Tim defends businesses in multidistrict litigation, class actions and other complex cases. He is highly regarded for his innovative thinking and common sense approach to problem solving by his clients, which include national and international companies in the tobacco, consumer goods, retail and chemical industries, among others. Tim has successfully and efficiently managed large-scale, high-stakes cases involving a variety of claims and liability theories, including product liability, toxic tort, medical monitoring and consumer fraud.

Tim serves as national product liability counsel to Philip Morris USA. He has coordinated the defense and pre-trial management of mass filings of individual tobacco cases in a number of jurisdictions, including Florida, Louisiana, New York and Iowa. He was involved with the landmark Castano national tobacco class action that the Fifth Circuit decertified on appeal in 1996, and he worked with the team that developed and implemented the strategy that led to the subsequent defeat of numerous statewide tobacco class actions. For the past several years, he has been part of Shook’s national coordinating counsel team working closely with in-house counsel to manage the defense of more than 5,000 individual cases pending in Florida. His work has included:

  • deposing plaintiffs and fact witnesses;
  • coordinating pre-trial strategy and the work-up of hundreds of cases;
  • deposing and defending expert witnesses;
  • arguing numerous substantive and procedural motions, both pre-trial and trial; and
  • serving in support roles at multiple trials.

Tim has also represented Philip Morris International in coordinating the defense of product liability litigation internationally, including a two-year stint in the firm’s London office. He has worked with counsel in Australia, Canada and Israel to develop strategies leading to the defeat of attempted class actions in those countries, led efforts to defeat a consolidated action of more than 20 plaintiffs in Japan on the merits, and was the principal drafter of the briefing that led to England’s Legal Aid Board discontinuing funding of a group action against tobacco companies. He also has represented and advised Philip Morris International in complex product liability litigation and risk assessment in jurisdictions as varied as Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Egypt, Nigeria, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and the Philippines.

Tim represented clients in their efforts to pursue internet piracy of their copyrights. He oversaw all aspects of a nationwide docket of copyright suits filed against thousands of online infringers. The team Tim led had a stellar record in court while favorably resolving the vast majority of cases out of court.

Tim has developed and conducted multiple programs for clients and local counsel on defending class actions, case management and preparing cases for trial. He has conducted several CLE presentations on defending class actions both in the United States and internationally. Tim has also assisted clients in developing innovative jury research designs. In addition, he helps with the firm’s in-house trial practice and other training programs.

Representative Matters

Trial Experience

G. Stephen Covert, et al v. Liggett Group, Inc., et al., Case No. 87-131-B, (M.D. La.) (lead associate) (tried to defense verdict in 1994).

Rohr v. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., Case No. 2007-CV-34472 (17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida) (tried in 2010) (third chair and legal issues counsel) (defense verdict).

Hatziyannakis v. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., Case No. 2007-036751 (17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida) (tried in 2011) (modest plaintiff verdict in the amount of $86,000 after application of comparative fault).

Andy Allen v. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., Case No. 2007-CA-008311 (Duval County, Florida) (tried in 2011) (plaintiff verdict, reversed on appeal).

Kaplan v. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., Case No.: 2008-19469 (17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida) (third chair) (trial in 2012) (mistrial).

Reider v. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., 3:09-CV-10465-TJC-HTS (M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division) (third chair) (trial in 2013) (mistrial after hung verdict).

Caprio v. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, et. al., Case No: 2007-38861 (17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida) (third chair) (trial in 2015) (partial verdict for plaintiff, which was later vacated).

Representative Class Action Experience 

Castano v. The American Tobacco Co., 84 F. 3d 734 (5th Cir. 1996) (not listed as counsel of record but assisted with briefing at trial court and appellate levels).

Scott v. The American Tobacco Co., Case No. 96-8461 (Parish of Orleans, LA) (Louisiana statewide tobacco medical monitoring class action; assisted with expert discovery and other pre-trial matters).

Barnes v. American Tobacco Co., 161 F. 3d 127 (3d Cir. 1998) (rejecting medical monitoring class action).

Emig v. American Tobacco Co., 184 F.R.D. 379 (D. Kan. 1998) (J. Belot) (denying motion for class certification).

Insolia v. Philip Morris, Inc., 186 F.R.D. (W.D. Wisc. 1998) (denying motion for class certification).

Walls v. American Tobacco Co., No. LR-C-96-881 (N.D. Okla, Oct. 19, 2000) (denying motion for class certification).

Estate of Mahoney v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 204 F.R.D. 150 (S.D. Iowa 2001) (motion for class certification denied).

Owen v. General Motors Corp., 2007 WL 1655760 (W.D. Mo. June 5, 2007)(J. Laughry) (granting motion for summary judgment on MMPA claim and denying motion for class certification as moot) (not listed as counsel of record; developed strategy for summary judgment and class certification opposition).

Young v. Cerner Corp., 503 F. Supp. 1226 (W.D. Mo. 2007) (J. Laughrey) (refusing to conditionally certify FLSA collective action) (not listed as counsel of record).

Belle et al. v. Sunbeam Products, Inc., Case No. 08-80257 (S.D. FL, 2008) (nationwide putative class action involving Sunbeam heating pads; voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs).

Fun Services of Kansas City Inc. v. Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, Case No. 08CV03944 (10th Judicial District Court for Johnson County) (filed in 2006 in Wyandotte County; transferred to Johnson County in 2008 after remanded to state court by Judge Murguia) (putative class action alleging violations of Telephone Consumer Protection Act which was ultimately settled on a class basis).

International Experience 

U.K. Legal Aid Board Submissions (1996) (principal drafter of submission resulting in discontinuance of legal aid funding for 300 smokers in multi-party action).

Swedish Class Action Proposal (circa 1997) (principal drafter of comments on proposed Swedish Class Action Law).

Nixon et al. V. Philip Morris (Australia) Ltd. et al.. 170 ALR 487, [2000] ATPR 40, 925 (41-759), 2000 WL 1241063 (assisted Australian counsel with strategy to fend off putative class action on behalf of class of smokers and heirs).

Caputo v. Imperial Tobacco Ltd., 2004 CanLII 24753 (ON SC) (assisted Canadian counsel with strategy in successfully opposing class certification).

DaSilva, et al. v. Nigerian Tobacco Company et al., High Court of Lagos State, Nigeria (filed September 8, 1997) (worked with Nigerian counsel to successfully defend suit on complicated procedural grounds).

Ryosuke Ito, et. al.  v. Philip Morris KK, Case No. 1998 No. 664, Civil Affairs Division of the Nagoya District, Japan (filed in February 1998) (worked with counsel in Japan to successfully defend multi-plaintiff case on the merits).

Israeli Class Actions (closely monitored and advised Israeli tobacco company with respect to two smoking and health class actions filed in the late 1990s).

Canadian Health Care Recovery Litigation (2000-08) (assisted with the defense of health care recovery claims brought by British Colombia and other Canadian provinces, including legal strategy and the management of document discovery for U.S. entities named in the lawsuit).

Individual Smoking and Health Litigation (1996-2007) (assisted and advised client with respect to individual smoking and health lawsuits in multiple countries, including Canada, Spain, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Israel, Korea, Hong Kong, Egypt and the Philippines).

Other Noteworthy Matters

Brown v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 52 F. 3d 524 (5th Cir. 1995) (seminal case construing and determining applicability of Louisiana Products Liability Act) (not listed as counsel of record but significantly involved in the briefing).

Todd v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 924 F. Supp. 59 (W.D. La. 1996) (dismissing claims against tobacco manufacturer involving roll-your-own tobacco based on common knowledge of the risks of smoking).

Lonkowski v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20577 (W.D. La., Dec. 10, 1996) (finding retailer had been fraudulently joined in denying motion to remand).

Hutchin v. American Tobacco Co., 116 F. 3d 477 (5th Cir. 1997) (summary calendar — not selected for publication) (affirming trial court dismissal of failure to warn claim involving roll-your-own tobacco as no duty to warn of dangers that are commonly known).

Christen v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23052 (W.D. Louisiana, June 30, 1998) (granting summary judgment to tobacco companies under the Louisiana Products Liability Act).

Schumacher v. Loews Corp., 1999 Kan. App. Unpub. 528 (Kan. Ct. App., July 2, 1999) (affirming trial court dismissal based on lack of personal jurisdiction) (not listed as counsel of record on appeal but prepared the briefing that resulted in the trial court ruling).

United States v. Philip Morris USA Inc. et al., Case No.99-CV-2497 (filed 1999) (DOJ claims against the tobacco industry under RICO) (prepared multiple company marketing witnesses for depositions and trial (written) testimony based on extensive review of company documents and analysis of internal, industry and governmental marketing guidelines; assisted with drafting proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law related to same).

Wright v. Brooke Group Ltd., 652 N.W.2d 159 (Iowa 2002) (adopting the Third Restatement of Torts test for defect for product liability design defect claims and other holdings in response to questions certified to it by Judge Bennett of the Northern District of Iowa). 

Baker v. Philip Morris, Inc., 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25021 (S.D. Cal., May 28, 2003) (finding fraud claims time-barred).

John A. Brewer et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. et al., Case No. 2:03-2171, D. Kan. (filed in 2003) (voluntary dismissal; defendants filed motions to dismiss based upon lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to timely effectuate service such that service did not relate back to the date of filing for purposes of limitations).

Myers v. Philip Morris, Inc., 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13031 (E.D. Cal., July 11, 2003) (plaintiff’s wrongful death claims barred by statute of limitations).

Smallwood v. Illinois Cent. RR Co., 342 F. 3d 400 (5th Cir. 2003) (addressing removal based on fraudulent joinder) (assisted with amicus briefing).

Copyright Enforcement Litigation (circa 2006-07) (lead counsel and coordinating counsel in nationwide copyright enforcement program on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America for infringement of copyrighted music through illegal share-filing programs; coordinated the filing and litigation of several hundred cases, including depositions, expert witness development, computer forensics, depositions, discovery and dispositive motions, fee disputes, settlement negotiations, and dispute resolution, including numerous mediations).

Engle Progeny Litigation – State of Florida (2008-2021) (co-coordinating counsel for Philip Morris USA and Lorillard Tobacco Company statewide for over 6,000 cases, with responsibility for day-to-day management of tobacco docket in Broward County (over 300 cases total and up to 100 active cases at any time); prepared numerous cases for trial, fact and expert discovery, pre-trial and dispositive motions, case management, supported appeals, etc.)).

Hupan v. Alliance One International Inc., C.A. No. N12C-02-171 (in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County, (filed 2012) (developed company story with respect to the use of glyphosate herbicide in Argentina tobacco farming operations involving allegations that exposure resulted in childbirth defects, including visits to Argentina to interview company scientists (agronomists)).

Roundup Litigation (2019-present) (conduct depositions of multiple plaintiffs in various jurisdictions in cases alleging Roundup use/exposure causes cancer).

Publications and Presentations

Timothy E. Congrove, Class Certification in Common Defect Cases: Proving or Attacking Commonality After In re Ford Motor Company, Strafford CLE, January 31, 2024. 

Timothy E. Congrove (Panelist), Rule 23(c)(4) Issue Certification: Reconciling the Conflict with Rule 23(b)(3)'s Predominance Requirement, CLE Webinar, Stafford, October 6, 2022.

Timothy E. Congrove (Panelist), No Concrete Harm, No Standing’ - Considerations in Challenging Class Members’ Article III Standing After TransUnion, IADC Mid-Year Meeting (Scottsdale, Arizona) February 21, 2022.

Sean Wajert, Timothy E. Congrove & Jeremy Gunn, A Practitioner’s Guide to Class Actions: Medical Monitoring Chapter, American Bar Association (3rd. Ed. 2021).

Guest Faculty Lecturer, University of Kansas School of Law, Products Liability, Spring Semesters 2021 and 2018.

Timothy E. Congrove, James P. Muehlberger & Daniel E. Cummings, Will the Supreme Court Finally Resolve the Circuit Split over Rule 23(C)(4) Issue Class Actions?, Mealey's Litigation Report: Class Actions, June 4, 2021.

Timothy E. Congrove & Jim Muehlberger, Rule 23(c)(4) Issue Certification: Reconciling the Conflict With Rule 23(b)(3)'s Predominance Requirement: Growing Circuit Split on Issue CertificationCLE Webinar, Strafford, November 4, 2020.

Timothy E. Congrove (Panelist), Covid-19 Class Actions Plaintiff and Defense Perspectives, CLE, Annual Business Litigation Seminar, Business Litigation Committee, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, August 6, 2020. 

Timothy E. Congrove (Panelist), Rule 23(c)(4) Issue Certification: Reconciling the Conflict With Rule 23(b)(3)'s Predominance Requirement, CLE Webinar, Strafford, November 14, 2017.

Timothy E. Congrove (Moderator), Class Action Litigation Around the World, 2015 DRI Class Actions Seminar (Washington, D.C.) July 24, 2015.

Timothy E. Congrove (Moderator), Inside and Out: A Wide-Ranging Discussion of Class Actions from the Client’s Perspective, 2013 DRI Class Actions Seminar (Washington, D.C.), July 25, 2013.

Timothy E. Congrove (Moderator), Reaching Across the Border: The Impact of International Class Actions, 2013 DRI Class Actions Seminar (Washington, D.C.), July 25, 2013.

Timothy E. Congrove, Gregory K. Wu & Christopher W. Warren, Uncertain Principles? Evaluating the Tension Between Rule 23(b)(3) and (c)(4) Post-Dukes, and the ALI’s Effort to Integrate the Positions, Bloomberg Law, July 13, 2012; reprinted in 13:13 BNA Insights 741 (2012). 

Phil Goldberg, Bill Martucci, Carrie McAtee, Tim Congrove & Terry Satterlee, Anticipating the Challenges That Lie Ahead: Agroterrorism, Food Safety, Water, and Ag Employment, Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture (Kansas City, Mo.), January 19, 2012.

Tim Congrove, David Northrip & Dana Strueby, Keep Talking, but Know the Law: Ongoing Considerations Regarding Communications with Potential Class Members, The Business Suit, January 11, 2012. 

Tim Congrove (Organizer and Panelist), International Client Summit, What Every In-House Counsel Needs to Know to Manage Their International Litigation Risks and Global Business Threats (New York), November 13, 2008.

Timothy E. Congrove, Amy M. Crouch & Ina D. Chang, How Plaintiffs' Class Counsel Try to Make Differences Vanish, For the Defense, Oct. 2008, at 27. 

Alan Rupe, Tim Congrove & David Northrip, To Talk, or Not to Talk... That is the Question: Communications with Potential Class Members, The Business Suit, July 3, 2008, at 1.