Scott L. Winkelman is a partner in the firm, co-chair of the Environment, & Natural Resources Group, and a member of the firm's Management Board and Executive Committee. He litigates class actions, multidistrict proceedings, and other complex litigation nationwide in products and commercial matters. His tort practice involves representations in a range of industry sectors, including automotive, computer, aviation, food, alcohol, chemical, rail, and information technology. Scott is also a member of the firm's Advertising & Product Risk Management group, representing clients in proceedings before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and related regulatory bodies, and counsels clients on liability prevention, records management, and commercial contract and warranty matters.
Scott is a Six Sigma "black belt" and advises clients on process improvements in the practice of law. His lecture topics include class actions, tort trends, liability prevention, regulatory procedures, and a range of mass tort concerns. In 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, Scott has been selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers In America as a "Best Lawyer" in the area of product liability litigation.
Scott received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan (1984), and his law degree from Harvard Law School (1987), before serving as judicial clerk to the Honorable John Pratt of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Scott is married with two children, and roots for all Detroit sports teams.
- Argued successfully for the defense group in Mississippi federal district court, then twice before the Fifth Circuit, in climate change tort litigation;
- Tried to verdict matters involving alleged breach of a partnership agreement and fraud in New York state court; antitrust and contract claims in Illinois federal court; antitrust claims and tort counterclaims in Texas federal court, and a real estate managing partner dispute in Virginia federal court;
- Represented clients in connection with three of the largest automotive recalls in U.S. history;
- Obtained summary judgment in neighborhood environmental tort litigation seeking a $440 million medical monitoring program, and denial of class certification of a medical monitoring action in Florida state court;
- Achieved denial of class certification following evidentiary and oral argument proceedings in tort and commercial actions for an array of clients in courts in Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Florida, and Ohio, and dismissal of additional putative class and mass actions on non-class grounds in courts in California, Illinois, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, among others;
- Obtained dismissal upon oral argument in Ohio state court of what was threatened to become the next wave of asbestos litigation, an outcome affirmed on appeal;
- Obtained termination of a hundred-plus-case occupational personal injury docket in West Virginia state court through a Daubert ruling following a several-day evidentiary hearing;
- Obtained dismissal of all claims against our client in Hurricane Katrina Levee litigation multidistricted in New Orleans federal court;
- Obtained voluntary dismissal with prejudice of claims in multidistrict litigation stemming from the crash of Egypt Air Flight 990, and represented clients in connection with the downing of SwissAir 111, Air France 447, and other aviation events;
- Successfully recovered funds stolen from an Olympic speedskater medalist through court action, then achieved disbarment of the offending party through state disciplinary proceedings;
- Resolved successfully an environmental community tort litigation in Florida state court seeking $500 million in relief;
- Resolved successfully a commercial dispute between an automotive part supplier and automotive manufacturer with claims valued in excess of $1 billion;
- Served as a testifying expert witness in insurance coverage commercial litigation involving the reasonableness of underlying tort action settlement efforts;
- Obtained successful closure of dozens of proceedings for multiple clients before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;
- Represented a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of aluminum wheels in NHTSA proceedings and personal injury tort litigation;
- Defended a leading global provider of engine turbines in multi-million dollar commercial litigation brought by a utility in Virginia state court;
- Served as coordinating counsel for a Fortune 100 client in serial fungicide tort litigation in courts nationwide, and as coordinating counsel for a leading transportation entity in occupational tort litigation in courts nationwide;
- Lectured on the Class Action Fairness Act; implications of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008; developments and trends in e-discovery; crisis management; the government contractor defense; early-win strategies in complex tort litigation; records management; application of Six Sigma methodology to the practice of law; climate change litigation; and an array of tort law trends, challenges and winning defense strategies.