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Deidre ("Dee") Cohen Katz has practiced law in California for eighteen years and is a partner in WFBM's Orange office, but handles matters throughout both Southern and Northern California. Her practice emphasizes products liability litigation, general liability litigation and the defense of claims involving exposure to various types of chemicals (including but not limited to, benzene, diacetyl, and formaldehyde), asbestos, abrasives, silica, metals and welding rods, and includes the representation of manufacturers, distributors, retailers and premises owners. Dee is actively involved in the development and implementation of defense strategies for these matters, including through the use of discovery, experts, and pre-trial dispositive motions. She maintains longstanding working relationships with plaintiffs’ counsel in her cases and has amassed an impressive record of successfully negotiating favorable resolutions of these types of claims. In addition to being asked to participate in national industry conferences, Dee is also regularly invited to give lectures and presentations for various clients on current trends involved in toxic tort and products liability claims.
Dee grew up as a nationally-ranked competitive synchronized swimmer, which taught her discipline, teamwork, and allowed her the opportunity to travel extensively. She currently keeps fit with yoga and running, and within the past few years, fulfilled a goal of completing a short-course triathlon and half-marathon.
Spending time with her family is paramount, as evidenced by enthusiastic dance-offs with her 6-year-old daughter. A favorite weekend activity involves entertaining in her home where guests are always greeted with a fresh batch of guacamole.
Recent Presentations, Conferences & Speaking Engagments
"What the Tweet?! Collecting and Using Social Media Evidence to Investigate Claims" (2012)
"Expert Challenges and Admissibility Issues", Panel Member (2012)
"A Pain in the Assets: A Practical Guide to Successor Liability" (2012)
"The Art of the Tender and Indemnity" (2013); (2012)
"Benzene Litigation Update" (2012)
"Trace Benzene Litigation" (2011)
"California's Sophisticated User Defense: The Duty to Warn" (2010)
Samples of Representative Trials and ADR
Carter v. G.P. Resources; Defense verdict for client petroleum supplier after ten day jury trial in action arising out of plaintiff's exposure to client's petroleum-based solvent. Plaintiff claimed permanent injuries due to skin condition that prevented work.
Graves v. Meredith; Motion for summary judgment granted for building owner based on the statute of limitations for injuries allegedly related to its "sick building." Court of appeal upheld the judgment and awarded costs.
Cervantes v. Bortz Products, Inc., et al.; Dismissal for chemical manufacturer and distributor in a personal injury case involving exposure to products containing benzene or benzene derivatives. Dismissed upon filing a motion for summary judgment based on statute of limitations grounds.
Tewksbury v. Rectorseal Company, et al.; Two dismissals with prejudice granted to two client distributors of air conditioning products in a personal injury case arising from plaintiff's alleged exposure to toxic chemicals.
Stanford University (B.A. 1989)
College of William & Mary,
Marshall-Wythe School of Law
William & Mary Law School
Moot Court Bar (1992-1993)
State Bar of California
Claims & Litigation
Management Alliance (CLM)
National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
National Association of
Professional Women (NAPW)
United States District Court, Eastern, Southern and Central Districts of California
Areas of Practice
General Liability Litigation
Products Liability Litigation
Toxic Tort Litigation