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Manufacturing and Consumer Products Law Institute


Speaker(s): Archis A. Parasharami, Boaz Green, Carol Cave, Claire Temple, Elizabeth Hyman, Graham Owens, Jeff Eyres, Joel Rogers, Joseph P. Mohorovic, Kathleen McGuigan, Melissa Stull, Michael Kauffman, Mike Gentine, Paul C. Vitrano, Peter A. Feldman, Rachel A. Remke, Sarah-Jane Dobson, Sheila A. Millar, Stephen M. Mahieu, Vanessa L. Miller
Recorded on: Apr. 14, 2021
PLI Program #: 305415

Archis A. Parasharami, a litigation partner in Mayer Brown's Washington DC office, is a co-chair of the firm's Consumer Litigation & Class Actions practice, recently named by Law360 as one of the top five class action groups of the year. He also is a member of the firm's Supreme Court & Appellate practice.

Archis was named by The National Law Journal in 2011 as one of the "Minority 40 Under 40," which identifies minority lawyers who have had significant influence in their practice areas over the past five years.

Archis routinely defends businesses in class action litigation in federal and state courts around the country. He frequently speaks on developments in the class action arena, and has been quoted on a number of occasions in the National Law Journal, Corporate Counsel, and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

He is a co-editor of Class Defense (www.classdefenseblog.com), the firm's blog on key issues affecting class action law and policy.

Archis has been recognized for his skills both in drafting arbitration agreements-particularly in the consumer and employment contexts-and in litigating the enforceability of those agreements. Most notably, Archis was one of the Mayer Brown lawyers who represented AT&T Mobility in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, in which the US Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state-law rules that would refuse to enforce arbitration agreements solely because they waive class actions. Archis represented the company at all stages of the case, starting from the district court all the way to the Supreme Court, where Archis helped write the winning briefs. Along with his colleagues, he also represented one of the petitioners in Marmet Health Care Center, Inc. v. Brown, in which the US Supreme Court summarily reversed the West Virginia Supreme Court's categorical refusal to enforce all pre-dispute arbitration agreements that apply to personal-injury or wrongful-death claims against nursing homes as preempted by federal law.

Archis also maintains a substantial appellate practice, drafting briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, federal and state appellate courts, and trial courts around the country

Archis attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He joined Mayer Brown in 2003 after clerking for Judge Leonard I. Garth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.


Claire is a Special Counsel in our product compliance and liability team. She specialises in advising clients on regulatory risk, compliance and litigation issues. She helps clients who deal with products and consumers. Claire works with them to help bring both digital and physical products to market, advising on labelling, packaging, regulatory approvals and engaging with regulators and consumers. She also has significant expertise in coordinating and delivering business critical international regulatory and compliance advice and delivering complex multijurisdictional projects.

Claire also advises clients when things go wrong – such as dealing with regulatory and compliance issues, crisis management, handling and coordinating regulatory crises, product recalls and product liability matters, managing customer relations and claims and investigating and defending regulatory investigations and prosecutions.

Claire is recommended within the Product Liability category by the latest 2021 edition of the UK Legal 500. She is also the Training Principal for Cooley London looking after the current intake of trainee solicitors, and is passionate about improving diversity, equity and inclusion both within the legal industry and products industry.


Elizabeth Hyman is the Chief Executive Officer of the XR Association (XRA), the trade association representing the technology manufacturers that power the virtual, augmented, and mixed reality industries. XRA is dedicated to the responsible development and thoughtful advancement of XR technologies across the globe.

Prior to joining XRA, Hyman served as Executive Vice President of Public Advocacy at the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), where she led the association’s outreach to members of Congress, the Executive Branch, and other international, federal, state, and local government institutions that shape and influence public policies affecting the IT industry.

Hyman brings more than two decades of experience in the worlds of government, policy, and technology. She began her career in government, including positions at the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office of the President, and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and has experience in the private sector both in the practice of law and in business.

Hyman is a graduate of Tufts University, completed the General Course program at the London School of Economics, and holds a law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University.


Graham Owens is the Director of Regulatory, Tax, and Domestic Economic Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. Mr. Owens helps lead the NAM’s advocacy before Congress and the executive branch on smarter regulations and common-sense legal reform that fit the modern manufacturing workforce. As the head of the NAM’s CPSC Coalition and Food and Beverage Industry Group, Mr. Owens’ work focuses greatly on regulatory and enforcement matters before the CPSC and FDA.

Prior to his work at the NAM, Mr. Owens served as a Legal Fellow for the think tank TechFreedom where he conducted legal research and writing on a variety of tech and telecom-focused regulatory and enforcement issues, including consumer protection, antitrust, privacy & data security, and broadband deployment. Prior to that role, he served as a Professional Staff Member for the House Judiciary Committee and as a law clerk for the Federal Trade Commission and House Oversight Committee.

Mr. Owens is a recognized expert on good regulatory practices and has advised Congress and multiple regulatory agencies, including coauthoring testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee on FTC Reform and serving as a member of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, on how to improve their regulatory and adjudicatory processes. He speaks frequently on emerging issues in consumer protection law, administrative law, and regulatory reform.

A native of southwest Virginia, he received his B.A. in History from his beloved University of Virginia and J.D. from George Washington University School of Law.

 


Jeff Eyres is the Senior Trial Attorney at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). He is an accomplished, strategic leader and legal advisor with two-decades of government, in-house, and law-firm experience in the motor vehicle and transportation industries, and an established track record of success leading global businesses through complex risk management issues, delivering exceptional results, and navigating regulatory issues to open markets and achieve aggressive corporate objectives.

Prior to joining NHTSA, Eyres served as Senior Assistant General Counsel for Polaris Industries for nearly 10 years where he directed legal strategy, risk management, litigation, product safety, and regulatory compliance initiatives for Fortune 500 powersports OEM specializing in off-road vehicles, on-road motorcycles, and electric vehicles.  He was also a shareholder of mid-sized corporate law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He earned a J.D. from University of Michigan Law School, and a B.A. from Wartburg College.

 


Joe Mohorovic has a distinguished background as an executive and public servant, operating at the intersection of business and government, culminating in his service as a Commissioner on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

A board-certified product safety expert, Joe brings real world product safety experience and insider’s knowledge in both the private and public sectors as a Senior Managing Consultant in ESi’s Safety and Risk Assessment Practice Group.  He specializes in adverse event analysis, regulatory compliance counseling, expert testimony and dispute resolution.

Joe has an intimate understanding of the CPSC, having previously served as chief of staff and director of international programs under former Chairman Hal Stratton. Prior to joining the CPSC, Joe served two terms in the New Mexico Legislature as a representative from the 28th District.

In between his service as a CPSC staff member and his presidential appointment as a Commissioner, Joe spent seven years in the private sector. As a senior vice president with Intertek Group plc, a multinational inspection, product testing and certification company, he was responsible for all aspects of performance, growth and strategic management in the North American region. In this position, he led global teams in providing compliance and risk management services to some of the world's largest consumer brands and most complex supply chains.


JOEL W. ROGERS manages the Supply Chain & International legal team of The Home Depot, which currently includes attorneys and legal specialists located in Atlanta, Canada and Mexico.  His responsibilities include serving on the company’s Global Trade Compliance Steering Committee and managing legal support of the company’s supply chain and logistics organizations.  Joel also manages the company’s Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) and anti-bribery compliance program and legal support for the company’s international operations.  Prior to joining The Home Depot, Joel was a member of the Miller & Chevalier law firm and specialized in customs, export controls and international trade regulation.  He was vice-chair of the firm’s International Department and also managed the firm’s Customs and Import Practice Group.  He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and is a graduate of the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. 


Kathleen McGuigan is RILA’s Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. McGuigan supports the Retail Litigation Center advocating on behalf of the retail industry by filing amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court, federal and state courts. She also leads RILA’s deputy general counsel level committee, which provides innovative and quality education on a wide range of issues, including class action and employment litigation trends, privacy, and regulatory compliance, to senior level retail in-house counsel. In addition, McGuigan manages RILA’s compliance offerings and heads up RILA’s Compliance Council (comprised of chief compliance and ethics officers), and has oversight over RILA’s Retail Compliance Center, Consumer Product Committee, Environmental Advocacy Committee, and Environmental Compliance and Zero Waste Networks. 

Prior to joining RILA, McGuigan was in-house counsel for JCPenney where she was the lead attorney for the company’s international operations and handled trade, customs, contract, FCPA, antitrust, regulatory compliance, and corporate social responsibility matters. McGuigan started her legal career as a federal government attorney working for the Office of International Law, U.S. Department of Transportation; Civil Division, Department of Justice; and Office of Chief Counsel, US Customs Service. 

McGuigan graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BA in History and minors in Business and English. She has her JD from Loyola Law School, Loyola and Marymount University and an LLM in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law School.


Melissa Stull focuses her practice on product liability defense, with significant experience representing manufacturers of agricultural, industrial, and environmental equipment. Melissa has litigated cases for worldwide manufacturers of environmental equipment, represented one of the nation’s largest utility services companies, and defended one of the country’s largest medical device manufacturers in a nationwide MDL case.

She has tried cases in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Florida and Colorado and has experience in all phases of litigation, including depositions, preparing and arguing motions in state and federal courts, negotiating settlement agreements, trying cases, and preparing and arguing appeals.

Education

• University of Iowa College of Law, with distinction, 2006

• Luther College, magna cum laude, 2003

Admissions

• Minnesota

• U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit

Legal Activities

• Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection, 2019 – present

• Chair, MSBA Civil Litigation Section, 2018-2019

• Governing Council, MSBA Civil Litigation Section, 2015 – present

• Minnesota Women Lawyers

• Federal Practice Committee

Recognitions

• Attorney of The Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2019

• Up & Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer, 2012

• Rising Star, Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2013-2020


Mike counsels manufacturers, retailers, and other commercial clients on legal and regulatory matters particularly in the area of consumer goods and product safety. Drawing from his federal government, private practice, and in-house experience, Mike advises on compliance strategies and government relations, helping clients advance legislative and policy objectives at the state and federal levels. His experience in the product recall space includes having negotiated or collaborated on consumer product and motor vehicle recalls in multiple countries.

Mike held multiple positions at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). He served as senior counsel for the Office of CPSC Commissioner Joseph P. Mohorovic from 2014-2017, where he advised on various policy, enforcement, and ethics issues. He led several efforts to reform rules and regulations, including an initiative to reduce the paperwork burden on CPSC-regulated companies. He also worked at the CPSC as a legal fellow and law clerk in the Office of Commissioner Nancy Nord.

Most recently, Mike advised a major recreational product and motor vehicle manufacturer on product safety and compliance strategies, representing the company in agency proceedings, stakeholder organizations, and trade associations. He also served in a government relations role, advancing legislative and policy objectives before federal, state, and local governments. His legal training included service with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.

Aided by a prior career in broadcast journalism, Mike is a frequent speaker at industry and other conferences on product safety, regulatory, compliance, and government affairs topics.


Mike is the General Counsel for 3M’s Consumer Business Group and manages the Group’s global legal team.  He engages regularly with leaders at all levels of the 3M’s business organizations to develop proactive solutions to business and legal challenges. 

Mike’s current primary areas of legal counseling and expertise include:

  • Daily involvement with the global consumer products business on product distribution and pricing, digital marketing and advertising, and product sales and promotional law issues.
  • Regular role in negotiating and drafting various types of contracts for wide range of buy and sell side business transactions, including product supply, private label, distribution, wholesale, license, and sourcing contracts.
  • Handling legal aspects of product liability and product risk assessments, the creation and review of product safety and warning documents, product life cycle management issues, and other product safety and regulatory matters.
  • Advising clients on compliance with a broad range of government regulations and other compliance requirements for the Group’s global manufacturing and sale of consumer products.

Prior to this role Mike was the Associate General Counsel for 3M’s Safety and Industrial Business Group, with a particular focus on legal counseling for 3M’s global distribution of industrial products.  He has served as the division general counsel of a number of 3M business divisions and as the secretary and general counsel of several 3M subsidiaries and affiliated companies.  Prior to joining 3M, Mike was a trial attorney focusing on commercial litigation, antitrust, and product liability defense.  He is a graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law.


Ms. Cave serves as the Deputy Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Regulatory Affairs in the Food and Drug Administration. In this role she supports the Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs with activities including enforcement, regulatory science implementation, import operations, global/federal/state collaborations, implementation of new laws and regulations, and overall strategic planning and prioritizations.

She previously served as the Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Enforcement and Import Operations and had responsibility for providing direction and oversight of the Food and Drug Administration’s field import operations. This included reviewing prior notice and intelligence data on human and animal food and leading the development, implementation, and evaluation of laws, regulations, and policies as they related to broad global and national programs and activities.

Prior to this position, she served as the Deputy Director for the Office of Compliance and Field Operations in the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) where she worked with other federal government agencies to identify unique approaches and solutions to identify potentially defective consumer products. Ms. Cave had an extensive career with the CPSC having served as the Director of Field Investigations, and as part of the Office of Compliance’s Special Investigations Unit. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Peter A. Feldman is a Commissioner at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). He was nominated by President Donald J. Trump, and confirmed by the United States Senate, to complete the remainder of a term expiring in October 2019. Mr. Feldman was re-nominated, and confirmed, to a subsequent seven-year term that will expire in October 2026. He began serving as a Commissioner on October 5, 2018.

Since joining the Commission, Mr. Feldman has focused his time on enforcement, safety issues pertaining to emerging technologies, agency modernization and transparency, and e-commerce. 

Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Feldman served as Senior Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. In that role, he served as a key advisor on consumer protection, product safety, data security, and privacy issues to U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

During his tenure, Mr. Feldman was instrumental in drafting and negotiating bipartisan legislation and conducting oversight and investigations of CPSC, the Federal Trade Commission, and private sector firms.

Mr. Feldman led the Commerce Committee’s efforts on numerous bipartisan legislative initiatives, including the Consumer Review Freedom Act, the Better Online Ticket Sales Act, and the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act.

Mr. Feldman attended Colgate University and graduated with a B.A., cum laude. He received his J.D., cum laude, from American University’s Washington College of Law. Mr. Feldman is a member of the Maryland Bar.


Rachel is a partner in Schiff Hardin’s Product Liability and Mass Torts Practice Group.  She has established herself as a trusted adviser and an experienced trial lawyer, having litigated complex cases in both state and federal courts.  Her work spans a variety of product liability and litigation matters, and she has counseled clients in multiple industries, including food and beverage, construction equipment, industrial insulation materials, fire origin, consumer home and office goods and juvenile products.

Rachel has negotiated multiple dismissals, positioned cases for favorable settlement either through direct negotiations, mediations, or settlement conferences, and defended trial victories on appeal. Rachel is a diligent and dedicated attorney who serves as a courtroom advocate for her clients.


Sarah-Jane has received many accolades and is routinely recognised as a market-leading practitioner in international products law. She acts on regulatory, litigious and policy matters across the full product life cycle in respect of product safety, compliance and product liability issues.  

Her practice is focused on multi-jurisdictional matters for corporate clients across a range of sectors including consumer goods, cosmetics, chemicals, food (including novel foods) and beverages, life sciences, industrial and automotive products.

Sarah-Jane has been involved in some of the most prominent international product safety and litigation matters, including handling the world’s largest global product recalls, product launches, acting in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and representing a company in respect of a prominent unprecedented criminal investigation under product safety laws in the EU.

She has worked in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and the US. She has a background in science (degree in biomedical science). She has French and German language skills.

Sarah-Jane regularly contributes to prominent publications and key thought-leadership initiatives in her field, including Oxford University Press, Thomson Reuters Practical Law, Chambers & Partners, and Lexology. She also an active member and in leadership roles in peak industry bodies, including on DRI’s Product Liability Steering committee.


Steve Mahieu is Chief Counsel at The Kraft Heinz Company, where he heads the Litigation and Legal Operations functions and is a member of the global legal department leadership team. Steve manages the Company’s U.S. litigation docket, including lawsuits, arbitrations, pre-litigation disputes, claims, and regulatory investigations. He also advises global colleagues on litigation matters, and is responsible for global litigation reporting. Steve frequently counsels Company leaders and multi-functional teams regarding a variety of legal risks and opportunities. In addition, Steve oversees the department’s legal operations function, including budgeting, technology, and professional development. Prior to joining Kraft Heinz in 2016, Steve practiced law at Dykema Gossett PLLC, where he focused on commercial litigation, products liability, and insurance coverage disputes.


Vanessa is chair of the Detroit office’s Litigation Department, lead of Foley’s Supply Chain Solutions Initiative, co-chair of the firm’s Coronavirus Task Force, and a member of the Automotive and Manufacturing Industry Teams as well as the Consumer Law, Finance, and Class Action Practice Groups.  Vanessa’s practice focuses on a wide array of supply chain disputes, including breach of contract and warranty claims, automotive supply chain issues and maintaining continuity of supply, defending manufacturers against class actions, trade secret misappropriation claims and business torts. 

Vanessa has successfully managed, litigated, and tried cases in state and federal courts, as well as handled appellate proceedings. She has significant experience handling complex international arbitrations in various venues, including the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), American Arbitration Association (AAA), Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services Inc. (JAMS) and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).  Vanessa also has represented clients in commercial mediations, which have resulted in the early resolution of legal disputes and creative business solutions for parties continuing to do business together. 

In addition to her litigation, international arbitration, and mediation experience, Vanessa regularly counsels clients on various commercial contracts, supply chain agreements and related negotiations — she is the author of the forthcoming executive handbook (to be published in 2020) Law of the Automotive and Manufacturing Supply Chain: A Handbook for Success.  Prior to joining Foley, Vanessa was a law clerk to the Honorable Patrick J. Duggan, E.D. Mich. University of Denver College of Law (J.D., summa cum laude); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (B.A., with distinction).


Boaz is a seasoned consumer product lawyer. He has experience advising and representing a wide range of companies on product safety compliance, policy, and enforcement. He also advises companies on other consumer product regulatory requirements, such as labeling, advertising, and marketing requirements under federal and state law. Boaz has worked with a diverse range of consumer product companies throughout the supply chain, ranging from leading retailers, private labelers, and manufacturers, to innovative startups, platform sellers, and franchisers. Boaz provides practical advice, tailored to a company’s business and culture, informed by a deep understanding of consumer product safety laws and regulations, and the internal workings of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Prior to joining Neal Cohen Law in January 2021, Boaz was Counsel at Keller and Heckman, where he focused on complex consumer product regulatory and enforcement matters. From 2014 to 2018, Boaz served as Senior Counsel and Chief Counsel to CPSC Commissioner Marietta Robinson. During his years at the CPSC, Boaz forged strong ties with CPSC leadership, management, and staff, and worked closely with a variety of stakeholders in Congress, business, and the non-profit sector.

Boaz came to CPSC with a strong background in financial services litigation. He was a securities enforcement and class action litigator at Dewey & LeBoeuf and a Trial Attorney at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Law School

  • Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude

Undergraduate

  • New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Studies, summa cum laude

 


In June 2018, Paul Vitrano was appointed Senior Assistant General Counsel for Polaris Inc.’s Motorcycles; Boats; Parts, Garments & Accessories/Aftermarket; and Adjacent Markets divisions.  In that role, he is chief counsel to those global business units and a member of their executive teams.  He also previously managed the company’s Trade Compliance function and was counsel to the company’s International teams.  Vitrano serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Motorcycle Industry Council and sits on the governing Boards of other industry organizations in the U.S. and around the globe.  He also is a member of the Villanova University Public Policy Advisory Council.

Prior to his current role, Vitrano was Vice President, Global Government Relations for Polaris, since March 2014.  In that role, he represented the company’s interests before the United States federal and state governments as well as in capitals around the world.  He also oversaw the company’s Regulatory Affairs and Product Compliance functions.  In addition, Vitrano was Vice President & General Manager of the company’s new business unit, Polaris Experience, LLC from January 2016 to July 2018, and the founding executive of the Polaris Adventures network of Adventure Outfitters. 

Prior to joining Polaris, Vitrano was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association and General Counsel of the Motorcycle Industry Council and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, since 2008.  Before that, he was a partner with Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP (subsequently merged with Troutman Pepper LLP) in its Washington, D.C. office and maintained a national litigation practice.  

Vitrano received his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Villanova University and his law degree, with honors, from George Washington University.  


Sheila A. Millar, a partner with Keller and Heckman LLP, leads our firm’s consumer protection regulatory practices and brings deep experience to a range of public policy and regulatory matters, including advertising and promotions, connected products, privacy and cybersecurity, and product safety. She counsels international and domestic businesses on compliance questions and processes, represents them in regulatory enforcement matters, and advocates on their behalf before federal and state legislative and regulatory bodies.

Ms. Millar represents clients in enforcement investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and state attorneys general, and in advertising proceedings at the National Advertising Division (NAD). She helps clients conduct advertising, privacy, security, and product safety compliance audits and develop or refine regulatory compliance procedures. She also provides crisis management legal support to domestic and international businesses and serves as external counsel to several trade associations.

Ms. Millar is a frequent speaker on domestic and international regulatory compliance and public policy issues. Her commentaries and analyses appear frequently in the legal press.

Ms. Millar is a vice chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Marketing and Advertising Commission, and chairs its Working Group on Sustainability. She is a frequent speaker and author.

Ms. Millar can be reached at 202 434-4143, or via email at millar@khlaw.com.