Diane Flannery Partner

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Diane Flannery, the former chair of the Environmental & Mass Tort department, has tried complex products liability cases in federal and state courts, including high-profile cases that The National Law Journal has identified as some of the most significant cases tried. She was named Product Liability Attorney of the Year by Euromoney’s Legal Media Group in 2020, an Influential Woman of Law by Virginia Lawyers Weekly in 2021 and recognized as a Client Service “All-Star” by BTI Consulting in 2023.

She also has litigated a variety of class action and multidistrict (MDL) litigation matters, including recently having been lead counsel in two MDLs pending in the rocket docket of the Eastern District of Virginia. During her 32 years of practice, she has had extensive experience coordinating and managing large-scale defense efforts that involved hundreds of cases pending in different jurisdictions. She also has defended emotionally charged severe injury and death cases and is experienced litigating complex medical and scientific issues. Diane also focuses on data privacy and product labelling class actions. Diane has significant experience advising clients on punitive damages, product recalls, and matters before the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).

Diane has served as defense counsel in a wide range of product liability cases, including ones involving lead paint, tobacco, automobiles, industrial equipment, engines, pharmaceuticals, pet pharmaceuticals, beryllium, chemicals, asbestos, aluminum, formaldehyde, food manufacturers, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), wheelchairs, pap smears, batteries, airplanes, generators, window blinds, building products, children’s shoes, boats, lighting fixtures, Chinese manufactured flooring, consumer products, coffee makers, water filtration systems, hot tubs, furniture, and pipeline explosions.

Diane is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one half of one percent of American lawyers who are selected upon “effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation.” She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Association and named a “Leading Lawyer” in Products Liability and Class Actions by the Legal 500 United States. Diane has been AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell for more than two decades. She was selected to be a Master in the Lamar Inn of Emory University and the John Marshall Inn of the University of Richmond School of Law. She was also selected for the Georgia 100 Leadership Program and the Leadership Atlanta Program. She served on the Board of the Richmond Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council (“PLAC”). Diane was selected among America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, a designation reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional trial attorneys in high value, high stakes legal matters.

Diane is active in the community and has served on a variety of boards, including the Board of Trustees for Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trustees for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Georgia Chapter, and the Board of Trustees for the Junior League of Atlanta. Diane is a member of the Historic Richmond Council, Junior League of Richmond, and Impact 100, which provides transformative grants to Richmond non-profit organizations to improve the community.


  • Lead counsel in MDL litigation involving more than 140 class actions alleging excessive levels of formaldehyde in Chinese manufactured laminate flooring.
  • Lead counsel in MDL litigation involving more than 40 class actions alleging false marketing and deception trade practices.
  • Lead counsel in seven class actions following a pipeline explosion.
  • Lead counsel in purported nationwide class action pending in the Northern District of California alleging bamboo flooring prematurely scratches contrary to its 30 year warranty.
  • Lead counsel in six state deceptive trade practices act class actions (Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas) pending against a water filtration system pending in Madison County, Illinois and a Florida class action.
  • Lead counsel defeating class certification in the Northern District of Florida for a consumer products manufacturer.
  • Lead counsel avoiding nationwide class action in the Northern District of Illinois for an engine manufacturer.
  • Trial counsel in several wrongful death cases brought against cigarette manufacturers.
  • Trial counsel in class action against the tobacco industry where the trial lasted two-years in Miami, Florida.
  • Trial counsel in Equal Pay Act Case in federal court in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Lead counsel in child strangulation cases involving window blinds in California.
  • Lead counsel in nationwide class action lawsuit alleging food contamination and fraudulent labeling.
  • Successfully resolved more than 400 claims in a Florida mass action involving alleged deceptive trade practices for consumer product manufacturer.
  • Secured dismissal of a New Jersey class action related to deceptive trade practices of water treatment products.
  • Successfully defended a retail furniture company in a CPSC investigation following a child’s death resulting in no recall and investigation being closed by government.
  • Won motion to dismiss in Eastern District of Missouri in wrongful death case for pharmaceutical company.
  • Won motion to dismiss in the Eastern District of Virginia and on appeal in the Fourth Circuit of an emotional distress and punitive damages claim against an automotive manufacturer.
  • Lead an investigation for one of the largest family-owned product portfolio business related to fire resistant products, resulting in no litigation or government action.
  • Won dismissal of a product liability lawsuit for an American Fortune 100 machine and engine manufacturer.
  • Lead counsel in asbestos litigation in Madison County, Illinois.
  • Lead counsel in nasal cancer litigation from wood dust exposure.
  • Lead counsel in numerous investigations and product recalls with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).
  • National coordinating counsel and trial counsel in vehicle rollover cases.
  • National coordinating counsel in lead paint litigation class actions and individual cases.
  • Defense counsel in multiple toxic tort cases brought against beryllium manufacturer.
  • Defense counsel in asbestos litigation pending in Delaware.
  • Defense counsel in wrongful death action arising from crash of flight en route from Egypt to France obtaining favorable ruling of the French Supreme Court which effectively prevented plaintiffs from returning to sue plane manufacturer in U.S. courts.
  • Defense counsel in class action and numerous individual cases brought against a credit reporting agency.