Quinn Nabs a Few More: Sheila Birnbaum and Mark Cheffo
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Quinn Emanuel is at it again, snatching laterals with epic relish; and this time they’ve bagged a few superheroes. Skadden Arps is about to lose Sheila Birnbaum and Mark Cheffo. Birnbaum, “Queen of Toxic Torts,” is a highly honored and awarded attorney who has for thirty years worked at Skadden in litigation and counseling of product’s liability, mass torts and insurance coverage. Perhaps she left because Skadden has an official retirement policy of 70-years of age, and she’s 73, but it’s not clear.

“I had a wonderful run at Skadden and have many great friends there. However, the opportunity to join Quinn Emanuel was an offer I could not refuse. Its pure litigation model is a more natural fit with my practice. It represents a new and exciting challenge for me.”


She certainly brings a lot of clout with her. She is regarded as a “star individual” in Product Liability and Mass Torts by Chambers USA, who called her “a queen of mass tort, a powerhouse and a go-to lawyer.” She’s won the highest honor that alumnus can gain from NYU School of Law: 2008’s Law Alumni Association Awards with the Vanderbilt Medal. She’s been named Best Lawyer’s 2012 New York City Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defense Lawyer of the Year. She has, in fact, won many such awards.

And such honors accrue naturally from the series of litigations she’s bested, such as two epic wins in the United States Supreme Court, as when in Campbell v. State Farm she reversed a $145 million punitive damages award as being unconstitutionally excessive.

Quinn’s co chair of Nation Trial Practice said that, “We have built a first rate products liability trial and investigations practice serving the highest priority needs of Fortune 100 clients. Adding Sheila’s counseling and strategic expertise will elevate our products, insurance and arbitration practices to an entirely new level.”

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The company is also excited to take on Cheffo, who is also ranked among the highest product liability lawyers in the U.S. He has been praised as “very well regarded, very smart, and a good strategist.”

“We are pleased to have Mark join our produces liability practice,” said Managing Partner, John Quinn. “Coupled with our current products practice, the addition of Sheila Birnbaum, and the additions of Mike Lyle and Eric Lyttle in Washington D.C., we believe we have assembled the premier produce liability practice in the country.”

An ambitious goal, anyway, but one they seemed to work hard to achieve.



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