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Thomas C. Regan

One Riverfront Plaza
1037 Raymond Boulevard
Sixteenth Floor
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Phone:  973.491.3360
Fax:  973.491.3569
1818 Market Street, 26th Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

Biography

Tom Regan serves as LeClairRyan’s Litigation Department Leader. In this role, he is responsible for executing on the firm’s strategic plan as it pertains to the litigation department, managing growth opportunities and client service initiatives, and overseeing the practices within the department. Prior to his tenure as Litigation Department Leader, he served as the Products Liability and Transportation Practice Team Leader, having taken that role in 2015.

Mr. Regan focuses his practice on the management and defense of large dockets of cases filed in multiple jurisdictions. Through the collaborative and creative development of alternative fee arrangements, he ensures his clients are receiving cost-effective and consistent work across LeClairRyan's platform. Mr. Regan has advised about and provided clients with legal process mapping and systems to manage claims, implement internal response planning and establish data collection protocols.

Leveraging his ability to develop efficient and cost-effective business solutions for his clients, as well as his position as the automotive industry team leader for LeClairRyan, Mr. Regan has developed a predictive fee-based program through which he serves as National Coordinating Counsel for an American distributor of luxury, European consumer products. Presently, he is managing attorneys and paralegals within LeClairRyan who are engaged in litigation in 14 states under this engagement. Previously he served as the National Coordinating Counsel for a division of another Fortune 500 company, and as monitoring counsel for excess carriers.

A highly skilled commercial litigator with substantial first chair trial experience, Mr. Regan frequently represents corporate entities, from multinational Fortune 500 companies to closely held companies and individuals, against claims of serious and catastrophic injury that allegedly result from product liability or negligence and against claims of breach of warranty. Additionally, he has significant experience defending medical professional negligence claims, insurance and reinsurance coverage disputes, and general business litigation matters through trial or alternative dispute resolution such as administrative proceedings, mediations and arbitrations. Mr. Regan also represents private clients in estate and trust disputes.

In 2015, Mr. Regan spent several months working on secondment to a major, international insurance carrier. During this period, he assisted the firm’s client by investigating and evaluating claims, as well as managing outside counsel. By referencing the invaluable experience gained while working inside an active excess claims department, as well as utilizing his experience as outside counsel in insurance and reinsurance coverage, bodily injury, commercial litigation and claims management, Mr. Regan provides clients with real-world advice and actionable solutions to the myriad business challenges they face.

Representative Experience

Management and Alternative Fees

  • Serve as National Coordinating Counsel for an American distributor of luxury, European consumer products
  • Manages large-scale and individual litigation within LeClairRyan, including the implementation of large scale systems to improve efficiency and the use of long hallways and technology to collaborate with the most appropriate talent in the firm
  • Served as the National Coordinating Counsel for a division of a Fortune 500 company

Automotive

  • Frequently defends manufacturers and distributors in warranty matters in multiple states
  • Defended a distributor alleging a defect in the vehicle caused a fire that damaged the vehicle and contents in the trunk. Case was dismissed by way of summary judgment in lieu of filing an Answer.
  • Consults with automotive client on many issues encountered by the Legal Department
  • Serves as Automotive Industry Team Leader for LeClairRyan

Bodily Injury

  • Defended a case on behalf of an excess carrier involving an apartment fire that resulted in the deaths of a father and son, along with severe burns to a adolescent daughter and physical and psychological injury to the mother. The case centered on the smoke alarms and fire/smoke detection systems in the large house that had been converted into 4 apartments several decades earlier. Despite the protestations of plaintiffs’ retained expert, we were able to show that the alarm system distributed by our client was not interconnected with the hard-wired smoke alarms in the individual apartments. Likewise, the depositions of the other plaintiffs’ experts gutted the plaintiffs’ liability and damages cases. The cross examination of the experts was largely responsible for a reduction in the settlement demand from tens of millions of dollars to well under the top of the primary layer of insurance.
  • Defended a case alleging that a space heater caused a fire that destroyed a home in Orange, New Jersey, killing three adults and six children, and injuring five other adults, three of whom were forced to jump from a third story window. One of them also had burns because his clothes were on fire. The husband had a claim for emotional distress because his wife was on the phone with him when the fire ignited, and he arrived at the home to find the entire building engulfed in flame. The cause and origin was the thrust of the defense because the v patterns did not support the plaintiffs' claim.
  • Defended a U.S. manufacturer of automatic doors in a product liability/negligence claim. Procured a voluntary dismissal of all claims against the company after the deposition of the plaintiff’s expert.
  • Defended a Taiwanese manufacturer of rubber milling machines in two catastrophic injury matters on the grounds that there was no personal jurisdiction over the manufacturer in New Jersey. Manufacturer was granted summary judgment prior to answering the complaint.
  • Represented a U.S. manufacturer of hand tools in products liability litigation involving scleroderma and hand-arm vibration syndrome. Obtained summary judgment at the close of discovery.
  • Presided over the resolution of more than 1,600 workers' compensation claims that resulted from the closing of two manufacturing plants in central New Jersey. These plant closing claims included all manner of occupational exposure claims and were filed essentially as a block of claims within months of each other. The resolution of those claims included a mass settlement of more than 1,100 claims, individual settlements of many others, and trials related to those claims that were believed to be unsupported.
  • Defended a surgeon in a case where the bowel was nicked during a partial hysterectomy, causing a fistula. The case was defended and tried to the jury, until it was settled while the jury was deliberating under a favorable high-low agreement with a small range between the high and low. The jury then returned a no cause verdict.
  • Defended a nursing/rehabilitation facility in a case where a patient with mental deficit from a closed-head brain injury defeated the proximity alarm system and left the facility, where he was killed in a motor vehicle accident. The case settled following motion practice that limited damages and eliminated one of the central liability arguments.
  • Defended a hospital in a wrongful death case stemming from the misdiagnosis of chicken pox (varicella) in an adult patient. After a lengthy discovery period that focused in large part on the hospital staff, the case was terminated with a successful motion for summary judgment.

Insurance and General Commercial Litigation

  • Represented an equipment finance company in the issuance of an ex parte writ and order of replevin and repossession of a 55,000 pound milling machine.

Reported Cases

  • Rivers v. LSC Partnership, 378 N.J. Super. 68 (App. Div. 2005) certif.. den. 185 N.J. 295 (2005), lead counsel in case where summary judgment granted to defendants at conclusion of discovery over objections of plaintiff who sought additional time for discovery. Court found that as virtually no discovery had taken place, the claim of exceptional circumstances was unwarranted. Opinion cited dozens of times.
  • Callahan v. The Stanley Works, 306 N.J. Super. 488 (Law Div. 1997), only case in New Jersey finding that negligent spoliation of evidence is a separate cause of action. Although not directly overturned, subsequent case law has all but eliminated this ruling.

Speaking Engagements

  • "Stemming the Tide. A panel discussion of the effects of the "Green" movement on product liability manufacturers in the United States and the European Union", Defense Research Institute, Product Liability Conference, main program, April 2009
  • “Warnings: For Adults Only?” Defense Research Institute Conference, Children’s Products Subgroup, February 2008
  • “Top 10 Cases,” Defense Research Institute Conference, ACMIE Subgroup, February 2007

Published Works

What’s the Diehl? Third Circuit Rules of Evidence of Subsequent Remedial Measures Admissible,”, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Volume 12, No. 7, July 2000
“Foul! Assessing the Liability for Co-Participants in Sporting Activity”, The Trial Lawyer, Volume 24, Number 1, page 32, with Paul J. Halasz, January/February 2001
“Products Litigation: Design and Manufacture a Winning Strategy”, For The Defense, January 2004
“Deluding the Unwary: The Revised Medicare Secondary Payer Act,”, For the Defense, with Seamus M. Morley, January 2005
“New Jersey Supreme Court Gives Res Ipsa New Life in Negligence Claims”, DRI Products Liability Committee, with Seamus M. Morley, December 2005
"Theme Development in Trial Practice", For The Defense, with Kevin G. Kenneally, scheduled for publication September, 2008

Legal Experience

  • LeClairRyan, Newark, New Jersey, January 2008-Present 
  • Day Pitney LLP, Morristown, New Jersey, 1999-2007 
  • Hurley & Vasios, P.A., Short Hills, New Jersey, 1996-1999 
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable Stephen F. Smith, Jr., J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Morris County, New Jersey, 1995-1996

Memberships and Affiliations

  • President and Founding Member, Beta Beta Alumni Association of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, 2014-Present
  • CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties: Board of Trustees, 2006-2009
  • Defense Research Institute: Marketing Liaison for DRI Product Liability Conference (2010); Products Liability Seminar Planning Subcommittee (2008-Present); ACMIE Subgroup Steering Committee (2005-2007); Atlantic Regional Chair, Large Law Firm Initiative (2007)
  • American Bar Association: Member
  • Morris County Bar Association: Member
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Worrall F. Mountain Inn of Court: Barrister, 2003-2005

Distinctions

  • "AV" rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in New Jersey Law Journal's "40 Under 40", 2009
  • Listed in the Corporate Counsel edition of Super Lawyers in the area of Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2010
  • Listed in Law & Politics magazine's "New Jersey Super Lawyers" section, 2010-2011
  • Listed in Law & Politics magazine's "Super Lawyer Rising Star" section, 2006-2009

Education

  • J.D., Widener University School of Law, 1995
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Richmond, 1992

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania