Paul Zevnik has over 40 years’ experience defending mass and toxic tort, environmental and product liability suits; handling insurance recovery disputes; and structuring captives, qualified settlement funds, and other risk transfer vehicles to meet mass and toxic tort, environmental, and product liabilities. His experience extends from the courtroom to the boardroom, embracing trial and appellate practice, arbitration, mediation, advice and counsel, bankruptcy and restructuring, and private and public company transactions and financial reporting.
Paul represents clients in product and mass and toxic tort exposure cases involving medical devices, pharmaceuticals, industrial equipment, building materials, consumer products, commodities, oil and gas, ships, aircraft, and machinery. In the insurance area, he handles cases related to general liability, excess, umbrella, property, casualty, errors and omissions, directors and officers, fidelity, media liability, business interruption, employment practices liability, pollution legal liability, fiduciary, mortgage insurance, captive, “bumbershoot,” difference-in-conditions, and manuscript policies.
While he practices regularly in the firm’s California, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania offices, Paul has litigated, mediated or settled cases, or is currently handling matters, in more than 30 jurisdictions. He has briefed or argued cases before eight federal appellate circuits and before the Supreme Courts of California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Iowa, and Minnesota, and has participated in briefing before the United States Supreme Court. Paul’s graduate work studying American legal history at Harvard is frequently used in briefing and oral argument.
Paul leads the firm’s global product liability, tort, and insurance practice. He is best known for his global insurance recovery efforts on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, encompassing all known and unknown mass and toxic tort, product liability, operations, and environmental liabilities in a single, strategically located proceeding; for his ability to manage the defense of disparate liabilities cost-effectively on a national basis; and for his use of creative settlement techniques, captive insurance, and qualified settlement funds in bankruptcies and restructuring, including through the use of tax-advantaged special purpose vehicles.
Paul’s financial and transactional skills derive from his business experience. He has participated in starting, growing, and managing various businesses, principally in media, advertising, big data, and digital marketing. He co-founded a New York Stock Exchange company. He is lead director and a major shareholder of Entravision Communications Corporation (NYSE: EVC), a publicly traded multimedia company serving the country’s Hispanic population. He was also the founding and managing partner of another national law firm.
Recognized, Leaders in Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation, Lawdragon Green 500 (2023)
Member, Litigation Department of the Year, Specialty Insurance, National Law Journal (2021)
Recognized, Insurance Trailblazer, The National Law Journal (2021)
Band 1, Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder, Nationwide, Chambers USA (2006–2022)
Band 1, Insurance: Policyholder, District of Columbia, Chambers USA (2006–2022)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Insurance, Law360 (2020)
Hall of Fame, Industry focus: Insurance: advice to policyholders, The Legal 500 US (2020–2022)
Client Service All-Star, BTI Consulting Group (2018)
Leading Lawyer, Industry focus: Insurance: advice to policyholders, The Legal 500 US (2019)
Leading Lawyer, Insurance - Advice to Policyholders; Dispute Resolution - Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action, The Legal 500 US (2014–2018)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Product liability, mass tort and class actions: automotive/transport – defense, The Legal 500 US (2019, 2021)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Product liability, mass tort and class actions: pharmaceuticals and medical devices – defense, The Legal 500 US (2019, 2020, 2022)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Product liability, mass tort and class actions: toxic tort – defense, The Legal 500 US (2019–2022)
Named, The Legal 500 Hall of Fame (2017)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2006–2020)
Recognized, Insurance Law, Washington, DC, The Best Lawyers in America (2017–2020, 2022, 2023)
Recognized, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, Washington, DC, The Best Lawyers in America (2023)
Recommended as a national and local litigation star for California for Insurance in Benchmark Litigation (2013–2014, 2017–2018)
Faculty, Management of Mass Tort Litigation, Practicing Law Institute (1983)
Fellow, Joint Center for Urban Studies, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1976)
Member, The District of Columbia Bar
Member, State Bar of California
Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association