Wendy Feinstein is a seasoned litigator and trial lawyer who works with companies in regulated industries, such as pharmaceutical, medical device, manufacturing, and energy, among others, to develop and execute strategies to address and exit large-scale, high-profile crisis and repetitive litigation. For more than 25 years, Wendy has represented clients in complex disputes including those involving fraud, unfair competition, product liability, intellectual property, mass torts, and false claims. She has tried cases in federal and state courts and before arbitration panels.
Wendy served as lead trial counsel for Teva Pharmaceuticals and affiliated entities in several trials in the national opioid litigation, including achieving the litigation’s first trial defense win. The trial victory came after seven years of litigation and more than four months of trial in the Orange County, California Superior Court, in which three California cities and one county sought to recover $50 billion for public nuisance and violations of the state unfair competition and deceptive trade practices laws.
In the case, Wendy and the Morgan Lewis team developed and implemented an aggressive trial defense strategy, obtaining key testimony from plaintiffs and defense witnesses and effectively arguing legal and evidentiary issues. The trial began during the global COVID-19 pandemic and was held entirely by Zoom, highlighting Wendy’s flexibility, creativity, and ability to lead a team and successfully try a large, complicated case under any circumstances and format.
The opioid litigation brought in nearly every state by several political subdivisions, and state attorneys general presented a novel use of common law and statutory public nuisance claims, misrepresentation, false marketing, RICO, and other claims. Wendy and the defense team developed jurisdiction-specific approaches to defend each trial, resulting in several in-trial settlements in Ohio, Rhode Island, and San Francisco.
With experience litigating in multiple jurisdictions, Wendy works with clients to engage in the early assessment of disputes, including determining whether the client is a primary liability target, whether the disputed issue is inextricably tied to the client’s brand or core business, and whether regulatory or other actions are related to the dispute, among other things. Wendy closely partners with her clients’ legal and business teams to devise efficient and cost-effective strategies to manage litigation at every stage of the dispute, from prelitigation negotiations, evaluating options for early motion practice, and assessing pros and cons of consolidated or coordinated actions to dispositive motion practice, selecting and challenging experts, jury selection, and trial strategy. Wendy guides clients through litigation and trial while minimizing exposure and containing costs to achieve favorable outcomes that align with the client’s business objectives and risk tolerance.
A trusted advisor and collaborator in large-scale pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, Wendy currently serves with other Morgan Lewis lawyers as national coordinating and trial counsel for opioid manufacturers in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) and state opioid litigation, as well as in federal MDL generics pricing litigation. She has also served as trial counsel in False Claims Act cases, and serves or has served as a key national defense team leader in several other MDL and state-coordinated litigations such as In re: Philips Recalled CPAP, Bi-Level PAP, and Mechanical Ventilator Products Liability Litigation; In re: Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation; In re National Prescription Opiate Litigation; In re Xarelto (Rivaroxiban) Products Liability Litigation; In re: Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation; and In re: Yasmin and YAZ (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, and related state coordinated proceedings.
In medical device matters, Wendy’s pretrial strategy and cross-examination of experts have resulted in the exclusion of opposing experts and dismissal of claims through summary judgment. She has also successfully achieved early dismissals of medical device cases on motions to dismiss or early negotiations to resolve matters without protracted litigation. Where matters have gone to verdict, Wendy has achieved a consistently positive track record of success. Her experience at trial spans many industries including manufacturing, private equity, and construction, and includes jury and bench trials, arbitrations, injunctions, and Markman hearings throughout the United States.
Wendy is a fellow of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County and an active member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, Q. Todd Dickinson IP Inn of Court, Allegheny County Bar Association Federal Court Section Council, and Federal Bar Association. She frequently speaks at conferences and CLE events about pharmaceutical and False Claims Act litigation. Wendy also serves on the Investigative Division of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Commission and on a Merit Panel for the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She has also served on nonprofit boards.
Wendy currently serves as the managing partner of the firm’s Pittsburgh office.
Fellow, Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County
Distinguished Leader, The Legal Intelligencer (2022)
Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Pittsburgh, The Best Lawyers in America (2023)
Recognized, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Pittsburgh, The Best Lawyers in America (2020, 2022–2024)
Recognized, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Pittsburgh, The Best Lawyers in America (2022–2024)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Product liability, mass tort and class action – defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices, The Legal 500 US (2018, 2020–2023)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort – defense, The Legal 500 US (2018)
Trustee, Board of Trustees, The Kiski School (2021–2024)
Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association
Member, Ohio State Bar Association
Member, Western District of Pennsylvania Local Rules Advisory Committee
Member, Q. Todd Dickinson Intellectual Property Inn of Court
Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
Member, Allegheny County Bar Association, Federal Court Section Council
Former member, Board of Trustees, Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (2006–2015)
Former member, Board of Directors, Jewish Family & Children’s Service (2007–2013)
Rising Star, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (2005–2007)
AV® Preeminent rated, Martindale-Hubbell
Recipient, Charles Auerbach Memorial Award for Outstanding Student in the Law of Evidence