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Goldberg Segalla Named a New Jersey Powerhouse by Law360

Goldberg Segalla has been named a New Jersey Powerhouse by Law360, one of the leading publications serving the legal community nationwide. The honor recognizes the law firm’s “stellar lineup” of nationally recognized attorneys in its Princeton office, track record of success on some of the most complex and high-exposure matters facing its national and international clients, and “sizeable presence in the state.”

In a profile of the firm published this week, Law360 called Goldberg Segalla’s 21-lawyer Princeton team “a force to be reckoned with” and lauded the firm’s leadership in product liability, life sciences, class action defense, transportation, and other practices. The New Jersey Powerhouse honor closely follows several recent regional and international recognitions, including being named one of the Best Places to Work in New Jersey by NJ Biz and Law Firm of the Year by the global insurance publication Reactions.

Goldberg Segalla’s Princeton office opened in 2006 under the leadership of David S. Osterman, who now heads the firm’s 60-attorney Product Liability Practice Group across its 12 offices in the United States and the United Kingdom. “One of the things that attracted me to Goldberg Segalla was the depth of the product liability practice,” Mr. Osterman told Law360, noting the significant growth of that team in Princeton as well as the firm’s life sciences and transportation practices.

In addition to highlighting the firm’s powerful litigation capabilities and recent court victories for some of the biggest names in retail, automotive, sporting goods, and manufacturing, Law360 also recognized the firm’s risk-avoidance counseling work: “Its Princeton office’s regional, national, and international clients often request help with formulating strategies designed to avoid litigation and manage their risk in the state and across the country.”

Powerhouse in Princeton

In its New Jersey Powerhouse profile of Goldberg Segalla, Law360 noted the accomplishments of several Princeton partners. (To access biographies of the entire Princeton team, use the links to the left of this page.)

“The firm’s stellar lineup includes a litany of notable recognitions,” Law360 noted, adding that Anita Hotchkiss leads the New Jersey team in the firm’s robust Life Sciences Practice Group, and Robert M. Hanlon Jr. leads its Transportation Practice Group there. “Hotchkiss has been awarded the New Jersey State Bar Association’s William A. Dreier Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Product Liability and Toxic Tort Law, and Osterman and Hanlon were two of the youngest members ever inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, where Osterman serves as vice chair for its New Jersey State Committee. All three are members of the Product Liability Advisory Council, an organization that invites a limited number of client-sponsored product liability defense attorneys to participate.”

“In addition, Hanlon is chair of the American Board of Trial Advocates’ National Trial College and a member of its national board of directors, and partner Robert M. Cook currently serves as secretary of the New Jersey Defense Association Products Liability Committee and served as past chair of the NJSBA Product Liability and Toxic Torts Section,” the publication continued, highlighting recent victories of a number of these partners along with Thomas J. O’Grady and Bonnie H. Hanlon.

The profile continued: “Goldberg Segalla’s Princeton roster also includes Caroline J. Berdzik, who was recognized as one of Law360’s Female Powerbrokers in January; Robert M. Hanlon Sr., a trial attorney with more than 40 years of experience in product liability litigation who serves as of counsel to the Princeton office.”

Unique Culture and Growth Strategy

Despite its relative youth, Managing Partner Richard J. Cohen told Law360, Goldberg Segalla has been able to achieve synergies that other firms have not because of its unique culture and organic growth strategy. Noting that every lawyer who joins the 13-year-old firm must subscribe to the idea that it’s team first and themselves second, he added that Goldberg Segalla doesn’t care about a book of business when hiring lawyers. It cares about two things in particular: “Number one, they have to be excellent at whatever it is they do. And more importantly than that, they have to be a better human being than they are a lawyer,” he said. “Number two, they have to be somebody who we believe is going to be a dynamic leader of either our present or at least our future.”

That philosophy played into the firm’s New Jersey expansion eight years ago with Mr. Osterman at the helm in Princeton, and the office’s steady growth since then. Goldberg Segalla opened its Princeton office following requests from its national client base to develop a presence in the state, Mr. Cohen told Law360. That aligned with the firm’s core strategy to grow only organically, never through merging with other firms, and never to open a new office “unless we do it for the right reasons at the right time around the right person,” Mr. Cohen said.

“If we get to a point where we’ve grown to such a degree that we have begun to destroy the culture that allows us to achieve the kind of synergies that our clients benefit from, we’re going to stop growing,” Mr. Cohen continued. “If we grow to a point where we have exceeded our ability to maintain an infrastructure that we think allows us to do things more efficiently, we’re going to stop growing. … In terms of the work that we’re doing, clearly the complexity of the work continues to evolve. Over our footprint, we’re doing far more complex, much more high-exposure, high-profile work than we did in our early years. And to the extent that we’re continuing to change in the future, I think that’s where it’s going to be.”