HELPING YOU DRIVE TOWARD SUCCESS
The automotive industry deals with a wide variety of challenges, including those to an automobile’s design, manufacturing, testing, warnings and instructions, insurance, and warranty. Our attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of the automobile industry and its complexities, and we have litigated cases for numerous manufacturers across the United States. We have successfully defended claims involving handling and stability, airbags, tires, transmissions, seatbelt and child restraints, crashworthiness, door latches, fuel systems, warranty claims, and lemon laws.
- EFSMM attorneys were lead trial counsel for an automobile manufacturer defending wrongful death lawsuit alleging roof crush and rollover stability defects in an SUV. After a 3-month trial in San Bernardino County, California, the jury found that the vehicle had no defects.
- EFSMM attorneys were lead trial counsel in a consumer warranty lawsuit alleging substantially impairing nonconformities in a new sports car. Plaintiff alleged willful violation of California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and sought significant civil penalties. A Los Angeles County, California jury found that the manufacturer did not commit any willful violation and awarded zero civil penalty.
- EFSMM attorneys were trial counsel defending an overseas automobile manufacturer in a rollover product liability lawsuit. A Wood County, Texas, jury returned a defense verdict after just 41 minutes.
- EFSMM attorneys have been lead trial counsel for many automobile product liability lawsuits alleging defects ranging from rollover stability, crashworthiness, and seat belts. Our attorneys have obtained defense verdicts in venues across the country spanning from Clark County, Nevada; Washoe County, Nevada; Dallas County, Texas; Bronx County, New York and U.S. District Courts for Puerto Rico and California to name a few. These cases have alleged multiple-fatalities, spinal cord injuries, and other severe injuries in sedans, trucks and popular SUVs.
Contact a Team Leader
For more information regarding Defense of Automobile Manufacturers, please contact our team leaders Lee Mickus, Elizabeth McNulty and Jay Schuttert.
University at San Diego School of Law (J.D., 1997) University of California, Irvine (B.A., 1994)
Supreme Court of California United States District Court, Central District of California United States District Court, Eastern District of California United States District Court, Northern District of California United States District Court, Southern District of California United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
California’s Proposition 65: The Target is Moving–Will it Land on You? Regulation and Litigation Surrounding ECigarettes. Proposed Changes to Proposition 65 Provide Limited Benefit to Business. Supreme Court Arbitration Decisions: A Reminder to Draft Contracts and Arbitration Provisions with Care, Co-author, The Voice, Defense Research Institute, September, 2013. The Act of Unintended Consequences: The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Co-author, OC Lawyer Magazine, September, 2009.
Southern California Super Lawyers®, Rising Star (2004-2012) Southern California Super Lawyers® (2016-2017, 2020-2022) Martindale Hubbell, AV Rated (2017-2022) Defense Research Institute Lawyers for Civil Justice PLAC, formerly known as the Product Liability Advisory Council – Board of Directors Super Lawyers 2023
Lee Mickus defends manufacturers and other business interests in product liability and tort lawsuits around the country, guiding cases through the discovery, trial, and appeal stages. He has successfully tried cases to juries in Colorado, Texas, California, New York, Puerto Rico, Montana, and several other states. Lee has handled cases involving a wide variety of industries and products, including automobiles, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, industrial machinery, wine, and recreational equipment. Lee has made court appearances, argued appeals, and submitted amicus briefs in numerous jurisdictions across the country.
The University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1993)
Williams College (B.A. cum laude, 1990)
Exeter College, Oxford University (1988-1989)
United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Colorado
Supreme Court of Montana
Supreme Court of Texas
Supreme Court of Wyoming
United States District Court, District of Colorado
United States District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
United States District Court, Western District of Arkansas
United States District Court, Central District of Illinois
United States District Court, Montana
United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
United States District Court, Western District of Texas
United States District Court for Wyoming
United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
“Georgia Supreme Court’s Doubts on Seat Belt Gag Rule’s Constitutionality Puts Legislature on Notice,” Washington Legal Foundation Legal Opinion Letter (July 29, 2022).
“Trial Court’s Evidentiary Ruling in ‘Natural Vanilla’ Class Action Reflects Need for Changes to Rule 702,” Washington Legal Foundation Legal Opinion Letter (November 12, 2021).
“Stop Calling Them ‘Daubert Motions’: Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and Why Words Matter,” Washington Legal Foundation Working Paper No. 221 (August 2021) (with Abigail Dodd).
Opening the Courts to Seat Belt Non-Use Evidence,” Author, Law 360 Expert Analysis Online Website (December 24, 2015).
“Fifty-State Compendium on the Law of Punitive Damages,” Contributing Author for Colorado, Defense Research Institute (2009).
“New Statutes Change Civil Litigation in Colorado,” Co-Author, 33 Colo. Lawyer 65 (May 2004).
“To Beep or Not to Beep: The Optional Equipment Defense,” Co-Author, 19 LJN’S Product Liability Law & Strategy 4 (April 2001).
“Discovery of Work Product Disclosed to a Testifying Expert Under the 1993 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” Author, 27 Creighton L. Rev. 773 (1994) (cited in five published federal and state court cases and more than a dozen law review articles, and treatises).
Colorado Civil Justice League
President, 2009-2010; 2015
Board of Directors
Legal Advisory Board
Lawyers for Civil Justice – Co-Chair, Rule 702 Committee
International Association of Defense Counsel
Defense Research Institute
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
Lawyers for Civil Justice “Alfred W. Cortese Jr. Award,” given for “outstanding contributions to the promotion of excellence and fairness in the United States civil justice system” (2020)
Lawyers for Civil Justice Outstanding Contributor (2017)
Colorado Civil Justice League’s “Lawyer of the Year” (2005)
The Best Lawyers in America®, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants (2008 – Present); Production Liability Litigation – Defendants (2015 – present)
5280 Magazine Top Lawyers, Personal Injury: Defense (2015-Present)
Colorado Super Lawyers®, Personal Injury Defense: Products (2009-Present)
Martindale Hubbell, AV Rated
Jay J. Schuttert is a go-to trial lawyer whose lead and co-lead trial experience includes numerous jury trials in federal and state courts in Nevada and around the country for product manufacturers and corporations, involving claims of serious illness, catastrophic injury and/or wrongful death. As a founder of EFSMM, Jay’s practice is primarily focused on defending product liability matters for manufacturers of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automobiles, motorcycles, consumer/recreational products, and industrial equipment. Jay also handles premises liability, vehicle/trucking collisions, medical malpractice, commercial disputes, and employment matters.
Syracuse University College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2003)
Associate Editor, Syracuse Law and Technology Journal
Justinian Honorary Law Society
University of Rhode Island (B.S., Business Management, highest distinction, 1999) – Beta Gamma Sigma
Supreme Court of Nevada
United State District Court, District of Nevada
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
“Keeping Out of the Weeds: Defense Should Focus On Winning Liability Instead of Damages at Trial,” Co-Author, Nevada Lawyer Magazine (January 2017).
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Defense Research Institute
Legal Elite – Top Southern Nevada Attorneys, Nevada Business Magazine (2015-2016, 2018)
Mountain States Super Lawyers®, Rising Stars Edition, Personal Injury Defense (2012-2016)
Mountain States Super Lawyers®, Product Liability Defense (2019-2022)
The Product Liability Lawyers, Nevada Product Liability Lawyer of the Year (2023)