James M. Beck

James M. Beck

Senior Life Sciences Policy Analyst

Education

  • Princeton University, 1978, B.A., cum laude
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1982, J.D.

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Third Circuit

James joined Reed Smith's Life Sciences Health Industries Group in the spring of 2012.

James handles complex personal injury and product liability litigation. He has overseen the development of legal defenses, master briefs, and dispositive motions in numerous mass torts, including Infuse, Pelvic Mesh, Nuvaring, Seroquel, a Merck analgesic product, diet drugs, Baycol, and orthopedic bone screws. Orthopedic Bone Screw ended with summary judgments in more than 170 cases, and prevailing in every appeal. 

James is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Committee (PLAC) and has sat on PLAC’s case selection committee since 1997. He has written over 70 amicus curiae briefs on product liability issues for PLAC. In 2011, Mr. Beck was awarded the PLAC’s John P. Raleigh Award, the highest honor given by the organization to one of its members. This award recognizes Mr. Beck’s overall contributions to the law of product liability, making him the eighth recipient of the Raleigh award in the almost 30-year history of the PLAC. 

James has also prepared amicus briefs for the American Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Medical Association and several of its state affiliates, the Anti-Defamation League, the Business Roundtable, the Pennsylvania Defense Research Institute, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington Legal Foundation. Mr. Beck has been chair of the Publications Subcommittee of the Mass Torts Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association since 2002. He has been named Outstanding Subcommittee Chair three times, in 2003-04, 2006-07, and 2008-09.

James is also the founder of, and regular contributor to, the award-winning Drug and Device Law blog.

Employment History

  • 2012 - Reed Smith
  • 2003 - Dechert
  • 1982 - Pepper Hamilton

Honors & Awards

  • Selected as one of JD Supra’s Top Authors for the JD Supra Readers' Choice Awards, 2016
  • Best Newsletter Award (American Bar Association, Section of Litigation), 2015
  • Pennsylvania Defense Institute's Distinguished Defense Counsel Award, 2015
  • Listed in The International Who's Who of Life Sciences – Product Liability Lawyers
  • John T. Raleigh Lifetime Achievement Award (Product Liability Advisory Council), 2011
  • American Bar Association Top 100 Legal Blogs, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Professional Affiliations

  • Member – American Law Institute, 2005
  • ABA Outstanding Subcommittee Chair, 2002-04, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2009-10

Notable Quotes

  • 1 March 2017 "Missouri Could Be Less Open to Out-of-State Plaintiffs" Bloomberg BNA
  • 30 January 2017 "Bristol-Meyers Case Could Have Wide Effect, Attorneys Say" Bloomberg BNA
  • 27 January 2017 "Ex-Accutane User's Time Limit Win May Draw Drug Suits To NJ" Law360
  • 25 January 2017 "James Beck Joins 3D Printing Protection Team" The American Law Institute
  • 25 January 2017 "Law firm Reed Smith establishes team to protect 3D printer users from lawsuits" 3Ders.org
  • 24 January 2017 " Reed Smith firm opens up new field: Protecting 3D printing from lawsuits" Philadelphia Inquirer
  • 20 January 2017 "Defense Bar Sees Jury Instructions Win in Latest Post-'Tincher' Ruling" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 28 September 2016 "3-D Printing Leaps Ahead of Product Liability Law" Bloomberg BNA
  • 2 September 2016 "Calif. Mass-Tort Ruling Not Seen Likely to Empty Pa. Dockets" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 1 September 2016 "Attorneys Agree Ban on Citing Nonprecedential Opinions Is a Hurdle" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 30 August 2016 "Plavix Ruling Cements Calif. As Center For Mass Torts" Law360
  • 15 August 2016 "Honda Says Plaintiffs Went Off Limits in Argument Over Crashworthiness Jury Charge" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 2 August 2016 "Appeals Court Overturn Philly Jury's $27M Award Over Knee Injury" Penn Record
  • 25 July 2016 "Out-of-State Pharma Filings Dip as Phila. Mass Torts Remain Steady" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 7 June 2016 "3-D Printing Set to Disrupt Products Liability Law" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • 24 May 2016 "3-D Printing Set to Disrupt Products Liability Law" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 29 April 2016 "Lawyers Benefit Most From No-Injury Class Actions, Study Says" Law.com
  • 5 April 2016 "Industry To FDA: "Emerging Signals" May Do More Harm Than Good" Med Device Online
  • 9 February 2016 "Products Liability an 'Unnerving New World' Since 'Tincher'" Pennsylvania Law Weekly
  • 11 January 2016 "FDA Lawyers Question New Medical Device Safety Policy" Politico Prescription Pulse
  • 15 December 2015 "FDA in pain drug restriction U-turn" Financial Times
  • 23 November 2015 "Keeping the Jurisdictional Toothpaste in the Tube: "General Jurisdiction By Consent" After Daimler AG v. Bauman" Washington Legal Foundation
  • 17 November 2015 "Litigants May Test High Court After Turnover" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 16 November 2015 "Judge Notes 'Considerable Confusion' in Post-'Tincher' Ruling" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 13 November 2015 "Liability and Legal Issues May Derail the Future of 3D Printed Medication" 3DPrint.com
  • 10 November 2015 "Attorneys Note Legal Issues for 3D Printing of Drugs" Bloomberg BNA
  • 2 November 2015 "Blogging on the Run" American Lawyer
  • 16 October 2015 "Cross-Court Zoloft Rulings Highlight Different Standards" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 1 September 2015 "Possible FDA/Amarin Off-Label Deal; Rule Tweaks Ahead?" SCRIP Intelligence
  • 17 August 2015 "What to expect in wake of the Amarin ruling: more truthful off-label talk from pharma" Medical Marketing & Media
  • 14 August 2015 "Drug minnow Amarin downs FDA in constitutional battle" The Irish Times
  • 10 August 2015 "Amarin Case Could Unleash a Flood of Off-Label Promos" FiercePharmaMarketing
  • 10 August 2015 "FDA Loses Case Against Drug Marketing" Infinite Path
  • 9 August 2015 "Foreign Drug Manufacturer Allowed to Use Off-Label Marketing" Morning Ticker
  • 9 August 2015 "Irish Drug Manufacturer Amarin Pharma Inc Gets Green Light From US FDA For Drug Vascepa" Pioneer News
  • 8 August 2015 "Court Ruling Could Loosen Rules on Drug Marketing" Forex Report Daily
  • 8 August 2015 "Want To Promote Off-Label? Pick Your Battlefield" SCRIP Intelligence
  • 7 August 2015 "Amarin wins early victory against FDA in 'free speech' case over drug promotion" U.S. News & World Report
  • 7 August 2015 "5 Questions After Amarin's Off-Label Marketing Triumph" Law360
  • 13 July 2015 "Mass Tort Inventory Stays High in Wake of Program Changes" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 23 February 2015 "Claims Preempted in Branded Drug Suit; Maker Couldn't Unilaterally Change Label" Bloomberg BNA
  • 20 January 2015 "Citing Tincher, Lackawanna Judge Upholds $5.9M Verdict" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 26 September 2014 "Preemption Trend Favors Pharma in Generic Reglan Fight" Law360
  • 26 August 2014 "Restatement Rift Remains as Bar Awaits Tincher Ruling" The Legal Intelligencer
  • 18 August 2014 "Alabama Court Bucks Trend, Says Generic Patient Can Sue Pfizer" Litigation Daily
  • 9 July 2014 "The Biggest Product Liability Cases of 2014" Law360