People: Jay W. Connolly, Partner

Photo of Jay W. Connolly, Partner

Jay W. Connolly

Partner

San Francisco
Direct: (415) 544-1036
Fax: (415) 397-8549
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Mr. Connolly is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw and is the chair of the Firm’s Product Liability & Complex Tort Practice Group.

Mr. Connolly's practice focuses on complex business and commercial litigation, defense of consumer fraud/unfair competition claims, and product liability/complex tort litigation.  He handles individual and multi-plaintiff lawsuits—including dozens of class actions—on local, statewide and national levels.  He has managed litigation occurring throughout the country and has been appointed to national trial teams, called upon to try cases and support trial teams in various jurisdictions.  He has handled hundreds of cases involving claims for breach of contract, fraud, business torts, unfair competition and unfair business practices, false advertising, breach of fiduciary duties, trade secret appropriation, negligence, product liability and tort theories, and violations of various federal and state statutes and regulations, including California’s Proposition 65, the Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act and the Federal Hazardous Substance Act.

Mr. Connolly was identified as a Top Attorney in Business Litigation in each Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers, published by Law & Politics, and was selected by that publication as a Northern California Super Lawyer in 2014 and seven previous years.  He was selected for inclusion in the 2012 through 2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions.

Mr. Connolly’s representative matters include representation of major national food market in consumer fraud, unfair business practice, unfair competition and false advertising claims concerning sales and marketing practices; representation of major computer manufacturer in consumer fraud and false advertising claims concerning sales and marketing practices; representation of national web-hosting company in commercial disputes involving contract and unfair business practice claims; representation of international bio-pharmaceutical company in intellectual property dispute concerning proprietary gene therapy; representation of national company in commercial and fraud litigation regarding high-tech color imaging software and equipment; representation of major broker-dealer against California municipality alleging improper securities transactions; national product liability counsel for major natural food market, including claims related to foodborne illnesses and private label dietary supplements; representation of target defendant in silicone breast implant litigation in all cases venued in Northern California, and in state coordinated and federal multi-district proceedings; national representation of leading manufacturer of latex products in litigation concerning latex allergies; representation of target defendant in multi-party market share litigation regarding diethylstilbestrol (“DES”) exposure; defense of claims arising from exposure to various chemicals and substances, including lead, silicone, silica, latex, qlutaraldehyde, hydroquinone, silver nitrate, film processing substances, asbestos and other materials.

Mr. Connolly is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw and is the chair of the Firm’s Product Liability & Complex Tort Practice Group.

Mr. Connolly's practice focuses on complex business and commercial litigation, defense of consumer fraud/unfair competition claims, and product liability/complex tort litigation.  He handles individual and multi-plaintiff lawsuits—including dozens of class actions—on local, statewide and national levels.  He has managed litigation occurring throughout the country and has been appointed to national trial teams, called upon to try cases and support trial teams in various jurisdictions.  He has handled hundreds of cases involving claims for breach of contract, fraud, business torts, unfair competition and unfair business practices, false advertising, breach of fiduciary duties, trade secret appropriation, negligence, product liability and tort theories, and violations of various federal and state statutes and regulations, including California’s Proposition 65, the Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act and the Federal Hazardous Substance Act.

Mr. Connolly was identified as a Top Attorney in Business Litigation in each Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers, published by Law & Politics, and was selected by that publication as a Northern California Super Lawyer in 2014 and seven previous years.  He was selected for inclusion in the 2012 through 2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions.

Mr. Connolly’s representative matters include representation of major national food market in consumer fraud, unfair business practice, unfair competition and false advertising claims concerning sales and marketing practices; representation of major computer manufacturer in consumer fraud and false advertising claims concerning sales and marketing practices; representation of national web-hosting company in commercial disputes involving contract and unfair business practice claims; representation of international bio-pharmaceutical company in intellectual property dispute concerning proprietary gene therapy; representation of national company in commercial and fraud litigation regarding high-tech color imaging software and equipment; representation of major broker-dealer against California municipality alleging improper securities transactions; national product liability counsel for major natural food market, including claims related to foodborne illnesses and private label dietary supplements; representation of target defendant in silicone breast implant litigation in all cases venued in Northern California, and in state coordinated and federal multi-district proceedings; national representation of leading manufacturer of latex products in litigation concerning latex allergies; representation of target defendant in multi-party market share litigation regarding diethylstilbestrol (“DES”) exposure; defense of claims arising from exposure to various chemicals and substances, including lead, silicone, silica, latex, qlutaraldehyde, hydroquinone, silver nitrate, film processing substances, asbestos and other materials.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (1984)
    Associate Editor, Industrial Relations Law Journal
  • B.S., University of San Francisco (1981)
    National Business Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt

Admissions

  • California

Courts

  • U.S. District Courts for all Districts of California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section; Litigation Section)
  • Defense Research Institute (Drug & Medical Device Litigation)

Representative Engagements

Relevant Published Decisions
  • Aurora Dairy Corp. Organic Milk Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., 621 F.3d 781 (8th Cir. 2010) (affirming dismissal of national class action claims attacking the organic certification of dairy products and their organic labeling based on federal preemption).
  • Gedalia v. Whole Foods Market Services, Inc., --- F.Supp.3d ---, 2014 WL 5315030 (S.D. Tex. Sept. 30, 2014), dismissal of nationwide consumer fraud class action alleging products were misbranded and falsely labeled as being organic, natural, GMO-free, and/or containing ingredients identified by defendants as unacceptable on company website.
  • Kennedy v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 43 Cal. App. 4th 799 (1996) (affirming dismissal of product liability class action).

Presentations

  • “Green Marketing Update: Everything You Need to Know About the FTC Green Guides and Other Recent Developments,” Webinar (December 2012)
  • “A Focus on State Consumer Fraud Hotbeds: How Consumer Friendly Laws are Facilitating the Growth of Food Labeling & Advertising Claims and Differentiating Between Liability Standards Among States,” ACI Food & Beverage Consumer Fraud Litigation Conference in Chicago (November 2012)

Publications

  • Co-Author, "Impact of California Appellate Decision on Proposition 65 Actions Unclear," One Minute Memo, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (May 18, 2015)
  • “Ninth Circuit Decision Instructs Lower Courts and Businesses on Evidence That Satisfies Class Action Fairness Act’s Amount in Controversy Requirement,” Consumer Class Action Defense Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (July 2013)
  • “Major v. Ocean Spray: Court Denies Certification of Putative Classes That Include Products Not Purchased By Plaintiff in Food Labeling Case,” Consumer Class Action Defense Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (June 2013)
  • “After Long Battle in Brown v. The American Tobacco Co., Defendant Prevails Where Plaintiffs Failed to Establish Actual Damages.” Consumer Class Action Defense Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (November 2013)
  • “Manufacturers and Retailers Beware: The Consumer Product Safety Commission and State Legislatures are Cracking Down on the use of Cadmium,” One Minute Memo, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (May 2010)

Community Involvement

  • Ad hoc consultant on medical/legal issues for Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley
  • Legal issues consultant and advisor to the California Educational Linkages in the Life Sciences (CELLS) Project, Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley
  • Judge, consultant, and resource contact for the Science and Societal Issues Symposium, Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley
  • Pro Bono Committee Member and partner responsible for pro bono matters in Seyfarth Shaw’s San Francisco office (1996-2006)