The recent Tesla fire in Houston reportedly took four-plus hours to extinguish completely because of continued flareups. This highlights some of the challenges faced by auto manufacturers (and fire departments) as electric vehicles start to take over the roads, including unique issues related to lithium-ion fires.  Dykema attorneys Deron Wade, Jeff Cox and Rebekah Hudgins recently presented a litigation update addressing: “How Going All Electric May Impact the Future of Fire Litigation” (PowerPoint Slides – starting on Slide 21). The first portion of the update addressed: “A Discussion of Jury Selection and Juror Attitudes in the Post-COVID World.”

If you have any questions about electric vehicle litigation and liability risks or Dykema’s nationally renowned automotive product liability team, contact the presenters Deron Wade or Jeff Cox, or Mike Carey. For more information on Dykema’s comprehensive automotive industry practice, contact Laura Baucus, Director of Dykema’s Automotive Industry Group.

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Photo of Deron L. Wade Deron L. Wade

Deron Wade is a first-chair trial lawyer with a diverse civil trial and litigation practice. He serves as lead trial counsel in complex product liability, commercial, and energy industry matters. For more than 20 years, Mr. Wade has provided trusted counsel and superior…

Deron Wade is a first-chair trial lawyer with a diverse civil trial and litigation practice. He serves as lead trial counsel in complex product liability, commercial, and energy industry matters. For more than 20 years, Mr. Wade has provided trusted counsel and superior representation to major automobile manufacturers in mass tort, wrongful death and catastrophic injury in alleged product-defect lawsuits.  This practice has expanded geographically to include encompass cases throughout Texas, as well as matters in California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maine.  Dykema’s national scope gives Mr. Wade the opportunity to incorporate diverse, high-performing attorneys from the firm’s other offices into the case team.

Mr. Wade also has longstanding relationships and representations in the regulated utility and midstream space.  He represents regulated electric utility and midstream companies as trial counsel in a wide variety of personal injury, commercial, breach of contract, and property damage matters, including high-risk, high-exposure litigation.  In fact, Mr. Wade’s most recent trial success was a 2018 unanimous jury win in Harris County, Texas as plaintiff’s counsel for a midstream company whose delivery contracts were materially breached by a customer.  The jury returned a liability finding in favor of Mr. Wade’s client and awarded the exact amount of damages Mr. Wade’s sought in closing argument.  The defendant tried to evade the judgment, prompting the case team to engage in extensive extra-jurisdictional proceedings to collect the award.

Photo of Jeffrey J. Cox Jeffrey J. Cox

Jeff Cox is a trial lawyer and a member in Dykema’s Products, Class Actions, and Professional Liability Group. Jeff has served as lead counsel in cases from Montana to Florida and has spent most of his career defending manufacturers and retailers in general…

Jeff Cox is a trial lawyer and a member in Dykema’s Products, Class Actions, and Professional Liability Group. Jeff has served as lead counsel in cases from Montana to Florida and has spent most of his career defending manufacturers and retailers in general commercial, product liability, mass tort, class action and patent litigation. Jeff’s clients include several Fortune 500 companies and several international manufacturers.

The vast majority of Jeff’s product liability cases are high risk matters involving death or serious injury. Jeff has been one of only a handful of trial lawyers in the nation chosen to investigate, analyze and, if litigation ensues, defend one of the world’s largest automakers when fires and explosions have occurred involving their products or facilities. Throughout his career, Jeff has worked hand-in-hand with engineering experts to defend defect claims involving vehicles, machinery, appliances and consumer electronics.

Photo of Michael R. Carey Michael R. Carey

Michael Carey is trial lawyer with experience in complex commercial litigation and products liability defense. With his creative and authentic approach to jury presentation, Mr. Carey has taken numerous cases to successful verdict in state and federal courts across the country. In addition…

Michael Carey is trial lawyer with experience in complex commercial litigation and products liability defense. With his creative and authentic approach to jury presentation, Mr. Carey has taken numerous cases to successful verdict in state and federal courts across the country. In addition to his trial work, Mr. Carey has defended and prosecuted appeals before the Minnesota Appellate Courts and the Eighth and Ninth Circuits.

In addition to his trial and appellate practice, Mr. Carey serves as co-leader of the Firm’s Mobility and Advanced Transportation Team. He counsels mobility industry clients on proactive risk mitigation strategies relating to Automated Driving Systems (ADS) and other advanced automotive safety technologies. He is also frequently called on to publish and present on legal issues and advances in this emerging field.

Photo of Laura C. Baucus Laura C. Baucus

Laura Baucus is a results-oriented litigator and business attorney with experience delivering consistent results to clients in the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing and financial services industries. Ms. Baucus has worked both as outside counsel and as seconded in-house counsel. She is the Director of…

Laura Baucus is a results-oriented litigator and business attorney with experience delivering consistent results to clients in the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing and financial services industries. Ms. Baucus has worked both as outside counsel and as seconded in-house counsel. She is the Director of Dykema’s 140+ attorney Automotive Industry Group, the immediate past Leader of the firm’s Financial Services Litigation Practice, a Leader in Dykema’s COVID-19 Task-Force, the originator of the firm’s Supply Chain Group, the Manager of a firm OEM client-service team, and the immediate past Manager of the firm’s largest Michigan office.

Ms. Baucus regularly counsels clients on force majeure and related contract performance options. Her litigation practice focuses on procurement and supply chain, recalls, warranty and cost recovery, contract termination, tooling recovery, Uniform Commercial Code issues, and financial services.  Her contract practice includes negotiating and drafting supply contracts and other commercial agreements for automotive and other manufacturing companies, including terms and conditions. Ms. Baucus also manages national portfolios of lawsuits for some of the nation’s largest residential mortgage servicers.