Benchmark Litigation Reviews

Dispute resolution

Polsinelli has grown from its Kansas City origins and has pursued an aggressive expansion, targeting various strategic locations throughout the country and often overtaking local institutions in the process. A peer in one such location marvels, “Polsinelli just kind of showed up here one day and took over! They started attracting talent from local shops left and right, and [they] are now in all conversations.” Clients are also impressed with the service offered by Polsinelli’s personnel. “Everyone I have worked with throughout the numerous departments is always knowledgeable, professional and easy to work with,” declares one. “They respond in a very timely manner. [They provide] great communications, being on top of the situations at hand and not letting anything fall through the cracks.”
     In one such example of the firm’s penetration into newer markets, Gary Hood balances his intellectual practice between the firm’s Seattle and Chicago locations. Hood’s ouvre touches on all aspects of patent, trademark and trade dress IP, and he boasts a recent trade dress and patent win for American Plastic Toy in a case against historic toy wagon manufacturer Radio Flyer. Chicago’s Mary Clare Bonaccorsi is acting as lead coordinating general counsel for a pharmaceutical executive/entrepreneur in a high-profile criminal case that is currently pending in Boston. Bonaccorsi is also representing this client in more than 45 civil cases in which the client has been named as a defendant – those civil cases have been brought by private plaintiffs, State Attorney Generals and also putative class members in a shareholder derivative action. These cases are some of the most highly publicized opioid industry cases brought against pharmaceutical executives. In the Boston criminal case referenced above, the Department of Justice has relied upon a novel Honest Services Fraud and RICO conspiracy theory, charging the client and other executives of his company for allegedly conspiring to use a company speaker program to pay doctors bribes in order to boost sales. In Atlanta, Brian McEvoy attends to a white-collar practice that centers largely on fraud and abuse in the health care industry. “Polsinelli has a deep bench in Atlanta,” testifies a local peer, “and they dovetail nicely with the healthcare industry here, which has always been prominent and something Polsinelli has a lot of experience with and clients in.” Farah Nicol operates out of the firm’s Raleigh and Los Angeles offices, and, as of November 2019, is the chair of the firm’s litigation department, taking over for Kansas City-based partner Russ Jones, a longtime established figure in that city’s litigation community. Nicol, who primarily focuses on product liability and toxic tort cases, is the firm’s first litigation leader not to be based in Kansas City.   

Labor and employment

Polsinelli is home to a skilled group of labor and employment trial lawyers who operate out of numerous offices across the country. Recognized for exclusively serving as management counsel, the team is no stranger to a wide variety of employment disputes and strategies, such as class and collective actions, labor relations disputes, restrictive covenants, retaliation and whistleblower claims, wrongful termination matters, discrimination cases, among others. The firm maintains an arsenal of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to privately owned firms and businesses.
                The Missouri office of the firm houses one of the strongest labor and employment groups at the firm. Operating from the firm’s Kansas City office, Denise Drake serves as the department chair of the practice. “Denise has a really good reputation," voices a peer. She has continued to build on that reputation and was selected as a new addition to Benchmark’s Top 250 Women in Litigation list for 2020. Drake’s expertise routinely includes defending companies in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage & hour, and ERISA matters. Fellow partner Eric Packel chairs the restrictive covenant and trade secrets practice. Packel is renowned for his handling of all employment discrimination allegations brought against a large healthcare institution in multiple discrimination claims and charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a state Human Rights Commission. Robert Hingula has devoted a significant portion of his practice to representing employers in collective actions. He is also active representing school districts and other industries through employment law matters, wage and hour actions, and against discrimination allegations as well as wrongful termination and retaliation cases. 
                Colorado is home to two labor and employment stars, Sean Gallagher and Donald Samuels. Gallagher is equipped with more than 25 years of experience litigating on behalf of his clients as well as advising on ways to mitigate the risk of litigation. His labor and employment experience consists of noncompete covenants, wage and hour violations, breach of fiduciary duty, and discrimination actions. Samuels is also a seasoned trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in employment law actions, including serving as an employment law arbitrator. He is active representing employers in wage and hour issues, including class and collective actions, discrimination and harassment claims, and whistleblower and retaliation claims.
                Los Angeles managing partner Noel Cohen operates a diverse practice and serves as vice-chair of the firm’s commercial litigation practice. He is recognized for his work defending wrongful termination claims, harassment and discrimination actions, trade secret claims, single and class actions, and other employment disputes.