Jack B. McCowan, Jr.
Jack “Skip” McCowan is a Partner in the San Francisco office. He is a member of the Drug and Medical Device and Commercial Litigation practice groups with more than 30 years of experience. His practice is equally divided between drug, medical device and other product liability litigation and commercial litigation, including matters involving trade secrets and unfair business practices.
He has represented a wide variety of companies in trials in federal and state courts throughout the State of California as well as other states. Mr. McCowan also has a substantial record of appellate success. His leadership at the firm includes serving as the Chair of the Diversity Committee.
He is the former Chair of the Drug and Medical Device committee. Mr. McCowan is a national director and member of the Board of Directors of DRI. He is the current Vice-Chair of the DRI Center for Law and Public Policy,
Examples or Mr. McCowan's extensive experience includes the following:
Represented the manufacturer of silicone gel breast implants in more than 3,500 product liability cases coordinated in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego (In Re: Coordinated Breast Implant Litigation, JCCP-2754). Acted as defense liaison counsel for all manufacturers and regional trial counsel for Dow Corning Corporation in the litigation and tried the first case set for trial before the coordination judge.
Represented the manufacturer of latex gloves as California trial counsel in cases in the multi-district litigation venued in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (MDL No. 1148).
Achieved an appellate victory in a product liability case when the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division One affirmed a trial court dismissal via summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer of silicone gel breast implants. (Sybil Niden Goldrich v. Natural Y Surgical Specialties, Inc. et. al, 25 Cal.App. 4th 772 (1994)) Dow Corning Corporation, the manufacturer of the implants, obtained dismissal based on the statute of limitations. The case has been often cited on the subject of the accrual of the cause of action.
Obtained one of the first summary judgments on the issue of federal preemption in a medical device case following the issuance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Reigel v. Medtronic, Inc. (Vivas v. Edwards Lifesciences LLC, Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, Case No. CGC-07-467784).
Obtained a defense verdict in a case in which the plaintiff, a wholesale bakery company, sued another bakery company claiming the defendant was liable for state anti-trust violations, theft of trade secrets and trade dress and unfair competition in which the plaintiff asked the jury for $30,000,000 in damages. (Pensabene International, Inc. v. Paramark Enterprises, Inc., Superior Court of California, County of Marin, Case No. 006365)
Selected as trial counsel by the manufacturer of a diet drug medication (fenfluramine) in cases pending in state and federal courts in California, Iowa and Pennsylvania. Participated in the identification, selection and retention of world-renowned scientific experts on a key causation issue in the litigation. (In Re: Diet Drugs (MDL 1203))
Retained by the manufacturer of the drug phenylpropanolamine to identify, select and work with experts in a variety of scientific disciplines from around the world on issues of causation. (In Re: Phenylpropanolamine Products Liability Litigation (MDL 1407 )(PPA) )
In four separate cases set for trial in 2009 for the same client, two involving claims of product defect in the design of circular saws and two involving plaintiffs suing the manufacturer of brake products allegedly responsible for plaintiffs’ mesothelioma, obtained dismissals of each of the cases on the eve of trial without the payment of any money to the plaintiffs.
Mr. McCowan attended the University of California, Santa Barbara from which he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with high honors. He attended the University of Madrid during his junior year in college. He attended the law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Mr. McCowan is an adjunct professor of law at Hastings where he teaches a a class in personal injury litigation.
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Commercial Litigation, Drug & Medical Device, Products Liability, Toxic Torts & Environmental Law
Drug and Medical Device
Toxic Torts and Environmental Law