Kari is a former Special Agent with the United States Secret Service. She is a trial attorney and focuses her practice on pharmaceutical and medical device product liability litigation. She has tried cases in various jurisdictions across the country, and her significant pharmaceutical product liability defense verdicts include those resulting from trials in California, Illinois and Louisiana. Kari is recognized by Benchmark Litigation as one of its Top 250 Women in Litigation (2016-2021). She also received a 2017 Burton Award and a 2018 Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association “The Quarterly” Editorial Award for her written work. 

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Narrative Bio

Kari is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and a member of the Trial Attorneys of America. She has broad trial experience and has served in key roles, including co-lead trial counsel, in several significant trials. Her trial work includes giving opening statements and closing arguments, cross-examining particularly sympathetic plaintiffs, and skillfully cross-examining nationally-known plaintiff experts. She has ample experience directing company witnesses at trial, as well as preparing and  defending depositions of company witnesses and other key fact witnesses in underlying litigation.

Her experience includes currently serving as a crucial part of a national counsel team defending prescription medical devices. She also serves as a national expert coordinator in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. She draws on her broad knowledge of FDA regulatory issues in working with experts to defend litigation and in counseling clients on risk avoidance and management strategies.

Kari is active in several industry organizations, including Trial Attorneys of America, Defense Research Institute (DRI), and International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC). Her recent speaking engagements include serving on a panel concerning the discovery of litigation funding at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association’s Virtual National General Counsel in September 2021, on a panel titled “Life After Remand” at the April 2021 DRI Drug & Medical Device Virtual Seminar, and on a panel concerning defending against punitive damages at the International Association of Defense Counsel’s 2020 Midyear Meeting. She also authors articles on litigation and trial-related topics for Butler Snow’s Pro Te: Solutio and other publications such as Law360.

Kari obtained her J.D., with special distinction, from Mississippi College and B.S., cum laude, from University of Alabama. She is admitted to the State Bars of Mississippi and Tennessee.

Associations

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 1996
  • Tennessee, 2002
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Mississippi: Northern, Southern
    • Tennessee: Eastern, Western, Middle
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Distinctions

  • Special Agent, United States Secret Service, 2004-2007
  • The Burton Foundation and Law360, The Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing, March 2017
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Personal Injury – Products: Defense, 2013-2020
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Local Litigation Star, 2012-2016, 2018, 2021
    • Top 250 Women in Litigation, 2016-2021
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2021-2022
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America

Education & Honors

  • Mississippi College, J.D., with special distinction, 1995
    • Editor-in-Chief, Mississippi College Law Review
  • University of Alabama, B.S., History, cum laude, 1992
  • Clerkships, Judge Glen Davidson, U.S. District Court, Northern District, Mississippi
  • Clerkships, ​Judge E. Grady Jolly, ​U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

Experience

  • Significant Trials
  • McBroom v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., District of Arizona (March 2022) - defense verdict - Lead Trial Counsel.  
  • Gardner v. Ethicon, Inc., District of South Carolina (September 2020) – Resolution after jury selection – Trial Counsel. 
  • Keshia Hunt v. McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Eastern District of Louisiana (March 2014), judgment for defense – Trial Counsel.
  • Linda Gross, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. - Product liability action involving pelvic mesh. Tried in Atlantic County, New Jersey, (2013) – Assisted Trial Counsel. 
  • Christopher Trejo v. Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Consumer Healthcare - Superior Court of California, Los Angeles (August-October 2011) – Trial Counsel; judgment rendered on design defect claims; remanded for new trial on warnings claim. 
  • Justice Brakefield, et al. v. McNeil Consumer Healthcare - Superior Court of California, San Francisco (March 2011), defense verdict – Trial Counsel.  
  • Brianna Maya v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. - Philadelphia trial involving product liability case in connection with Children's Motrin and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome; resulted in plaintiff verdict (2011) – Assisted Trial Counsel.
  • Thomas B. Gaines v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. – California wrongful death action involving Children’s Motrin and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome; resulted in defense verdict (2010) – Assisted Trial Counsel. 
  • More...

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