Press Releases

Lewis Brisbois Establishes Office in Minneapolis, Minn. with Team of Four Products Liability Partners

Minneapolis, Minn. (September 18, 2019) – Lewis Brisbois has hired a team of four partners to open its 52nd location in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Michelle R. Gilboe, an experienced trial attorney with a national products liability practice, joins as managing partner of the new office. She is accompanied by Partners Richard G. Morgan, Carli D. Pearson, and Doug L. Pfeifer. All four partners join Lewis Brisbois’ Products Liability Practice and bring to the firm nearly a century of combined experience in complex, high-exposure products liability and class action litigation.

“We are incredibly excited to be opening an office in Minnesota, especially with such an outstanding group of attorneys,” said Los Angeles Co-Managing Partner Steven R. Lewis, who is also head of Lewis Brisbois’ lateral recruiting. “Michelle, Rick, and the rest of their team have developed a stellar reputation, both in their state and across the country, as top defense litigators in a complex and ever-evolving field. We look forward to sharing their talents with our clients and the rest of the firm.”

The new location is Lewis Brisbois’ first in the North Star State, and continues the firm’s push to expand its nationwide footprint into every jurisdiction where current and prospective clients require legal assistance. The team’s experience in medical device litigation also dovetails with Lewis Brisbois’ growing Life Sciences Practice, chaired by Philadelphia Managing Partner John Salvucci and Partner Walter (Pete) Swayze, III.

Mr. Swayze joined Lewis Brisbois’ Philadelphia office along with ten other attorneys back in January, and he expects his team to be working closely with the new Minneapolis office.

“John [Salvucci] and I could not be more pleased with this development,” Mr. Swayze said. “Michelle and I have worked with many of the same national clients, and her team is highly regarded for their work in the products liability space.”

“Minnesota has become a hotbed for medical device and mass tort litigation in recent years,” said Mr. Salvucci. “Having a location in the state will allow us to better serve our clients in the region who are increasingly seeing these claims.”

For Ms. Gilboe and her team, bringing Lewis Brisbois’ abilities and platform to a new city is truly an exciting endeavor.

“We have a highly collegial and productive group of talented lawyers. The opportunity to open a new office for a respected firm like Lewis Brisbois in the thriving business community of Minneapolis really piqued our team’s entrepreneurial spirit,” said Ms. Gilboe.

“We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with such a welcoming and wide-reaching firm that has all the key systems and resources in place to support our national client base,” Ms. Gilboe added.

Attorney overviews

Michelle R. Gilboe

Ms. Gilboe is a first chair trial attorney with a national practice defending life sciences clients, industrial and consumer products, and sports and fitness manufacturers. She has significant experience in complex class action, toxic tort, and MDL litigation, including representation of multiple pharmaceutical manufacturers in various states. Ms. Gilboe has served as both national and regional counsel, and has vast experience defending complex medical and scientific matters in both state and federal courts, which allows her to skillfully defend her clients in multiple jurisdictions. She has over two decades of experience defending medical spa services, medical devices and pharmaceuticals manufacturers, and construction, transportation, and energy clients in a variety of matters.  In addition to her litigation work across the country, Ms. Gilboe routinely advises her clients on risk management strategies, regulatory compliance, reporting requirements, and recall issues. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude, Ms. Gilboe is admitted in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Richard G. Morgan

Mr. Morgan has a national reputation for his aggressive defense of high-exposure litigation across a spectrum of industries. His practice encompasses products liability, commercial, class action, and intellectual property litigation involving chemical and electronic products, drug and medical devices, food products, and toxic torts for a host of Global 500 companies and industry leaders. Acknowledged by his opponents as “one of the best cross-examiners” in practice, Mr. Morgan honed his reputation for efficiency as a federal prosecutor, and his ability to enthrall juries as a political pundit. Clients value his skills in strategic and tactical case evaluation and the development of powerful factual and legal presentations presented with insights that humanize corporations in the eyes of judges and juries. He presents such a compelling case throughout trial preparation that often his cases result in defense settlements prior to trial. Mr. Morgan received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he has also served on the board of directors, and his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Humphrey Institute. He is admitted in Minnesota and New York.

Carli D. Pearson

Ms. Pearson has significant experience defending manufacturers, businesses, and insurers in products liability and commercial litigation matters. She brings a passion for client interaction and extensive experience within life sciences to her practice, serving multiple large medical device companies. Ms. Pearson routinely handles complex cases involving personal injury, class action, and wrongful death, as well as neglect and negligence claims. She defends medical device, pharmaceutical, and exercise equipment manufacturers, and has done national work for a medical spa company in relation to increasing litigation within the field. Ms. Pearson executes all phases of litigation, including pre-suit negotiation, discovery, fact and expert witness depositions, and trial preparation. She also has experience defending intellectual property, medical and legal malpractice, and nursing home liability matters. Ms. Pearson received her law degree from Indiana University School of Law, where she was managing editor of the Federal Communications Law Journal. She is admitted in Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana.

Douglas L. Pfeifer

Mr. Pfeifer practices primarily in the area of products liability, premises liability, and toxic torts litigation. As a former business owner of a company which created marketing, safety, and training materials for major corporations, he understands the needs of his corporate clients and the products he defends. Mr. Pfeifer has extensive experience representing manufacturers of water treatment systems, chemical products, chemical dispensing systems, and motor vehicles in cases involving personal injury, property damage, warranty disputes, and product safety issues. He has particular experience defending water service providers in claims related to Legionnaires’ disease and other waterborne illnesses. His unique background as a writer and artist enables Mr. Pfeifer to find creative solutions to complex issues, delving into the details of each claim and thoroughly investigating every aspect to confidently represent his clients in the courtroom and at the bargaining table. In addition to his practice, Mr. Pfeifer provides pro bono legal representation through the Children's Law Center of Minnesota. He received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law, where he worked on the William Mitchell Law Review. He is admitted in Minnesota.

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