Overview

Barbara is an associate in the Product Liability Litigation, Business Litigation, and White-Collar Crime practice groups. She has experience defending clients in product liability and mass tort litigation, putative class actions, personal injury cases, and long-term care and nursing home litigation. Barbara provides counsel on risk mitigation and avoidance strategies, as well as product warnings and instructions, warranties, and commercial terms and conditions. Barbara also has experience handling a variety of white-collar criminal matters.

Experience
Product Liability and Negligence Claims
  • First-chair trial experience defending global chemical manufacturer against breach of contract, Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and product defect claims involving automotive industrial coatings product
  • Obtained summary judgment for global manufacturer and marketer of engineered rubber products against claims of defect in industrial hose
  • Defended a major U.S.-based automobile manufacturer in claims of property damage arising from vehicle and structural fires, and against insurance subrogation actions alleging design, manufacturing, and warning defects
  • Defended investment company against allegations of corporate vicarious liability for franchisor and franchisee negligence related to injuries sustained at bounce house franchise
  • Defense of property owners in premises liability litigation
Risk Mitigation & Avoidance Counseling
  • Evaluated and drafted warranty provisions and commercial terms and conditions for companies in multiple industries, including national automotive aftermarket and automotive collision repair chains, tire manufacturers, coating manufacturer, and global rubber products manufacturer
  • Developed product warning labels and disclaimers for retail distribution of household and other consumer products
  • Advised on product liability-related due diligence requests
  • Oversaw field investigations for global manufacturers of variable frequency drives and industrial hoses related to catastrophic product failure and fire to identify potential defenses against pre-litigation claims, including analysis of contract defenses based on supplier and distributor terms and conditions
Long-Term Care and Nursing Home Defense
  • Defended skilled nursing and long-term care facilities against claims of negligence and wrongful death
Chemical & Mass Tort
  • Represented a leading coatings manufacturer against a putative class action arising out of claimed environmental contamination in Jersey City, New Jersey
Admiralty & Maritime
  • Second-chaired trial in defense of seaman's personal injury case alleging negligence under the Jones Act and unseaworthiness under general maritime law, resulting in favorable jury verdict for shipowner
  • Represented multiple shipowner defendants in asbestos litigation
White Collar and Administrative Matters
  • Defended an individual after plea-convicted of money-laundering conspiracy for misuse of U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service funds, and obtained a downward departure from federal sentencing guidelines of more than 20 levels, from a substantial sentence of incarceration to a sentence of probation
  • Defended an individual involved in a money-laundering conspiracy involving allegations of misuse of leased vehicles, securing a non-jail sentence
Publications
  • Co-author, “In Mixed Ruling for Food Manufacturers, the Ninth Circuit Affirms Decertification of Damages Class While Keeping Door Open for Individual Claims,” Thompson Hine Product Liability Litigation Update, October 2016
  • Co-Author, “The Proof is in the Pudding: Food Litigation Class Actions after Dukes and Comcast,” DRI For the Defense, April 2015
  • Author, “Diversity: Making the Case for Investing In Diversity: The Role of Sponsors in Advancing and Retaining Diverse Attorneys,” DRI The Voice of the Defense Bar, April 2014
  • Co-Author, “No Going Back: Strategies for Opposing Remand Under CAFA’s Exceptions,” Washington Legal Foundation - Critical Legal Issues Working Paper Series, December 2013
  • Co-Author, “Digging Deeper: Mass Toxic Tort Class Certification after Dukes, Comcast, and Amgen,” IADC Defense Counsel Journal: October 2013, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 412-434
  • Co-Author, "Out on a Limb: How Will the Prohibition of Biomedical Research Using Chimpanzees Harm Public Health?", The Food and Drug Law Institute, Food and Drug Policy Forum, Vol. 3, Issue 5, March 2013
  • "In re Whirlpool: Sixth Circuit Affirms Class Certification Even for Members Whose Product Did Not Manifest the Alleged Defect," Building Blocks, DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, August 2012
  • "Sustaining Diversity: Examining the Role of Mentors in Developing, Advancing, and Retaining Minority Attorneys," CMBA Bar Journal, July/August 2011
Presentations
  • “Best Practices for Reducing Warranty and Product Liability Risk,” 2016 DRI Product Liability Conference, New Orleans, LA, February 2016
  • “A Seat at the Table: Witness Prep, Trial Examinations and Other Essential Trial Skills for Young Lawyers,” 2015 NAPABA Convention, New Orleans, LA, November 2015
  • “Retention and Advancement of Asian American Lawyers from Junior Associates to Senior Partners,” 2015 NAPABA Central Region Conference, Minneapolis, MN, September 2015
  • “APA Women & the Law,” 2013 National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association Conference, Kansas City, MO, November 2013
  • Cuyahoga County Executive Candidate Forum, hosted by the Asian Community in Northeast Ohio, Moderator, November 2010
  • "The Economy and Its Impact on the Legal Landscape," First Annual Midwest APALSA Conference, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, February 2010
Distinctions
  • Women of Professional Excellence Award recipient, YWCA Greater Cleveland, 2016
  • Selected for inclusion in Rising Stars by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2014 through 2017
  • 2014 Thompson Hine Diversity Champion Award
  • Named to Lawyers of Color's Hot List, 2013
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Asian American Bar Association of Ohio – President; Board of Trustees
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Board of Governors; Co-Chair, NAPABA Young Lawyers Network
  • Defense Research Institute – Young Lawyers Steering Committee
  • William K. Thomas Inn, American Inns of Court
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar AssociationTaskforce on Judicial Excellence
  • Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio

Community Activities

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland – Board of Directors
  • Dartmouth Club of Northeast Ohio – Secretary
  • MotivAsians for Cleveland – Director of Events
  • Cleveland Asian Festival – Finance and Compliance Committee
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders, Flagship Program 2014
  • Downtown Cleveland Alliance, 2012-2014 City Advocate
News