Jeffrey White

Jeffrey White

I am a partner at Robinson+Cole who handles corporate compliance and litigation matters for both domestic and international manufacturers and distributors that make and ship products around the world. My clients have ranged from publicly traded Fortune 500 companies to privately held and/or family owned Connecticut manufacturers. For those looking for my detailed law firm bio, click here.

I am often asked why I have focused a large part of my law practice on counseling manufacturers and distributors. As with most things in life, the answer to that question is tied back to experiences I had well before I became a lawyer. My grandfather spent over 30 years working at a steel mill (Detroit Steel Company), including several years in its maintenance department. One of my grandfather’s prime job duties was to make sure that the equipment being used was safe. In his later years, he would apply those lessons learned in every project we did together as he passed on to me his great respect and pride for the manufacturing industry.

Because of these experiences, I not only feel comfortable advising executives in a boardroom, but also can easily transition to the factory floor. My experience has involved a range of industries, including aerospace and defense, chemicals, energy, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, nutritional and dietary supplements, and retail and consumer products. While I have extensive experience in litigation (including product liability and class actions), I am extremely proactive about trying to keep my clients out of the courtroom if at all possible. Specifically, I have counseled manufacturers and distributors on issues such as product labeling and warranties, product recalls, workplace safety/OSHA, anti-trust, and vendor relations, among other things. I always look for the business-friendly solution to a problem that may face a manufacturer or distributor and I hope this blog will help advance those efforts.

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Patent Litigation Development for Manufacturers: U.S. Supreme Court Limits where Corporations can be Sued for Patent Infringement

This week, we are pleased to have a guest post from James Nault, a patent attorney and member of Robinson & Cole LLP’s intellectual property litigation group. The United States Supreme Court just limited where corporations can be sued for patent infringement in a case called TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, … Continue Reading

Keurig Settlement An Expensive Reminder About Product Defect Reporting Obligations

This week, we welcome a post from Jim Ray, a partner in the Hartford office of Robinson & Cole LLP.  Jim’s practice includes environmental and product liability litigation and counseling, and he has assisted a number of clients implementing voluntary corrective actions under the CPSC Fast Track recall program. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission … Continue Reading

Things Manufacturers Should Be Watching In 2017 In The Areas of Corporate Compliance / Litigation

As is our annual tradition, this is the first in a series of posts that provide industry and legal outlooks for manufacturers as we head into 2017.  I will start with corporate compliance and litigation.  Matt will follow with labor/employment.  And, Megan will conclude the series with Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Here are issues … Continue Reading

Complying With Conflict Minerals Laws: Global Best Practices for Manufacturers and Distributors

Last month, I gave a presentation to manufacturers and distributors throughout the United States on Conflict Minerals Laws.   The program was sponsored by the United States Department of Commerce.  These laws attempt to curb the acquisition of certain minerals from a certain part of Africa that are believed to support regional conflicts. Here are some … Continue Reading

The Future of Technology for Manufacturers

I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)’s Annual Manufacturing Summit.  The title of the Panel was “The Future of Manufacturing in Connecticut” and included three experienced manufacturing executives:  William Lee, President & CEO, The Lee Company; Severine Zygmont, President, Biomedical, Oxford Performance Materials, Inc.; and Pedro … Continue Reading

Key Considerations For Foreign Manufacturers That Wish To Sell Products In The United States

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section Annual Meeting in Boston.  The title of my presentation was:  “Key Considerations for Foreign Manufacturers That Wish to Sell Products to the United States” which was presented at the meeting of the International Expansion and Cross-Border Transactions Subcommittee. Here are … Continue Reading

How These Contract Provisions Can Reduce A Manufacturer’s Margins

One of the key aspects of any supply chain contract is the section regarding pricing.  Nothing is more important in a business deal than determining how much one manufacturer might pay another in a B2B transaction. In situations where one party has more leverage, that party often includes pricing language that can really impact the … Continue Reading

How The Failure To Comply With The Conflict Minerals Law Can Expose Manufacturers To Criminal Penalties

Last year, we provided an overview regarding the requirement that U.S. publicly traded companies disclose their use of “conflict minerals.”  As of 2014, the Government Accounting Office reported that 1,321 companies filed the requisite disclosure.  The GAO anticipated that over 6,000 companies could be affected by the rule.  That discrepancy can be explained either by: … Continue Reading

Your Customer Just Declared Bankruptcy: Recent Decision That All Suppliers/Vendors Should Be Aware Of

This week, we thank members of Robinson+Cole’s Business Reorganizations and Bankruptcy Group (Patrick Birney, Steve Boyajian and Mike Enright) for this post: Suppliers and vendors sometimes find themselves unpleasantly surprised by the bankruptcy of a customer, leaving a trail of unpaid invoices and little hope of recovery. To make matters worse, after licking their wounds … Continue Reading

How Passage of Trade Secrets Act Will Help Manufacturers: An Update

Last month, we posted about the United States Senate’s passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016.  Breaking news:  It passed.  Thanks to members of our Labor & Employment (Ian Clarke-Fisher) and Intellectual Property Litigation groups (Jim Nault) for this guest post. On May 11, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets … Continue Reading

How Passage of Trade Secrets Act Will Help Manufacturers

We welcome a guest post this week from Nuala Droney and James Nault, who are members of Robinson + Cole’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Team. This week, the United States Senate passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, which, if passed by the House and signed into law by President Obama, would give trade … Continue Reading

Considerations For Manufacturers/Distributors Who Are Negotiating Contracts Without Any Leverage

Negotiating contracts in the supply chain are certainly challenging.  As a lawyer, there is a temptation to want to change every term that is not to your liking.  And, for that reason, a lot of lawyers will receive a contract to review from their client and immediately red-line every provision.  Now, if your client is … Continue Reading

Legal Issues for Manufacturers To Consider When Selling Into New Markets

Manufacturers continue to look for ways to increase sales revenue without a massive infusion of capital.  Many companies have been successful in adapting current products for new uses and markets.  For instance, a company that makes aerospace components might use certain core competencies to develop products that can be sold in other markets without investing … Continue Reading

5 Things Manufacturers Should Be Watching In 2016 In The Areas of Corporate Compliance / Litigation

This is the first in a series of posts that provide industry and legal outlooks for manufacturers as we head into 2016.  I will start with corporate compliance and litigation.  Matt will follow with labor/employment.  And, Megan will conclude the series with Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Here are 5 things (of many) that I … Continue Reading

Why The Recent Indictments of Nutritional Supplement Executives Matter To All Manufacturers/Distributors

Our firm has substantial experience in representing nutritional supplement manufacturers.  For that reason, the news that the Justice Department and federal agencies (such as the FTC) is engaged in a nationwide sweep of such companies is newsworthy.  This sweep has consisted of both criminal and civil/regulatory actions that will take years to unravel. Other manufacturers/distributors might … Continue Reading

Three Issues That Manufacturers/Distributors Should Consider When Drafting Terms and Conditions (T&Cs)

Over the last few years, our team has worked with several manufacturers and distributors on their terms and conditions of sale and/or purchase.  We have even developed a questionaire that we typically use when we speak to a client for the first time. Readers of this blog may recall posts regarding indemnification clauses, anti-assignment clauses, non-compete … Continue Reading

The Hidden Assassin: How This Contractual Provision Can Derail A Manufacturer’s Acquisition Plans

An”anti-assignment” clause can be the death knell of any deal involving the sale or purchase of a manufacturing company.  You might ask:  what is an anti-assignment clause?  Here is the typical language that is often buried at the end of many types of contracts, including those with your suppliers and customers: Seller shall not assign … Continue Reading

Department Of Justice (DOJ) Prioritizes Prosecutions Of Food Companies

The post below is a follow-up to an earlier post written by my colleagues, Edward Heath and Kate Dion. Edward is my partner and is Chair of Robinson + Cole’s White-Collar Defense and Corporate Compliance Practice. Kate is a litigation associate who routinely handles government and internal investigations for manufacturing clients. In the wake of … Continue Reading

More Federal Money for Manufacturers

As reported by Industry Week, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce recently announced that 12 additional communities will receive designations under the Obama Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative.  According to Industry Week: The 12 designated Manufacturing Communities will receive coordinated support for their strategies from the following eleven federal agencies with more than $1 billion available … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Continues To Focus On Manufacturers’ Warranties

As readers of the blog know, we have written previously about the importance of periodically reviewing warranty language to avoid scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).   This week, the FTC blog published another article entitled “The latest word of warranties.” In the post, the FTC offered the following guidance: If your business offers warranties, here are … Continue Reading

Avoiding a Rocky Road: Lessons For Manufacturers From Blue Bell Creameries’ Listeria Investigation

The post below was written by my colleagues, Edward Heath and Kate Dion.  Edward is my partner and is Chair of Robinson + Cole’s White-Collar Defense and Corporate Compliance Practice.  Kate is a litigation associate who routinely handles government and internal investigations for manufacturing clients. Ice cream maker Blue Bell Creameries has found itself in a sticky situation that … Continue Reading
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