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Arnold & Porter Adds Six-Lawyer Trial Team to its Product Liability Litigation Practice Group

September 7, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 7, 2023 — Arnold & Porter announced today that Frank Cruz-Alvarez, Rachel Forman, Brian Jackson, Christopher Nease, David Thorne, and Michael Walden joined the firm’s Product Liability Litigation practice group. Cruz-Alvarez, Jackson, Nease, Thorne, and Walden joined as partners and Forman joined as counsel.

Richard M. Alexander, Chairman of Arnold & Porter, said: “Our new colleagues’ extensive trial experience litigating complex product liability matters and their demonstrated track record of success adds further strength to our distinguished team.”

Frank Cruz-Alvarez, partner at Arnold & Porter, commented: “Arnold & Porter has a robust Product Liability Litigation practice that is known for handling high-stakes litigation for its clients. Joining this team’s integrated platform has allowed us to better serve our clients and deliver innovative solutions to their most challenging product liability litigation issues.”

Frank Cruz-Alvarez is a trial and appellate lawyer with more than 20 years of experience representing companies and individuals in a variety of complex domestic and international disputes. He has represented numerous Fortune 100 companies, serving in several capacities from pretrial counselor to trial and appellate counsel. Cruz-Alvarez is regularly retained to provide strategic advice to trial teams, and briefs and argues complex issues in high-stakes trials and appeals. Fluent in Spanish, Cruz-Alvarez earned his J.D., with honors, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and received his B.A., with honors, from the University of Florida.

Rachel Forman is an appellate trial counsel whose practice focuses on the defense of complex product liability cases, including medical device and consumer products-related lawsuits, for major manufacturers across the country in both state and federal courts. At trial, Forman is fully responsible for the preservation of appellate issues and trial motion practice. Pretrial, she handles all phases of litigation, including presuit investigation, big-picture strategic case management, fact and expert discovery, motion practice, pretrial negotiations, trial preparation, and appeals. Forman is regularly retained to advise on risk management, product safety, and limiting product liability risk and exposure. She earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from St. Thomas University College of Law, where she served as the Executive Editor of the St. Thomas Law Review and was a Dean’s Merit Scholar. Forman received her B.S. from the University of South Florida. She clerked for The Hon. Melanie May, Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal.

Brian Jackson is a seasoned litigator and first-chair trial lawyer with knowledge and experience in all aspects of case investigation, management, preparation, and presentation. He has successfully handled cases throughout the country in a wide variety of areas, including commercial and business litigation, consumer claims, tort and personal injury claims, product liability, and civil rights. Jackson earned his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law, where he was elected Order of the Coif and served as an Articles Editor for the Kansas Law Review. He received his B.S. from Iowa State University.

Christopher Nease concentrates his practice on the defense of multinational companies and individuals in high-stakes litigation. He has extensive experience defending Fortune 500 corporations in various types of litigation across the country. Nease’s experience runs the spectrum of the litigation lifecycle, from pre-trial litigation and discovery to advising and appearing on behalf of some of the world’s largest manufacturers as trial and appellate counsel. Nease earned his J.D. from South Texas College of Law and received his B.A. from the University of Missouri.

David Thorne is an experienced first-chair trial lawyer to manufacturers in recurring product liability and personal injury litigation. He defends Fortune 500 companies in both state and federal court in cases involving complex scientific and medical claims, including toxic tort, diacetyl, asbestos products, cigarette products, medical devices, premises liability, and other types of product liability claims. Thorne earned his J.D., with distinction, from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law. He received his B.S., cum laude, from Texas Christian University.

Michael Walden is a veteran trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience defending corporations in high-stakes litigation across the United States. During his career, Walden has litigated hundreds of multimillion-dollar product liability cases from new matter through trial and beyond. His practice has primarily focused on serving clients in the highly regulated tobacco, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. Walden earned his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law and received his B.A. from the University of Kansas.

About Arnold & Porter
Arnold & Porter combines sophisticated regulatory, litigation, and transactional capabilities to resolve clients’ most complex issues. With over 1,000 lawyers practicing in 14 offices worldwide, we offer deep industry experience and an integrated approach that spans more than 40 practice areas. Through multidisciplinary collaboration and focused industry experience, we provide innovative and effective solutions to mitigate risks, address challenges, and achieve successful outcomes.