Jesse D. Rodgers

Partner

Jesse D. Rodgers is a partner in the Denver and New York offices of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation, Products Liability, and General Liability Practices. As a litigation partner in asbestos, transportation/auto liability, and general liability matters, Jesse efficiently and effectively prepares an entire defense strategy from inception through trial. His litigation work includes taking and defending depositions, and preparing and arguing motions for summary judgment, discovery motions, and motions in limine. He regularly practices in the state and federal courts of Colorado, New York, and New Jersey, and he has also successfully defended several appeals in the Colorado Court of Appeals. 

Jesse’s experience with asbestos litigation includes co-chairing a trial in the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) on behalf of a national electrical distributor in a highly-contested mesothelioma matter. He also has significant experience coordinating medical, environmental, and industrial hygiene experts in the defense of asbestos cases. While his main focus since joining our firm in 2013 has been on asbestos and toxic tort matters, Jesse also regularly handles litigation concerning general liability, products liability, professional malpractice, and premises liability claims. He has also obtained summary judgment and successfully moved to dismiss claims on behalf of clients in several high-exposure Colorado transportation/auto liability cases, including wrongful death matters.

After graduating law school, Jesse served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable N. Peter Conforti, J.S.C., of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Sussex County. Prior to joining Lewis Brisbois, Jesse practiced at a New Jersey-based regional law firm where he focused his practice in general liability and toxic tort matters.

Legal Experience

  • In October 2021, briefed and won a motion to dismiss and to compel arbitration in the Denver County District Court on behalf of an international rideshare company in a personal injury case.  Plaintiff, a passenger and user of the rideshare company’s services, had agreed to a mandatory arbitration clause yet still filed suit against our client despite the agreed-to arbitration clause within the rideshare company’s Terms of Service. In a 13-page decision, the District Court found that (a) a binding contract was formed between the plaintiff and the rideshare company in the form of the electronic Terms of Service; (b) all of the plaintiff’s claims against our client fell within the Terms of Service since it is broadly worded and his claims arose out of his utilizing the rideshare company’s services at the time of the accident; (c) our client did not waive its rights to arbitrate; and (d) all of the plaintiff’s claims against our client are severable so he may proceed with a jury trial against the rideshare driver if he were to pursue arbitration against the rideshare company. Ultimately, the court dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims against the rideshare company.
  • In April 2021, briefed and won an appeal in the Denver County District Court on behalf of a national transportation company in a property damage case in which a bus collided with a plaintiff’s vehicle causing property damage.  At a bench trial in Denver County Court, the Court had found in favor of our client and ruled that the plaintiff was 99% at fault for opening his car door into the path of the moving bus.  Plaintiff then appealed to the Denver County District Court.  In a 7-page decision, the District Court ruled that the County Court’s evidentiary rulings and judgment were appropriate, and declined to overturn the defense verdict.
  • In December 2020, briefed and won summary judgment in Boulder County District Court on behalf of a national bus company in a catastrophic injury case in which a bus collided with plaintiff, a pedestrian.  The Court granted summary judgment in favor of our client, dismissing all claims related to negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention of the bus driver, and also dismissed our client from the case entirely.  In January 2021, the same Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration. 
  • In August 2019, won summary judgment in Denver County District Court on behalf of a national RV dealership franchise in a catastrophic wrongful death injury case in which plaintiffs alleged our client was an alter ego and/or joint venture with other co-defendants. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of our client, dismissing all of plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice.
  • In August 2019, briefed and won an appeal in the Colorado Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s granting of summary judgment on behalf of three attorneys and three law firms in a legal malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duties and breach of contract.
  • In July 2018, won summary judgment in Denver County District Court on behalf of three individual attorneys and three law firms in a legal malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duties and breach of contract.  Jesse helped obtain an award for costs and fees for these clients as well. 
  • In November 2017, argued and won partial motion to dismiss in a Bergen County, New Jersey products liability case involving a lithium ion e-cigarette battery.
  • In September 2016, co-chaired a trial in the NYC Asbestos Litigation on behalf of a Fortune 500 electrical distribution company, assisting lead trial counsel and national counsel.
  • In July 2014, argued and won summary judgment in a Middlesex County, New Jersey asbestos case.
  • In 2013, obtained defense verdict at a criminal bench trial on behalf of indigent defendant in Mount Olive Township, New Jersey on charges of assault and trespassing.

Publications

  • “California court upholds BLM decision to rescind fracking regulations”, Guest Columnist, Environment: Policy & Law, Vol. 31, No. 1 (April 2020)
  • “Clean energy rules final version facing ongoing legal wrangling”, Guest Columnist, Environment: Policy & Law, Vol. 30, No. 4 (July 2019)
  • “US Supreme Court’s new season includes key environment cases”, Guest Columnist, Environment: Policy & Law, Vol. 29, No. 7 (October 2018)
  • “Ruling on natural gas wells may disappoint environmental NGOs”, Guest Columnist, Environment: Policy & Law, Vol. 29, No. 3 (June 2018)
  • “Colorado River case highlights needs for ‘right to life’ for rivers”, Guest Columnist, Environment: Policy & Law, Vol. 28, No. 9 (December 2017)
  • “Trump order raises questions on future of US climate policy”, Guest Columnist, Environment: Policy & Law, Vol. 28, No. 1 (April 2017)
  • “Trump election signals change in U.S. environmental policies”, Guest Columnist, Environment: Policy & Law, Vol. 27, No. 8 (November 2016)
  • “Regulatory reaction possible to increased marijuana cultivation”, Guest Columnist, Environment: Policy & Law, Vol. 27, No. 3 (June 2016)
  • “US election could tip the scales on dispute over EPA guidelines”, Guest Columnist, Environment: Policy & Law, Vol. 26, No. 12 (March 2016)
  • "Mortgage Modification Meltdown: When Will Congress Take the Plight of Homeowners Seriously?", 35 Seton Hall Legis. J. 130 (December 2010) - Seton Hall Legislative Journal

Community Activities

  • 2008-Present, Regional Admissions Volunteer, Boston University
  • 2018-Present, Mentor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law Professional Mentoring Program

Prior Experience

During law school, Jesse served as the Senior Notes Editor of the Seton Hall Legislative Journal, and participated in Seton Hall Law's Civil Litigation Clinic. He interned with the Honorable Katharine S. Hayden, U.S.D.J., of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. During his last two years of law school, he served as a Research Assistant for Professor Bernard K. Freamon.

Jesse has served as a court-appointed mediator for the Superior Court of New Jersey. He has also successfully represented clients at trial who have been charged with criminal offenses in New Jersey municipal courts. 

Admissions

  • State Bar Admissions
    • Colorado
    • New Jersey
    • New York
  • United States District Courts
    • United States District Court for the District of Colorado
    • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States Courts of Appeals
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Admissions

New York

New Jersey

Colorado

United States District Court, District of Colorado

United States District Court, District of New Jersey

United States District Court, Southern District of New York

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Associations

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association

Awards & Honors

  • Guest Columnist – Environment: Policy & Law (Ontario, Canada)
  • 2013 Empire State Counsel, for substantial pro bono services by the New York State Bar Association

Education

Seton Hall University School of Law

Juris Doctor, 2011

Boston University

Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations, 2007

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