Thomas J. Sheehan, J.D., M.S., Phillips Lytle Partner

Thomas J. Sheehan, J.D., M.S.

(716) 847-8341
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Mr. Sheehan is Phillips Lytle’s Science Team Practice Group Leader. His practice for the past 20 years has focused exclusively on high-stakes product liability and health effects litigation, with a primary emphasis on the defense of pharmaceuticals and biologic products.

With decades of experience and scientific training, Mr. Sheehan is relied upon for the development of sound strategies and implementation of effective tactics to achieve favorable results. He routinely coordinates the scientific defense for clients facing mass tort litigation and also advises companies on risk management strategies to avoid litigation. Mr. Sheehan identifies and works with experts at the top of their fields to develop a broad and deep understanding of the science as it relates to questions of causation and company decisions. He often is tasked with taking key depositions of expert witnesses, and develops admissions critical to assessing and challenging the reliability and admissibility of expert testimony. Mr. Sheehan also serves on leadership teams to coordinate the scientific defense in multiple-defendant mass tort litigation, ensuring a consistent, cohesive and strategic scientific position.

Mr. Sheehan has represented pharmaceutical manufacturers in the defense of cases involving numerous, varied therapies, including phenylpropanolamine, antidepressant medications, antidiabetic medications, vaccines, hormone replacement therapies, antiemetic therapies and ulcer treatments. The scientific strategies developed and implemented involve diverse scientific areas and alleged injuries, including autism, birth defects, cardiovascular disease and cancer, among others. He brings a depth of experience to the scientific defense of pharmaceutical litigation appreciated by in-house counsel, company scientists and expert witnesses.

Admitted to Practice

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York


  • State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2000
  • State University of New York at Buffalo School of Public Health, M.S. (epidemiology)
  • Canisius College, B.A., 1995

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Lawyers for Civil Justice
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Food, Drug & Cosmetic Law Section
    • Trial Lawyers Section
  • Society for Epidemiologic Research