Two-time California Lawyer of the Year winner also named one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers by Daily Journal; Won major plaintiff and defense victories in product liability and class actions
San Francisco (June 4, 2014) – In a noteworthy addition to its national team of first-chair trial lawyers – and to its growing San Francisco office – Venable LLP announced that Jessica L. Grant, a prominent litigator who has won some of the biggest product liability decisions in recent years, has joined as a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office.
Ms. Grant joins the firm from Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, where she was a partner.
Ms. Grant represents both plaintiffs and defendants in product liability, class actions and other commercial litigation matters. Her clients have included leading technology, telecom, pharmaceutical and automotive companies in ultra-high stakes cases.
Ms. Grant has twice received the prestigious California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award. That includes honors this year for triumphing in a case characterized as “the largest and most complex trial in New Hampshire history,” in which Ms. Grant represented the State of New Hampshire against major oil companies in a statewide groundwater contamination case. After securing $130 million in settlements, she was lead attorney in a three-month trial in which the jury unanimously awarded $816 million to the state after deliberating for just 90 minutes.
The verdict was the fourth largest award in the United States in 2013. In hailing the verdict, New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster called Ms. Grant “extraordinary.”
Ms. Grant received her first CLAY Award in 2007 for her work as lead trial lawyer in which she obtained a $172 million jury verdict against a leading big-box retailer on behalf of over 116,000 class members after a four-month trial. The National Law Journal ranked the verdict as the 10th largest in 2005, and the largest verdict in an employment law case during that year. Following a subsequent bench trial, Ms. Grant obtained a permanent injunction against the retailer requiring it to implement policies to secure future compliance with California law.
Among her other notable victories, Ms. Grant successfully defended one of the world’s largest semiconductor chip makers and other defendants in a four-week jury trial in federal court. The plaintiff alleged fraud, unjust enrichment, breach of contract and related patent claims and sought over $450 million, exclusive of punitive damages. After the jury deadlocked on liability, the court dismissed all state law claims based on plaintiff’s failure to provide sufficient evidence at trial to support his claims.
She also has substantial antitrust litigation experience, having represented direct purchaser plaintiffs in the largest antitrust class action ever certified as a class action - involving the sale of flat screen LCD televisions.
At Venable, Ms. Grant joins one of the most distinguished product liability groups in the country. The firm was recently shortlisted for the coveted Chambers USA Award for Excellence in Product Liability. Venable is well known for its defense of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The group is currently involved in some 6,000 product liability cases nationwide and serves as lead counsel for pharmaceutical and device manufacturers in federal multidistrict litigation and state court coordinated proceedings in Arkansas, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.
“It is rare to find a litigator with the success Jessica has enjoyed with multiple celebrated victories on both the plaintiffs and defense side of the ledger,” said Geoff R. Garinther, who chairs Venable’s Litigation Group. “She is a formidable addition to our product liability group and it’s certain she will become a valuable contributor to many national litigation matters and trials the firm is handling.”
Ms. Grant has received numerous honors for her courtroom success, including being named one of “California’s Top 100 Lawyers” by the Daily Journal for 2013. The DJ also selected her as one of the “Top Women Litigators” in the state, while Bay Area Lawyer counted her among the “Best Lawyers in the Bay Area”, in addition to being a Northern California Super Lawyer.
“Jessica is one of the top trial lawyers in Northern California and has shown great leadership in running major cases. It is telling how much recognition she’s received at what is still a relatively early stage in her career,” said James E. Nelson, partner-in-charge of Venable’s San Francisco office. “Jessica, who has strong Bay Area roots, makes a huge statement in our goal of expanding Venable’s presence in the Northern California marketplace.”
Ms. Grant commented: “It’s great to be joining a national litigation powerhouse in Venable, which has particularly strong platforms in product liability and class action work, where I concentrate much of my practice. I’m looking forward to working alongside the firm’s top-rank trial bench and also helping grow the San Francisco office.”
Ms. Grant received her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1995 and her B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990.
Note: Venable is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm serving clients globally. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs around the globe.