José Isasi is a first-chair trial lawyer who has tried to verdict dozens of federal and state jury and bench trials in product liability and commercial disputes throughout the United States, receiving national recognition for his successful outcomes. He also serves as lead trial counsel in commercial arbitrations. José focuses on defending product manufacturers, particularly pharmaceutical, medical device, and chemical manufacturers, in product liability, public nuisance, and commercial disputes, including multidistrict litigations, consolidated cases, and other national representations. He regularly counsels clients on strategies to minimize litigation risk.
Like others at Jones Day, José has an active trial practice. From 2017 to 2023, he served as first-chair trial counsel in seven different multiweek jury trials, six that resulted in complete defense verdicts (the other overturned on appeal). These matters, defending product manufacturers, included wrongful death lawsuits seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.
José has spoken extensively worldwide on litigation-related topics. He is a current faculty member of the ABA/ABOTA National Trial Academy. He is a member of numerous legal associations, including the board of directors of the Product Liability Advisory Council, the Georgetown Law Alumni Council, and the ABA's Minority Trial Lawyer Committee. He serves on Jones Day's Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement Committee and is co-chair of Duke University's Hispanic/Latino Alumni Association. José is actively involved in volunteer organizations, serving on Duke University's (Trinity College) Board of Visitors and the board of Legal Prep Charter Academy. He has been repeatedly recognized by "Who's Who in Hispanic Chicago."
The following represents experience prior to joining Jones Day.
Lead counsel for a medical device manufacturer in litigation claiming catastrophic overdelivery of medication allegedly caused by a defect in client's model intravenous pump.
Served as national counsel for medical device manufacturer in defense of bellwether suits set for trial in multidistrict proceeding arising from the sale of implantable mesh products.
Lead counsel representing a pharmaceutical manufacturer in numerous personal injury suits filed across the United States arising from a patient's development of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis allegedly due to use of client's products.
Served as national counsel to a multinational pharmaceutical manufacturer, representing the client in the defense of personal injury suits and proactively counseling on litigation and regulatory risks.
Lead trial counsel for a pharmaceutical manufacturer in the successful defense of litigation alleging breach of a commercial development and supply agreement. The matter was submitted to binding arbitration, and after several days of hearings, the client received a finding of no liability on plaintiff's claims and an award on its counterclaims, including attorneys' fees.
Served as lead counsel representing former executives of a pharmaceutical company in multidistrict litigation alleging product liability and consumer fraud claims arising from a Class I recall of an allegedly improperly manufactured heart medication.
Served as national counsel for a pharmaceutical manufacturer in personal injury cases arising from claimed cardiotoxicity, including conducted oral argument on client's behalf before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
Served as lead counsel representing a manufacturer of surgical devices utilized during "beating heart" surgery in defense of a lawsuit claiming design defect that allegedly led to the death of a patient undergoing surgery.
Served as lead counsel representing a medical device manufacturer in defense of claims of multiple failures of implantable cardioverter defibrillators and leads, allegedly resulting in significant injuries and several corrective surgeries.
Lead counsel in the successful representation of both a products manufacturer and a government contractor in litigation alleging that workers were seriously injured due to mercury spills and exposure to mercury-containing products at the Los Alamos National Laboratory government research facility.
Lead counsel representing several corporate and individual defendants in litigation in the Southern District of New York. Obtained dismissal at the pleadings stage of more than two dozen claims against several corporate and individual defendants. The claims, which included breach of contract/fiduciary duty and RICO, arose from the sale of participation interest in pooled mortgages insured by the FHA.
Regional counsel for an automobile manufacturer in class action and individual litigation alleging personal and economic injuries related to unintended acceleration of vehicles.
Counseled medical device manufacturer in multidistrict litigation, overseeing multiple aspects of expert discovery. The litigation involved 34 putative class actions, more than 30 state court actions, and more than 300 cases in total. The cases involved allegations of products liability as well as third-party beneficiary and Medicare secondary payor claims. The potential claimants numbered 87,000.
Regional counsel for a national identity theft protection service in a series of putative class action suits alleging consumer fraud and deceptive business practices. The suits were transferred to a multidistrict proceeding in the District of Arizona and ultimately settled after class-focused discovery.
Lead trial counsel in a two-week jury trial representing a government contractor at Los Alamos National Laboratory against several individuals who claimed to have been exposed to toxic gases while working at the lab's plutonium processing facility due to intentional misconduct. The jury returned a complete defense verdict in favor of the client.
Served as lead counsel representing a component manufacturer in product liability litigation arising from a work site explosion. After aggressively pursuing discovery of the scientific basis for the plaintiffs' claim, the plaintiffs' expert conceded no reliable theory of product failure existed and the claims were dismissed with prejudice.
Lead trial counsel in a bench trial before the Delaware Chancery Court representing stockholders in litigation against their company seeking to compel a stockholder meeting. At the conclusion of the trial, the chancellor ruled directly from the bench and granted a verdict for all relief sought by the clients.
Lead trial counsel in a four-week federal jury trial representing an individual consumer who alleged that a major interstate moving company breached its contract and engaged in racketeering activities in the course of performing interstate household moves. The case settled after a jury awarded damages to the client.
Lead trial counsel in a one-week federal bench trial representing a corporation in post-sale dispute over failure to disclose material liabilities during an asset sale. Court awarded client significant damages and costs, after which the case settled on very favorable terms for client.
Supreme Court Relies on Attorney Notes in Considering a Claim of Racial Profiling in Juror Selection
- March 2, 2021
Product Liability Advisory Council Webinar: The COVID-Era Juror: Attitudes, Implications and Strategies
- Janury 12, 20201
Managing Systemic Risk in High Stakes Litigation, Speaker, Jones Day MCLE University
- October 3, 2019
A Rising Tide Sinks All Boats: How Plaintiffs Are Obtaining Large Punitive Damage Awards (And How to Combat Them), Speaker, Product Liability Advisory Council Fall Conference
- June 6, 2919
Discrediting the Other Side's Expert: Using Discovery and Data to Reduce an Expert's Impact, Speaker, Jones Day MCLE University
- September 28 , 2016.
Emerging Issues and Strategic Considerations for the Life Sciences Industry in US/European Products Liability Litigation
- September 22, 2016
Emerging Issues in Product Liability Litigation, 2016 Health Care Enforcement, Litigation, and Compliance CLE Conference,
- February 4, 2016
Emerging Issues in Product Liability Litigation
- December 3, 2015
Best Practices for Generic, Innovator and Biosimilar Manufacturers to Combat Anticipated Plaintiffs' Tactics Speaker, ACI 20th Annual Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference
- October 7, 2015
The State of the Hispanic American Attorney in Chicago Law Firms
- June 11, 2015
Mass Tort Litigation: Lessons Learned and Legal Issues Speaker, Jones Day MCLE University
- June 12, 2014
Emerging Enforcement Trends, Litigation Risks & Compliance Issues for the Health Care Industry, speaker, Jones Day MCLE University
- October 30, 2013
The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medtronic as a Large Employer
- September 20, 2013
Warning! Keeping the Label Out of the Case, speaker, The Doctors Company, 2013 Legal Summit - Midwest
- October 20, 2012
Career Focus: Developing Your Professional Gameplan, speaker, Georgetown University Law Center
- May 16, 2012
It's NOT Just Legalese: Practical Implications of "Standard" Contract Terms for Life Science Companies, speaker, Berkley Life Sciences 2012 Producer Council Meeting
- February 24, 2012
Law Firm Economics 101: The Changing Legal Landscape, speaker, Law Firm Boot Camp of Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms
- May 19, 2011
Can You Keep a Secret? Confidentiality Considerations for Litigation in the Digital Age, speaker, Personal Care Products Council's Legal and Regulatory Conference,
- April 27, 2011
View from the Bench: The Judicial Perspective on Daubert Motions and Challenges, panel chair, ACI Chemical Products Liability Environmental Litigation Conference
- July 21 - 22, 2010
Judicial Insights on Current Product Liability Trends for Life Science Products, panel chair, American Conference Institute's Products Liability Boot Camp for the Life Science Industry
- April 15 - 16, 2010
Examining the Future of Preemption as a Defense Strategy, conference chairman and speaker, Marcus Evans Legal Series 6th Annual Drug & Medical Device Litigation Forum
- February 11, 2010
Alternative Fee Arrangements: Maximizing Your Relationships With Diverse Outside Counsel, speaker, Corporate Member Meeting of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms
- June 24 - 25, 2009
Drug and Medical Device Product Liability Pre-Trial Preparation: Daubert Motions, Summary Judgment and Other Preemptive Defenses, speaker, 3rd Annual Drug and Medical Device On Trial Conference
- March 2, 2009
Exploring How Recent Rulings in Pre-Emption Will Change the Face of Litigation, conference chairman and speaker, Marcus Evans Legal Series 5th Annual Drug & Medical Device Litigation Forum
- March 2, 2009
Understanding the FDA and the Evolution of Regulations: The Key to Making Your Company Better Prepared, speaker and conference chairman, Marcus Evans Legal Series 5th Annual Drug & Medical Device Litigation Forum
- February 25, 2009
Preventing Charges of Off-Label Promotion When Disseminating Clinical Trial Materials, speaker, 11th Annual Managing Legal Risks in Clinical Trials Conference
- February 11, 2009
Negotiating and Drafting Effective Alternative Fee Arrangements, speaker, American Conference Institute's 2nd Annual Corporate Counsel Forum on Reducing Legal Costs
- September 23 - 24, 2008
Exploring the Intersection of Regulatory Oversight and Consumer Fraud Litigation, speaker, American Conference Institute's Drug an Device Forum and Defending Consumer Fraud Economic Injury Claims
- May 19 - 20, 2008
Practical Defense Issues, speaker, Insurance Coverage 2008: Claim Trends & Litigation, Practicing Law Institute
- December 12 - 14, 2007
Swift and Constant Attacks by the Press and Academic/Scientific Sources, speaker, American Conference Institute's 12th Annual Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference
- August 2005
The Use of Lay Experts and Opinions on Specialized Knowledge in Drug Cases, speaker, ALI-ABA Advanced Course of Study: Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Issues
- July 2004
Key Issues for Final Trial Preparation, speaker, ALI-ABA Advanced Course of Study: Products Liability
- February 2004
Discovery, Strategy & Case Management Issues, speaker, Practicing Law Institute's Insurance Coverage: Claims Trends & Litigation Conference
Chen v. Mayflower: The Trial Of A RICO Suit, speaker, ABA Annual Meeting
Delivers "‘persuasive oral arguments’ in product liability bench and jury trials relating to tobacco and more commonly the pharmaceuticals and medical devices arena."The Legal 500
- Georgetown University (J.D. 1992; Editor, Georgetown Immigration Law Journal); Duke University (A.B. 1989)
- Illinois; Florida; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits; and U.S. District Courts for the Northern (Trial Bar) and Southern Districts of Illinois
Individually recommended as a ‘great first-chair litigator’ in The Legal 500 US for product liability/mass tort defense: consumer products & pharmaceuticals and medical devices
Named 2018 "Winning Litigator" by The National Law Journal for jury trial victories
Leading Lawyers Illinois — commercial litigation for 15+ consecutive years
Illinois Super Lawyers — product liability defense for 15+ consecutive years