Sharon L. Caffrey
Partner

Duane Morris LLP
30 South 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-4196
USA

Phone: +1 215 979 1180
Fax: +1 215 689 1932
Email: SLCaffrey@duanemorris.com

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Sharon L. Caffrey

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Sharon L. Caffrey is chair of the Products Liability and Toxic Torts division of Duane Morris' Trial Practice Group. Ms. Caffrey concentrates her practice in the areas of mass tort, products liability and toxic tort litigation. Ms. Caffrey's experience ranges from serving as the national coordinating counsel for Pliva, Inc. in its PPA litigation, to serving as one of two science defense coordinators and one of a handful of national trial counsel for Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation in their asbestos litigation, to handling major asbestos trials around the country for Ford Motor Company. Ms. Caffrey has significant trial experience, including extensive experience as MDL counsel in both asbestos and PPA litigation. Ms. Caffrey also consults with clients about the new Medicare Section 111 reporting requirements.

Ms. Caffrey's extensive trial experience also includes trying dozens of product liability, mass tort, health effects and medical negligence cases to verdict.

Ms. Caffrey is a frequent speaker on issues related to Daubert and Frye. She has chaired the Mealey's conference on "Email, Discovery and Retention Policies," is a frequent speaker on the topic of eDiscovery issues and is a member of the firm's eDiscovery Initiative.

Ms. Caffrey is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She has spoken at the Mealey's Asbestos Litigation Seminar and the American Conference Institute Asbestos Litigation Seminar. Ms. Caffrey is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and has served as a vice chair of the Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee of the American Bar Association. She served as co-chair of the Women's Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association for two years and also served as a member of the association's Committee on Women in the Profession and Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, as well as the board of the Public Interest Section. Ms. Caffrey founded and chaired Duane Morris' Women's Initiative for seven years and co-chaired the first Lexis-Nexis conference on Advancing Women in the Profession. In addition, Ms. Caffrey is a member of Duane Morris' Partners' Board and its Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

A former judicial clerk to the Honorable Dominick J. Ferrelli, JSC and the Honorable Anthony P. Tunney, JSC of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Ms. Caffrey is a 1987 graduate of Widener University School of Law and a graduate of American University.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a defendant where plaintiff claimed asbestos attributable to the client caused a decedent's mesothelioma and subsequent death. Plaintiff's claims included an attempt to pierce the corporate veil to hold the client liable for its wholly owned subsidiary.
  • Obtained on behalf of an automobile manufacturer, in a significant asbestos-related appeal before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, a reversal of an order granting a mistrial and the reinstatement of a judgment following a defense verdict after a jury trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
  • Obtained a favorable result for a premises client sued in the State of West Virginia for alleged injury and death resulting from exposure to an alleged hazardous substance at the client’s facility.
  • Obtained a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah precluding the "every breath" opinion under Daubert in Smith v. Ford Motor Co., et al., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7861 (D. Utah Jan. 18, 2013).
  • Obtained decision from Pennsylvania Supreme Court that the “each and every breath” theory of causation lacks general acceptance under Frye in Betz v. Pneumo Abex.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a major automotive manufacturer following a five-and-a-half week trial involving a peritoneal mesothelioma claim brought by a 44-year-old gentleman. The matter involved a unique claim for design defect of company’s braking system.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for an auto manufacturer following a two-and-a-half week asbestos trial. The jury found that the plaintiff had been exposed to asbestos, but that during the period of exposure, the auto manufacturer had not been negligent in placing asbestos-containing brakes into the market without a warning.
  • Participated in and cross-examined experts and prepared post-trial brief in Frye hearing before the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The court ruled in favor of our client, a major automotive manufacturer, and found that the plaintiffs' experts lacked any methodology in arriving at their causation opinions.
  • Handled multiple products and premises liability actions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey related to hazardous gases, including acetylene and propane.
  • Consultant on Medicare Section 111 reporting requirements for several companies.
  • National science defense coordinator for two Fortune 100 companies in toxic-tort litigation. Involves expert development and oversight, trial preparation, coordination and strategy. Includes strategic oversight of numerous matters in 2007 and 2008.
  • Handled Frye hearing for two Fortune 100 companies challenging the admissibility of plaintiffs' experts' methodology in toxic-tort litigation in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in February 2008.
  • Tried medical negligence matter for individual in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in 2008; resulted in one of the largest verdicts in Montgomery County for a plaintiff in a medical negligence matter.
  • Served as national coordinating counsel for a pharmaceutical company in its PPA diet and pharmaceutical products liability litigation. Representation includes responsibility for over 250 direct claims and approximately 540 contractual indemnity claims, oversight of local counsel in 18 states, oversight of federal Multi-District Litigation, and the development of corporate and expert witnesses.
  • Member of the national asbestos defense team for Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation and a member of their national trial team. Included trying significant case to verdict in the Superior Court of Delaware in 2007.
  • Served as national counsel for Borinquen Insulation in its asbestos litigation in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Representation involved approximately 500 cases spanning a period of about eight years.

Areas of Practice

  • Products Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Mass Torts
  • Health Effects Litigation

Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey

Education

  • Widener University School of Law, J.D., 1987

Experience

  • Duane Morris LLP
    -Partner, 2000-Present
    -Associate, 1997-1999
  • Dunn, Haase, Sullivan, Mallon, Cherner & Broadt, Media, PA and Westmont, NJ
    -Associate, 1994-1997
  • Countess and Shelley, Moorestown, New Jersey
    -Associate, 1993-1994
  • Horn, Goldberg, Gorny, Daniels, Paarz, Plackert & Weiss, Voorhees, NJ
    -Associate, 1991-1993
  • McCarter & English, Cherry Hill, NJ
    -Associate, 1989-1991
  • Parker, McCay and Criscuolo, Marlton, NJ
    -Associate, 1988-1989
  • Superior Court of New Jersey,
    -Judicial Clerk, Honorable Dominick J. Ferrelli, JSC, and Honorable Anthony P. Tunney, JSC, 1987-1988

Professional Activities

  • International Association of Defense Counsel
    - Member
  • American Bar Association
    - Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
    -- Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee
    --- Vice-Chair, 2005-2007
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
    - Co-Chair, Women's Rights Committee
    - Committee on Women in the Profession
    - Board of Public Interest Section
    - Member, Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention
  • Camden County Bar Association
  • Chair, Duane Morris Women's Initiative
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
    - Program Committee, 2007
    - Survey Committee, 2007
    - Leadership Summit, 2007
  • National Association of Women Judges
    - Friends Committee, 2007
  • Camden Inn of the American Inns of Court
    -Barrister, 1995-1997
  • Law360 Editorial Advisory Board
    - Products Liability Section, 2010

Honors and Awards

  • Named one of The Legal Intelligencer's Women of the Year, 2012
  • Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for Class Actions and Mass Tort Litigation, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • Rising Star Award, YMCA, Central Branch, Wilmington, Delaware
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Board Memberships

  • Executive Board, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training 2008, Nation's Triathlon
  • North Brandywine Swim League Stroke and Turn Judge, 2007, 2008
  • YMCA, Central Branch, Wilmington, Delaware
    - Board of Governors, 1997-2000
    -- Rising Star Award, 1997
    - Executive Committee, 1998-1999
    - Vice President, Fund Raising, 1997-1999
  • St. Stephen's Lutheran Church Building Renovation Committee, Wilmington, Delaware
    -Chairperson, 1995-1997
  • Children's House Montessori School
    -Advisory Board, 1993-1996
    -Silent Auction Chairperson, 1994-1996
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Burlington County
    -Board of Directors, 1989-1990
  • Chairperson Personnel Committee of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "The Single Fiber/Any Exposure Theory of Causation in Asbestos," ABA's 7th Annual Chemical Products and Toxic Torts Regional Seminar, New York City, October 29, 2012
  • Panelist, "The Impact of the New Rules on the Future of Asbestos Litigation," HarrisMartin's Philadelphia Complex Litigation Conference: Examining the Court's New Mass Tort and Asbestos Protocols, June 5, 2012
  • Panelist, "Product Liability Preemption: Analyzing the Supreme Court's New Decisions," Strafford Publications Webinar, August 16, 2011
  • Moderator, "New Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," Law Seminars International TeleBriefing, April 28, 2011
  • Speaker, "The Practical Impact of the 2010 Rule 26 Amendments on Expert Witnessing," SEAK, Inc.'s 20th Anniversary National Expert Witness Conference, Naples, Florida, April 15, 2011
  • Speaker, "Preemption Fundamentals," American Conference Institute's FDA Boot Camp, Boston, Massachusetts, September 28, 2010
  • Speaker, "Medicare Secondary Payer Update—What Asbestos Plaintiffs and Defendants Need to Know," HB Litigation Conferences' Emerging Trends in Asbestos Litigation, Marina del Ray, California, March 5, 2010
  • Speaker, "Women in Business Breakfast Roundtable" and "Understanding Evidentiary Standards: Daubert/Frye Update," Perrin's Asbestos Litigation Conference, San Francisco, California, September 15, 2009
  • Co-chair, "LexisNexis® Women in the Legal Profession Summit: Rainmaking, Negotiating, and Collaborative Development," Philadelphia, September 25, 2007
  • "Advanced Litigation Issues in E-Discovery," Web cast for FIOS, May 30, 2007
  • Speaker, "Managing Discovery in the Digital Age," Counsel to Counsel program, September 27, 2006
  • Panelist, "Unconventional Wisdom on Products Liability Defense," Insurance Society of Philadelphia CLE Seminar, August 11, 2006
  • Chair, Mealey's E-mail Discovery & Retention Policies Conference, San Francisco, California, May 18, 2006
  • Speaker, "Emails Run Amok," FIOS Electronic Discovery webcast, January 11, 2006
  • Speaker, "Sales Coaching," ABA Law Practice Management Section Fall Meeting on Marketing and Technology, October 21, 2005
  • "Allocating and Shifting Liability," Mealey's Asbestos Premises Liability Conference, December 2004
  • Speaker, "Forum Shopping: Getting In and Out," American Conference Institute," Asbestos Litigation the Next Generation," October 22, 2001
  • Speaker, "The New Face of the Litigation: Beyond the Thermal Insulation Manufacturers," Mealey's National Asbestos Litigation Conference, October 8, 2001
  • Presenter, "Legal Implications of Medical Care," Pennsylvania Association of Medical Assistants, continuing education program, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, November 12, 2000
  • "Malpractice Issues," Minimizing Regulatory Finds and Litigation in Long-Term Care and Assisted-Living Facilities, New Jersey Center for Health Care Education, Seminar sponsored by Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP, September 28, 2000
  • Speaker, "Trial Theme," Pennsylvania Bar Institute Product Liability Litigation Seminar, December 19, 2001