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Erica S. Mekles

Fax +1.973.848.4001

Erica Mekles is an associate in the firm’s Newark office who dedicates her practice to complex civil and commercial litigation, as well as complex commercial insurance coverage litigation. Ms. Mekles is experienced in representing clients in a wide range of matters, including product liability, premises liability, construction, and contract disputes.

Ms. Mekles is active in litigating cases in the product liability arena, regularly defending companies on a nationwide coordinated basis against claims for damages alleged to arise from defective consumer and commercial products. Ms. Mekles also has significant experience coordinating class actions related to third-party litigation.

Additionally, Ms. Mekles monitors and litigates insurance coverage claims under various types of insurance policies, including general and professional liability policies, directors’ and officers’ policies, first party policies (including property/business interruption), and excess and umbrella policies. Ms. Mekles helps policyholders maximize insurance recovery for first-party and third-party claims, and has assisted many clients with tendering coverage claims, coordinating the claims process, and ultimately obtaining coverage, in many instances, without resorting to litigation.

Ms. Mekles routinely litigates complex product liability and other civil matters in state and federal courts throughout New Jersey and New York.

Ms. Mekles also maintains an active pro bono practice, including the representation of domestic violence victims in final restraining order trials and the representation of children seeking legal immigration status in the United States.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Ms. Mekles was an Assistant State Attorney, acting as lead trial counsel on first degree felony cases including armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, burglary and battery, and drug trafficking. She has appeared as lead trial counsel in over 100 jury trials.

Consumer Products Litigation
  • Representation of a product manufacturer in litigations seeking damages for alleged manufacturing and design defects.

Commercial Disputes
  • Representation of third-party retail companies in class actions against plaintiffs seeking voluminous and proprietary documents.
  • Representation of a telecommunications firm in prosecuting antitrust counterclaims and defending against intellectual property, contract, and tort claims. Following a six-and-a-half month trial, the jury found the defendant liable for Sherman Act violations and awarded the client $20 million (automatically trebled to $60 million). The case was the first single product aftermarket antitrust claim to be tried to a successful verdict since the plaintiffs in Eastman Kodak v. Image Technical Services tried their case to verdict after the U.S. Supreme Court first recognized this type of claim in 1992.
  • Representation of developers and homebuilders against claims and lawsuits seeking damages for alleged construction deficiencies.

Insurance Litigation
  • Representation of publicly-traded companies with respect to directors and officers insurance coverage for shareholder derivative and securities class action lawsuits.
  • Representation of a building owner in a lawsuit seeking damages from its property insurer for damage caused by a building collapse.