geographic breadth perfectly complements the firm’s national platform which continues expanding to best position us to serve our clients’ needs throughout the country.”

Edward Slaughter, Jason Irvin, Beverly Bond, Clyde "Chip" Adams, Andrea Cook, Paul "Saxon" Guerriere and H. Barret Marshall, Jr. will join the Dallas office. Gregory DeBeer and Katie Doll Putnam will join the St. Louis office. Kathleen Benton will join the Los Angeles office. These partners have been ranked among the nation’s leading litigators in toxic tort and environmental litigation, and have been leaders in asbestos litigation for numerous decades. They specialize in asbestos, silica, and chemical litigation and have tried cases involving employers, contractors, chrysotile products, and amphibole products. In addition, they have experience with class actions related to mass tort litigation.

Edward M. Slaughter has been a trial lawyer for more than 20 years. He has represented corporations and individuals in high risk litigation including business litigation, product liability, toxic exposure cases and employer practices liability claims. Slaughter has represented defendants as national trial counsel and national coordinating counsel including employers, school systems, design engineering and construction firms and manufacturers of dozens of different products. He has served as lead counsel in trials across the country, including the landmark mesothelioma defense victory in O'Neil v. Crane et al., which established product manufacturers could not be held liable for injuries caused by replacement parts or materials used in association with their products. Slaughter is admitted to practice in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia. 

Jason J. Irvin is a first chair trial attorney, having tried high risk cases in eight states. Irvin has won defense verdicts in products liability, premises liability and commercial cases. He advises Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses in risk management and develops aggressive litigation strategies designed to protect their commercial interests and prevent lawsuit abuse. Irvin has extensive experience handling complex scientific, medical, and technical cases. He won two defense verdicts in 2017. Irvin obtained a complete defense verdict in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico on behalf of an industrial electrical services provider in a case involving millions in damages for the complete loss of commercial property due to a lightning caused fire. Later that year he secured a defense verdict for an HVAC and plumbing supply house after three-weeks of trial in an asbestos-related mesothelioma case tried in Pennsylvania’s coal mining region. In addition to his work on behalf of companies, Irvin has tried pro bono cases, such as obtaining a $100,000 verdict in favor of an indigent client in a breach of contract and fraud case. He is admitted to practice in California, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. 

Beverly M. Bond represents clients in a variety of complex litigation on both a local and national level. Bond has served as national counsel to several global corporations, and has managed case strategy, expert development and trials nationwide. She has significant trial experience and has successfully defended clients in federal and state courts across the country. She is admitted to practice in Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. 

Clyde "Chip" Adams has extensive litigation experience in matters involving products liability, transportation law, toxic torts, construction and industrial bodily injury matters and general liability. Adams has served as statewide counsel for several multinational corporations in products liability actions and in trucking incidents representing clients in claims involving bodily injury and death, and has represented clients in trial throughout Texas and in various jurisdictions throughout the country. Outside of the courtroom, Adams spends a considerable amount of time in both professional and bar-related activities through the DRI, and he has held numerous positions on DRI’s steering committees. He is admitted to practice in Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas. 

Kathleen M. Benton has experience in all phases of complex civil litigation. She specializes in product liability and toxic tort matters and has defended national clients, including premises owners, manufacturers, and retailers of construction, automotive, consumer and industrial products. Benton effectively manages caseloads for national clients, while always ensuring clients remain informed of the progression of each case, defense strategies, and tactics for identifying opportunities to obtain early dismissals. She prides herself on her effective communication skills with clients, in the courtroom, and in the form of written motions and briefs. Benton is actively involved in all phases of complex civil litigation including, depositions of plaintiffs, fact witnesses, and expert witnesses, defending clients’ corporate representatives at depositions, written discovery, summary judgment and adjudication motions, forum non conveniens motions and motions to transfer venue, motions in limine, trial briefs, and trial preparation. Benton also frequently appears in court to argue discovery motions, summary judgment and adjudication motions, and motions in limine. She is admitted to practice in California.

Andrea E. Cook focuses on defending product liability and toxic tort litigation. She has significant experience representing property owners, developers, and management companies against premises liability claims, as well as defending litigation involving trucking, construction defect, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injuries. Prior to joining the firm, Cook litigated first-party property insurance and third-party casualty matters in state and federal courts in both Texas and Illinois. Before relocating to Texas, Cook served as a municipal attorney for the City of Chicago and defended Chicago police officers in federal police misconduct cases. During her tenure with the City of Chicago, Cook successfully tried numerous cases to verdict in federal and state courts. She also served as an arbitrator for minor tort claims for more than two years. Cook also has extensive experience litigating quasi-criminal cases which involved municipal code violations, evictions and criminal abatements in front of administrative bodies and in housing court. After graduating law school, Cook practiced appellate law while serving as an Assistant Cook County States’ Attorney in Chicago, Illinois. She is admitted to practice in Illinois and Texas.

Gregory D. DeBeer focuses his practice on general negligence, toxic tort and environmental litigation and product liability, but he also has experience in bankruptcy, contract and real estate law. He has represented clients in all aspects of standard and complex litigation through trial. DeBeer is admitted to practice in Illinois and Missouri.

Paul "Saxon" Guerriere is an experienced member of trial teams in complex multi-district civil litigation. Guerriere handles multiple cases for several clients in state, federal, and MDL courts across the country and is responsible for all aspects of litigation from inception through dismissal, settlement, or trial. Guerriere has participated in all phases of litigation including written discovery, forum non conveniens motions, depositions (including trial cross examination of plaintiffs, witnesses and plaintiff experts), summary judgment and adjudication motions, motions in limine, motions to strike, trial preparation and court appearances. He has also been involved with in-trial support and preparation. Guerriere is admitted to practice in Missouri, New Mexico, New York and Texas.

H. Barret Marshall, Jr. is experienced in defending product manufacturers, premises owners and employers through responding to new claims, fact and expert discovery, trial and appeal. He has managed national litigation for large corporate clients, including coordination of national discovery and trial strategies, development of corporate and expert witnesses, training of local counsel in jurisdictions across the country and reporting to in-house counsel and insurance carriers. Marshall, Jr. has served as briefing attorney and trial counsel in a number of state and federal jurisdictions. He has authored numerous unique dispositive and Daubert/Frye motions that have resulted in summary judgment for his clients. His appellate experience includes interlocutory appeals in California and Arkansas that have resulted in the reversal of trial court orders and the dismissal of claims against his clients. Marshall, Jr. is admitted to practice in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. 

Katie Doll Putnam focuses her practice on defending clients in both state and federal courts in matters related to toxic tort and environmental litigation, product liability, transportation and general negligence. Prior to joining the firm, she would regularly defend clients in litigation involving personal injury, automobile liability, construction, employment discrimination and contract law. Putnam has managed all aspects of litigation, including drafting of pleadings, discovery and taking depositions. She is admitted to practice in Illinois and Missouri.

Of the 10 associates joining Gordon & Rees, Andrew Albert, Dixon Cheung, Jadyn Cleveland, Mark Crapo, Quincy Jones, Alexa Mizer, Monica Niewiarowski, Nathan Pearman and Kristina Pierre-Louis will join the Dallas office. Christopher Enger will join the St. Louis office. 

Gordon & Rees is a national litigation and business transactions firm with more than 850 lawyers in offices across the United States. Our lawyers provide full service representation to public and private companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to start-ups. Founded in 1974, Gordon & Rees is recognized among the fastest growing and largest law firms in the country. Additionally, in 2018 Law360 ranked the firm among the top 40 largest U.S. firms and The American Lawyer ranked the firm among the top 45 on its Diversity Scorecard.

Chip Adams
Kathleen M. Benton
Beverly M. Bond
Christopher C. Enger
P. Saxon Guerriere
Jason J. Irvin
Quincy Ann Marie Jones
Hollingsworth Barret Marshall
Edward M. Slaughter