Elizabeth Runyan Geise is well-versed in the management and defense of product liability and toxic tort cases across the country. She assists corporations with strategic planning concerning large-scale toxic tort issues, especially those involving diseases with long latency periods.

To best serve her clients, Betsy utilizes her years of experience and her analytical skills to determine the best approach to each case. She investigates claims thoroughly while developing creative solutions for reasonably resolving matters early on. Betsy is mindful of costs and risks, and she works hard to manage cases in the most cost-effective and sensible way. Her approach is dogged and analytical, yet also sensitive to costs and to the unique facts of each case.”

  • Experience

    • Serving for 10 years as national coordinating counsel for a major building materials manufacturer that is a defendant in thousands of asbestos personal injury lawsuits. In this role, Betsy supervises local counsel throughout the United States and is responsible for the overall defense of the litigation, including managing discovery, preparing and trying cases to verdict, advising on settlement and maintaining a consistent litigation strategy on a nationwide basis.
    • Achieving summary judgment for the defendant in a medical monitoring class action for uranium exposure.
    • Achieving summary judgment for an insurer in a fraud claim involving thousands of potential claims.
    • Representing mining companies and others in a variety of environmental claims.
    • Advising medical device manufacturers and conducting internal investigations on their behalf.
    • Advising foreign companies looking to enter the U.S. market concerning product liability risk management, including such issues as product design, warnings, indemnity arrangements and insurance coverage. For example, Betsy assisted a bio materials producer in Europe and represented an Australian manufacturer of building products.
  • Credentials


    • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1980, magna cum laude
      Harvard Law Review, Note Editor
    • University of Michigan, A.B., History, 1977, high distinction and high honors
      Phi Beta Kappa

    Bar Admissions

    • District of Columbia
    • Maryland
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit


          • Honorable Benjamin Kaplan, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (1980-1981)

          Professional Memberships

          • American Bar Association
          • Defense Research Institute
        • Insights

          Other Publications

          • “A Much Higher Burden for Take-Home Asbestos Plaintiffs,” (co-author) Legal 360 (Jul. 2013)

          Speeches & Presentations

          • “Is Cumulative No Longer Substantial? Appellate Courts’ Recent Answers (and Some Practical Ideas)” DRI 2018 Asbestos Medicine Seminar 2018, Austin, Texas (Nov. 8, 2018)
          • Discussion of “Position Statement on Asbestos from the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology” and IARC Monograph “Arsenic, Metals, Fibres and Dusts,” (moderator) DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar (Nov. 2013)
          • “Bankruptcy Trust Claims – Defendant’s Perspective,” Perrin Conference (Mar. 2012)
        • Citizenship

          Pro Bono Activities

          For five years, Betsy served as pro bono counsel to the board of trustees of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Md.

        • Awards & Honors

          • The Legal 500 (2013)