Beck focuses on complex personal injury and product liability litigation with the firm’s global Life Sciences Health Industry Group. He oversees the development of legal defenses, master briefs, and dispositive motions in numerous multidistrict litigation matters and other mass tort actions. He drafts major appellate briefs in significant product liability and related matters, including amicus curiae briefs.
A highly recognized thought leader on product liability law and issues, Beck is the founder and co-host of the award-winning Drug and Device Law Blog. He frequently contributes blogposts on highly significant legal decisions and other product liability-related issues affecting drug, biotech and medical device companies.
Beck’s award recognizes his commitment, dedication and tireless work on PDI’s amicus and product liability committees, including successful amicus briefs in the recent Mallory v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co. and Albert v. Sheeley’s Drug Store, Inc. decisions. He also led PDI’s development of suggested standard jury instructions for Pennsylvania product liability cases.
Before that, Beck authored a successful amicus brief in the groundbreaking Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc. decision, in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned 35 years of erroneous product liability precedent.
Beck has presented many seminars and education programs for the legal community, and he frequently serves as panelist and speaker at PDI conferences and events.
“Jim is nationally respected across the legal, product liability and drug and medical device sectors for his preeminent knowledge of legal issues and precedent setting decisions impacting litigation,” said Melissa Geist, co-chair of the Reed Smith Life Sciences Health Industry Group. “We are thrilled that he is being recognized for a lifetime of dedication, commitment and invaluable contributions to case law.”
In addition to his law practice and thought leadership, Beck is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Committee (PLAC) and has sat on PLAC’s case selection committee since 1997. He has written more than 80 amicus briefs on product liability issues for PLAC. In 2011, he was awarded PLAC’s John P. Raleigh Award, also for lifetime achievement, only the eighth time the group’s highest honor had been bestowed since PLAC’s founding in 1982.
In addition, Beck has authored amicus briefs for AdvaMed, the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, several state medical associations, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Legal Foundation, the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform, and for PDI itself. He also is the lead author of the Drug and Medical Device Product Liability Deskbook (Law Journal Press), and edits the ABA’s Mass Torts Litigation Committee newsletter, for almost 30 years, winning multiple ABA awards over that time.
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