Venable Expands Its Product Liability and Mass Torts Group with the Addition of Three Attorneys

3 min

Venable is pleased to announce that it has expanded its Product Liability and Mass Torts Group with the addition of three new partners. Derek Smith and Jeremy Goldkind will sit in the firm’s Chicago office, and Joo Cha Webb’s practice will be based in Los Angeles. The trio joins Venable from the Steptoe law firm.

“Derek, Jeremy, and Joo are well-respected attorneys and acclaimed thought leaders in the product liability space,” said Ed Boyle, a co-chair of Venable’s Litigation Division. “They have a deep understanding of clients’ needs and a track record of delivering impressive results.”

Mr. Smith represents chemical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and specialty-material companies in complex and mass tort litigation, with a focus on product liability, toxic tort, and commercial matters. He provides counsel on environmental, health, and safety matters, and defends clients against personal injury, property damage, and other environmental-related claims brought by individual, mass, and class plaintiffs, and local and state government entities. “It is a pleasure to join the impressive team at Venable,” Mr. Smith commented. “I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with my close colleagues, Jeremy and Joo, and being a part of Venable’s growth in Chicago.”

An experienced litigator, Mr. Goldkind represents national and international clients in commercial disputes and product liability/mass tort matters. He litigates cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States, focusing on a variety of legal issues, including toxic tort claims in the areas of carbon-based products and wood treating exposures, and environmental contamination claims. He also regularly litigates complex contractual, quasi-contractual, and trade secret misappropriation disputes in industries such as consumer products, real estate, healthcare, advertising, marketing, and technology.

Ms. Webb is a complex civil litigator who focuses her practice on defending and advising companies in matters involving environmental and toxic tort claims, product liability law, and compliance issues. She represents energy and oil companies, as well as those that manufacture, distribute, and use a variety of chemicals. Ms. Webb has extensive experience defending companies of all sizes against claims related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), benzene, organic solvents, silica, aluminum, lead, formaldehyde, and other substances.

“Our newest laterals are highly skilled litigators with a wealth of experience both inside and outside the courtroom” said Kathleen Hardway, a co-chair of Venable’s Product Liability and Mass Torts Group. “Their thriving practices will complement the Venable team in advising clients facing toxic tort and other product liability lawsuits.”

Mr. Smith received his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and his B.B.A. from the University of Toledo. Mr. Goldkind earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa College and his B.A. in advertising and communications from the University of Illinois. Ms. Webb received her J.D. from Boston College Law School and her B.A. in political science from the University of California Los Angeles.