Mary Jo Herrscher

Special Counsel Buffalo

A defense attorney with more than three decades of experience successfully navigating the ever changing toxic tort and mass tort litigation, Mary Jo represents manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of various types of industrial and commercial products and equipment, premises owners and outside contractors engaged in all manner of operations.

Mary Jo leads Phillips Lytle’s Asbestos Litigation Team. She personally handles — from the initial stages of pre-trial discovery and investigation through dispositive motions and trial or other resolution — actions brought in state and federal courts throughout New York against a multitude of different types of client companies for personal injuries claimed to have resulted from exposure to various minerals and chemicals. This includes not only companies sued in “traditional” asbestos exposure litigation but also companies sued in alleged asbestos-contaminated industrial and cosmetic talc exposure cases and companies sued in “dual exposure” actions brought within the asbestos litigation parts of the courts, such as those involving coke oven emissions and coal tar fumes.

Mary Jo regularly serves as case-specific defense liaison counsel in New York State’s Eighth Judicial Asbestos Litigation and, upon election by her peers, also served as a member of the Defendant’s Advisory Committee in the Third, Fourth and Sixth Judicial Districts Asbestos Litigation. She works closely with national counsel for several of Phillips Lytle’s clients and also serves as coordinating and consulting counsel for corporate clients of the firm who are involved in asbestos litigation throughout the country.

Mary Jo is also experienced in defending property owners and property management companies in lead paint exposure cases. Her insurance defense litigation background also includes matters involving professional liability, nursing home negligence and general negligence claims.


Honors & Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2014-2023
  • Listed in Who’s Who In Law, Business First of Buffalo and Buffalo Law Journal

Education & Admissions

  • State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., 1988
  • State University of New York College at Buffalo, B.A., summa cum laude, 1985
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York


Representative Matters
  • Represented a non-party company in successfully quashing trial subpoenas served by a defendant seeking company documents and a corporate witness to testify at trial.
  • Represented an impleaded party in successfully dismissing the third-party actions brought against it.
  • Obtained an order, on a dispositive motion, dismissing all claims against a defendant floor tile manufacturer client on grounds of insufficiency of plaintiff’s disease causation evidence.

Activities & Professional Associations

Past Activities

  • Buffalo Law Review, 1987-1988

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Environmental & Energy Law Section
    • Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section