Lori B. Leskin, Partner and Co-Head of the Product Liability Group, is valued by her clients for her ability to successfully assess, strategize and implement unique solutions to their unique problems. Lori’s leadership is evidenced by her appointment as Co-Head of the Products Liability Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation and her inclusion in The Legal 500 US 2013 for Litigation - Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Lori is also recognized by US News & World Report Best Lawyers 2013, which ranks Kaye Scholer as a National Tier 1 firm for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants. Additionally, she was shortlisted for the 2013 Euromoney LMG Americas Women in Business Law Awards for the “Best in Litigation” category. She was also recognized as a leader in New York Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions by The Best Lawyers in America 2013. In 2012 she was named “Life Science Star” in the inaugural issue of Euromoney’s LMG Life Sciences Guide and placed among the The International Who’s Who of Life Sciences Lawyers 2010-2012, which recognized Kaye Scholer as “one of the most well regarded firms” for Life Sciences. Her Products Liability practice group was named Product Liability Firm of the Year at the 2008 Chambers and Partners “USA Awards for Excellence” ceremony and “Best Product Liability Practice” in January 2006 by The American Lawyer. In 2012 her group was also ranked as a top tier practice by Chambers USA, and was referenced as “[A]bsolute experts and incredible strategic thinkers. They have the ability to understand their client and what we are most concerned about, and getting to the objective in the most cost-effective and efficient manner while ensuring you get the results you want.”
Lori handles all aspects of litigation strategy for complex nationwide and multidistrict litigations involving a variety of products, including currently, the representation of Pfizer Inc as national counsel in its Hormone Therapy and Viagra® product liability litigations. She also serves as lead defense counsel in In re: Viagra Products Liability Litigation (MDL-1724), involving allegations that Viagra® can cause vision loss, for which she developed the strategy and successfully argued a series of Daubert challenges to plaintiffs’ general causation experts, effectively ending the litigation. Moreover, she successfully led the Kaye Scholer team in obtaining summary judgment for several earlier cases throughout the country that alleged Viagra® causes heart attacks and other cardiac injuries, and has represented Pfizer in several other products liability, commercial and antitrust litigations.
In addition to her representation of Pfizer, she previously served as national counsel for Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. in the phenylpropanolamine (“PPA”) product liability cases, and served as principal defense liaison with the Plaintiff’s Discovery Committee in the MDL proceedings in those cases.
Publications & Presentations
Viewed as a leader in her field, Lori regularly authors, organizes, speaks and is referenced on a wide range of product liability litigation topics through numerous mediums.
In addition to her work in products liability, Lori has represented death row inmates in challenges to convictions and sentences including, most recently, the commuted death sentence of Virginia inmate Percy Levar Walton, to life in prison without parole on the grounds that he was mentally incompetent to understand his situation. For her work with death row inmates, Lori was one of four Kaye Scholer recipients of the 2008 Thurgood Marshall Award for Capital Representation from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Committee on Capital Punishment.
Lori is the proud mother of two girls and coach of their soccer teams for the past eight years.