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Press Release

February 3, 2020

King & Spalding Hires Four-Partner Pharma & Healthcare Tort Trial Team in New York


NEW YORK, February 3, 2020 – King & Spalding announced that a four-partner pharma and healthcare mass tort team of Morton Dubin, John Ewald, Kristen Fournier and Kathy O’Connor is joining the firm’s Trial and Global Disputes practice group in New York. They were previously partners at Orrick.

“These four partners are exceptional trial lawyers and litigators, and we are pleased they have chosen K&S as the right place for this phase of their careers,” said Robert D. Hays, Jr., chairman of King & Spalding. “They have outstanding experience in mass tort litigation, including first-chair credentials.”

The team represents healthcare companies on sophisticated product liability lawsuits across the pharma, medical devices, healthcare and life sciences sectors. The team has secured high-profile verdicts for clients, including defending claims involving asbestos, contamination, vaccines and pharmaceuticals as well as IP, accounting and employment matters.

“Our practice is a natural fit for King & Spalding’s product liability and mass tort platform,” Dubin said. “The firm has one of the best mass tort practices in the U.S. with a long and distinguished history of providing cutting-edge trial representation to some of the biggest names in pharma and healthcare, so we anticipate hitting the ground running and creating some exciting opportunities.”

“Morty, Kristen, John and Kathy have been friends and colleagues in the defense of mutual clients for many years,” said Andy Bayman, leader of the firm's Trial and Global Disputes practice group. “They add to our nationally recognized mass tort practice and to our already deep trial bench.” Ed Kehoe, office managing partner in New York, added, “The team provides us with a greater ability to defend clients on their most important mass tort cases, both in New York and nationally. We are thrilled to have them join our office.”

Morton Dubin
Dubin is a first-chair trial lawyer who was recently inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was the leader of the team serving as lead national asbestos trial counsel to a leading American chemical company and other similar companies in many of the nation’s most plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions. Dubin won a defense verdict in the first mesothelioma case for a multi-national healthcare company relating to its talc product, receiving recognition as one of the Top Defense Verdicts in 2017 by the Daily Journal. In addition to his product liability work, Dubin has also tried cases involving accountant liability and securities matters. Dubin graduated from Columbia University and from the University of Michigan Law School. He clerked with the Honorable Sidney Fitzwater from 1996-1997 and is ranked in Chambers USA.

John Ewald
Ewald is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who focuses on product liability and toxic tort cases.  Ewald serves as trial counsel in lawsuits for a multi-national healthcare company related to their talc products. In October 2019, he secured a complete defense verdict for the company in Los Angeles after a five-week trial. He was also trial counsel in November 2018 for the company in a successful trial in South Carolina state court that Law360 recognized as one of the “Top Product Liability Cases of 2018.” Additionally, Ewald has been responsible for developing and coordinating the company's national scientific and medical defense.  Ewald also has significant experience successfully defending companies in toxic tort class action litigation.  He has been recognized in Legal 500 US.  Ewald graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and from The University of Texas School of Law.

Kristen Fournier
Fournier is an experienced trial lawyer handling mass tort and product liability cases. She also is recognized for her ability to develop, coordinate, and manage the implementation of strategy in the defense of mass tort cases. She serves in a national coordinating role for a multi-national healthcare company for its talc defense and for an American chemical company for its asbestos defense. Fournier also serves as trial counsel for the American chemical company in some of the most dangerous jurisdictions for asbestos cases, including New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. She is responsible for assisting the company in negotiating multi-plaintiff settlements, and in coordinating its strategy with local counsel in jurisdictions throughout the country. Fournier who is Chambers ranked obtained her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia.

Kathy O’Connor
O’Connor’s practice focuses on the defense of branded pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, advising her clients on litigation and compliance strategy in complex matters that involve concurrent civil and government action. Clients routinely call upon O’Connor to assist them with the management and mitigation of risk associated with their products. She brings a unique perspective, having previously served as an in-house lawyer at Merck. She is regularly recognized as a leading practitioner by lawyer ranking entities such as Euromoney Expert Guides' Women in Business Law and The Legal 500, which singled out her product liability and mass torts defense work. O’Connor graduated from Florida State University with her undergraduate degree and received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.

About King & Spalding
Celebrating more than 130 years of service, King & Spalding is an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with over 1,100 lawyers in 21 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm has handled matters in over 160 countries on six continents and is consistently recognized for the results it obtains, uncompromising commitment to quality, and dedication to understanding the business and culture of its clients. More information is available at www.kslaw.com.

Media Contact:
Luis Mocete
+ 1 (212) 827 4008
lmocete@kslaw.com