Meet our Attorneys

Janet G. Abaray

Shareholder - Burg Simpson Ohio

Ohio Attorney Janet G Abaray hero image

Janet Gilligan Abaray acts as managing shareholder for the Cincinnati office of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. She graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Cincinnati School of Law where she was Business Manager of the Law Review. She is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Ohio, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits and the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Abaray is one of 20 public members of a Commission chosen from over 300 applicants that has been formed by the State of Ohio to consider modernization of the Ohio constitution. Ms. Abaray was selected to serve on the Commission by a 12-person, bipartisan group, of six Ohio State Representatives and six Ohio State Senators. Other public members of the Commission include former public office holders, including Governor Robert Taft, as well as judges, professors, attorneys and community leaders.

Ms. Abaray was recently named the Chair of the Judicial Branch and Administration of Justice Committee for the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission. This Committee will be responsible for reviewing the Ohio Constitution in regard to issues affecting the judicial system, and providing recommendations to the full committee for consideration.

Ms. Abaray has litigated extensively in the area of pharmaceutical products liability, beginning her career as defense counsel for Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the Bendectin products liability class action and multi-district litigation (MDL), where she acted as third chair trial counsel. Since 1987, she has represented plaintiffs in many over-the-counter and prescription drug cases, including the L-Tryptophan MDL, the Copley Albuterol class action litigation, where she acted as co-lead trial counsel, and the Fen-Phen/Redux diet pill class action and MDL, where she acted as lead trial counsel for plaintiffs at the Interneuron class action fairness hearing. Ms. Abaray and Michael Burg were appointed by the Court in 2005 as Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in the Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch Multidistrict Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio. In 2008, Ms. Abaray was appointed by the Court to the Executive Committee for the Heparin Product Liability Multi-District Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio. Ms. Abaray also served as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and a member of the Plaintiffs’ Coordinating Committee for the Ephedra Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation in the Southern District of New York. Ms. Abaray is Co-chair of the Science Committee in the Yaz/Yasmin Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2100, currently pending in the Southern District of Illinois, where she has been responsible for development of the epidemiologic and pharmacologic evidence. Her current focus is on mass tort claims involving the drug Depakote which are pending in several courts across the country.

Ms. Abaray also represents plaintiffs in many insurance and contract disputes. She was the co-lead trial counsel on behalf of 8000 farmers in the Chubb drought insurance class action litigation, participated as trial counsel on behalf of 2000 Cincinnati area physicians in the ChoiceCare HMO litigation, and represented Cincinnati area newspaper carriers in consolidated actions against the Cincinnati Enquirer. She represented 40,000 season ticket holders of the Cincinnati Bengals football team in a successful class action concerning their seat licenses in Paul Brown Stadium. Ms. Abaray has established national precedent in the area of employment discrimination, successfully arguing in litigation against Ernst & Young to broaden the scope of persons protected by the federal age discrimination statute.

Cincinnati Magazine recognized Ms. Abaray as one of Cincinnati’s best litigation attorneys in 1995, and she has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer, 2005-2014. She was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Carl B. Rubin Legal Society in 2013. Ms. Abaray has achieved the highest rating from her peers for quality of legal work, professionalism, and ethics by receiving an “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Ms. Abaray is also listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. Ms. Abaray has also met the standard of excellence for selection as one of The National Trial Lawyer’s Top 100 Lawyers.

Ms. Abaray has been selected by members of the national legal community as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Mass Tort Litigation since 2011. Best Lawyers publishes a book each year listing those individuals who are recognized as professionals who continue their education in an effort to stay current in their chosen profession and continue to distinguish themselves among their peers. The book is considered to be, professionally, the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States. Ms. Abaray was chosen as a member of this distinguished group because she has displayed an exemplary commitment to her profession, her community and to her clients.

Ms. Abaray has served as a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and lectures frequently in the areas of products liability litigation, trial techniques and epidemiology. She has published articles in journals of the American Bar Association, Litigation Section, the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers Association, the University of Cincinnati Law Review and the University of Dayton Law Review.

AV Preeminent® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® – Lawyer of the Year 2014 for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs, Cincinnati

Best Lawyers® in America, 2011 - 2017

Top 100 Attorney, The National Trial Lawyers

Jewish National Fund Judge Carl. B. Rubin Legal Society Attorney of the Year, 2013

Recommended Attorney, the U.S. Legal 500, 2013 and 2014

Phi Beta Kappa

Order of the Coif

Business Manager, University of Cincinnati Law Review, 1981-1982

Best Lawyers in America, Cincinnati – Plaintiff Class Action and Mass Torts 2014

Selected to Ohio Super Lawyers®, 2005-2016

Distinguished Service Award, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1998

Ohio, 1982

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Courts of Appeal, Third, Sixth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits

U.S. District Courts, Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio

U.S. District Court, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois

J.D., 1982, University of Cincinnati School of Law

B.A., 1979, University of Cincinnati, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, summa cum laude

The National Trial Lawyers

Cincinnati Bar Association

Ohio Bar Association

American Bar Association

Federal Bar Association (Member, Annual Convention Committee, 2004)

American Association for Justice

Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers

Chair, Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission, Sub-committee on the Judicial Branch and Administration of Justice

Alan K. Simpson Argues For a 28th Amendment

 August 16, 2017

Alan K. Simpson Argues For a 28th Amendment

Are corporation’s people? It might sound like a simple question, but it’s one the U.S. Supreme Court answered in the affirmative when it handed down its landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010. That 5-4 ruling struck down a prohibition against certain election communications by nonprofits, corporations, labor unions, and other associations…. Read more »

Michael S. Burg Blasts Supreme Court Big Pharma Ruling

 August 15, 2017

Michael S. Burg Blasts Supreme Court Big Pharma Ruling

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court handed Big Pharma a big victory. In Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, the high court struck down California’s effort to widen the scope of non-residents seeking relief from dangerous drugs. In an 8-1 decision, the court ruled against nearly 680 plaintiffs who were suing the… Read more »

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine Attorneys Recognized in 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©

 August 15, 2017

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine Attorneys Recognized in 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©

  Twenty-Three Attorneys Were Listed in The Best Lawyers in America ® 2018 Four Attorneys Listed as 2018 Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” In Their Practice Area and Region August 15, 2017 (Denver, CO) – Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C., one of America’s foremost plaintiff trial firms, is proud to announce several… Read more »

Weyerhaeuser Floor Joists Could Be Poisoning Your Home

 August 9, 2017

Weyerhaeuser Floor Joists Could Be Poisoning Your Home

August 9, 2017 (Denver, CO) – Thousands of new homes may be uninhabitable due to excessive levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, found in the joists of finished and unfinished basements. Homeowners and construction workers have reported feeling ill, with burning eyes and respiratory issues, after exposure to hazardous levels of formaldehyde present in these… Read more »

Employee versus Contractor – Denver Workers Compensation Attorney – Burg Simpson

 August 23, 2017

Are you an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

In today’s economy, the popularity of independent contractors has ascended for several years. Whether it’s driving around strangers for money or building Web pages from home, it seems like more people than ever are forgoing employee status and embracing life as an independent contractor. In fact, a recent Intuit study claims that slightly more than… Read more »

Traumatic Brain Injuries – Denver Injury Lawyer – Burg Simpson

 August 16, 2017

What you Should Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries

Few things can change – or end – a life as quickly as a Traumatic Brain Injury. TBIs play a role in nearly a third of injury deaths in the United States. More than 150 people die every day as a result of these devastating injuries, which works out to more than 50,000 fatalities annually…. Read more »

HR 1215 Bill – Colorado Medical Lawsuit Attorneys – Burg Simpson

 August 10, 2017

Legislation Threatens Medical Malpractice Victims

While Congress distracted the country with the drama of a failed Affordable Care Act repeal vote, lawmakers quietly – and barely – passed HR 1215, the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017,” on June 28. The bill makes it much harder for victims of medical malpractice to hold health care providers responsible for their… Read more »

Underride Accidents – Denver Injury Attorney – Burg Simpson

 August 9, 2017

What are the Dangers of Truck Underride Accidents?

In 2004, 26-year-old Roya Sadigh and her fiancé were on their way home for Thanksgiving in a blizzard. Their car hit a patch of ice, spun out of control, and slid beneath a tractor-trailer. The truck’s rear wheels ran over the car, crushing it. Sadigh died before she could make it to the hospital. These… Read more »

Ring of Fire: Even Republicans Are Disgusted by The Republican Party

 May 3, 2016

Ring of Fire: Even Republicans Are Disgusted by The Republican Party

A Ring of Fire first! Host Farron Cousins talks to former Senator Alan Simpson in a unique opportunity on Ring of Fire to speak with a Republican about the current state of the Republican Party.

CBS 4: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

 April 28, 2016

CBS 4: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

CBS 4 in Denver highlights Burg Simpson attorney Michael S. Burg’s induction into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Radio 850KOA: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

 April 28, 2016

Radio 850KOA: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Denver’s Radio 850KOA ran a news story about Michael Burg’s induction into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

Burg Simpson Legal Minute: Civil Justice System

 April 21, 2016

Burg Simpson Legal Minute: Civil Justice System

Burg Simpson shareholder Calvin Tregre Jr. examines changes to the civil justice system, where limitations have been placed on monetary awards to seriously injured victims of corporate negligence. Are you protected?

Trial Talk magazine

 November 18, 2015

Trial Talk: Cross Appeal? Now What?

Burg Simpson Attorney and Shareholder Diane Vaksdal Smith’s article, published in CTLA’s Trial Talk, April/May 2015, addresses specifics of appellate practice and procedure. Download full article PDF

The Trial Lawyer Magazine

 November 18, 2015

Homebuilders v. Homeowners

Threats to Shift an Already Tilted Playing Field More in Favor of Homebuilders Burg Simpson attorneys Jennifer A. Seidman and Ronald M. Sandgrund examine what could happen if lawmakers allow builders to take advantage of and mischaracterize the causes of the Great Recession’s lingering effects, and the facts regarding the real causes of the decline… Read more »

Pop Culture

 November 18, 2015

Part IV – Does Popular Culture Influence Lawyers, Judges, and Juries?

TV and Movies – What We Love and Love to Hate Twelve Angry Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, the O.J. Simpson debacle…do these movies and televised lawsuits influence decision makers? Burg Simpson attorney Ronald M. Sandgrund continues the panel series dialogue, with Part IV addressing TV and movies. Download full article PDF

Pop Culture Part 3

 November 18, 2015

Part III – Does Popular Culture Influence Lawyers, Judges, and Juries?

Managing Popular Culture’s Influence Popular culture generally has been defined as “culture based on the tastes of ordinary people rather than an educated elite.” Part III investigates whether popular culture may be undermining the rule of law. Burg Simpson attorney Ronald M. Sandgrund mediates this panel article. Download full article PDF

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