Toxic Tort Litigation & Consultation
Jack Laffey is a shareholder in the Milwaukee office of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. where his practice is focused on product liability, toxic tort, transportation and catastrophic loss defense of corporations and their insurers. He is AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer in 2005 and 2009-2012. His Toxic Tort experience goes back over two decades, and his Asbestos practice has mushroomed since 2006. In that span he has represented upwards of a dozen clients in different spheres of the Asbestos litigation from thermal insulation supply to valve manufacturers to friction products to heavy machine manufacturers. He is regional/oversight counsel for one client and National Coordinating Counsel for an industrial friction product fabricator. He also was lead Wisconsin counsel for multiple defendants in hundreds of cases in the Asbestos MDL based in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He has National Coordinating Counsel experience on behalf of a national Trucking Company, with direct responsibility for all catastrophic losses Nationwide.
In addition, Mr. Laffey represented numerous clients in more than 25 states as either lead counsel of record (including trial and appellate counsel) and as Catastrophic Oversight counsel responsible for litigation and resolution strategy. Since 2006 he has taken 2 Asbestos cases to trial for Full Defense Outcomes and has yet to have to call a witness at those trials, or put on a defense case.
- The Ohio State University College of Law, J.D., 1985; Wagner National Labor Law Moot Court
- San Jose State University, B.S., Political Science, with distinction, 1982; Dean’s Scholar
- Wisconsin, 1985
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1985
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1986
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2013
- MDL 875 (Asbestos), Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2008
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2012
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2006
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2007
Awards & Distinctions
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2014-2015)
- Selected by the Wisconsin Law Journal as a 2011 Leader in the Law
- Named to the Wisconsin Super Lawyers list (2005, 2009-2014)
- Asbestos litigation, representing a variety of companies including insulation distributors, friction material manufacturers, gasket manufacturers and valve manufacturers.
- Silica litigation arising out of the defense of respiratory protection manufacturers.
- Lead paint litigation arising out of premises litigation.
- Defense Research Institute (DRI) - Law Institute, Current Programs Vice Chair; Law Institute, Member (2006-present); Trucking Law Committee, Chair (2002-2004); Product Liability Committee; Professional Liability Committee; Toxic Torts Committee
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (2008-present)
- International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
- Transportation Lawyers Association
- Trucking Industry Defense Association
- American Bar Association, Tort and Insurance Practice, Litigation, and Transportation Law sections
- State Bar of Wisconsin, Litigation Section
- Milwaukee Bar Association
Articles and Presentations
- Litigation Strategy and Public Relations Impacts: Which Takes Precedence?"; The Lawyer's View: Or, A Case for Emergency Response, Evidence Preservation/Analysis and Collaboration with Corporate., panelist, ATA Litigation Center's Forum for the Motor Carrier General Counsel, July 22, 2015
- "Junk Scientists Need Not Apply" - Can Daubert Really be Used in State Court, Including Wisconsin?, co-presenter, WHD Products Liability Seminar: Avoiding Suit and Winning Before Trial, March 26, 2015
- Croc-Proofing: Preparing and Defending Your Case in the Reptile Age, co-presenter with Allan Campo, DRI Products Liability Conference, February 5, 2015
- Make Love Not War: Effective Use of ADR, presenter, ATA Litigation Center's 2012 Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, July 22-25, 2012.
- State of Toxic Torts in Wisconsin 2011: Where Are We and Where Does Tort Reform Take Us?, co-presenter, Wisconsin Defense Counsel 2011 Summer Conference, August 2011.
- Stompin' Snakes: An Open Forum for Hot Topics and Conundrums, co-presenter, ALFA International 2011 Transportation Practice Group Seminar "Asleep at the Wheel: A Wake Up Call," May 2011.
- Jury Selection Issues in the Age of Twitter, co-presenter, DRI Product Liability Conference Crisis Prevention & Management: Product Liability at the Speed of Light, April 2011.
- Jeopardy: Insurance Coverage Considerations, co-presenter, ATA Litigation Center's Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsels Featuring a One-Day Symposium on Highway Accident Litigation, July 2009.
- A View From the Center: "Winning" the Catastrophic Loss by Reconciling the Different Members of the "Team", 2009 ALFA International Transportation Practice Group Seminar, May 8, 2009.
- What to Look for in Jury Research, Defense Research Institute Trucking Law Seminar, Phoenix, Arizona, April 17, 2008.
- Emergency Response - Coordinating the Response and Being Ready When the Phone Rings at 3 a.m., Defense Research Institute 2007 Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., October 12, 2007.
- We Can Work It Out : Mock Mediation of a Highway Accident Case, American Trucking Association General Counsel Forum, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 8, 2006.
- Technology in Transportation Industry: A Double-Edged Sword, Transportation Lawyers Association, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, May 20, 2006.
- Under the Gun in Wisconsin, co-authored with Molly J. Zillig, published in For the Defense, February, 2006.
- Wisconsin, co-authored with Emily J. Olson, published in Spoliation of Evidence: A Compendium of State and Federal Law, 2006.
- Focus Group Testing of Damages: Why Do It, What Are You Really Testing and How to Get it Done, American Bar Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 18, 2003.
- Relationship Between and Expectations of Primary Insurer, Excess Insurer, Reinsurer . . . and, Oh Yeah, The Insured, Trucking Industry Defense Association, Kansas City, Missouri, October 24, 2002.
- Catastrophic Injury Cases: Have No Fear, Network of Trial Law Firms, Palm Beach, Florida, October 26, 2001.
- Conducting An Effective Cross-Examination in Wisconsin, Lorman Education Services, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 22, 2000.
- Credit Card Discovery, published in Declarations, Summer, 1998.
- Evidence in Trial Practice in Wisconsin, National Business Institute, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 30, 1997.
- Evidence in Trial Practice in Wisconsin, National Business Institute, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, August 23, 1994, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 24, 1994.
- Products Liability and the Workplace: Cooperation, Modification and Peeking Through the Corporate Veil, Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, July 9, 1994.
- Premises Liability: Preparation and Trial of a Difficult Case in Wisconsin, National Business Institute, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 27, 1993.