Practice Areas

Education

Tulane University Law School, J.D., 2006, cum laude

University of Notre Dame, B.A., 2003

Admissions

State Bar of Texas

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Adam has also appeared pursuant to the rules on government practice in the following courts:

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits

U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Northern District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, Northern District of Georgia, Southern District of Iowa, Western District of Kentucky, Eastern District of Louisiana, Eastern District of Michigan, District of Oregon, and Western District of Pennsylvania

District of Columbia Superior Court

Adam comes to Schiffer Hicks Johnson from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Division, where he defended the United States in complex, high-stakes civil litigation in federal courts nationwide. Most recently, he served as senior trial counsel in the Department’s Environmental Torts Litigation Section, managing all aspects of mass tort and toxic tort cases. For example, Adam represented the United States as lead or deputy lead counsel in several high-profile matters, including litigation relating to water quality in Flint, Michigan; formaldehyde exposures in FEMA trailers used after Hurricane Katrina; and a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a VA hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Adam’s varied experience also includes prosecution of criminal cases for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Adam has tried more than 25 cases, handled depositions, alternative dispute resolutions, and oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and U.S. District Courts, and authored appellate briefs, motions for summary judgment, Daubert motions, and numerous other pleadings. Adam is also a veteran of multiple multidistrict litigations and has significant experience handling cases that feature complex scientific and technical issues. He has worked with and/or deposed expert witnesses in more than a dozen disciplines, including allergy-immunology, cardiology, combustion engineering, dermatology, economics, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, infectious disease, molecular biology, neurology, pulmonology, and toxicology.

Adam’s work ethic and devotion to the matter are excellent. Most of all, I found his judgment to be superb.Houston lawyer Steve Gerdes

A frequent instructor for law school intensive trial advocacy courses and former lecturer on practical litigation topics at the DOJ’s training center, Adam served as a DOJ mentor coordinator and represented numerous pro bono clients through the D.C. Bar.

Notable Experience

  • Represented client in a $35 million-dollar tortious interference suit brought by a wind energy developer. After presenting oral argument in Harris County District Court, secured dismissal, including fees and sanctions, under the Texas Anti-SLAPP statute.
  • Represented the United States as lead counsel in all claims and cases filed against the United States stemming from the government’s response to the Flint water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
  • Represented the United States as lead counsel in a $50 million litigation arising from an alleged outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a VA hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Led a coordinated effort to litigate over two dozen claims and cases, including many featuring allegations of wrongful death. Successfully negotiated favorable resolutions through ADR and direct negotiations.
  • Represented the United States as deputy lead counsel in $100 billion multidistrict product liability litigation featuring 40,000 plaintiffs who alleged injurious formaldehyde exposures due to the government’s provision of emergency trailers following Hurricane Katrina. Organized a team of over two dozen people, including lawyers, scientific/medical experts, support staff, and contractor personnel. Took dozens of depositions and oversaw all scientific/medical aspects of the case. Obtained the dismissal of tens of thousands of claims by drafting a series of motions based on never-before-used state emergency management statutes. Later argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and obtained a published affirmance. Prepared the final dispositive motion that successfully achieved dismissal of all remaining claims against the United States in the litigation.
  • Represented the United States as lead counsel in $90 million action brought by nearly 200 plaintiffs who alleged take-home exposures to lead and cadmium due to computer recycling operations at a federal correctional institution in Marianna, Florida. Engaged in significant threshold and bellwether plaintiff discovery. Successfully secured a voluntary dismissal of all claims.
  • Aided the DOJ Antitrust Division in the Aetna-Humana merger litigation. Took and defended depositions during discovery and assisted the trial team during a 13-day bench trial that resulted in the merger being enjoined.
  • Represented the United States in the prosecution of six defendants who, as part of the “Occupy D.C” movement, took over a government building in Washington, D.C. After a highly publicized four-day jury trial, secured guilty verdicts for all six defendants.
  • Represented the United States in a multidistrict litigation stemming from alleged water contamination at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Successfully argued before the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
  • Represented the United States as appellate counsel in an appeal stemming from personal injury and wrongful death claims based on alleged toxic mold contamination. Argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and obtained a published affirmance.
  • Represented the United States in a wrongful death case brought by the family of the first person to die from the 2001 anthrax mail attacks. Jointly handled the mediation at the close of discovery and helped negotiate a favorable settlement for the United States.
  • Represented the attorney general as appellate counsel in an appeal stemming from a decision made by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and obtained a published affirmance.
  • Represented the United States in a case brought by a family alleging serious heart and brain injuries caused by alleged exposures to carbon monoxide in a military housing unit. Following significant expert discovery and dispositive motions practice, successfully negotiated a favorable settlement for the United States.
  • Represented the United States as lead counsel in a case brought by an electrical cooperative that alleged federal firefighters negligently caused their property to be consumed by a wildfire in eastern Oregon. Successfully obtained dismissal of the action.
  • Represented the United States in a case brought by a plaintiff alleging serious neurological problems caused by exposure to toxic mold in a military housing unit. Following the exchange of expert reports, successfully secured a voluntary dismissal.
  • Represented the United States as lead counsel in a wrongful death case brought by the family of a United States magistrate judge. Drafted a dispositive motion and successfully obtained dismissal.

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Federal Bar Association, 2018 Rising Professionals Symposium, “Returning the Favor: Tips and Tactics for Effectively Guiding & Instructing New Litigators” (February 2018)
  • “Using the ‘Private Individual Under Like Circumstances’ to Your Advantage: The Analogous Private Liability Requirement Under the Federal Tort Claims Act,” U.S. Attys’ Bulletin, Vol. 59 (January 2011)
  • Co-author with Adam J. Russ, “Legal Hurdles to Developing Wind Power as an Alternative Energy Source in the United States: Creative and Comparative Solutions,” 27 NW. J. INT’L L. & BUS. 535 (2007)

Honors and Awards

  • Department of Justice Civil Division Training & Professional Development Award (2016)
  • Recognized by the Attorney General as an “Outstanding Mentor” (2015)
  • Department of Justice Civil Division Perseverance Award (2014)
  • Department of Justice Civil Division Special Commendation for Outstanding Service (2012)
  • Department of Justice Civil Division Special Commendation for Outstanding Service (2012)
  • John W. Douglas Award for Pro Bono Service (2010)
  • Department of Justice Civil Division Rookie of the Year Award (2009)

Professional Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Association (2017-present)
  • Houston Bar Association (2017-present)
  • Houston Notre Dame Alumni Club (2017-present)
  • Court of Federal Claims Bar Association (2016-present)
  • Trial Advocacy instructor, Notre Dame Law School (2014-present)
  • Pro bono attorney, DC Bar Pro Bono Program (2010-2017)
  • Instructor and lecturer, DOJ National Advocacy Center (2010-2017)
  • Intern program/mentor coordinator, DOJ Environmental Torts Litigation Section (2009-2016)
  • Hiring Committee, DOJ Honors Program and SLIP (2008-2016)
  • Advocacy Skills/Litigation Strategy instructor, Paul M. Herbert Law Center, Louisiana State University (2011-2015)