Rayna E. Kessler is a partner in the New York office of Robins Kaplan LLP. Her practice focuses on complex civil and multivenue litigation in a range of matters that span products liability, mass tort, medical malpractice, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and child sex abuse involving large institutions. She is admitted to practice in federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
After earning her J.D. from Temple University School of Law, Rayna clerked for the Honorable Carol E. Higbee, J.A.D. and worked on several high-profile pharmaceutical and medical device matters, including In re: Pelvic Mesh Litigation, In re: Accutane Litigation, and In re: Vioxx Litigation. Since her clerkship, Rayna has dedicated her career to holding corporations and institutions accountable for the harm that they have caused her clients.
Rayna is known for trailblazing new litigation, often being among the first to file in emerging mass tort litigations. Underpinning her work with cutting-edge investigations, Rayna collaborates with a wide network of well-established experts across the country, as well as other plaintiffs’ lawyers, to develop creative and successful litigation strategies for her clients.
An experienced complex civil litigator, Rayna has served in court-appointed lead liaison counsel roles in several New Jersey Multicounty Litigations, including In re: Benicar (Olmesartan Medoxomil) New Jersey Multicounty Litigation, Case No. 299; In re: Abilify, Case No. 626; and In re: Taxotere Litigation, Case No. 628. On the MDL front, Rayna served as the State/Federal Coordination Chairperson for the Plaintiff Steering Committee in the In re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2606. In addition, Rayna served as the State/Federal Coordination Chairperson for the Plaintiff Steering Committee in the In re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2606.
When the law changed in New Jersey and New York to allow survivors to bring claims that were previously time barred, Rayna was honored to begin representing survivors of child sex abuse against large institutions, including the Catholic Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Boy Scouts of America. Rayna is no stranger to how powerful interests have dissuaded those who are most injured from coming forward, and how courageous our clients are to seek to protect others. Rayna is trained in trauma-informed advocacy to ensure that her representation provides transparency, predictability, client empowerment, reliability, and proactive support for all her clients.
For her achievements in representing individuals, Rayna has been recognized both as a New Leader of the Bar and as a Top Woman in Law by the New Jersey Law Journal, and she was named a New York Metro Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2021 and 2022.
Rayna is also committed to preserving access to justice through active involvement with nonprofit advocacy organizations. Currently, Rayna serves as an Executive Committee Board Member and Chair of the Case Development/Special Projects Committee for Public Justice, the country’s leading national nonprofit consumer legal advocacy organization. Rayna is also actively involved with American Association for Justice (AAJ) as a Section & Litigation Group Coordination Committee and Membership Oversight Committee Member. Rayna also volunteers her time as a Founding Board and Executive Committee Member for the anti-human trafficking nonprofit, Collective Liberty.
Understanding the importance of collaboration and collegiality among our bar, Rayna hosts plaintiff attorney networking events in New York City that invite plaintiff lawyers to learn about each other’s practices and foster a referral network.
- "Law360 Names Attys Who Moved Up The Firm Ranks In Q1," Law360 (May 8, 2019)
- “Lawyers Seek Mass Tort Status in Taxotere Cancer Drug Litigation,” New Jersey Law Journal (April 20, 2018)
- “Hundreds Seek To Centralize NJ Taxotere Hair Loss Suits,” Law360 (April 18, 2018)
- “Bristol-Myers, Consumers Look to Centralize NJ Abilify Suits,” Law360 (January 2, 2018)
- “MCL Designation Sought for New Jersey Cases Linking Abilify to Gambling,” New Jersey Law Journal (December 29, 2017)
- “Top Women in The Law—Rayna Kessler,” New Jersey Law Journal (November 14, 2016)
- “First Trials in Benicar MDL Pushed Back to 2017,” New Jersey Law Journal (July 12, 2016)
- “NJ Suits Alleging Abilify-Gambling Link Consolidated Pretrial,” New Jersey Law Journal (March 23, 2016)
- “Daiichi Sankyo Looks To Fuse NJ Benicar Suits,” Law360 (May 28, 2015)
- “NJ Benicar Side-Effect Suits Combined In Atlantic County,” Law360 (September 9, 2015)
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