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January 2011

Bowman and Brooke Opens Eighth Office in Dallas

Prominent Texas-Based Trial Attorneys Join National Product Liability Firm to Expand Reach for Clients

Bowman and Brooke LLP, recently named product liability group of the year by Law360, is pleased to announce the opening of its new office in Dallas, Texas, which will officially open on February 1.

Dallas attorney Kurt C. Kern has been named Managing Partner of Bowman and Brooke’s new Dallas office. Mr. Kern has a rich background in product liability law for the automotive and agriculture industries, where over nearly three decades he has tried more than 75 cases in courts throughout Texas and nationwide.

Mr. Kern joins Bowman and Brooke from Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer & Kern LLP, along with five partners from that firm including J. Karl Viehman, David Stone, Suzanne Swaner, Jose Luzarraga, and Cary Slobin. Bowman and Brooke’s newest office will focus on defending product liability matters and representing Bowman and Brooke’s corporate clients in mass tort, commercial and other complex litigation.

“We are excited and enthusiastic about opening an office for a firm with the national reputation of Bowman and Brooke,” said Kurt Kern. “Having worked with Bowman and Brooke lawyers for many years, this represents an opportunity to broaden and deepen the firm’s practice base, and strengthens the level of client service we have been honored to provide.”

“We are very much looking forward to our move to Bowman and Brooke, and the opportunities this new office will present to our clients in Dallas, the state, and throughout the region,” added Karl Viehman. “At the same time, we will miss our long association with our colleagues and friends at Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer, & Kern.

“Opening a Texas office has long been a strategic goal of ours,” said David Graves, Jr., Bowman and Brooke’s Firm Chairman. "To now bring some of the most accomplished first chair trial lawyers, all of whom we've known and worked with for years, as partners at a Dallas office will greatly enhance our client services nationally.”

“Our new Dallas office expands Bowman and Brooke’s national footprint and adds even more nationally recognized first chair lawyers to our firm. This growth gives us further depth and resources to defend national-scope pattern, class action and consolidated litigation,” added Bowman and Brooke Executive Managing Partner Paul Cereghini.

The Dallas office is the firm’s eighth office and the second office opening in just over one year. Bowman and Brooke’s other offices are in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Detroit, San Jose, Los Angeles, Richmond,and Columbia, South Carolina. Recently named to The National Law Journal’s 2010 Midsize Hotlist for its work in high-exposure product liability and commercial cases, Bowman and Brooke has been recognized numerous times as a leading firm in product liability and other high exposure litigation matters.

The lawyers joining Bowman and Brooke in its new Dallas office bring decades of local, regional, and national product liability and commercial litigation experience to the firm:

Kurt Kern
Mr. Kern is a renowned trial lawyer, focusing his practice almost exclusively on the defense of corporations involved in product liability, toxic tort, and premises liability matters, with a concentration in automotive products liability. He was a founding partner in the Dallas office of Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer & Kern LLP. Prior to forming HDBDK in 1994, Mr. Kern was a partner in the litigation department of Strasburger & Price, LLP. He earned a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1984, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and served as the Tax Editor of the Southwestern Law Journal. He earned his Bachelor in Legal Studies from the Hillsdale College in 1981.

J. Karl Viehman
Mr. Viehman was also one of the founding partners of Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer & Kern LLP’s Dallas office. He focuses his practice on the representation of domestic and foreign corporations in product liability, negligence and commercial disputes, where he has served as national and regional counsel for large corporations in pattern product liability litigation. He received his Juris Doctor from the Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1985, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Vanderbilt University of Dallas in 1982.

David P. Stone
Mr. Stone’s product liability litigation practice is focused on automotive and pharmaceutical products, where he has served as trial counsel for major manufacturers in many states including Texas, California, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi. He has tried numerous cases to verdict including product liability cases, commercial cases, employment disputes, insurance disputes and personal injury matters. Mr. Stone received his Juris Doctor and Bachelor Business Administration from Baylor University in 1986 and 1985, respectively.

Suzanne H. Swaner
Ms. Swaner’s practice focuses on product liability litigation for domestic and international automotive manufacturers. Ms. Swaner has repeatedly defended catastrophic injury and death claims involving airbags, restraints, roof crush, glazing, unintended acceleration, and park to reverse, and other claims involving vehicle components and advanced vehicle technology. Her experience includes work at the trial level, in both state and federal courts, as well as before courts of appeal. Ms. Swaner received her Juris Doctor from the Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1997, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1993.

José M. Luzarraga
Having tried cases and represented clients in a variety of trial and appellate courts as well as alternative dispute resolution forums, Mr. Luzarraga focuses his practice on product liability defense and business litigation, He has represented automotive manufacturers in litigation involving airbags, restraints, handling and stability claims, and rollovers. In addition, he has represented clients in a wide range of industries including airlines, defense contractors, energy companies, insurers, real estate developers, and telecommunications’ providers. Mr. Luzarraga earned his Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law in 1994, where he was the Articles Editor of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. He received his Bachelor in Arts from Louisiana State University in 1991.

Cary Slobin
Mr. Slobin’s experience includes representation of various types of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and individuals. His practice focuses on product liability, commercial litigation, class actions and consumer litigation, and has tried numerous cases in Texas. Mr. Slobin earned his Juris Doctor and his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996 and 1993, respectively.

About Bowman and Brooke
Bowman and Brooke LLP is a nationally recognized trial firm with one of the largest product liability practices in the country. The firm’s 175 attorneys defend a variety of corporate clients, including many Fortune 500 and internationally-based companies, in widely publicized catastrophic injury and wrongful death matters, and in other complex litigation throughout all 50 states. Bowman and Brooke’s lawyers regularly represent their clients and try cases in courthouses across the United States.

Complementing our national product liability defense practice, Bowman and Brooke provides well-established litigation practice groups in commercial, intellectual property, environmental, construction, consumer warranty and healthcare litigation. The firm has offices in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Detroit, San Jose, Los Angeles, Richmond, Columbia and Dallas.