Areas of Emphasis
  • Drug and Medical Device
  • Product Liability Law
  • Mass Torts
  • Professional Liability Law
Distinctions
  • AV-rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Personal Injury Litigation, Product Liability Litigation
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers®, Personal Injury Defense: Products
  • Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: General Commercial, Litigation: Trial Lawyers (Nationwide), Product Liability and Mass Torts (Nationwide), Product Liability: Pharmaceutical (Nationwide)
  • Who's Who Legal: Product Liability Defence 2014
  • “Product Liability Attorney of the Year" by LMG Life Sciences 2013
  • The Best Lawyers in America® Lawyer of the Year, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2013
  • Top 50: 2013 Women Mid-South Super Lawyers®
  • "National Star," by Benchmark Litigation Magazine, 2013
  • Top 50 Mississippi Super Lawyers®, 2012
  • "2012 Professionalism Award," Mississippi Bar Foundation
  • “Life Science Star" by LMG Life Sciences 2012
  • “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation Magazine, Fifth Edition
  • 2011-2012 Lawdragon "500 Leading Lawyers in America"
  • The Best Lawyers in America® Lawyer of the Year, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
  • "Top Attorneys in The Mid-South," Memphis Magazine, December 2011
  • "International Who's Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers," 2010
  • "2009 Professionalism Award," Hinds County Bar Association
  • Top 6 Product Liability Lawyers in the World, Best of the Best 2008, Expert Guides
  • "2008 Outstanding Mississippi Woman Lawyer," Mississippi Women Lawyers Association
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Mississippi Bar Foundation
  • Benchmark Litigation’s Top 10 Female Litigators in America
  • "Top Product Liability Attorney in the World," Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Product Liability Lawyers.
Education & Honors
  • University of Arkansas, J.D., Managing Editor, Arkansas Law Review, with high honors, 1977
  • University of Arkansas, B.A., 1974
  • Phi Beta Kappa
Associations
  • American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow , Past District 6 Regent
  • International Association of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Product Liability Advisory Council
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
    • Executive Committee 1994-97
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Drug and Device Committee Chair, 2001-03
  • Lawyers for Civil Justice
  • Defense Counsel Trial Academy Director, 1995
  • Trial Attorneys of America
  • Mississippi Bar Association
  • Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association
  • Capital Area Bar Association
Bar Admissions
  • Mississippi, 1977
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Mississippi: Northern and Southern Districts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • 4th Circuit
    • 5th Circuit
    • 10th Circuit
  • Admitted pro hac vice in many states around the country
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Experience
  • Linda Gross, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. - Product liability action involving pelvic mesh. Tried in Atlantic County, New Jersey. (Lead Counsel) (2013).
  • Christina Su v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. - Product liability action involving prescription drug Fosamax. Tried in Atlantic County, New Jersey. (Lead Counsel) (2012).
  • Jo Ann Sessner v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. - Second New Jersey bellwether product liability case involving prescription drug Fosamax (Lead Counsel); resulted in defense verdict (2012).
  • Alison Rosenberg v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. - First New Jersey bellwether product liability trial involving prescription drug Fosamax (Lead Counsel) (2011).
  • Robert Beare v. Johnson & Johnson, et al.- First New Jersey bellwether product liability case involving prescription drug Levaquin (Lead Counsel); resulted in defense verdict (2011).
  • Paul Gaffney v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. - First New Jersey bellwether product liability case involving prescription drug Levaquin; (Lead Counsel); resulted in defense verdict (2011).
  • Brianna Maya v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. - Philadelphia trial involving product liability case in connection with Children's Motrin and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (Lead Counsel); resulted in plaintiff verdict (2011).
  • Christina Hoyt Hutto, et al. v. McNeil-PPC, Inc., et al. – wrongful death product liability action involving Tylenol (Lead Counsel) (La. 2010).
  • Louise H. Maley v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. – New York trial involving second bellwether product liability case in connection with Fosamax (Lead Counsel); resulted in defense verdict (2010).
  • Thomas B. Gaines v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. – California wrongful death action involving Children’s Motrin and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (Trial Counsel); resulted in defense verdict (2010).
  • Shirley Boles v. Merck & Co., Inc. – New York trial involving first bellwether product liability case involving prescription drug Fosamax (Trial Counsel); resulted in mistrial (2009).
  • Kimberly Zundel, et al., v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., New Jersey trial product liability action involving Children's Motrin and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (Lead Counsel); resulted in defense verdict (2009).
  • Sabrina Brierton Johnson v. Johnson & Johnson, et. al. California product liability action involving Children's Motrin and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (Lead Counsel); resulted in defense verdict (2008).
  • Gary Albright v. Merck & Co., Inc., et al. Alabama Vioxx litigation (Trial Counsel); resulted in defense verdict (2006).
  • Thomas Cona, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc. New Jersey Vioxx litigation (Lead Counsel); resulted in defense verdict in product liability claim (2006).
  • John McDarby v. Merck & Co., Inc. New Jersey Vioxx litigation (Lead Counsel); resulted in plaintiff verdict (2006).
  • Frederick Humeston, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc. New Jersey Vioxx litigation (Trial Counsel); resulted in defense verdict in product liability claim (2005).
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. v. Jackson, 883 So.2d 91 (Miss. 2004).
  • Culbert v. Johnson & Johnson, 883 So.2d 550 (Miss. 2004).
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. v. Keys, 879 So.2d 446 (Miss. 2004).
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. v. Scott, 876 So.2d 306 (Miss. 2004).
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. v. Bailey, 878 So.2d 31 (Miss. 2004), is a decision of the Mississippi Supreme Court reversing a $48 million judgment awarded to ten plaintiffs in a product liability action involving a prescription drug.
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. v. Grant, 873 So.2d 100 (Miss. 2004).
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. v. Armond, 866 So.2d 1092 (Miss. 2004), is a decision of the Mississippi Supreme Court which significantly changed the landscape of litigation in Mississippi, declaring that joinder of plaintiffs in prescription drug cases, in many cases improper, was subject to strict scrutiny, resulting in severance of many claims and transfers to appropriate venues.
  • Hardy v. Bayer Corporation and SmithKIine Beecham Corporation, 02cv108, Hinds County, Mississippi (2003), product liability action in which the Court granted a directed verdict in favor of SmithKline Beecham Corporation, a co-marketer of a prescription drug. Lead Trial Counsel for SmithKline Beecham.
  • Bennett v. Madakasira, 821 So.2d 794 (Miss. 2002).
  • Davis v. American Home Products Corporation, et al., District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, Cause No. B-150, 760, was a product liability action involving a contraceptive product which resulted in a defense verdict on three of four plaintiffs' claims and a $38,000 award to the plaintiff on the other. Trial Counsel for Wyeth.
  • Vonna Smith v. Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Circuit Court of Miller County, Arkansas, Cause No. CIV-93-1053, was a product liability case involving breast implants. The jury returned a defense verdict.
  • Cruz Luevano v. Baxter Healthcare Corporation, District Court of Zavala County Texas, Cause No. 94-04-08755CV, product liability action involving breast implants; resulted in defense verdict.
  • Wilbanks v. Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust 1998 WL 433940 (N.D. Miss.), cert. denied ___U.S. ___ (2000). Summary judgment for defendant granted; Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
  • Kemp v. G. D. Searle and Co., 103 F.3d 405 (5th Cir. 1997), product liability action involving an intrauterine contraceptive, in which the trial court awarded summary judgment for the defendant; Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
  • Toon v.Lederle Laboratories American Cyanamid Co., 603 So.2d 245, cert. denied, 607 So.2d 556 (La. App. ___), product liability action involving childhood vaccines. The trial court in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, granted a directed verdict for the defendant, and the Louisiana appellate court affirmed.
  • Andrew Jackson Life Ins. Co. v. Williams, 566 So.2d 1172 (Miss. 1990).
  • Bernhardt By and Through Bernhardt v. Richardson-Merrell, Inc., 892 F.2d 440, 15 Fed.R.Serv.3d 1047 (5th Cir. (Miss.) 1990).
  • Lindley v. Hamilton, 883 F.2d 360, Prod. Liab. Rep. (CCH) P 12, 262 (5th Cir. (Miss.) 1989).
  • Bernhardt By and Through Bernhardt v. Richardson-Merrell, Inc., 723 F.Supp. 1188 (N.D. Miss. 1988).
  • Presley v. South Cent. Bell Telephone Co., 684 F.Supp. 1397 (S.D.Miss. 1988).
  • MGIC Indem. Corp. v. Central Bank of Monroe, La., 838 F.2d 1382 (5th Cir. (La.) 1988).
  • Brown v. Credit Center, Inc., 444 So.2d 358 (Miss. 1983).
  • General Plumbing & Heating, Inc. v. American Air Filter Co., Inc., 696 F.2d 375 (5th Cir.(Miss.) 1983).
  • Bickerstaff v. South Central Bell Telephone Co., 676 F.2d 163 (5th Cir.(Miss.) 1982).
  • Burris v. South Central Bell Telephone Co., 540 F.Supp. 905 (S.D. Miss 1982).
  • Borden, Inc. Universal Industries Corp., 88 F.R.D. 708 (N.D. Miss. 1981).
  • Holley v. Funtime Skateland South, Inc., 392 So.2d 1135 (Miss. 1981).
  • Hughes Const. Co., Inc. v. Rheem Mfg. Co., 487 F.Supp. 345 (N.D. Miss. 1980).
  • Beco, Inc. v. American Fidelity Fire Ins. Co., 370 So.2d 1343 (Miss 1979).
  • Fowler v. Allied Equipment, Inc., 368 So.2d 829 (Miss. 1979).
  • Dillon v. South Central Bell Telephone Company, 366 So.2d 233 (Miss. 1979).
  • Gulf Guaranty Life Ins. Co. v. Thompson, 363 So.2d 297 (Miss. 1978).
  • Gulf Guaranty Life Ins. Co. v. Middleton, 361 So.2d 1377 (Miss. 1978).
  • National Trial Team, silicone breast implant litigation, Baxter Healthcare Corporation.
  • Nationwide Coordinator, various litigation, Champion International, Inc.
  • Regional Counsel, vaccine litigation for American Cyanamid Co. (now American Home Products Corporation).
  • Commercial Arbitration: Challenger’s Border Express, et al. v. Ford Motor Company.
  • Saugatuck Capital Company Limited Partnership III v. Ford Motor Company.
Papers, Presentations & Publications
  • "The Historical Rationale for Punitive Damages; Its Evolution and Current Application," National Conference of Judicial Excellence (2009).
  • "Early and Often: The Trial Responses to Proffered Evidence of a Guilty Plea in a Pharmaceutical or Medical Device Trial," Defense Research Institute (2006).
  • "Cross Examining the Personal Injury Plaintiff," Young Lawyers Seminar, Defense Research Institute (2006).
  • "Expert Witnesses Effective (Cross) Examination and Jury Communication," American Conference Institute 10th Anniversary Drug & Medical Device Litigation (2005).
  • "Current Issues in Pharmaceutical Litigation and Policy," American Bar Association Product Liability Committee (2004).
  • "Ladies and Gentlemen, This is Not the Lottery (Defense of Catastrophic Damage Cases)," Medical Malpractice and Healthcare Seminar, Defense Research Institute (2004).
  • "Creative Approaches to Punitive Damages," Iowa Defense Lawyers Association (2002).
  • "Technology in the Courtroom," Arkansas Bar Association (2002).
  • Faculty, National Trial Academy, TIPS Section of ABA (2000).
  • "Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege," Issues Management in a Global Economy, IADC (1998).
  • "Epidemiology : A Practical Approach Through Analogy," Drug and Device Seminar, Defense Research Institute (1998).
  • "Discovery of Expert Witnesses in Mass Tort Litigation," Open Forum (1996), IADC.
  • University of Michigan Advocacy Institute, Institute of Continuing Legal Education (1995).
  • "Keys for Deposing Plaintiff's Expert," Trial Techniques Seminar, Defense Research Institute (1994).
  • "Homeowners Insurance," Peoples Law Forum.
  • "Cross-Examination of the Expert Witness," University of Mississippi Continuing Education Programs.
  • "Successful Negotiation," Women, Power and Advocacy, MTLA.
  • "Opening Statements," Continuing Legal Education Program, IADC.
  • "Gagging The Expert Witness," Open Forum (1992), IADC.
  • "Use of Scientific Literature at Trial," Drug and Device Seminar, Defense Research Institute (1992).
  • "Bad Faith Litigation," Open Forum (1989), IADC.
  • "Hostile Jurisdictions," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 1 No. 1, 2-5 (January 2008).

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