Natalie Watson guides her clients, including product manufacturers, pharmaceutical corporations, health care facilities, public entities, and innovators, through their regulatory, compliance, and liability challenges. She has successfully represented numerous businesses in “bet the company” litigation, defending against environmental liability and toxic torts, catastrophic personal injury, product liability, breach of contract, and sales practices claims in state and federal courts nationwide. Natalie’s practice centers on complex litigation, with a particular focus on multidistrict litigation, class actions, and suits against governmental agencies. Natalie has tried numerous cases to verdict. Her clients value her ability to captain a matter from inception to trial, all while routinely coming in under budget.
In addition to her robust trial practice, Natalie also has extensive experience advising manufacturers on the best approaches to bring products to market in compliance with necessary state and federal regulations. Applying her savvy with and knowledge of the ever-changing regulations of the FTC, FDA, FCC, and other state and federal regulatory and compliance bodies, Natalie applies a values-based approach to ethical considerations and compliance matters. This approach helps her recommend necessary internal policies to clients and to interact with regulators in a way that minimizes noncompliance risks. Her practice also includes defending her clients in claims brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the False Claims Act, CAN-SPAM, the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, and the Anti-Kickback Statute, among others.
Natalie also represents public entities in complex civil rights, Constitutional law, and negligence suits, including those suits arising out of wrongful death and sexual abuse claims. She balances the need to aggressively defend high-exposure claims with the finesse required for high-profile matters potentially affecting the public image of her clients. To help prevent lawsuits, Natalie regularly conducts trainings for public entity clients on the nuances of applicable statutory law, particularly concerning relevant statutory immunities and notice of claim requirements. She has counseled larger institutions of higher education on compliance with state and federal laws and regulations governing anti-harassment, anti-bullying, anti-discrimination, and LGBTQA-inclusion.
A member of the Steering Committee of the firm’s Women’s Initiative and a member of its Diversity Committee, Natalie actively works to strengthen McCarter’s use of diversity in serving its clients. Her efforts led McCarter to become one of the first law firms in the country to offer a “gross-up” policy for its LGBTQA employees, to remedy the disparate treatment that existed in the tax code in the years before Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015).
Natalie is involved with numerous professional, legal, charitable, and educational communities. Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to serve as its Secretary for the District VA Ethics Committee, Natalie is responsible for reviewing all grievances submitted against attorneys practicing in the District VA and, when appropriate, docketing those investigations. She also serves on the state-wide Diversity Committee of the President of the New Jersey Bar Association, identifying and addressing issues impacting diverse attorneys throughout the state. She also co-chairs the Public Entity section of the New Jersey Defense Association, which represents New Jersey’s defense bar. Natalie also regularly lectures on topics relevant to litigators and in-house counsel, including FDA and regulatory compliance matters, best practices for trial attorneys, and the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Natalie is the immediate past president of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, an organization recognized by the arts community and service industry as a nationwide leader in developing model programs for audience development. As president, Natalie guided the organization in representing 33 professional theatres located throughout 17 out of New Jersey’s 21 counties during one of the most difficult financial periods on record for non-profit organizations. In November 2015, she was presented with the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Star Award for “outstanding dedication and leadership as the Alliance’s Board President for the past six years.” Natalie was also commended for her work on diversity and cultural access initiatives.