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Bernadette Catalana is a partner in the New York office, who focuses on toxic exposure cases, Child Victims Act claims, and other mass torts. For one of her Fortune 100 clients, she serves as National Coordinating Counsel—leading and collaborating with lawyers from all over the United States to tactically defend hundreds of cases each year. Her strong writing and editing skills are employed daily to prepare and edit briefs, other legal filings, and high-level client communications.

A substantial part of Bernadette’s practice is devoted to the strategic negotiation of settlements. In this role, she has secured thousands of favorable resolutions in high-stakes matters. Continuing to expand her skill set, Bernadette recently completed the prestigious and rigorous mediation training program offered by the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, “Mediating The Litigated Case.”

Recognized as a Super Lawyer for nine consecutive years, Bernadette is also an active mentor, working with young lawyers to develop their skills and, ultimately, their careers. Her love of mentoring has inspired her Mentoring Moment posts on LinkedIn and Candid Talk Women, which she co-authored to educate and support women pursuing legal careers, encouraging them to “opt in” to the practice of law. CLE certified presentations are being made to lawyers across the country on a regular basis.


Background

Bernadette received her Bachelor of Science in business administration from Binghamton University. She earned her juris doctor, cum laude, at the University at Buffalo Law School. She was a member of the Buffalo Law Review and authored The Battle for Baby Jessica: a Conflict of Best Interests, which has been cited by numerous legal writings, including a brief filed with the US Supreme Court.

Bernadette is a board member of Precious Dreams Foundation, an organization committed to providing comfort to children in foster care and homeless shelters. She is also the former Board Chair of BOA Editions, Ltd., a nationally recognized non-profit poetry publisher; she continues to serve on its National Advisory Board. She is a former board member of the Rochester chapters of the American Heart Association and American Red Cross, former trustee of the Evan Cummings Trust, and inaugural Chair of the Our Lady of Mercy Gala. In March 2023, Bernadette published the book Daughter Lessons: Wise and Witty Reflections on Leading, Learning From, and Loving our Daughters. The book is a collection of inspiring,  relatable and soulful essays—many originally published on the website daughterlessons.com, founded by Bernadette and her daughters.

Professional Recognition

New York Super Lawyers

Listed for Class Action & Mass Torts, Products Liability

The Daily Record

Up and Coming Attorney

The Rochester Women’s Network

Up and Coming Businesswoman

University of Buffalo

Connelly Oral Advocacy Award

Publications & Speaking Engagements

Education, Admissions & Activities

Education

University of Buffalo Law School,

J.D., cum laude

Binghamton University

B.S.

Bar Admissions

Minnesota

New York

Court Admissions

United States District Court of New York

Western District

Professional and Community Activities

International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)

National Association of Women Lawyers

Product Liability Advisory Council

Precious Dreams Foundation

Board Member

BOA Editions, Ltd.

National Advisory Board Member, former Board Chair

American Heart Association

Rochester chapter, former board member

American Red Cross

Rochester chapter, former board member

Evan Cummings Trust

Former Trustee

Our Lady of Mercy Gala

Inaugural Chair

Candid Talk Women

Co-Founder

daughterlessons.com

Founder