Christopher Gismondi

Christopher Gismondi

Of Counsel
About

Chris Gismondi is Of Counsel in the Litigation & Regulatory Group at DLA Piper LLP (US). Chris litigates high-stakes, complex commercial, product liability, and corporate governance disputes. Recently, his practice has focused on providing broad-based risk management, litigation and regulatory support to growers, financial institutions, manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the tobacco, vape product, and CBD/Hemp industries. Chris also defends product manufacturers against design defect and failure to warn claims, focusing on environmental and life science issues.

He also defends corporate clients against claims of negligence, violations of the securities laws, violation of state elder laws, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. Chris' work covers all aspects of litigation, including, early case assessment, fact development, expert witnesses, trials and appeals. He handles cases before state and federal trial and appellate courts, arbitrators, and mediators, working collaboratively with clients to develop aggressive, yet cost-effective, litigation strategies.

Bar admissionsNew York
CourtsAll New York state courtsUnited States District Court for the Southern District of New YorkUnited States Court of Federal Claims

EXPERIENCE

Litigation Strategy & Defense Representative Matters

  • Defended food manufacturer in product liability action alleging that its products were defectively designed and that it failed to warn consumers of the risk of exposure to trace levels of metal(oids) in the products
  • Defended aging services facilities against class action lawsuit alleging substandard care and understaffing
  • Defended international e-cigarette manufacturer in product liability action alleging mislabeling, fraud, and that product use resulted in the development of a respiratory condition, including working with experts to assess issues of causation
  • Defended international financial institution in an S.E.C. investigation into allegations that the institution violated its due diligence obligations in underwriting a follow-on offering for a corporation with its primary operating subsidiary in mainland China
  • Defended international insurer in 12 coordinated federal actions alleging violations of the 1933 Securities Act and 1934 Exchange Act with over $2 billion in total damages, including coordinating the production of over 20 million pages of documents, taking and defending depositions of C-level executives, and drafting discovery and dispositive motions
  • Represented international insurer in litigation brought by the company’s former majority shareholder against the U.S. for an alleged violation of the Fifth Amendment, including an investigation of the claims and working with standard of care experts
  • Defended multiple Fortune 500 companies in class action lawsuits alleging violations of the 1933 Securities Act and 1934 Exchange Act, including companies in the insurance, financial services, and consumer goods sectors
  • Represented manufacturer of CBD edibles in contract and employment dispute with one of the largest cannabis manufacturers in the world
  • Represented owners of luxury New York apartment in an action against general contractor for breach of contract

Counseling Corporate Clients

  • Advised international tobacco manufacturer on US regulatory issues in connection with multi-billon dollar acquisition of an oral nicotine product manufacturer
  • Advised financial institution on the provision of financial services to cannabis companies, including compliance with anti-money laundering obligations
  • Advised insurance provider on COVID-related claims portfolio
  • Advised packaging manufacturer on the provision of services to cannabis companies
  • Advised international pharmaceutical company on whether its psilocybin and DMT research labs were compliant with the controlled substances act
  • Advised cannabis cultivator and processor with respect to state regulations and licensing requirements
  • Advised cannabis manufacturers on legality of cannabis products
  • Advised companies and investment funds on a variety of regulatory issues when pursuing acquisitions of cannabis- and tobacco-related businesses
  • Advised manufacturer of tobacco and vape products on liability issues, including working with scientific and medical experts 
  • Advised product manufacturers in responding to allegations that they manufactured defective products 
  • Advised international insurer on potential indemnification obligations 
  • Advised board of directors with respect to the proper procedure to protect legal privilege contained in the minutes of their meetings 
  • Advised on potential exposure to insider trading laws
  • Investigated bankruptcy claims, including working in collaboration with forensic accountants
  • Investigated allegations of corporate malfeasance, including working with standard of care experts
Education
  • J.D., Emory University 2009
    Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal
    with honors
  • B.A., Tulane University 2006
    cum laude

Pro Bono

  • Represented military veteran in coverage dispute with the VA, including reviewing medical records and drafting appeal of coverage denial 
  • Represented asylum seekers in proceedings before the United States Immigration Court and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Represented discharged military veterans in seeking upgrade of service discharge status
  • Represented tenant in dispute with landlord in NYC Housing Court 
  • Represented not-for-profit entity in contract dispute with promoter of a fundraising event

Bylines

Seminars

  • MyLawCLE, Vaping and COVID-19: Plausibility and Causation, February 2021
  • DRI, Vaping Liability and Litigation Virtual Seminar,  January 2021
  • Celesq, More Money, More Problems: Cannabis-Related Businesses Targeted by Shareholders,  September 2020

Connect