Overview

Jay serves as national counsel on product liability cases for a major sporting goods retailer and has represented a wide variety of product manufacturers and retailers, including cases involving motor vehicles and accessories, sporting goods and outdoor products, manufacturing and processing equipment, industrial safety equipment and lawn and garden equipment.

He frequently represents clients in high stakes commercial litigation, including cases involving shareholder actions, partnership disputes, insurance coverage, non-compete agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets. In 2017, Jay won a major victory on appeal for a pharmacy benefit manager, in a declaratory judgment action to prohibit class action arbitration. See Catamaran Corp. v. Towncrest Pharmacy, 864 F.3d 966 (8th Cir. 2017).

Jay provides clients with valuable insight on minimizing their litigation exposure, through proactive approaches to safety issues, risk management strategies and early case evaluation.

Whether he is representing major corporations or small business owners, physicians or farmers, Jay is committed to providing his clients with exceptional legal services.

In addition to his civil and commercial litigation practice, Jay serves as Special Counsel to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc., representing the organization in a variety of matters such as animal abuse and neglect litigation.

Jay is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and chairs the firm’s Strategic Planning Committee.

Industries Served

  • Sporting Goods and Outdoor Products
  • Manufacturing and Processing Equipment
  • Consumer and Commercial Products
  • Health

Notable Work

  • National Counsel for Major Sporting Goods Retailer
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association, Product Liability and Commercial Litigation (Co-Chair, 2005-2016)
  • Benkovich v. Gorilla Inc. and Cabela’s Inc., 2017 WL 4004452 (D. N.J. 2017)
  • Catamaran Corp. v. Towncrest Pharmacy, 864 F.3d 966 (8th Cir. 2017)
  • Pharmaceutical Care Mgt. Assoc. v. Gerhart, 852 F.3d 722 (8th Cir. 2016) (co-counsel) 
  • In Re Natural Pork Prod. II, LLP, 2015 WL 1282141 (U.S. Bank., S.D. Iowa 2015) 

Experience

Experience

  • Member, Whitfield & Eddy Law Executive Committee, 2016—present
  • Chair, Whitfield & Eddy Law ALFA International Committee, 2018—present
  • Chair, Whitfield & Eddy Law Strategic Planning Committee, 2016—present
  • Chair, Whitfield & Eddy Business Development Committee, 2012—2014
  • Chair, Professional Recruitment Committee, 2010
  • Co-Chair, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Litigation Practice Group, 2007
  • Co-Chair, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Labor & Employment Law Practice Group, 2004
  • Co-Chair, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Associate Professional Development Committee, 2000—2005
  • Member Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 2000—present
  • Associate Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 1993-2000
  • Chair, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Litigation Practice Group, 2000—2003

Activities and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Sections: Sections: Labor & Employment Law; Law Practice Management; Litigation; Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice)
  • DRI, Voice of the Defense Bar
  • International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association (Chair: Product Liability Committee, 2005—present)
  • Iowa State Bar Association (Sections: Intellectual Property Law; Labor & Employment Law; Litigation)
  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, 1995—1996

Seminars 

  • ALFA International Client Seminar, March 2017
  • Iowa State Bar Association, Federal Practice Seminar, December 2016
  • ALFA International Product Liability and Complex Torts Practice Group Seminar, May 2016
  • Managing Partner Forum 2016 Leadership Conference, May 2016
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association 51st Annual Meeting and Seminar, September 2015
  • Defense Research Institute Product Liability Conference, February 2015
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association, 50th Annual Meeting and Seminar, September 2014
  • ALFA International Product Liability and Complex Torts Practice Group Seminar, July 2014

News & Events

Honors & Recognitions

Honors & Recognitions

  • Selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America as a top-ranked attorney in Product Liability Litigation-Defendants (2017—2019); Litigation-Insurance (2015—2019)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers in the area of Business Litigation (2017—2018); Employment Litigation: Defense (2016)

Cases Presentations & Publications

Cases Presentations & Publications

Published Cases

  • Benkovich v. Gorilla Inc. and Cabela’s Inc., 2017 WL 4004452 (D. N.J. 2017)
  • Catamaran Corp. v. Towncrest Pharmacy, 864 F.3d 966 (8th Cir. 2017)
  • Pharmaceutical Care Mgt. Assoc. v. Gerhart, 852 F.3d 722 (8th Cir. 2016) (co-counsel) 
  • In Re Natural Pork Prod. II, LLP, 2015 WL 1282141 (U.S. Bank., S.D. Iowa 2015) 
  • Johnson v. Harley Davidson Motor Co., et al, 2004 Iowa App. LEXIS 344; CCH Prod. Liab. Rep. P 16,922 (Iowa App. 2004)
  • Rubes v. Mega Life & Health Ins. Co., 642 N.W.2d 263 (Iowa 2002)
  • Innovative Therapeutics v. Taylor, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12778 (S.D. Iowa 2002)
  • Kerndt v. Rolling Hills Nat’l Bank, 558 N.W.2d 410 (Iowa 1997)

Selected Publications, Presentations and Teaching Appointments

  • Co-Presenter, "Complex Commercial Litigation," Iowa Defense Council Association 51st Annual Meeting and Seminar, September 2015
  • Co-Presenter, “Current Trends in Product Liability Law, Association of Corporate Counsel, Iowa Chapter, Third Annual Corporate Counsel Program, University of Iowa College of Law, October, 9, 2009
  • Author (with Matthew D. Jacobson), “Product Liability Law in Iowa in the Post-Wright Era”, Defense Update, Summer 2009
  • Co-presenter, “Common Misconceptions in Human Resources in Iowa,” Lorman Education Services, Des Moines, Iowa, March 7, 2006
  • Author, “Trade Secrets: Keeping Your Business Your Business,” Iowa Employment Law Letter, November 2004
  • Author (with Kevin M. Reynolds), “Confronting the ‘Heeding Presumption’ in Failure to Warn Cases,”For the Defense, Product Liability Issue, 1995

Education

University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1993, with distinction

University of Iowa, B.A. Journalism and Political Science, 1990, with distinction

  • Phi Beta Kappa Society
  • Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Iowan, 1989-1990

Admissions

  • Iowa
    U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
    U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
    Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
    Pro Hac Vice Admissions – Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey
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