Linda S. Woolf

Linda Woolf is the Managing Partner of the firm and one of its founding members. Ms. Woolf’s practice is devoted to the representation of clients in catastrophic loss, class action and multidistrict litigation, complex commercial, insurance coverage, construction, and government liability litigation. She has worked on behalf of national and international companies in a wide variety of industries including pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing, engineering software, utilities, food production, insurance, finance, professional athletics, transportation, healthcare, and many others. She has been managing partner of the firm since 2005.

 

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Professional Experience

  • Managing Partner – Goodell DeVries (2005 - Present)
  • Partner – Goodell DeVries (1993 - Present)
  • Associate – Goodell DeVries (1988 - 1993)
  • Associate – Semmes, Bowen & Semmes (1985 - 1988)
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (2000 to present, 2010-2011 Chair, ME&T Section, 2006, Vice Chair, Commercial Litigation Section, Member of Class Action, Reinsurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Section, Insurance Coverage Section and Membership Development & Retention Committee)
  • Federal Bar Association – Maryland Chapter (Board of Governors 2009 - 2011)
  • The Defense Research Institute (Insurance Law and Employment Law Committees)
  • Network of Trial Law Firms (Chair 1999 to 2000; Program Chair, 1998, Member Executive Committee, 1997 to present)
  • American Bar Association
  • Maryland Defense Counsel, Inc. (Past Member of Executive Board; Past Co-Chair Appellate Committee, 2002-2003; Past Co-Chair; Judicial Selections Committee; Past Editor of The Defense Line)
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Baltimore City
  • Maryland Legal Aid Bureau's Equal Justice Council (Board Member 2006 - Present)

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Representative Matters

Weinstat v. Dentsply International. Ms. Woolf and Rick Barnes led the trial team that successfully defended dental device manufacturer in a three-week class action trial in San Francisco Superior Court. The plaintiffs had challenged the adequacy of warnings for Class II prescription medical device, alleging violations of the California Unfair Competition Law and breach of express warranty. After a full bench trial, the court found in defendant’s favor on all counts. The California Court of Appeal affirmed the victory in a published decision

Center City Periodontists, P.C. v. Dentsply International, Inc., --- F.R.D. ----, 2017 WL 3142119 (E.D. Pa. July 24, 2017) Ms. Woolf was part of the Goodell team that, in 2017, successfully defeated a motion for class certification filed against the same dental device manufacturer in a decade-long class action in Pennsylvania federal court. The 36-page memorandum opinion, which followed six days of hearings on the motion to certify, denied class certification on a multitude of bases. The district court judge found that the plaintiffs failed to meet three of the four requirements under Rule 23(a): typicality, adequacy, and numerosity and Rule 23(b)(3)’s requirements that common questions of law or fact predominate over individual questions and that a class action is superior to other available methods for adjudicating the dispute. The court further agreed with Goodell’s argument that the proposed class and subclasses were not objectively ascertainable and granted the Daubert motions to exclude the plaintiffs’ economic damages and FDA regulatory experts. In 2013, the team had obtained dismissal of claims for negligence and alleged violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. That opinion, 2013 WL 3956284, is believed to be the first to hold that the NJCFA does not apply to the sale of prescription medical devices, which are not “merchandise” available to the public under the Act.

CATASTROPHIC LOSS LITIGATION
Represented major transportation software engineering company in consolidated lawsuits arising out of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority collision on June 22, 2009 involving nine wrongful death and over 50 personal injury lawsuits.

Represented the thoroughbred racetrack operator in lawsuit to recover catastrophic business interruption loss resulting from electrical transformer fire.

Represented underground utilities contractor in lawsuit involving $26M property damage claim resulting from ruptured waterline.

Represented underground utilities contractor in $18M property damage claim involving the destruction of or damage to 16 residential properties resulting from explosion of underground natural gas line.

Represented underground utilities contractor in wrongful death lawsuit involving the death of two minors who were struck in a parked car by utility contractor’s dump truck.

CLASS ACTION AND COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS TORT LITIGATION
Represents medical device manufacturer in class actions pending in various federal and state courts arising from sale and distribution of Class II medical device.

Represented major pharmaceutical company in federal court action seeking certification of nationwide class under consumer fraud statutes, obtaining order denying class certification.

Represented major pharmaceutical company in litigation arising from the divestiture of a wholly-owned medical device subsidiary.

Represented an international manufacturer in litigation arising from the divestiture of a worldwide battery business.

Represented national food producer in multidistrict litigation seeking certification of nationwide class of consumers involving allegedly false advertising claims.

Has represented national and local corporations at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts in matters involving the sale of corporate subsidiaries and businesses, alleged predatory lending practices and consumer fraud, federal and state antitrust violations, claims arising from non-competition agreements and the misappropriation of technology and other contractual disputes.

Represented a surety in protracted litigation with the Resolution Trust Corporation arising from the failure of a savings and loan institution.

Represented the majority shareholders of two thoroughbred racing corporations in derivative lawsuits filed by minority shareholders, successfully retaining control of nationally known racetracks.

Has represented corporate directors and officers, trustees and other fiduciaries in various litigations, including claims for diversion of corporate opportunity, claims under ERISA for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, and shareholder derivative claims. Defeated proposed class certification in two companion ERISA cases brought by retirees of not-for-profit health insurer seeking enforcement of former welfare benefit plan and damages for breach of fiduciary duty. Has represented a variety of businesses in complex business tort litigation. Defended a defense contractor against claims of defamation and tortious interference with economic relations arising from responses to FRP’s.

Represented hospitals, health insurers and managed health care organizations and their officers and directors in various litigation involving billing disputes, alleged breach of physician participation agreements, credentialing disputes and claims of defamation, tortious interference with economic relations and other business torts.
 

INSURANCE LAW
Has represented insurers in various complex insurance coverage disputes, including:

The Humane Society of the United States, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. and Fund for Animals, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company, et al. Represented directors and officers insurer in related federal and state court actions for declaratory judgment and breach of contract brought by not-for-profit organizations to recover defense expense and settlement payment incurred in defense of RICO litigation against them. Acted as lead counsel in state and federal court actions. Obtained judgment in favor of directors and officers insurer after the close of evidence in state court trial. Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurer in federal court action.

Industrial Enterprises, Inc. v. Penn America Insurance Company. Represented insurer in declaratory judgment action to determine insurer’s liability for expenses incurred by insured in CERCLA enforcement action. Acted as lead counsel throughout case and at trial. Liability of insurer determined as a matter of law prior to trial, which proceeded on damages. Obtained verdict limiting damages claim subject set-off. Liability ruling reversed on appeal.

Savings First Mortgage v. National Union Fire Insurance. Represented directors and officers insurer in coverage litigation arising out of claims against its insured asserted in a class action brought by 2,200 borrowers alleging illegal lending practices. In addition to litigating the coverage issues, negotiated a settlement of the underlying class action within agreed-upon coverage limits. Represented insurer throughout negotiation of Memorandum of Understanding, final Settlement Agreement, approval hearings and administration of class settlement. Recovered reverter amount for the benefit of insurer.

Mayor & City Council of Baltimore v. Utica Mutual Ins. Co., et al. Represented primary and umbrella insurers in coverage litigation brought by municipality to recover damages allegedly incurred as a result of asbestos-containing building materials in public buildings. Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurers on basis of products risk exclusion which was affirmed on appeal in a case of first impression in Maryland.

CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Continental Ins. Co., Inc., 680 A.2d 1082 (Md. 1996). Represented national insurer in major declaratory judgment action concerning coverage for occupational noise-induced hearing loss claims brought by 30,000 former and present railroad workers, member of lead trial team for a group of 19 insurers, obtaining a jury verdict for the insurers which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of Maryland.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Lafarge Corp., et al. Represented Travelers Indemnity Company in protracted coverage litigation arising from the premature deterioration of concrete railroad cross-ties throughout the northeast corridor, successfully defending claims of statutory and common law bad faith and obtaining a jury verdict which substantially reduced the policyholders’ claimed losses.

Has represented international insurance carrier in federal and state court coverage litigation arising from asbestos bodily injury and asbestos property damage claims. Has represented the same insurer in environmental coverage disputes involving alleged contamination of soil and groundwater as a result of petroleum-based compounds leaked from underground storage tanks. Successfully represented various insurers at the trial and appellate level in disputes involving coverage for lead poisoning injuries. Represented numerous insurers in disputes involving first and third-party coverages, intentional acts, personal injury and advertising injury claims.

EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION
Has defended national and local, private and public employers in employment-related claims in federal and state courts and at the administrative level. Has obtained numerous summary judgments in favor of private sector and government employers arising from claimed violations of federal and state employment statutes, including claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for wrongful termination, disparate promotion and training opportunities, disparate disciplinary measures, and retaliation based on race, religion, sex and disability. Has defended claims asserted under the ADA, the FMLA, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the ADEA, COBRA, the FLSA and state wage and hour laws. Has represented businesses and their officers, directors and management in cases involving claimed breaches of employment contracts and related business torts. Substantial experience in enforcing and challenging enforcement of restrictive covenants in employment agreements. Has negotiated separation and severance agreements on behalf of employers and employees.

ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION
Has represented a local government in a series of cases brought by a citizens’ group under the federal Clean Water Act and state statutes, alleging violations of the plant’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit and common law claims for nuisance, trespass, and violation of riparian rights arising from its operation of a waste water treatment plant.
Has represented insurers in coverage disputes involving alleged environmental contamination from the escape of pollutants from underground storage tanks, bodily injury allegedly resulting from exposure to second hand tobacco smoke and similar matters.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND MUNICIPAL LIABILITY
Substantial experience representing local governments in FLSA and other employment matters, environmental and land use litigation, challenges to rent control ordinances, and various constitutional claims. Has represented numerous counties, towns and other local governments in governmental liability cases, including claims for wrongful death and injuries arising from negligent design, maintenance or repair of roadways, sidewalks, administration of recreational programs, auto torts and negligent hiring. Has represented private sector parties, including contractors and product manufacturers named as co-defendants with municipalities in cases involving catastrophic property damage.

PRODUCT LIABILITY
Has represented product manufacturers and bulk suppliers in litigation involving injuries alleged to have been caused by unreasonably dangerous products, chemicals and components. Authored successful motions for summary judgment and briefs leading to the adoption of the sophisticated user/bulk suppliers defense in Maryland. Represents international supplier of medical products and devices in class action litigation asserting claims for violation of industry standards and state consumer protection statutes. Substantial experience in the defense of product liability claims, defending manufacturers of construction equipment, abrasive products, high pressure hoses, exterior building panels, construction materials and drug testing kits against claims of negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty.

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Publications and Seminars

  • Lecturer, The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., "Hot Topics in Whistleblower Claims and Litigation," October 2016 CLE Program, Kiawah, South Carolina
  • Lecturer, The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., “Cyber-Liability – An Insurable Risk That Must be Part of Your Risk Management Plan,” August 2015 CLE Program, New York, New York
  • "Cyber-Liability -- An Insurable Risk That Must Be Part of Your Risk Management Plan," The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., August 7, 2015
  • Co-author of, "The Intersection of Arbitration and Litigation,"  FDCC Winter Convention, March 2015
  • Presenter, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Winter Meeting, “The Intersection of Arbitration and Litigation,” March 2015, Amelia Island, Florida
  • "Navigating the World of Alternative Fee Arrangements," The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., May 2011 CLE program
  • Presenter, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Winter Meeting, Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternative Fee Arrangements, February 2011, Indian Wells, California
  • "Pros and Cons of MDL Consolidation," The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., April 2010 CLE program
  • Lecturer, The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., "2009 Developments in Class Action Law: Appellate Courts Continue to Raise the Bar for Class Certification," November 2009 CLE Program, Laguna Beach, California
  • "Reliance Requirements in Consumer Fraud Class Actions: Courts Continue to Struggle to Strike the Proper Balance," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Quarterly (Winter 2009)
  • Co-author of book chapter, "Impact of Insurance Policies on Product Litigation, in Current Law, Strategies and Best Practices in Product Litigation (Pract. Law Inst., 2009)
  • Lecturer, FDCC/IADC Law Firm Management Conference, "Ownership Structuring," November 2009 CLE Program, Chicago, Illinois
  • Presenter, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Winter Meeting, Best Practices in the Preservation and Production of Electronically Stored Information, March 2007, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Lecturer, The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., “The Attorney as Witness,” November 2006 CLE Program, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Lecturer, The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., “The Future of Non-Competes in the Technology Industry,” August 2006 CLE, New York, New York; January 2006 CLE, Los Angeles, California
  • "Rights and Obligations of the Insured, Primary Insurer and Excess Insurers in Large Loss Cases," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Annual Meeting, Plenary Session, (July 2005)
  • Lecturer, Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL), “Liability Insurers’ Duty to Defend Under Maryland Law,” April 2004
  • Lecturer, Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL), “Recent Developments in Personal Injury and Advertising Injury Liability Coverage,” April 2004
  • "Non-Competition Agreements." Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Quarterly 54.4 (2004): 333-342.
  • "Recent Developments in Personal Injury and Advertising Injury Liability Coverage," Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL), (April 2004)
  • Presenter, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Annual Meeting Plenary Session, “Ethical Considerations in Dealing With Former Corporate Constituents Accused of Misconduct,” July 2003, Quebec, Canada
  • "Litigation Arising From the Sale of Corporate Subsidiaries and Business Units," The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., April 2003 CLE program
  • Lecturer, Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., “Preventing Litigation,” January 2003 CLE presented to corporate counsel, Houston, Texas
  • Lecturer, Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., “Separation Anxiety, Litigation with Former Employees,” July 2002 CLE presented to ACCA Chapter of New York City
  • Lecturer/Demonstrator, Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL), nine-day Intensive Trial Advocacy Program, 1993 - 2008
  • "Recent Changes in Insurance Coverage for Employment, Personal Injury and Advertising Injury Claim," The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., CLE presented to WESFACCA and July 2001 CLE program
  • "Insurance Coverage for Employment-Related Claims," Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL), (July 2001)
  • "Personal Injury and Advertising Injury Coverage in Comprehensive/Commercial Liabilities Policies," Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL), (July 2001)
  • Lecturer, The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., “Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence,” July 2000 CLE presented to WESFACCA and October 2000 CLE program
  • Lecturer, U.S. Department of the Treasury Continued Professional Education Program to IRS Special Agents and Supervisory Special Agents, “Avoiding Civil Liability for Claims of Excessive Force,” September 2000
  • "Discovery Motions Under the Maryland Rules," Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL), (September 2000)
  • Lecturer, Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL), “Personal Injury and Advertising Injury Liability Coverage,” May 1999 and May 2000
  • Lecturer/Demonstrator, Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL), “Trying the Case,” October 1999, 2007, 2009
  • "The Use of Secretly Taped Conversations in Civil Actions - A Multi-State Survey," The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., Co-author, (May 1998)
  • Lecturer, The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., Unusual and Non-Obvious Disabilities Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, October 1997 CLE program
  • Lecturer, MICPEL Insurance Institute, Insurance Coverage for Employment-Related Claims, May 1997
  • Lecturer, National Business Institute, Insurance Coverage Law in Maryland, March 1997
  • Lecturer, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Recent Developments in Maryland Insurance Law, February 1997
  • Lecturer, MICPEL Premises Security Program, Property Owners and Managers Liability for Third-Party Criminal Conduct, February 1997
  • Lecturer, MICPEL, The Commercial/Comprehensive General Liability Insurance Policy Under Maryland Law, October 1996 - 1997
  • "The Commercial/Comprehensive General Liability Insurance Policy Under Maryland Law," Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL) (October 1996)
  • Lecturer, MICPEL Hot Tips in Litigation, Ex-Parte Contacts with Former Employees of Party Opponents, 1993
  • Lecturer, MICPEL Hot Tips in Litigation, The Use of Out-of-State Subpoenas and Depositions, 1992
  • Lecturer, Franklin Square Hospital, How to Avoid Sexual Harassment Claims
  • "Use of the Sophisticated User/Bulk Supplier Defense in Product Liability Failure to Warn Cases," The Defense Line (Spring 1990)
  • "Caveat Venditor in Maryland Condominium Sales." University of Baltimore Law Review 14 (1985)

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Honors and Awards

  • Chambers & Partners - Insurance (Maryland), Band 1 (2018)
  • Andrew C. Hecker Award, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (2016)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action - Defendants (2016)
  • The Daily Record - Maryland's Top 100 Women (2007, 2012)
  • Best Lawyers in America, "Bet-the-Company" Litigation Award (2010 - 2017)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation (2009 - 2017)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action - Defendants (2012-2017)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2014-2017)
  • Baltimore Smart CEO, Baltimore Legal Elite for Business Law (2009)
  • Maryland Super Lawyer (2007-2017)
  • Maryland Super Lawyer, Top 50 SuperLawyers in Maryland (2009- 2014)
  • Maryland Super Lawyer, Top 25 Women and Leader in Business Litigation (2007 - 2011)
  • SuperLawyer Corporate Counsel, Top Attorney in Business Litigation (2008)
  • The Daily Record - Leadership in Law Award (2006)

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Community Activities

  • Caroline Center, Board Member, 2018 to present
  • CENTERSTAGE, Board of Trustees, 2009 - 2017
  • Notre Dame Preparatory School, Board of Trustees, 2009-2016
  • Equal Justice Council, 2007-2014

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