Share
Print-Friendly PDF Print this page

JOANNE M. GRAY

PARTNER

  • J.D., 1983
    Fordham University School of Law
  • B.A., 1980
    College of the Holy Cross

Gray, Joanne M
Joanne M Gray
The New York Times Building
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
USA
212.459.7440

Joanne Gray is a partner in the firm's Litigation Department, chair of its Specialty Litigation Group and chair of its Products Liability & Mass Torts Practice. She has extensive experience in defending matters involving high ­profile products liability, class actions, consumer fraud and mass tort claims. She also provides litigation avoidance counseling, including advising on related regulatory compliance as well as consumer product labeling issues. Ms. Gray is co­chair of the firm's Food Industry Group, and counsels clients and provides labeling, risk management and strategic advice to a wide range of food and supplement businesses, including in the fast growing and rapidly changing healthy living section of the industry. She is also involved in counseling and strategic planning for food, supplements and consumer product launches as well as product recalls, and advises on related risk management, public relations and crisis management issues.

Ms. Gray has been appointed as National Counsel, National Science Counsel and Regional Counsel, and has also been a member of several “virtual firms” which were brought together to serve her clients' particular interests. Her practice concentrates on food and beverage; fortified foods and supplements; pharmaceuticals and medical devices; toxic tort and environmental matters; insurance coverage advice; and defense of consumer fraud/consumer refund matters.

WORK FOR CLIENTS

Ms. Gray has broad experience in counseling on consumer product launches or recalls, as well as defending leading companies (both publically and privately held) in major consumer class actions and bet-­the-­company national mass tort and products liability litigation, including in lawsuits that have been part of designated multidistrict litigation (MDL). As such, she has extensive experience counseling clients on risk management, corporate crisis planning and in related public relations and capital markets issues that often arise with bet­the­company litigation or with high profile product recalls or relabeling of products in the national or international marketplace. Ms. Gray has also provided strategic advice and related due diligence reviews during acquisitions of specific product lines or entire companies.

Ms. Gray has also guided companies through the complex regulatory requirements promulgated by different governmental agencies (such as the FDA and the EPA), thus allowing her clients to continue to innovate, develop and market consumer products while complying with complex and sometimes seemingly contradictory regulations. She has also counseled her clients on managing risk and in limiting potential liability with new product launches or in making changes to consumer products currently on the market.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Ms. Gray has held a number of leadership roles in the American Bar Association, including in its Products Liability Group. She is the founding national co-chair of the ABA's Food and Supplement Group.  Ms. Gray is on the Board of Directors of Vitamin Angels, an international charity that provides critical micronutrients to pregnant and lactating mothers and children in need, both here in the US and around the world. She leads a team of lawyers in providing pro bono services to Vitamin Angels, and their work has resulted in Goodwin Procter receiving its “Archangel Award”, which is Vitamin Angels’ highest honor. In the pro bono area, Ms. Gray has also devoted much of her career to working with nonprofit groups that are dedicated to breaking the glass ceiling, and she has served on committees both inside and outside the firm that are focused on a variety of diversity issues, particularly on the advancement of women in the legal profession. Ms. Gray is the past national cochair of the ABA's Women in Products Liability Committee. She has also served on several other committees within the firm, and is past chair of the Hiring Committee for the New York office.

MEDIA

Ms. Gray has lectured and published extensively over the course of her career. She is coeditor of the 50 State Survey of Consumer Class Action Law, published by the American Bar Association. She is the author of the chapter on “The Power of The Press in Products Litigation” in the book Current Law Strategies and Best Practices in Products Litigation, published by the Practicing Law Institute (PLI). She has also published and lectured extensively on scientific issues in the law and issues relating to bet-the-company litigation, including on use of experts at trials and on related issues in Daubert hearings. Throughout her career, Ms. Gray has been a leading voice and national speaker on issues of mentoring and advancement of young lawyers and on the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS

Ms. Gray is a member of the Bar of the State of New York, and is also admitted to the bars of the Federal Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of New York, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  She has had numerous pro hac vice admissions throughout the United States.

RECOGNITION

Ms. Gray is listed in the nationwide Food & Beverages: Regulation & Litigation category in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, where clients praise her "tremendous work ethic" and for being "an absolute professional who first looks at the needs of her clients and provides strategic advice for the long-term." She has been named a “Life Sciences Star” in Euromoney LMG Life Science Guide and as a “Leading Lawyer” in The Legal 500 U.S. She is also listed in Who’s Who in the Law and Super Lawyers. In 2013, she received the first-ever “Transformative Leadership Award” from the American Bar Association for her leadership in the area of food and supplements law.