For more than 30 years, clients have turned to Catherine M. Masters to rescue cases gone awry and to analyze and strategize tough legal problems. Catherine concentrates in counseling clients, briefing, and arguing complex issues at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts.
She applies these skills in multiple substantive areas, including insurance/reinsurance, product liability, employment, constitutional, professional liability, and general commercial matters. Her experience in complex trial proceedings includes class action defense, multidistrict litigation, post-trial proceedings, and dispositive motions.
Catherine’s appellate experience extends to state and federal courts nationwide. She has successfully briefed matters in the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the constitutional limits of punitive damages, claims for fear of future injury, the standards for settlement class actions, and original Supreme Court proceedings.
Clients rely on Catherine’s experience in the appellate courts. She has won appeals in product liability and other cases nationwide, overturning adverse judgments and upholding favorable decisions.
In addition to frequently litigating constitutional issues in product liability, employment, and insurance matters, Catherine has litigated many additional cases involving constitutional issues. She has also litigated other contract, tort, professional liability, bankruptcy, construction, energy, benefits and tax matters.
Insurance and Reinsurance
- “Rescuing” insurer clients from seriously adverse outcomes, in state and federal courts nationwide, often involving claims of bad faith.
- Winning summary judgment for insurers and reinsurers on duty-to-defend and coverage issues.
- Representing clients in important product liability matters of first impression in the highest courts of several states (including Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas) on the constitutionality of tort reform legislation, clarification and content of available tort theories, exposure/risk/fear issues and accrual/limitation issues.
- Successfully briefing numerous matters relating to the asbestos multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings, including the severance of punitive damages claims upon remand, mandamus proceedings concerning the legitimacy of the MDL proceedings, and complex discovery issues.
- Litigating influential cases on the courts’ authority to manage their dockets by placing marginal cases on inactive status, the application of market-share theory to asbestos litigation, and nationwide class certification.
- Defending municipal bodies in numerous Section 1983 cases asserting First Amendment, equal protection, and due process constitutional claims, including reverse-discrimination, “whistleblower,” and class action cases.
- Litigating the applicability of pre-dispute arbitration agreements to Title VII claims.
- Obtaining post-trial entry of judgment as a matter of law, overturning a federal jury verdict on retaliation and punitive damages, and successfully defending this result on appeal.
- University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1982
- Yale University, M.A., 1977
- University of Chicago, A.B., 1976
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- American Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- Seventh Circuit Bar Association
CIVIC AND CHARITABLE MEMBERSHIPS:
- LAF (formerly known as Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago), Board of Directors
- Chicago Bar Association Chorus
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