Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
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Jessica Farley is a partner in the Houston office whose practice focuses on mass tort, product liability, and commercial litigation. Jessica partners with clients in the energy, consumer products, and service industries to assess the circumstances of each matter, along with the particular legal issues involved, in order to manage disputes and litigation in accordance with the clients' objectives. Jessica devotes a large portion of her practice to the defense of groundwater contamination claims, toxic tort claims, premises liability claims, product liability claims, and claims arising from catastrophic events, such as fires, explosions, or environmental disasters. Jessica has also developed substantial experience representing a variety of businesses in contract disputes and business tort claims.
Since 2008, Jessica has defended major oil and gas and chemicals companies in Multi-District Litigation consolidated in the Southern District of New York in which state and local governments allege that a former component of gasoline, methyl-tert-butyl-ether (MTBE), and leaking Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) leads to groundwater contamination. The plaintiffs in the MTBE cases seek hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for testing, remediation, and natural resource damages.
Jessica has also developed substantial experience defending foreign and domestic product manufacturers and distributors in complex litigation in which plaintiffs claim personal injuries, wrongful death, or economic damages in relation to certain products.
Jessica excels at oral advocacy on behalf of clients; negotiating with co-counsel and opposing counsel; coordinating with in-house counsel and company employees; analyzing claims and defenses; determining overall case strategy; and managing large dockets of complex litigation. Jessica has gained invaluable experience identifying, preparing, and presenting expert witnesses in the fields of neurology, orthopedic medicine, and industrial accident analysis in catastrophic tort cases; cross-examining expert witnesses in the fields of engineering, industrial accident investigation, neurology, and orthopedic medicine; authoring and arguing Daubert motions and motions for summary judgment in Texas state courts; identifying and deposing key fact and expert witnesses; negotiating favorable settlements through alternative dispute resolution; preparing corporate representatives for deposition and trial testimony; drafting and arguing discovery motions; coordinating the collection, review, and production of electronically stored information (ESI); and managing teams of in-house and contract document reviewers.
Jessica regularly argues motions in both state and federal courts. She successfully tried a personal injury case in Harris County on behalf of an insurance company and obtained a zero damages verdict. In addition, Jessica has tried 11 cases in municipal court as a volunteer prosecutor for the City of Houston Prosecutor's Office.
JD, University of Houston Law School, 2005
BA, The University of Texas at Austin, 2001
While in law school, Jessica was a member of and a senior articles editor on the Houston Journal of International Law. She was admitted to practice law in the state of Texas in 2005. Jessica is also licensed to practice law in the United Stated District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
- Pennsylvania State Bar
- Texas State Bar
- Lead defense counsel for major natural gas and natural gas liquids transportation/storage company in multi-county, multi-suit, 100-plus plaintiff personal injury litigation arising out of a catastrophic plant explosion, including preparing multiple cases for trial and reaching favorable settlements on the eve of trial;
- Lead counsel for global oil and gas exploration and development company in commercial dispute arising from services agreements;
- Represents petrochemical/oil and gas companies in Multi-District groundwater contamination litigation arising from use of a gasoline component (MTBE) and leading underground storage tanks (USTs) and involving claims for natural resource damages (NRD);
- Represents a foreign automotive manufacturer in Multi-District Litigation (MDL) and class action litigation alleging economic damages and personal injuries in relation to vehicle airbags;
- Represents a major materials manufacturing company in wrongful death and personal injury litigation arising from a fire at a Texas facility;
- Represents investment companies in commercial dispute brought by co-investors in a business venture;
- Represents a product manufacturer in a wrongful death case arising from an apartment fire;
- Lead counsel for major materials manufacturing company in interpleader action related to a commercial dispute;
- Lead counsel for petrochemical company in commercial dispute arising from purchase orders for specific construction materials;
- Defended a major oil & gas refinery in mass personal injury litigation based on alleged toxic chemical exposures and involving claims of nearly 40,000 plaintiffs;
- Defended a major oil & gas refinery in explosion litigation from inception of the case through discovery and multiple trials, including preparing company witnesses for depositions, taking depositions of plaintiffs, discovery motion practice, preparing dispositive motions, and managing teams of document reviewers;
- Defended a major Texas insurance carrier in a back injury/surgery case and jury trial in Harris County, obtaining a zero damages verdict for defendant;
- Tried 11 cases in municipal court as a volunteer prosecutor for the City of Houston Prosecutor's Office.
- Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2020
- Texas Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters, 2018 - 2019
- Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Product liability, mass tort and class action - toxic tort - defense, The Legal 500, 2017-2019
- Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Product liability, mass tort and class action-automotive/transport, The Legal 500, 2017-2018
- Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Hot List, Product Liability, Euromoney PLC, 2016-2017
- Local Litigation Star, Product Liability, Benchmark Litigation, Euromoney PLC, 2018
- "Top 10 Steps for Responding to a Disaster," Law 360, September 2015
- "Untrustworthy and Irrelevant: Why OSHA Citations and Related Materials Should Not Be Admissible to Prove Liability," Texas Bar Journal, February 2015
- "Products Liability Defenses: A State-by-State Compendium," update to the Texas Chapter of DRIs, 2007
- "Discovery Responses & Objections: Making Them and Compelling Them," State Bar of Texas 35th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, Aug. 3-6, 2009, Dallas, Texas
- Presenter, NRF Webinar CLE "Managing Catastrophic Events: What To Expect With Incident Investigation Reports," March 31, 2016
- Presenter, NRF 2nd Energy Academy, "Managing Catastrophic Events - An examination of issues surrounding investigations and litigation after catastrophic events in the energy industry," November 2015
- Speaker/Emcee, NRF Women in Energy Conference, October 2015
- Demonstrator, Norton Rose Fulbright associate litigation training series, 2009-present
- Speaker, HBA IDEA Committee, presented to elementary school children regarding legal ramifications of illicit drug use, HBA IDEA, 2014
- Texas Association of Defense Counsel
- Women's Energy Network
- Women in Norton Rose Fulbright (WiN)
- Houston Young Lawyer's Association
- Houston Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- Houston Bar Association IDEA (Interprofessional Drug Education Alliance) in Schools Committee, presenting to elementary school children regarding the legal ramifications of illicit drug use, 2013 - 2014
- Houston Area Women's Center Legal Clinic volunteer, providing legal advice to HAWC residents during Houston Volunteer Lawyers legal clinics, 2013 - 2014
- Children's Assessment Center (CAC), Board of Directors, April 2014-present. The CAC is an organization that provides treatment, support, and legal services for children who have suffered sexual abuse and their families. The CAC also provides educational services for the community and works with legislators to pass laws to protect our children.
- Houston Area Women's Center Legal Clinic volunteer
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving volunteer