Trial by Fire: Defense Strategies and Other Developments Impacting Fire Science Litigation will cover the latest legal developments impacting the fire litigation community, including those charged with investigating fires, companies whose products are at risk for a claim, and insurance carriers. Discussions and blog posts will review nationwide developments in fire litigation as well as legal and scientific principles and methodologies surrounding the investigation of fire claims and the issues unique to fire-related litigation.

The attorney contributors to Trial by Fire include national and coordinating counsel for both closely held and Fortune 500 companies whose products have been accused of causing fires throughout the United States. Giving our blog additional perspective is co-editor Jack Freedenberg, a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), whose certification and extensive hands-on experience offers our readers significant insight into fire science principles.

In addition, Trial by Fire attorney authors have served on numerous national committees and organizations dedicated to the defense of fire litigation. They have chaired the Defense Research Institute’s Product Liability Committee, its Fire and Casualty Specialized Litigation Group, and its Children’s Products Specialized Litigation Group. They have also chaired and lectured at the annual seminars of this and other organizations. All are members of Goldberg Segalla’s Product Liability Practice Group, a team that spans all 14 of the firm’s offices in the United States and the United Kingdom.

We look forward your comments and thoughts on these topics and our blog. Please contact one of our editors listed below or send us your feedback by clicking on the Contact tab above.



David S. Osterman
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David Osterman is a senior partner resident in Goldberg Segalla’s Princeton, New Jersey office. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and he concentrates his practice in handling complex civil litigation, including commercial disputes, product liability, and class action litigation. Dave is certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court and has tried more than 45 cases to verdict in five different states (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Arizona) and the District of Columbia. He has also served as lead counsel in the successful defense of several state and national class actions involving claims of consumer fraud, breach of warranty, medical monitoring, and product liability. Dave’s practice involves the representation of manufacturers, retailers, and distributors of a wide variety of products including pharmaceutical and medical device products, consumer products, food products, heavy industrial machinery, airplanes, outdoor power equipment, gas grills, glass products, and flammable fabrics. He has extensive toxic tort experience, including the successful representation of manufacturers and distributors against claims of personal injury or property damage as a result of exposure to asbestos, silica, paint products, graphite carbon, diacetyl, industrial solvents, and MTBE. This experience includes the largest consolidated asbestos trial in New Jersey history. In addition, Dave successfully defends class action litigation brought under state consumer protection statutes, including the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.


John P. Freedenberg
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John Freedenberg, a founding partner of the firm, concentrates his practice in the areas of products liability, catastrophic personal injury, and intellectual property litigation as a partner of the firm. As a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), Jack provides Goldberg Segalla clients with a strong competitive advantage in litigation involving damage and injury from fires. He is actively and deeply involved in the investigation phase of each fire case, and in the courtroom, he brings the weight of fire investigation credentials that often match or exceed those of opposing expert witnesses. He has participated in dozens of fire scene inspections and more than 100 laboratory inspections of fire scene artifacts, and he has conducted hundreds of depositions and dozens of trials in fire-related cases. Administered by the National Association of Fire Investigators through its National Certification Board, CFEI is the largest fire investigator certification program in the world. Jack serves as national coordinating counsel for two major manufacturers, and he has handled the defense of numerous products liability actions around the United States. These have included catastrophic personal injury cases and major fire damage cases, and they have involved appliances, household products, controls, power generating and other heavy equipment, high-end products, lift trucks, electrical systems, and aircraft engines.


Ryan M. Frierott
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Ryan Frierott focuses his litigation practice in the fields of products liability, toxic torts, complex insurance coverage, and professional liability. He has represented clients in state and federal courts throughout the United States, and has extensive experience defending cases involving fires, product defect, expert witness challenges, and toxic tort exposure. Ryan currently serves as national discovery counsel in toxic tort cases. In this capacity, he is responsible for identifying product issues, uniform discovery compliance, assisting local defense counsel in product-related issues to prepare for discovery, and presenting corporate witnesses for deposition. These cases involve defending alleged exposure to asbestos, manganese, and benzene contained in furnaces, welding rods, dry cleaning equipment, plastics, photographic chemicals, home appliances, and other industrial products.




Daniel Klein
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Jennifer L. Rediehs
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Staci A. Williamson
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