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Legal 500 U.S. Ranks Dykema’s Automotive Product Liability Litigation Practice

Michael Cooney, Terri Reiskin and Nicholas Wittner Also Receive Recommendations in Automotive Product Liability Litigation

June 9, 2015

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced today that the firm’s Automotive Industry Group has been ranked by the Legal 500 United States 2015 (Legal 500) in the area of Litigation - Product liability and mass tort defense - automotive/transport. Additionally, Michael Cooney, Terri Reiskin and Nicholas Wittner were also recognized in this category as well.

For its rankings, Legal 500 organizes each practice area into a single national ranking, avoiding a state-by-state approach. Only a small number of firms in the U.S. are recognized to have a truly national presence coupled with the capability to handle sophisticated and complex work. The Legal 500’s team of experienced researchers—which includes both qualified journalists and lawyers—spend several months each year conducting in-depth research into the market. The U.S. edition of Legal 500 is now in its ninth year and is relied upon by millions of buyers of legal services worldwide when they need to instruct outside counsel.

Dykema has been partnering with our automotive industry clients since the first automobiles rolled off the Motor City’s assembly lines. With decades of industry experience, Dykema fields one of the most extensive automotive-related legal practices in the United States. The attorneys in our coast-to-coast network of offices lead the way, guiding our international roster of automotive industry clients through the many legal hurdles they face and, ultimately, to business success.

Michael Cooney, Director of Dykema’s Litigation Department, has a national trial practice focused on product liability, class action, patent, and commercial litigation. He is regularly called upon by Fortune 500 companies to try high exposure cases in the country’s toughest venues and against some of the country’s top trial attorneys. Cooney, who has a mechanical engineering degree, has extensive experience presenting complex engineering, business, and science-related disputes to juries, judges, and arbitration panels.

Terri Reiskin, Leader of Dykema’s Products, Class Actions & Professional Liability Practice Group, is a litigator with extensive national experience handling product liability litigation, class action defense, consumer finance, appeals, and other complex litigation. Reiskin’s automotive product liability practice includes representation of numerous auto manufacturers in personal injury and class action cases as national and regional counsel involving seatbelts, airbags, fuel tanks, transmissions, fuel-fed fires and a variety of other allegations. She also has extensive experience in product liability litigation involving trucks, pharmaceuticals, food products and medical devices, including breast implants, bone screws, latex gloves and pacemakers. Her class action practice focuses on consumer fraud based class actions involving automobiles and other consumer products, and she has also defended TCPA and  FDCPA cases. She has tried both personal injury and class actions to verdict, and has served as appellate counsel in automotive cases.

Nicholas Wittner’s practice focuses on regulatory matters, product safety and liability prevention, and general litigation. Wittner served for 20 years as an assistant general counsel for the Nissan North America Legal Department. He headed the Legal Department's Product Group, which is responsible for the management of product liability litigation, product-related class actions, safety and environmental regulatory compliance matters, and patent litigation. He also advised engineers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan on safety compliance, as well as product safety and liability prevention. Prior to his time at Nissan, Wittner was a lawyer at General Motors for 11 years, where he handled complex multi-district litigation.

About the Legal 500 Series

The Legal 500 Series is widely acknowledged as the world’s largest legal referral guide. More than 250,000 corporate counsel have been surveyed and interviewed globally in the past 12 months. The Legal 500 is an independent guide, and firms and individuals are recommended purely on merit. The Legal 500 Series' analysis of law firm capabilities extends to 107 jurisdictions worldwide. Used by commercial and private clients, corporate counsel, CEOs, CFOs and professional advisers - as well as by other referrers of work both nationally and internationally - the series is widely chosen for its definitive judgement of law firm capabilities.