The National Law Journal
has named McGuireWoods partner
Justin D. Howard a
2020 Litigation Trailblazer, recognizing him among the country’s top litigators who have developed
innovative legal strategies.
Howard, a trial lawyer in the firm’s Richmond, Virginia, office, defends
manufacturers, distributors and clients across industries in high-exposure
cases involving catastrophic property damage, personal injury and death.
“It is an honor to be recognized for helping valued clients achieve
positive outcomes in difficult litigation matters,” Howard said. “I am
grateful to my McGuireWoods colleagues for their collaboration and
In 2019, he secured a
jury trial victory for McGuireWoods client STIHL Incorporated in the Philadelphia Court of
Common Pleas, one of the most challenging venues in the nation for
corporate defendants in civil lawsuits. In Pennington v. Stihl Incorporated, et al., the plaintiff alleged
the design of the shoulder straps on a backpack leaf blower manufactured by
STIHL was defective and caused his injuries.
To demonstrate to the jury that the shoulder straps could not have caused
the plaintiff’s injuries, Howard combined expert testimony, radiologic
imaging, medical illustrations, a three-dimensional digital model of the
plaintiff’s anatomy and multimedia presentations. The jury found that the
backpack leaf blower was not defective and returned a defense verdict.
In addition to handling high-stakes product liability cases, Howard defends
clients in labor and employment disputes and actions involving alleged
breach of contract, business torts, professional malpractice, financial
services fraud and toxic torts.
“Justin has a passion for trial law and the creativity to develop
innovative strategies to present clear, persuasive evidence before judges
and juries in some of the most challenging jurisdictions for defendants,”
Diane Flannery, chair of McGuireWoods’ Products, Environmental & Mass Tort Litigation
Added Dion Hayes, the firm’s deputy managing partner for litigation: “We are proud that
Justin and his team’s incredible trial work on behalf of our clients, in
challenging venues across the United States, has been recognized with this