Anita’s clients and peers describe her as a “superb legal professional,” a “terrific leader” who is “dependable to a fault,” “an innovator who sets a high bar” for the team, “one of the best team builders” in mass tort litigation, a “tireless advocate” and “consummate professional.”

Biography – View PDF Bio

Narrative Bio

Anita focuses her practice on representing pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in mass tort and individual cases pending across the country. For the past decade, she has been responsible for the national coordination of case specific discovery in mass tort actions involving pelvic mesh products. In this work, she has collaborated with over 150 lawyers from more than twenty-five law firms throughout the country. She has been described by her peers in the litigation as “a high performer who does excellent work that impresses and motivates others to be better. She always goes truly above and beyond.” Anita enjoys being a road warrior and has personally taken more than a thousand depositions in her career. Except for Wyoming, Anita has deposed witnesses in every state, including Alaska and Hawaii.

In addition to managing and strategizing the work up of cases for trial, Anita has tried over 100 cases in state and federal courts. She has served as trial counsel in high stakes and bet-the-company cases. Her most recent jury trials have involved high exposure product liability actions in state and federal courts. One of her trial partners has described Anita “as an attorney who can charm, but also has the ability to create a cross examination transcript that reads better than a John Grisham novel.” Anita also litigates copyright and trademark infringement cases. Her experience includes defending and prosecuting such claims for clients in the entertainment, broadcast and other industries. Further, she is experienced in representing clients on the management and monetization of intellectual property assets and counseling and providing business services, including negotiating and drafting production, distribution, literary option, franchise and other agreements. Most recently, Anita has packaged the first official documentary on Nobel Laureate William Faulkner.

Anita is a Grammy Member of The Recording Academy and is active in a number of professional organizations, including the Defense Research Institute, Trial Attorneys of America, the Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association, Media Law Resource Center, Tennessee Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law and Entertainment and Sports Law Sections, and Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts.  She is a Fellow of the American Bar Association and a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. She has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America® and Mid-South Super Lawyers® and is AV®-Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®.

Associations

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1987
  • Mississippi, 1999
  • Tennessee, 2014
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Illinois: Northern
    • Mississippi: Northern, Southern
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • 5th Circuit
    • 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Tribal Court

Distinctions

  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, 2019
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Lawyer of the Year, Trademark Law, (Jackson, MS), 2019
    • Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television, 2018-2020
    • Trademark Law, 2018-2020
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Top 50 Women: Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2014-2015
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Entertainment & Sports, 2013-2019
  • Martindale-Hubbell®
    • AV®-Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, 2011-2019
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Mississippi School of Law
    • Deal-Making Fundamentals in the Entertainment Industry, Winter Intersession 2015-2017
  • Nation's Top One Percent, National Association of Distinquished Counsel, 2015
  • Professional Skills Fellow, University of Mississippi School of Law, 2013-2014
  • Adjunct Professor, Mississippi College School of Law, 2010
  • Instructor, Tulane University, 2012
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Education & Honors

  • Loyola University, J.D., 1987
    • Dean’s List
    • Loyola Law Journal, Student Articles Editor
    • National Moot Court Team
    • Regional Champion, National Mock Trial Team
    • Lewis F. Powell Medal for Excellence in Advocacy, American College of Trial Lawyers
    • Leadership and Service Award
  • Gustavus Adolphus College, B.A., History, cum laude, 1984

Experience

  • Anita’s legal experience encompasses the representation of some of the world’s preeminent Fortune Global 500 corporations to established and upcoming entertainment businesses in film, television and music to cutting-edge start-up companies. Her work spans deal-making, national litigation management, trial work and appellate litigation. Highlights include:
  • Selected Trial Experience:
  • Tried product liability action involving multiple pelvic mesh medical devices in Pennsylvania state court. 
  • Tried product liability action involving pelvic mesh medical device in Arizona federal court.
  • Obtained defense verdict for chemical supplier in multi-million dollar litigation involving commercial and product liability claims by Canadian manufacturing company.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar verdict for plaintiffs in wrongful death action involving railroad negligence.
  • Obtained defense verdict on design and construction claims concerning Chicago's former State Street Mall.
  • Tried high-profile matter involving First Amendment and national security issues concerning the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.  
  • Tried Commerce Clause challenge to Chicago spray paint ban, which was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in National Spray Paint & Coatings Assn. v. City of Chicago, 45 F.3d 1124 (7th Cir. 1995).
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Papers, Presentations, & Publications

  • Speaker, “A Close Up on Legal Ethics and Professionalism Through a Movie Lens,” Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel’s 15th Annual Corporate Counsel Symposium, Philadelphia, Pa., September 18, 2018.
  • Author, “Injunctive Relief in Copyright Litigation,” Remedies In Intellectual Property Cases, DRI Defense Library Series, 113-139, 2018.
  • Author, “Regulating the Proliferation of Fake News on Social Media”, For the Defense, 58-63, August 2018.
  • Author, “When the Band Splits Up: A Trademark Study of the Commodores,” In-House Defense Quarterly, 6-7, Spring 2018.
  • Speaker, “’Getting Real’ on Dr. Phil, Fair Use and Noteworthy Copyright Battles of 2017,” Tennessee Intellectual Property Association, Fall Conference, Nashville, Tenn., November 2017.
  • Speaker, "The Dr. Phil Clash Between Fair Use and Confidentiality,” DRI Intellectual Property Section, Quarterly Meeting, September 18, 2017.
  • Author, “Pep Apparel Leads the Way: Strengthening Copyright Protection Against Knock Offs,” For the Defense, 67-71, August 2017.
  • Author, “When Does Inspiration turn into Copyright Theft,” DRI The Voice, Vol. 15, Issue 31, August 3, 2016.
  • Speaker, “Blurred Lines:  When Does Inspiration Turn Into Copyright Theft,” DRI Intellectual Property Litigation Annual Conference, Nashville, Tenn., May 6, 2016.
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