Bernadette Catalana is a partner in MG+M's New York office. Her practice 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 six 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. Bernadette serves as co-chair of MG+M’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion + Belonging Committee, as well as the firm’s Women’s Forum.
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 December 2014, she and her daughters founded daughterlessons.com, a website dedicated to raising girls into strong women. Since its launch, daughterlessons.com has had visitors from every state and all over the world, including more than 100 foreign countries.