Chris defends pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in mass tort and individual cases in various state and federal courts throughout the country. He has significant experience addressing large volumes of complex discovery pending concurrently in multiple jurisdictions. Beyond pharmaceutical and medical device product liability litigation, he also has experience defending insurance companies against extra-contractual claims for punitive damages. He is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and has been recognized as a "Mid-South Rising Star" by Super Lawyers.

Biography – View PDF Bio

Narrative Bio

Chris led the written discovery team for one of the largest mass torts in U.S. history. In that role, he was responsible for all defensive written discovery on behalf of medical device manufacturers, as well as all affirmative discovery directed at plaintiffs. He was also frequently responsible for meeting and conferring with plaintiff’s counsel regarding discovery disputes.

He also served as the coordinating attorney for international mass tort litigations including, but not limited to, actions pending in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, Italy, and the Netherlands. As the coordinating attorney, he liaised with local counsel to facilitate the vigorous defense of lawsuits. He has also served as local counsel in consumer protections lawsuits brought by the Mississippi Attorney General, which involved the sale, marketing and promotion of medical devices and pharmaceutical products. As local counsel, Chris coordinated with national counsel on strategy and case management, and he has prepared and defended multiple depositions of company witnesses.

Chris has first and second chair jury trial experience in federal and state courts, and he has served on trial preparation and trial support teams in various mass tort litigations. In that role, he has supported trials in courts throughout the country including but not limited to the trial of a consumer protection lawsuit brought by the California Attorney General, which involved multiple medical devices. He also supported the trial team in Cavness v. Kowalczyk et al., Case No. DC-14-04220, District Court for the 95th Judicial District, Dallas County Texas, a product liability action involving pelvic mesh which resulted in a defense verdict and was one of Law360’s 2015 Product Liability Trials to Watch. The verdict was named as one of CVN’s Top 10 Defense Verdicts of 2015.

Chris is active in a number of professional organizations, including Defense Research Institute (2021 Programming Chair and 2020 Publications Chair for the Complex Medicine/Experts Specialized Litigation Group (SLG) of the DRI Drug and Medical Device Committee), International Association of Defense Counsel (2021 Vice-Chair of Communications, Drug, Device, & Biotechnology Committee), among others. He frequently speaks and writes on product liability litigation topics. As an example, he recently spoke on privilege and liability associated with E-Discovery at the 2021 American Bar Association Current Issues in Pharmaceutical Medical Device, and Biotech Litigation Virtual Regional CLE. He also co-authored a chapter on Louisiana local class action requirements for the second and third editions of the American Bar Association’s A Practitioner’s Guide to Class Actions.

He obtained his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Mississippi and B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Memphis. He is admitted to practice in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana.

Associations

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 2008
  • Tennessee, 2008
  • Louisiana, 2011
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Mississippi: Northern, Southern
    • Tennessee: Western

Distinctions

  • Martindale-Hubbell®
    • AV®- Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Mid-South Rising Star, Personal Injury – Products: Defense, 2011-2021
  • Intern, U.S. Attorney's Office, Memphis, TN, 2008
  • Summer Clerk, U.S. Army JAG Corps, Fort. Drum, NY, 2007

Education & Honors

  • University of Mississippi, J.D., cum laude, 2008
    • Outstanding Student Award, Legal Profession (Ethics)
    • National Appellate Advocacy Team
    • American Inns of Court
  • University of Memphis, B.A., Philosophy and Political Science, magna cum laude, 2004
    • Captain, Mock Trial Team

Experience

  • Flechas v. Pitts, 138 So. 3d 907 (Miss. 2014) (granting appeal for extraordinary relief and reversing trial court order to produce privileged attorney work product).
  • Allstate Property & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Pickett, 2014 WL 202758 (S.D. Miss. January 17, 2014) (granting summary judgment and holding that homeowner's insurance policy excluded intentional acts).
  • Great S. Realty Co., Inc. v. Allstate Indem. Co., 2013 WL 3006412 (S.D. Miss. June 14, 2013) (granting summary judgment in declaratory judgment lawsuit concerning destruction of house due to arson).
  • In re Gatlin, 2013 WL 2250304 (Bankr. S.D. Miss. May 22, 2013) (granting summary judgment in a bankruptcy adversary proceeding and holding that a sanction award entered against an attorney for forum manipulation was a non-dischargeable debt).
  • Allstate Property & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Pickett, 2013 WL 887347 (S.D. Miss. March 8, 2013) (denying defendant’s motion to dismiss in a declaratory judgment action brought by insurer).
  • Wansley v. Brent, 80 So. 3d 125 (Miss. Ct. App. 2011) (reversing trial court for failing to properly instruct jury on comparative fault).
  • Stamps v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2011 WL 1743107 (S.D. Miss. May 5, 2011) (granting summary judgment in lawsuit for breach of contract and punitive damages).
  • Stallings, et al. v. Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, et al. – Medical malpractice action. Tried in Gulfport, Mississippi; resulted in defense verdict (2011).
  • Jackson-Miller v. State Farm Ins. Co., 39 So. 3d 991 (Miss. Ct. App. 2010) (affirming trial court’s denial of auditur and the propriety of jury instructions; plaintiff recovered zero damages after application of offset).
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Papers, Presentations, & Publications

  • Co-Author, "Jurisdictional Survey of Local Requirements Governing Class Actions: Louisiana," A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions, Published by the American Bar Association's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, 3rd Edition, 2021.
  • Panelist, “Privilege and Liabilities Associated with E-Discovery,” American Bar Association Current Issues in Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, and Biotech Litigation Virtual Regional CLE, February 25, 2021.
  • Panelist, “E-Discovery and Data at Trial,” American Bar Association’s Regional CLE Program, North Wales, Pa., November 9, 2018.
  • Co-Author, "Jurisdictional Survey of Local Requirements Governing Class Actions: Louisiana," A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions, Published by the American Bar Association's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, 2nd Edition, 2017.
  • Author, “Lone Pine Orders," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 9, No. 2, Summer 2016.
  • Author, "Creepy Cases and Spooky Statutes," The Quarterly, Fall 2015.
  • Co-Author, “Medical Devices: The Modern Age (Part 2)," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 7, No. 3, October 2014.
  • Co-Author, "Effective Strategies for Neutralizing the Adverse Prescribing or Treating Physician at Deposition and Trial," DRI's 30th Annual Drug and Device Seminar, May 2014.
  • Co-Author, "FDA Considers Changes to its OTC Drug Review, Potentially Affecting Over 300,000 Drug Products," ABA Section of Litigation Mass Torts Newsletter, April 30, 2014.
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