Frank Citera is co-chair of the Products Liability and Mass Torts Practice of the Chicago law firm of Greenberg Traurig.
Frank received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University (1980) and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude from the University of Miami (1983). He is active in all the major bar associations, and is a member of the board of directors, by a university presidential appointment, of the Miami Law Alumni Association. To list all of Frank’s accomplishments would fill many pages, but the most telling success of this consummate professional is his listing as one of the “Best Lawyers in America — Litigation” from 2008 to 2013.
Frank has 30 years of experience defending purported class actions, toxic tort actions, and other complex litigation in both federal and state courts. He has tried many cases, including an action by the government to enforce a unilateral administrative order, an allocation case among potentially responsible parties, and a complex product liability, wrongful death case. Frank is also an experienced appellate lawyer, having argued many appeals in state and federal appellate courts. Additionally, Frank has substantial experience in bankruptcy litigation, having represented debtors-in possession in a broad range of disputes, as well as lenders, landlords, and trade creditors in bankruptcy litigation matters.
Frank also counsels clients on risk management and product safety matters for both consumer and industrial products. In this capacity, he has been responsible for matters pending before various federal and state agencies and committees regulating the importation and sale of goods in the United States, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee, the State of California Department of Justice and the Illinois Attorney General’s office. In connection with these efforts, Frank also has counseled clients on crisis management and crisis communications. He has participated in a briefing before the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittee on Oversights and Investigations regarding the safety of certain products intended for children. Frank has written and spoken extensively on class action litigation, product safety issues and claims for medical monitoring.
Traditionally, at this point in these regular columns, we discuss the Italian ancestry of the subject. Here we do it in Frank’s own words.
“There are two towns in Southern Italy in the Province of Salerno near Naples separated only by Mt. Cervato and from these two towns I am descended on three of the four immediate members of my families.
“On my paternal side both my grandparents were born in a town named Sanza. On my maternal side my mother’s grandfather was born in a town named Teggiano.
“After spending six years in the Italian Army from 1914-1920, most of it in Libya, my paternal grandfather married my grandmother in 1920 and without bringing her along came to America in 1921 to make enough money and establish himself before going back to get her in 1924.
“During the Depression and about the time my father was born in 1932 my grandfather was on welfare or home relief as it was called then. It wasn’t until about 1935 that my paternal grandfather got a steady job that he would retire from in 1960, a driver for the N.Y.C. Department of Sanitation. In 1942 he purchased a house in Brooklyn which is still owned by the family.
“My maternal grandfather and his family had a business that supported my great grandfather, my grandfather, his two brothers and couple of helpers, so the depression had little impact on their personal lives.
“My father was drafted in to the American Army in May 1952 and sent to Korea, where he spent 13 months, including the last 9 months on the front.
“After Korea, my father met my mother and married in 1957. They had three children, me and two younger sisters.
“My mother stayed home for 19 years raising her children and didn’t go to work until the day I started college and my youngest sister started kindergarten. Even though my parents never went to college, a higher education for the three of us was a must. I was the first member of my extended family to attend college. My sister Maria is a teacher and my youngest sister Toni Ann is a partner at Jones, Day in New York.
“As you can see from these pages, my family has lived the American dream. All my grandparents’ children own their own homes. A higher education was once thought of as only for privileged is now the norm.
I guess when all is said and done, when my grandparents on my father’s side and my grandparent’s on my mother’s side left their little towns in Italy separated by a mountain, the dreams that they had for their descendants have been fulfilled.”
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