Debra  L.  Doby

Debra L. Doby



Practice Groups

Debra Doby concentrates her practice on workers’ compensation litigation, maritime law, and intellectual property. Named a “Rising Star” in New York Metro Super Lawyers every year since 2016, she has built a reputation on success in the courtroom as well as a history of deep and substantive engagement with the issues her clients face. On top of her service litigating and advising her clients, Debra has written and presented on subjects including opioid addiction and overprescription, obesity, and the clash of whalers and protestors in the Southern Ocean — and well beyond their merely legal applications.

Debra has extensive experience representing clients before the New York Workers’ Compensation Board and in appellate courts, deposing medical professionals and other experts, and advising on all aspects of workers’ compensation law — including claims arising under the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Jones Act. Debra also counsels employers on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance and frequently conducts training seminars on minimizing the risk of workplace accidents and related litigation.

Drawing on both her undergraduate degree in chemistry as well as her insights into workers' compensation issues and trends in pain medication prescription practices nationally, Debra created Goldberg Segalla’s Opioid Impact Program (OIP) — a comprehensive program designed to help claims professionals reduce claimants’ use of prescription medications. The program also helps identify and mitigate claims that have the potential to spiral out of control in terms of cost and exposure. She frequently writes and presents on the subject for industry publications and conferences.

In addition to developing OIP, Debra organizes the firm’s workers’ compensation webinar series. The free, monthly series highlights state-specific information on workers’ compensation claims and litigation, and provides a high-level look at industry trends. Debra is also co-editor of Goldberg Segalla’s Workers’ Compensation Defense blog, which examines the latest rulings, developments, and trends impacting the defense of workers' compensation claims.

Debra is also an authority on maritime law generally and on workers’ compensation issues arising from maritime occupations. She developed this interest as a legal clinician at Maritime New Zealand in Wellington, New Zealand, where she counseled employees on OSHA, delegations, and other obligations under the Maritime Transport Act. She continued to develop her study of international trade while earning an L.L.M. at Trinity College, Dublin, and has written on comparative law and maritime jurisdictional conflicts. Today, Debra assists her clients in ensuring compliance with a wide range of internal conventions including the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), International Convention on Load Lines, International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STWC), pilotage, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). She also represents her clients in litigation arising from maritime workers’ compensation claims, and has tried many cases involving the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the Jones Act, the Limitation of Liability Act, and other federal and international regulations.

Debra graduated cum laude from the University of West Georgia with a bachelor's in chemistry. At Vermont Law School Debra studied patent and copyright law, and has since written on the subject. As a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Group, she works to protect the ideas, innovations, inventions, and creative property that have fueled her clients’ successes. This included litigation and arbitration involving patents, trademarks and copyrights, trade secrets, licensing and portfolio management, and unfair competition — especially in matters of international trade.

While completing her J.D., Debra was a legal clinician at the Environmental and Natural Resources Legal Clinic in Vermont, where she worked on issues involving the Clean Air Act. She was also co-chair of the International Law Society and organizer of the 2009 ILS Annual Conference, and was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Among American Legal Students.

  • National Law Journal, Cannabis Law Trailblazer, 2019
  • New York Metro Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2016–18
Professional Affiliations
  • American Bar Association
  •       Vice Chair, Workers’ Compensation and Employers’ Liability Committee,
          Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
  • Washington, D.C. Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Professional Women in Construction
  • National Alliance of Medicare Set Aside Professionals (NAMSAP)
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, LL.M., focusing on public and private international law bearing on arbitration and cross border disputes, with honors, 2011                          
  • Vermont Law School, J.D., with Certificate in International and Comparative Law, 2009
  • University of West Georgia, B.A. in Chemistry, cum laude, 2003
  • "Weed at Work," CLM Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, March 13, 2019
  • "Business Busters: Protecting Your Business from Employment Risks" (Co-Presenter), Buffalo Niagara Partnership Speaker Series, Buffalo, NY, October 19, 2018
  • "Business Busters — Protecting Your Business from Employment Risks" (Co-Presenter), Buffalo Niagara Partnership, June 28, 2018
  • "Marijuana, Opiates, and Alcohol," Safety Executives of New York Professional Development Conference, New York City, NY, March 20, 2018
  • "Perception vs. Reality of Formularies," New York Self-Insurers Association, Saratoga Springs, NY, June 8, 2017
  • "Reducing Overprescription of Narcotic Medications," ExecuSummit, Uncasville, CT, February 1, 2017
  • "Medicinal Marijuana and Its Impact on New York WC," SES Advanced Worker’s Compensation, January 2017
  • "Tricks to Navigating the New York Workers' Compensation Electronic Data Interchange," Workers' Compensation Webinar, November 16, 2016
  • "Preventive Strategies to Reduce Risk for Employees On Drugs, Alcohol, or Marijuana," Facilities Conference, Indian Wells, CA, October 19, 2016
  • "Lovin’ & Leavin’ Them: Over-Prescription of Medications," Worker’s Compensation Institute National Conference, Orlando, FL, August 17, 2016
  • "Litigation Strategies for Addressing Over-Prescription of Narcotic Medications," Workers' Compensation Webinar, August 10, 2016
  • "How to Limit Medical Exposure Using New York’s Medical Guidelines," SES Advanced Worker’s Compensation, January 23, 2015