Bridget O'Connor has built an expansive reputation as a go-to lawyer for clients involved in sophisticated disputes across the country. She has been on the front lines driving high-profile, highly technical disputes to successful conclusions in state and federal courts, arbitrations, and other forums across the United States. Bridget's successful track record spans litigation and investigations in a range of subjects, including breach of contract, business torts, product liability, transportation, energy, infrastructure, and restructuring.
Bridget's clients and colleagues trust that she will master every detail in a way that will make complex issues simple for judges and juries. She has played pivotal roles in developing the legal and factual strategies in complex multidistrict and commercial litigation matters and in the presentation of those strategies at trial.
Prior to joining Jones Day, Bridget obtained in-court wins for BNSF Railway Company in a series of arbitrations, resulting in more than $300 million in recoveries; for Charter Communications in its chapter 11 restructuring, obtaining a precedent-setting decision addressing more than $11 billion in secured financing; and representing EFH in one of the largest and most complex restructurings in history. Bridget has also held in-court trial roles in a number of noteworthy products liability and mass tort actions, including representing GM in obtaining the dismissal with prejudice mid-trial of the first bellwether trial in the MDL 2543 Ignition Switch Litigation, Syngenta in MDL 2591 class actions addressing commercialization of a genetically modified corn trait, and BP in the "Deepwater Horizon" (MDL 2179) litigation and related investigations.
The following represents experience acquired prior to joining Jones Day.
Complex Commercial Litigation
BNSF v. J.B. Hunt: A multiweek arbitration trial resulting in a $200 million plus recovery (featured in The National Law Journal).
BNSF Railway Company v. FirstEnergy Corporation: Second chaired two-week trial for BNSF in its successful lawsuit against FirstEnergy for breach and repudiation of a long-term contract for the transportation of coal to FirstEnergy's coal-fired power plants. FirstEnergy claimed that its failure to ship coal was excused as force majeure because a recently enacted environmental regulation prevented its performance. After a two-week trial, the panel unanimously sided with BNSF. The parties subsequently reached a settlement, pursuant to which FirstEnergy agreed to pay $109 million to BNSF. The result was profiled in The American Lawyer and Law360.
BASF Corp v. Lyondell Chemical Co.: Trial, appellate, and restructuring litigation counsel for BASF in seven-week jury trial in New Jersey state court for breach of contract. Jury verdict for client for $169.9 million. The jury verdict for BASF was one of the top 10 jury verdicts of the year nationwide and was featured as an American Lawyer "Big Suit."
Complex Multidistrict Litigation
In re: Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation (MDL 2591): In-court trial team member representing Syngenta in multiforum litigation involving hundreds of class action and individual lawsuits alleging damages due to the commercialization of a genetically modified corn trait in the United States prior to China approving the trait for import.
In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation (MDL 2543): In-court trial team member representing GM in the successful first bellwether trial in the ignition switch litigation cases, which resulted in dismissal of plaintiff's claims mid-trial.
In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" (MDL 2179): In-court trial team member representing BP in the civil defense of claims brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, numerous plaintiffs, and several states seeking recovery from BP for injury and costs allegedly attributable to the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico, in addition to representing BP in numerous other investigations and proceedings relating to the incident.
In re Energy Future Holdings Corp.: Represented EFH entities in contested matters before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, in the largest operating chapter 11 case ever filed in Delaware and the seventh largest chapter 11 case filed in history.
In re Charter Communications: Counsel for Charter Communications in 19-day trial of "one of the most hotly contested confirmation battles ever conducted," the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York found in favor of Charter on all claims in reinstating $11.8 billion in bank and bond debt and confirmation of Charter's Plan of Reorganization. The ruling was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The case was featured by The American Lawyer in its AmLaw Litigation Daily.
In re Technical Olympic USA (TOUSA): Represented TOUSA in securities class action litigation and restructuring matters before the Southern District of Florida.
Publications Prior to Jones Day
"MDL Jury Selection," Multidistrict Litigation: Judicial and Practitioner Perspectives, 89.4 UKMC L. Rev. 923 (2021)
Speaking Engagements Prior to Jones Day
October 26, 2020
Moderator, "Jill of all Trades," Women, Influence & Power in Law Virtual Conference
- Duke University (J.D. 2003; Executive Editor, Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law; M.P.P. 2003); University of Notre Dame (B.A. in Government & Irish Studies 2000)
- District of Columbia; Maryland; Maryland Court of Appeals; Superior Court of the District of Columbia; U.S. District Courts for the District of Maryland, District of Colorado, and District of Columbia; and U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal, Fourth, and Eighth Circuits
Visiting faculty member: Notre Dame Law School and The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law
Served as pro bono counsel on several high-profile cases, including for the plaintiffs in a successful challenge to North Carolina voting restrictions, which was ranked on The National Law Journal's Pro Bono Hot List
Duke Law School Pro Bono Alumnus of the Year (2020)
"2020 Emerging Woman Leader in Private Practice," DCA Live
- Law Clerk to Judge D. Brooks Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit (2003-2004)