Barbara R. Binis is a trial lawyer in Reed Smith’s Life Sciences Health Industry Group, with extensive experience in “bet the company” trials. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, ranked by Chambers USA (very strategic, smart and collaborative”), The Legal 500 (“very good at strategic thinking”) (“well regarded and respected” and “exceptionally good”), and The American Lawyer (recognized for “command of her subject and tough but respectful approach which convinces both judges and juries”).
In 2017, Barbara was elected as a Fellow to the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), an honor that is extended to only the top 1 percent of lawyers in the United States and Canada.
Barbara’s practice focuses on complex pharmaceutical products liability, mass torts, multi-district litigation, and class action defense. Barbara has been a successful first chair at numerous trials representing many of the top 10 pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, insurers and hospitals.
Barbara is currently the national counsel for a medical device company in the Pelvic Mesh Litigation, responsible for all aspects of the case, from discovery through trial. She was the national counsel for a major energy client in the Motor Fuel Temperature Litigation, and one of three lead lawyers representing Schering Plough in the NuvaRing litigation.
From 2006 to 2010, she was a lead trial lawyer in the Wyeth hormone therapy litigation. From 1997 through 2008, in addition to serving as lead trial counsel, she was one of two Reed Smith partners responsible for pre-trial management of the Wyeth Pennsylvania diet drug litigation, in which 20,000 cases were filed, staffing a steady stream of up to four multiple plaintiff trials per month. In 2005, Reed Smith was named as one of the top 10 firms in The National Law Journal’s “Defense Hot List” based in part on that litigation.
Barbara has advised several Fortune 500 companies on assessing risks pertaining to various legal and compliance issues, including off label promotion of drugs, acquisitions of products with threatened or pending litigation, product recalls, review of product labeling and warnings, continuing medical education compliance, sales rep compliance, and other issues which potentially could involve litigation exposure.
She was a member of a national class action settlement team for a top insurance company involving allegations of fraudulent sales practices, and successfully represented a large hospital in an insurance coverage case stemming from the design failure of a waste incinerator/heat recovery system.
She has also represented financial institutions, government agencies, and health care providers such as FDIC, Episcopal Hospital and the Temple University Health Care System. She has been admitted pro hac vice before many tribunals; and has also represented clients at AAA arbitrations and administrative hearings. She is a frequent speaker on issues relating to pharmaceutical products liability, mass torts and trial tactics.
Prior to joining Reed Smith, Barbara was certified as a mediator in Washington, D.C.’s Superior Court and has mediated a variety of commercial, contract and consumer disputes. She is currently a Judge Pro Tem in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
- Georgetown University Law Center, 1991, J.D.
- St. Bonaventure University, 1980, B.B.A., magna cum laude
Professional Affiliations :
- Fellow to the American College of Trial Lawyers – Admitted 2017
- Member of PLAC (Product Liability Advisory Council)
- Advisory Board Member, PILCOP – Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
- Defense Research Institute, Products Liability and Women in the Law Committees
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- In re American Medical Systems Vaginal Mesh Litigation – National counsel overseeing 25,000+ lawsuits in the MDL, various state courts, Canada, the U.K. and Scotland.
- In re Motor Fuel Temperature Litigation – Lead counsel for Sunoco in MDL litigation. Obtained summary judgment in several state class actions and strategized toward minimal settlement in remaining actions.
- In re NuvaRing® Litigation – One of three Reed Smith partners acting as national lead counsel for Schering Plough (now Merck) in MDL involving birth control ring.
- In re Diet Drugs – One of two Reed Smith partners acting as Pennsylvania lead counsel for Wyeth in prescription diet drug litigation. Handled day-to-day liaison with court, plaintiffs’ counsel and co-defendants’ counsel in 20,000 cases filed by plaintiffs from all 50 states, Canada and Mexico. Coordinated discovery, experts, witness preparation and trials. Lead trial counsel in several cases.
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