Charles R.A.Morse

Partner

New York + 1.212.326.7847

Charles Morse defends clients in high-stakes products liability cases, with more than a dozen years of experience handling mass litigations involving claims by hundreds or even thousands of individuals.

Charles has played a leading role in Jones Day's national representation of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in its smoking and health cases. He was an author of the briefs in the Engle appeal, which culminated in the Florida Supreme Court's decision (Engle v. Liggett Grp., Inc., 945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006)), and since 2007 has served as a legal adviser to trial teams overseeing the thousands of "Engle progeny" cases that have been filed against Reynolds in Florida state and federal courts (more than 100 of which have gone to trial). In that capacity, he has briefed and argued many motions and appeals. These have touched on topics including federal preemption, strict liability (design defect), negligence, fraudulent concealment, civil conspiracy, punitive damages, comparative fault, medical causation, admissibility of expert testimony, and the statutes of limitation and repose.

Charles serves as partner responsible for the Firm's Library and Research Services Department. He also oversees the Firm's work with the Office of the Appellate Defender's Volunteer Appellate Defender program and has handled a number of pro bono matters himself.

Experience

  • R.J. Reynolds wins reversal of fraud judgment in Engle progeny caseJones Day represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in an Engle progeny case brought by the estate of deceased smoker Evelyn Whitmire.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins reversal of adverse punitive damages award in Engle progeny lawsuitJones Day represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in an Engle progeny wrongful death action brought by the estate of deceased smoker Valton Sheffield.
  • R. J. Reynolds obtains order dismissing 1,250 "Engle progeny" lawsuits and sanctioning plaintiffs' attorneysJones Day represents defendant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in many "Engle progeny" cases, including all the ones pending in federal court."
  • R.J. Reynolds wins new trial in "Engle progeny" lawsuitSitting en banc, Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal recently granted rehearing and reversed a judgment in the amount of $16.1 million in compensatory damages (awarded jointly and severally against all four defendants), $29.85 million in punitive damages against Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Lorillard Tobacco Company (which have since merged), and $25 million in punitive damages against the other two defendants.
  • R.J. Reynolds prevails in appeal of preemption decisionOn April 8, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that federal law preempts claims for strict liability and negligence made against tobacco companies in the context of the Engle class action.
  • Prisoner successfully appeals decision in Section 1983 civil rights actionJones Day represented Mr. Troas Barnett, a prisoner in California, in his successful Ninth Circuit appeal for a new trial in a 42 U.S.C. §1983 suit he brought against his prison guards.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins reversal of verdict in Engle progeny caseOn October 16, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision reversing a multi-million dollar judgment against Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
  • R.J. Reynolds prevails in Castleman ''Engle progeny'' appealOn August 17, 2012, Florida's First District Court of Appeal affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Hargroves trialOn May 19, 2011, after two weeks of trial, a state court jury in Tampa, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a wrongful death case.
  • Prince Jefri Bolkiah, member of Bruneian royal family, pursues claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against two former advisorsJones Day represents Prince Jefri Bolkiah, a member of the royal family of Brunei, pursuing claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against two former advisors of Prince Jefri, Faith Zaman and Thomas Derbyshire, and related parties.
  • R.J. Reynolds secures victory in first "Engle Progeny" appealOn July 22, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a watershed decision favorable to Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in the first appellate opinion in an "Engle progeny" case which is binding in the more than 4,400 Engle progeny cases currently pending in federal court in Florida, and provides crucial appellate guidance for the similar number of cases pending in Florida state courts (Brown v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 611 F.3d 1324 (11th Cir. 2010); Brown v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 576 F.Supp. 2d 1328 (M.D.Fla. 2008)).
  • R.J. Reynolds secures the industry's first defense verdict in Gelep ''Engle progeny'' lawsuitOn March 24, 2009, after two and a half weeks of trial, a state court jury in St. Petersburg, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Reynolds' first trial of an "Engle progeny" lawsuit (Gelep v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Case No. 98-006584-CI-13 (Fla. 6th Cir. Ct.)).
  • EDS resolves consolidated securities fraud action and ERISA class actionJones Day represented Electronic Data Systems Corporation and certain of its current and former officers and directors in a consolidated securities fraud action arising out of EDS' disclosure in September 2002 that its earnings would be lower than anticipated.
  • R.J. Reynolds obtains Oregon Supreme Court affirmance of proposed class action seeking medical monitoring for smokersOn May 1, 2008, the Oregon Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a proposed class action seeking medical monitoring for smokers on behalf of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
  • Tobacco industry wins 2nd Circuit reversal of certification and ultimate dismissal of 50 million member $800 billion RICO fraud class actionJones Day represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Brown & Williamson Holdings, Inc. as lead counsel in a nationwide class action seeking reimbursement for allegedly misleading consumers by labeling cigarettes as "light."
  • Dole defends against multiple cross-border mass tort cases alleging injuries from pesticide exposureJones Day defended Dole Food Company, Inc. in multiple toxic tort lawsuits brought by agricultural workers from 13 countries claiming that the use of the pesticide dibromochloropropane (DBCP) on banana farms in Latin America, Africa, and the Philippines during the 1970s caused adverse health effects.
  • Crown settles arbitration in connection with retiree health benefits class actionJones Day represented Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc. in a class action dispute with the United Steelworkers of America (USW) involving Crown's unilateral modification of the level of retiree health benefits for approximately 10,000 retirees formerly represented by the USW.
  • AlliedSignal and Breed Technologies settle multi-million dollar accounting fraud litigation in FloridaJones Day represented Breed Technologies first, then AlliedSignal Recovery Trust, as plaintiff in a fraud action filed in Florida's Tenth Judicial Circuit Court in Polk County, Florida.
  • Bombardier Transportation successfully defends against royalty claims arising out of license of monorail technologyJones Day represented Bombardier Inc. ("Bombardier") in an arbitration initiated by Disney Enterprises ("Disney") before the American Arbitration Association in Los Angeles.
  • R.J. Reynolds appeals rulings in smoking and health case to Florida appellate court and U.S. Supreme CourtIn this smoking-and-health case, Jones Day secured a defense verdict for R.J. Reynolds at trial on all of the plaintiffs' claims except the claim for design defect strict liability, for which the plaintiff-smoker was awarded only $165,000 and the plaintiff-spouse recovered nothing.
  • Additional Publications

    • March 2007
      'Tinkering' Close to the Edge, Educ. Leadership, at 52 (commenting on Poway v. Harper Unified Sch. Dist., 445 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 2006)).
    • 1994
      The Supreme Court, 1993 Term—Leading Cases, 108 Harv. L. Rev. 139, 300 (commenting on Dalton v. Specter, 511 U.S. 642)
    • 1993
      Recent Development, Habeas Corpus and 'Actual Innocence,' 16 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 848 (commenting on Herrera v. Collins, 506 U.S. 390)

    Speaking Engagements

    • May 25, 2006
      Provisions, Problems and Possibilities: What We Know Today About the New I.D.E.A., 14th Annual Conference on Serving Youth and Adults with Learning Disabilities CREC (Capitol Region Education Council)
    • October 27-29, 2005
      Recent Developments in the Law Governing Learning Disabilities, New York State Federation of the Council for Exceptional Children Annual Convention
    • May 2005
      Recent Developments in Legislation Impacting Individuals with Disabilities, Capitol Region Education Council (Hartford, Connecticut), 13th Annual Conference on Serving Adults with Learning Disabilities, speaker
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