Sheila S. Boston, a complex commercial litigator and member of Kaye Scholer LLP’s top-ranked Product Liability Group, is a trial lawyer and litigation strategist who defends clients from initiation of the case through trial and/or settlement. Sheila has received individual recognition from International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers in 2012 and 2013, and Who’s Who Legal in 2014-2016 for product liability defense. Because of her professional accomplishments and service, Sheila received the New York Law Journal’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement award and was recognized as a 2015 Council of Urban Professionals Catalyst Honoree-Change Agent in Law; she was also recognized by Savoy Magazine in 2015 as one of the nation’s Most Influential Black Lawyers and has been selected by The Network Journal as one of its “25 Influential Black Women in Business” honorees for 2016. Most recently New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Sheila to serve a three year term on New York’s First Department Judicial Screening Committee.
Sheila is valued by her clients for her advocacy skills, dependability, and collaborative spirit. She has successfully litigated before both state and federal courts, with significant MDL experience in mass tort actions, providing litigation avoidance counseling, and conducting audits to evaluate the potential product-related liabilities in proposed corporate acquisitions and reorganizations. She helps her clients by assessing litigation risks and defending lucrative products by weeding out frivolous individual personal injury lawsuits, defending against class actions and mass torts, and devising creative settlement solutions. Adept in “battle of the experts” litigation, Sheila has served as national coordinating counsel of experts, involving the retention, development and preparation of experts for depositions, Daubert/Frye hearings and trials. She has worked with experts in various fields of medicine and science such as toxicology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, oncology, urology, hepatology, endocrinology, cardiology, psychology, and psychiatry. Having worked closely with many defense attorneys outside of Kaye Scholer, Sheila is comfortable participating in “virtual” law firms and “plays well in the sandbox” as national, regional or local counsel.
A few notable highlights of Sheila’s litigation experience include:
- Co-trial counsel in Tolentino v. Bayer Corporation (a personal injury action in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas involving the drug Yasmin, a birth control pill; settled favorably)
- Co-trial counsel in Kristufek v. Takeda (a personal injury action in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas involving the drug Actos, a diabetes medication; plaintiff verdict with low damages/settled during appeal process)
- Co-trial counsel in Stinski v. State of Georgia (a pro bono post-conviction death penalty proceeding tried before a judge inside of a maximum security Georgia state prison; still pending)
- Secondment Participant in Trial Rotation Program, New York City Law Department, Tort Division (served as trial counsel for Bronx Tort Division for 9/3/13-1/10/14)
- Co-trial counsel in Mississippi and Alabama state cases and National Coordinator of Experts in the Rezulin (diabetes drug) Litigation (mass tort litigation including MDL in SDNY, class actions in U.S. and Canada, and state coordinated proceedings as well as individual actions)
- Co-trial counsel in McReynolds v. Sodexho, Inc. (a promotion discrimination class action brought on behalf of over 2,400 African-American mid-level manager plaintiffs; resolved favorably in $80 million settlement with injunctive relief)
Sheila has served in leadership roles for many different bar associations. She is currently the Vice President of the NYC Bar Association, Vice Chair of DRI’s Drug and Medical Device Seminar, and Treasurer of the Federal Bar Council Foundation. A passionate advocate for pro bono service and diversity and inclusion, Sheila is the Chair of the National Bar Association’s Minority Partners in Majority Firms Division, immediate past Co-Chair of the NYC Bar Association’s Enhance Diversity in the Profession Committee, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. Notably, Sheila received the prestigious and inaugural Chambers USA Diversity Award in 2016 for Outstanding Contribution to Furthering Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession, the NYC Bar Association’s Diversity Champion Award in May 2011, the Columbia Law School BLSA Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009, the “Forty Under 40” award given by The Network Journal in 2008, and the “Lawyer of the Year” award from the Metropolitan Black Bar Association in 2007 for her many contributions to the New York City legal community and the African-American community at large.
Sheila received her Bachelor of Arts at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs from Princeton University and her Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School.
In The Market
- Boston Receives Inaugural 2016 Chambers Diversity Award June 21, 2016 • Recognitions
- Boston Appointed a New York City Bar Vice President May 25, 2016 • Recognitions
- Boston Appointed to NY First Department Judicial Screening Committee May 18, 2016 • Recognitions