Ellen K. Reisman


Attorneys Fees
Class Action
Mass Tort
Multi District Litigation
Personal Injury
Product Liability

Ellen Reisman is nationally recognized for her skill in achieving innovative resolutions of complex mass tort litigation through class action, inventory, and individual settlements. She joined in founding RKG after nearly 30 years at an AmLaw 100 international law firm and two years as a senior lawyer at a major pharmaceutical company. Her extensive experience in successfully developing and implementing comprehensive, integrated litigation and settlement strategies includes:

  • Representing pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and other companies in negotiating settlements of thousands of product liability and personal injury claims in some of the largest mass tort litigations in history;
  • Serving as a court-appointed Special Master in federal multi-district litigation and related state court litigation to resolve nationwide product liability and economic loss mass tort claims;
  • Serving as a mediator in individual lawsuits;
  • Counseling pharmaceutical and medical device companies and investors on potential product liability risks and mitigation strategies.

Case List

National Mass Tort Settlement Counsel

  • National Settlement Counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and American Medical Systems, Inc. and successors in connection with litigation involving AMS Pelvic Repair System Products. [2013 – present],
  • Represented BP in negotiating the Deepwater Horizon Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement [2011-2015]
  • Represented Scientific Protein Laboratories and American Capital Ltd. in product liability litigation and regulatory matters involving contaminated heparin [2008 – 2017].
  • Represented Wyeth (formerly American Home Products Corporation) In the diet drug (“fen phen”) litigation as national counsel coordinating defense of tens of thousands of lawsuits, lead negotiator of the National Diet Drug Class Action Settlement (Brown v. American Home Products, No. 99-20593, E.D. Pa.), and architect and lead negotiator in the Diet Drug “Global Settlement Process,” resolving over 60,000 opt-out cases. [1997 – 2010]
  • Represented Pfizer Inc. and Shiley Incorporated in product liability and other matters involving the Bjork-Shiley Heart Valve, including a class action settlement, a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and international regulatory issues. [1990 – present]

Special Master and Mediator in Mass Torts

  • Special master for settlement in Syngenta mass tort litigation involving multidistrict class action and individual claims in two federal courts and several state courts by thousands of corn farmers and other plaintiffs alleging economic loss arising from Syngenta’s sales of corn seed containing genetically modified traits approved in the United States, but not in China. Ms. Reisman was appointed by U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum (D. Kan.), U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon (S.D. Ill.), Judge Thomas M. Sipkins (District Court for Hennepin County, Fourth Judicial District, State of Minnesota), and Judge Brad K. Bleyer (Illinois First Judicial Circuit Court) [March 2016 – present] MDL 2591 and Minnesota Special Master Order
  • Special Master for Settlement in multi-district product liability and personal injury litigation against C.R. Bard by plaintiffs alleging personal injury from Bard pelvic mesh implants.  Bard-PTO-166.
  • Common Benefit Special Master, in In re Abilify (Aripiprazole) Products Liability Litigation, No 3:16-md-2734 (ND. Fla.), appointed by Chief Judge M. Casey Rogers. [Feb. 2017 – present] Common Benefit Order No. 1

Honors Membership Awards

  • The International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers 2018
  • Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation and Product Liability Lawyers, Euromoney 2016
  • LMG Guide, Life Science Star 2012-2014
  • The Who’s Who Legal 100 2014 for Product Liability Defense and Life Sciences – Product Liability
  • Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” 2012, 2014
  • Recognized by California’s Daily Journal as one of the “Top Women Lawyers” of 2014
  • The International Who’s Who of Life Sciences Lawyers 2011-2013
  • Southern California Super Lawyers 2004-2013 for Personal Injury – Products; Defense and General Litigation
  • PLC Which lawyer? Yearbook 2009, 2011, 2012: Recommended for Life Sciences: Product Liability
  • The International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America 2011 for Mass Tort Litigation
  • Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Product Liability Layers 2010
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2006-2007 for Products Liability
  • American Lawyer, “45 under 45” 2003
  • National Law Journal, “Top 50 Women Litigators” 2001


B.A. 1981, Boston College, summa cum laude; J.D. 1984, University of Chicago Law School, cum laude

Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP, 1992-1999, 2001-2015 (Washington. D.C. and Los Angeles, CA)

Associate, Arnold & Porter LLP, 1984-1991 (Washington, D.C.)

Associate General Counsel of American Home Products Corporation and Vice President, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, 1999-2001