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 Magazine as one of its Top 250 Female Litigators in America (2016-2018). She also received a 2017 Burton Award and a 2018 Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association “The Quarterly” Editorial Award for her written work. 

Biography – View PDF Bio

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’s experts. She has ample experience directing company witnesses at trial, as well as in 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 and working as international coordinating counsel. 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. She also works with clients on media responses as part of comprehensive litigation defense strategies.

Kari is active in several industry organizations, including Trial Attorneys of America and Defense Research Institute (DRI). Her speaking engagements include giving a closing argument at DRI’s prestigious Trial Tactics seminar in 2017 and presenting a webinar for FDANews on OTC labeling guidances. She authors articles on litigation and trial-related topics for Butler Snow’s Pro Te: Solutio and other publications such as Law360.

Associations

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 1996
  • Tennessee, 2002
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Mississippi: Northern, Southern
    • Tennessee: Eastern, Western
  • 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, 2013-2018
  • Benchmark Litigation Magazine
    • 2018 Benchmark Litigation Star
    • Local Litigation Star, 2012-2016
    • Top 250 Female Litigators in America, 2016-2018
  • 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
  • Clerkship
    Judge Glen Davidson, U.S. District Court, Northern District, Mississippi
  • Clerkship
    Judge E. Grady Jolly, U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

Experience

  • Significant Trials
  • 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. 
  • Karen Robinson v. Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Consumer Healthcare - U.S. District Court, N. D. Illinois (August 2009), judgment for defense – Trial Counsel.
  • Kimberly Zundel, et al., v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. - New Jersey trial product liability action involving Children's Motrin and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome; resulted in defense verdict (2009) – Assisted Trial Counsel. 
  • More...

Papers, Presentations, & Publications