Manufacturers across the country draw on Jeannine’s ample litigation experience to successfully defend them against product liability claims and handle a wide range of commercial litigation.

Overview

From gas valves to alarm system components to pharmaceuticals, some of the products Jeannine has successfully defended have been recalled and/or were the subject of Consumer Product Safety Commission investigations. She helps clients respond to single catastrophic incidents as well as national class actions and multidistrict litigation. Jeannine has also resolved business disputes involving information processing, patent licensing, distributor termination, asset accounting, securities, antitrust, breakpoint discounts, brand-name prescription drug pricing and hostile takeovers.

Experience

Jeannine has tried and won cases in New Jersey, Alabama, North Carolina, Michigan, Iowa, Kentucky and Minnesota and has played a key role in more than a dozen significant appellate decisions since 1989.

She has established key defenses for her clients under the Iowa Improvement to Real Property Statute (Henningson v. E. Iowa Propane, Krull v. Thermogas Co.) and the Indiana Products Liability Statute (Avery v. Mapco Gas Products Co.).

Following a three-week trial, she obtained a defense verdict in a case arising from a deadly explosion (Pezzano v. Honeywell International Inc., State Court, New Jersey).

In a significant property damage case, she ensured her client was awarded defense costs after a mistrial prompted by a change in expert testimony (Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Honeywell, U.S. District Court, Kentucky).

Jeannine helped her client defeat class certification in a case alleging negligence in a state-wide Smart meter replacement program. (Cortes v. Honeywell Building Solutions SES Corporation, et al. No. 14-20429-CIV (S.D. Fla. Sept. 24, 2014))

She successfully argued lack of proximate cause to win dismissal on the pleadings and affirmance on appeal in an action alleging that failure of an alarm system led to a later murder. (Heeter v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 16-3229 (3d Cir., July 24, 2017))

Jeannine used summary judgment to enforce indemnity and insurance provisions of a construction subcontract agreement and obtain defense reimbursement for her client.  (Honeywell International Inc. v. Lutz Roofing Co., No. 09-877 (6th Cir., Aug. 8, 2011))

She obtained dismissal under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of a case alleging failure to provide breakpoint pricing discounts for mutual fund transactions. (Jaspers v. PrimeVest Financial Services, Inc., et al., Civ. No. 10-853 (D.Minn., Aug. 30, 2010))

She won a defense verdict in a tragic eight-person wrongful death suit alleging defects in a smoke detector. (Ruff v. Honeywell Inc., State Court, Minnesota)

She obtained a defense verdict on a wrongful distributor termination claim and was awarded nearly $1 million on her client's asset accounting counterclaim.  (McKenzie v. Union Carbide Corp., State Court, Minnesota)

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

"Expert Testimony Around the World: Don't Roll the Dice with the Wrong Expert!" 2017 DRI Product Liability Conference, February 2017 

"Obamacare on the Offense: Using the Affordable Care Act to Defeat Future Damages," DRI Product Liability Seminar, New Orleans, LA, February 2016

“Managing Risk by Coordinating Pattern Litigation in the U.S. and Canada,” SLG Breakout Session, DRI Product Liability Seminar, Las Vegas, NV, February 2015

“Initial Contact with the Court,” Minnesota CLE Federal Deskbook Seminar, February 2014

Publications

Comment, “Establishing an Objective Intent Standard for the Labor Antitrust Exemption,” Minnesota Law Review, 1980

Co-author, with Katherine Moerke, “Initial Contact with the Court: Creation and Modification of a Scheduling Order and a Protective Order,” Chapter 8, Minnesota CLE Federal Deskbook, 2014 

Recognitions

Recognitions

Honored as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America

Selected as a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

Selected among The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, and Litigation – Insurance 

Selected annually for inclusion in Super Lawyers® since 2003

Named among the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in Minnesota

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, Board Member, 2016-present

The Infinity Project

  • Executive Committee, 2016-present
  • President, 2015
  • President-Elect, 2014
  • Secretary Treasurer, 2013
  • Board Member, 2012

U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

  • Federal Practice Committee, Chair, 2008-2012; Member, 2006-2008
  • Merit Selection Panel for the selection of a new Magistrate Judge, 2014
  • Merit Selection Panel for the Reappointment of U.S. Magistrate Judges Franklin L. Noel and Jeanne J. Graham, 2013
  • ECF Sealed Committee

Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter

  • Member, Long Range Planning Committee, 2016-17
  • Co-VP, Special Events, 2015-2016
  • Co-Chair, Grant Committee, 2013-2015
  • Co-VP, Special Events, 2012-2013
  • Co-VP, Membership, 2011-2012
  • Secretary, 2010-2011
  • MSBA Liaison, 2009-2010
  • Board Member, 2007-2009

University of Minnesota Law School Board of Advisors, Chair, 2013-2014

  • Governance and Nominating Committee Co-Chair, 2015-2017
  • Academic Engagement Committee Chair, 2010-2013
  • Member, 2008-2010, 2014-2015

Fire Science & Litigation Specialized Litigation Group, Product Liability Committee, DRI, Chair, 2011-2013

American Bar Association

Minnesota Bar Association

Hennepin Bar Association

Minnesota Women Lawyers

Propane Gas Defense Association

Hispanic National Bar Association

Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit 

Education

University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1981

  • Order of the Coif
  • Minnesota Law Review, Note and Comment Editor, 1980-81

St. Olaf College, B.A. magna cum laude, 1978

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Departmental distinction in economics
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