Ralia E. Polechronis
Ralia Polechronis is a Partner at Wilkinson Stekloff and serves as the co-chair of the firm’s DEI Committee. She is a trusted advisor and experienced litigator who counsels Fortune 100 companies on complex, high-stakes civil matters in all phases of litigation. Ralia has defended clients in products liability, breach of contract, fraud, and trademark infringement cases, in addition to high-profile investigations by federal antitrust regulators. In recognition of her professional accomplishments, Ralia has been named a Crain’s New York Business Notable Woman in Law in 2021, 2022, and 2023, and is recognized as one of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Litigators in America.”
Most recently, Ralia represented a major chemical manufacturer in the Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2873) in the District of South Carolina. The litigation, involving alleged PFAS groundwater contamination from the use of AFFF, is considered the most significant PFAS litigation in the country. Ralia was set to serve as a member of the trial team for the manufacturer in the first bellwether trial in the AFFF MDL, which was halted on the eve of trial when the remaining parties announced a settlement to end all water-provider claims brought against the manufacturer.
Previously, Ralia served as a member of the trial team for Altria Group, Inc. in an administrative proceeding before the FTC related to its $12.6 billion minority investment in JUUL. The team won a full dismissal of claims against Altria.
Ralia also maintains an active pro bono practice in the areas of education and reproductive rights. She represents children with disabilities and advocates for their right to a free and appropriate public education. In addition, following the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, Ralia led the firm’s team in a federal district court case successfully preliminarily enjoining a 2021 law granting “personhood” rights to fetuses, embryos, and fertilized eggs from being used to prohibit abortion care in Arizona.
Before joining the firm, Ralia was the Executive Director and General Counsel of the nonprofit Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ), where she led the organization’s national impact litigation strategy. Prior to her work at PEJ, she practiced at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP for eight years where she worked on a wide range of commercial matters.
In 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul appointed Ralia to serve on the College Council of the State University of New York in Farmingdale, a position she continues to hold. Ralia clerked for Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye on the New York State Court of Appeals.
- Member of trial team in a consolidated product liability case for a major consumer product/pharmaceutical company.
- Represents a major chemical manufacturer in the Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) Products Liability Litigation in the District of South Carolina. The multi-district litigation, involving alleged PFAS groundwater contamination from the use of AFFF, is considered the most significant PFAS litigation in the country. Was set to serve as a member of the trial team for the manufacturer in the first bellwether trial in the AFFF MDL, which was halted when the remaining parties announced a settlement to end all water-provider claims brought against the manufacturer.
- Defended Altria Group, Inc. in an administrative trial related to the FTC’s challenge of Altria’s $12.8 billion minority investment in JUUL Labs. Obtained a full dismissal of claims against Altria by the FTC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge.
- Defended products liability litigation in Northrup v. Covidien, where a U.S. District Court Judge handed down a decisive pretrial victory based on key admissions from plaintiff’s expert that were quoted extensively in the Court’s opinion dismissing the case.
- Counsel for the Special Litigation Committee of a Fortune 50 company in connection with shareholder derivative litigation relating to breach of fiduciary duty allegations arising out of the nationwide opioid crisis.
- Co-counsel with the Center for Reproductive Rights, the ACLU, and ACLU of Arizona representing plaintiffs in a federal case challenging Arizona laws that would prohibit abortion care if there is an indication of fetal diagnosis in the patient’s reason and grant new “personhood” rights for fetuses, embryos, and fertilized eggs. District court granted preliminary injunction enjoining the “personhood” law from being used to prohibit abortion care in Arizona.
- Defended Fortune 50 company against CCTA and RICO claims brought by the City of New York.
- Member of senior team defending the NFL in its landmark concussion litigation class action settlement and in related cases for the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals.
- Defended Fortune 100 company accused of fraud in the sale of fund-linked notes to foreign investors.
- Represented largest New York City charter school network in multiple lawsuits, including the dismissal of a complaint seeking to collect approximately $100 million in rent.
- Served as co-counsel with the Center for Reproductive Rights in successfully challenging Oklahoma’s mandatory pre-abortion ultrasound law.
- Progress Begins with Dissent, Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal, (2016)
- Vergara Facts Meet the Test, Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal, (2016)