Bert Slonim concentrates on complex commercial litigation, particularly multi-district pharmaceutical product liability cases. He has represented manufacturers of prescription drugs (including female and male hormone replacement therapies, erectile dysfunction medications, diabetes drugs, antibiotics, and anti-psychotic medications); implanted medical devices, including artificial heart valves and implantable penile prostheses; and many other products.
Much of his practice focuses on developing and rebutting expert medical and scientific evidence, and litigating the admissibility of expert opinion testimony. Bert’s work has often resulted in court orders excluding plaintiffs’ causation experts.
In 2005, in the Rezulin (diabetes drug) multi-district litigation, Bert obtained an important precedential decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, limiting the use of “differential diagnosis” to establish causation and affirming summary judgment. He also obtained decisions by the District Court supervising the MDL excluding plaintiffs’ experts from testifying about causation unless they could point to certain specific information documented in medical records, resulting in dismissal of most of the cases in the litigation.
In 2009, in the Viagra multi-district litigation, Bert obtained a Daubert decision excluding the proposed testimony of plaintiffs' key epidemiologist expert witness on general causation, leading to summary judgment rulings that ended the MDL. Notably, following publication of this decision – which was highly critical of the epidemiologist expert’s article that formed the basis for his proposed opinion – the medical journal that had published his study publicly retracted it.
Most recently, in the multi-district Zoloft litigation alleging that maternal use of the antidepressant could result in congenital birth defects, Bert’s work led to important decisions excluding plaintiff’s expert witnesses on epidemiology and biological mechanism. In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation, June and August 2014.
Bert also has significant litigation experience in antitrust cases, including a Supreme Court case that established the antitrust boundaries of trade association standard-making activities. His other litigation experience includes patent cases, managed care disputes (antitrust and contract), third-party payor claims, unfair competition, commercial contracts and false advertising.
Bert is strongly committed to the ideal of equal justice. In 2013 and 2014, he was honored with the Pro Bono Publico Award for outstanding service to The Legal Aid Society and its clients.
Prior to joining Kaye Scholer, Bert was a trial attorney with the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition where he worked on merger, monopolization and price-fixing litigations. Prior to the FTC, Bert was a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School where he taught legal research and writing to first-year law students and supervised a moot court program.
Bert has certificates in computer programming, statistics, and epidemiology from Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University.
In the Market
- Excluding Expert Opinion Impugning Corporate Ethics, Motive and State of Mind January 27, 2016
Deconstructing Plaintiffs’ Peer-Reviewed
Scientific Literature January 27, 2016
- Excluding or Limiting FDA Regulatory Expert Opinion January 27, 2016