V. Christopher Potenza



Mr. Potenza is an established and respected litigator, focusing his practice primarily on general liability and tort defense, including product liability, premises liability, transportation and automotive liability, construction negligence/New York Labor Law, commercial litigation, medical malpractice defense, and nursing home negligence.  He also leads the firm’s Products Liability and Medical Device Team, including toxic tort, asbestos, and lead-based paint defense. Mr. Potenza has substantial experience handling cases at the federal, state, and appellate levels. He has taken numerous cases to verdict throughout New York State and regularly represents clients in arbitration and mediation proceedings.

Mr. Potenza is Editor of the firm’s monthly electronic newsletters, Products Liability Pointers, which covers all areas of products liability litigation, including negligence, strict products liability, medical device litigation, and toxic and mass torts, and Medical & Nursing Home Liability Pointers, which provides the latest news, developments, and analysis of recent court decisions impacting the medical and long-term care communities.  He has authored numerous articles for industry publications on litigation practice and management, and is a frequent presenter for continuing education programs.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Harmonie Group, an-invitation-only international network of law firms, vetted for their standards, ethics and values in handling complex litigation for corporations, third party administrators and insurance companies. He is also a member of the nationally renowned Defense Research Institute (DRI).  Mr. Potenza also serves as the Co-Chair of the Toxic Tort Committee of the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Mr. Potenza has been named to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list every year since 2013, and was recognized as a Top 50 Upstate New York Super Lawyer since 2018. He has also been listed in Buffalo Business First’s list of Who’s Who in Law.

Mr. Potenza manages the firm’s Mentor Program, which promotes the professional growth and development of associate attorneys.  He is also a member of the Erie County Bar Association and the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association.

Mr. Potenza also volunteers as a mock trial coach at his alma mater, St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.

Mr. Potenza graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics & Business Management, where he was also a four-year member of the Varsity Track & Field Team. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo School of Law. He is a Mentor in the University at Buffalo School of Law Alumni Mentoring Program and also serves as an Alumni Admissions Ambassador for Cornell University.


V. Christopher Potenza
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Court Admissions

Courts of the State of New York

United States District Court
- Western District of New York
- Northern District of New York
- Southern District of New York
- Eastern District of New York

United States Bankruptcy Court
- Western District of New York

Admitted to Practice

New York


University at Buffalo School of Law (J.D., 2002)

Cornell University (B.S., 1998)

Professional Recognition

Best Lawyers in America

Upstate New York Super Lawyers Top 50 List

Firm News

03/18/24: Lawline: “The Ups and Downs of Elevator and Escalator Litigation” CLE 

01/25/23: Firm News: V. Christopher Potenza Elected to the Harmonie Group Board of Directors

12/19/22: New York State Bar Association's Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section Journal: The Ups and Downs of Elevator and Escalator Litigation

12/09/22: Law360: NY Panel's COVID Nursing Home Case Order Spurs Questions

08/23/22: Firm News: 35 Attorneys Named to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

07/06/22: Legal Alert: New York Civil Practice Update

04/01/22: The Harmonie Group: 2021 Significant Cases 

03/09/22: NYSBA: Redefining ‘Family’: Emotional Damages and the Grieving Families Act

08/23/21: Firm News: 28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Upstate New York Super Lawyers List

07/23/21: The Canadian Defence Lawyers HeresayThe Impact of Litigation Loans on Ontario and U.S. Litigation

04/04/21: The Harmonie Group: 2020 Significant Cases/Labor Law 240(1) Construction Injury Defense Verdict 

03/23/21: Legal Alert: Discovery of Personal Injury Loans and Litigation Financing Under the “American Rule” in Non-Loser Pay Jurisdictions

01/26/21: Legal Alert: New York Civil Practice Update: Understanding Administrative Order 270.20 and the Substantive Changes to the Uniform Civil Rules for the New York Trial Courts

08/26/20: Firm News: 30 Attorneys Named to 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers List

8/04/20: CLM Magazine: The Jury Has Returned

8/12/19: Firm News: 27 Attorneys Named to 2019 Upstate New York Super Lawyers List

6/27/19: Legal Alert: Choose Your Own Adventure: Important Legislative Changes Impacting the Defense of Civil Claims

6/13/19: Claims Journal: Court of Appeals addresses burning question: Is a coke oven a product or a structure?

5/15/19: Lexology: Lease Runs Out on “Rental Market” Exception to Defense of Strict Liability Design Defect Claims

8/17/18: Firm News: 25 Attorneys Named to 2018 Upstate New York Super Lawyers List

7/31/18: Buffalo Law Journal: Summer guide to NY’s recreational use statute

Spring 2018: NYSBA Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section Journal: A Field Guide to New York's "Recreational Use Statute" General Obligations Law § 9-103

2017: The Harmonie Group: 2017 Significant Cases/Toxic Tort - Lead Paint Defense Verdict

8/4/16: Firm News: 75% of Firm Listed As Super Lawyers