Robert Cowan

Partner

Practicing Since: 2001

Practice Areas: Mesothelioma,Drug & Medical Device Injuries,Overtime and Wage Litigation (FLSA),Product Liability,Commercial Litigation

Biography

Robert oversees and coordinates the firm’s successful, award-winning trial and appellate briefing team, as well as takes the “lead pen” on many of the firm’s most critical written court submissions. He also argues many of those issues in court. His current practice areas include Fair Labor Standards Act cases (overtime and wage litigation recovery), pharmaceutical products liability litigation, state government Medicaid fraud recovery and asbestos exposure liability cases. Noteworthy successes on the firm’s behalf include:

  • $124 million consumer protection trial victory against Risperdal-maker Janssen Pharmaceuticals affirmed by South Carolina Supreme Court; drug company’s appeal denied by United States Supreme Court (attorneys’ fees & expenses: $23,101,269);
  • $15.5 million consumer protection settlement in favor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky against Risperdal-maker Janssen Pharmaceuticals (attorneys’ fees & expenses: $2,244,646.85);
  • $7.75 million settlement in favor of the State of Arkansas in deceptive trade practices action against Ortho-McNeil-Janssen and Johnson & Johnson (attorneys’ fees & expenses $2 million);
  • Rob was the lead briefing attorney for co-lead counsel in In re Seroquel Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1769, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida; the Seroquel litigation resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for Seroquel patients;
  • Pursued to successful resolution deceptive trade practice cases against major drug manufacturers on behalf the states of Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, and South Carolina;
  • Repeatedly defeated defendants’ delay and forum-shopping tactics by successfully convincing federal courts to transfer (remand) cases back to state courts where they were originally filed;
  • Defeated summary judgment motion on federal preemption grounds filed by pharmaceutical manufacturer in the largest docket of antipsychotic drug injury cases pending in the country;
  • Defeated pharmaceutical defendants’ motion to disqualify firm in Medicaid fraud recovery lawsuit in Pennsylvania, including two disqualification attempts in the trial court and on appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; and
  • Secured denial of writ of certiorari in the Louisiana Supreme Court, as well as denial of supervisory writ application in the Louisiana Court of Appeal, against drug maker seeking to invade the privacy of thousands of Louisiana Medicaid patients through unnecessary disclosure of their personal medical records.

Before joining the firm in 2007, Rob practiced on the defense side of the bar for six years with an emphasis on trial and appellate briefing on behalf of large multinational corporations, state agencies and local governments, industry groups, and individuals. While a defense lawyer, Rob drafted successful briefing to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in high-profile litigation brought by the original Marlboro Man’s family against Philip Morris, represented a noteworthy former Merrill Lynch analyst in the Enron shareholder litigation, successfully briefed First Amendment and wrongful termination issues relating to the City of Houston’s controversial police chase policy in a Fifth Circuit appeal on the city’s behalf, as well as assisted in defending the world’s wealthiest man and his related business interests in two multimillion dollar tortious interference lawsuits filed in Texas.

Awards
  • Super Lawyers® Rising Stars™, by Thompson Reuters: 2005, 2011
Education
  • University of Houston, B.A., December 1990
  • South Texas College of Law, J.D., Magna Cum Laude, May 2001
  • Admissions: Texas, November 2001; Missouri, July 2016

Admitted in the United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas, the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, the District of Colorado, the Eastern District of Michigan, the District of Nebraska, the Western District of Oklahoma and the Eastern District of Missouri.

Experience

Making Foreign Depositions Less Foreign—Deposition Testimony In Foreign Jurisdictions For Use In Texas Courts, THE ADVOCATE (State Bar of Texas Litigation Section) Fall 2004, Vol. 28 Choice of Law and Claims of Privilege—A Defense Tool Often Overlooked, IADC PRODUCTS LIABILITY NEWSLETTER (Int’l Ass’n of Def. Counsel, Chicago, IL) Oct. 2001, No. 1 Note, Pizza Hut Pays the Dough as the Tenth Circuit Hands Employers A Bigger Slice of the Sexual Harassment Liability Pie in Lockard v. Pizza Hut, Inc., 41 S. TEX. L. REV. 1157 (2000)