Anita Modak-Truran

Anita

Modak-Truran

Member, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee

Overview

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.”

About

Anita Modak-Truran is a leader in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, mass tort, and bet-the-company cases.  She brings over 30 years of experience and has worked on thousands of cases, working collaboratively with clients and teams of lawyers to develop and implement innovative case work up and trial strategies.  

Anita’s practice focuses on representing pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.  She has defended mass tort and individual lawsuits in nearly every state, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and  West Virginia.  

For instance, in the pelvic mesh litigation, Anita managed the case work up of over 30,000 cases in the Ethicon MDL.  In addition to managing, advising, and strategizing these and other cases for trial, Anita has tried more than 100 jury and bench cases.  She has served as trial counsel in high stakes and bet-the-company cases and enjoys the life of a road warrior.  Road warrior life starts with case specifics, and Anita has deposed thousands of witnesses in every state except Wyoming. 

A dynamic leader and tireless advocate, Anita captures the respect of clients, peers and jurors alike.  Clients have found her to be dependable to a fault and an excellent collaborator, understanding and putting their interests first.  Team members from outside firms have said that Anita is “a high performer who does excellent work that impresses and motivates others to be better.  She always goes truly above and beyond.” Juries have found Anita relatable and a “dynamic ball of energy” in the courtroom.  One of her trial partners 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 has also cultivated an intellectual property and entertainment law practice.  From new artists to well-established entertainment companies, Anita has provided business services, copyright and trademark services.   Anita’s passion for entertainment work has led to her packaging the first official documentary on Nobel Laureate William Faulkner and being an active Grammy Member of The Recording Academy.

Anita serves as President of the Trial Attorneys of America and is active in a number of professional organizations, including the Defense Research Institute, 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®.

Experience

  • Anita’s legal experience encompasses the representation of some of the world’s preeminent Fortune Global 500 corporations, major entertainment companies and the City of Chicago. Highlights include:

Selected Trial Experience:

  • Defended and tried before federal and state juries prescription medical device lawsuits involving demands for tens of millions of dollars.
  • Defended and tried before a state jury a prescription medical drug involving multiple plaintiffs and demands for tens of millions of dollars. 
  • Defended and tried before a federal jury commercial and product liability lawsuit on behalf of chemical supplier involving a ten million dollar demand.
  • Defended and tried before a state court jury a lawsuit concerning the design and construction of the City of Chicago's former State Street Mall.
  • Defended and tried before a federal judge high-profile matter involving First Amendment and national security issues concerning the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.  
  • Defended and tried before a federal judge a Commerce Clause challenge to City of 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).
  • Defended and tried before a state court jury a wrongful death action involving a stolen firearm of a Chicago police officer.
  • Defended and tried before a state court jury a catastrophic personal injury concerning a police pursuit.
  • Defended and tried numerous federal and state bench trials concerning First Amendment challenges to zoning ordinances by the City of Chicago.
  • Defended and tried before a state judge a class action lawsuit concerning taxicab medallions.

Selected Appellate Experience:

  • Briefed and argued on behalf of Sony Music Entertainment an ownership claim involving photographs of blues musician Robert Johnson before the Mississippi Supreme Court.  See Anderson v. LaVere, 2014 Miss. LEXIS 119 (Miss. 2014).
  • Briefed on behalf of Wyeth an appeal from a summary judgment in manufacturer’s favor on statute of limitation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.   See Bryant v. Wyeth, 816 F. Supp. 2d 329 (S.D. Miss. 2011), aff’d, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18657 (5th Cir. Sept. 5, 2012).
  • Briefed and argued on behalf of Johnson & Johnson an appeal from a summary judgment in a pelvic mesh lawsuit regarding failure to warn and design defect claims before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  See Smith v. Johnson & Johnson, Civil Action No. 3:08cv245, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98719 (S.D. Miss. Aug. 31, 2011), aff’d, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16000 (5th Cir. Aug. 2, 2012).
  • Briefed and argued on behalf of Michael Travis an appeal concerning subject matter    jurisdiction before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  See Travis v. Irby, 326 F.3d 644 (5th Cir. 2003).
  • Briefed and argued on behalf of the City of Chicago an emergency appeal on a First Amendment challenge to peddlers at “Taste of Chicago” before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Posner, J. presiding).   See Ayres v. City of Chicago, 125 F.3d 1010 (7th Cir. 1997).
  • Briefed and argued on behalf of the City of Chicago a due process and equal protection challenge to landscaping ordinance before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  See Schilling v. City of Chicago, 1 F.3d 494 (7th Cir. 1993).

Other:

  • Representing major and independent motion picture, music and media companies in copyright and trademark litigation.
  • Serving as production and post-production legal counsel for independent film companies from around the United States.
  • Representing film and television producers and companies on management and monetization of intellectual property assets.
  • Counseling and providing business services to entertainment and media companies, authors, artists and musicians, including negotiating and drafting production, distribution, literary option, franchise and other agreements.
  • Counseling companies on copyright and trademark issues in day-to-day operations.
  • Working with start-up companies on intellectual property matters.
  • Producing manufacturing documentary for biologic manufacturer involved in commercial litigation. 

Distinctions

  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, 2019-2022
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Lawyer of the Year, Trademark Law, (Jackson, MS), 2019
    • Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television, 2018-2023
    • Trademark Law, 2018-2023
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Top 50 Women: Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2014-2015
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Entertainment & Sports, 2013-2022
  • Martindale-Hubbell®
    • AV®-Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, 2011-2022
  • In Charge Legal, Nashville Post, 2022
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Mississippi School of Law
    • Deal-Making Fundamentals in the Entertainment Industry, Winter Intersession 2015-2017
  • Professional Skills Fellow, University of Mississippi School of Law, 2013-2014
  • Adjunct Professor, Mississippi College School of Law, 2010
    • Oral Advocacy
  • Instructor, Tulane University, 2012
    • Media and the Law
  • Trial Attorneys of America, Worker Achievement Award, 2012
  • Technology and Intellectual Property Study Group, Mississippi Secretary of State
  • 50 Leading Business Women, Mississippi Business Journal, 2012
  • Executive Leadership Program, Harvard University, 2007
  • Graduate, International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy

Bar Admissions

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

Education

  • Loyola University Chicago, 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

Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Section
    • Minority Counsel Program
  • American Bar Foundation
    • Fellow
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
    • Intellectual Property Litigation Committee
      • Copyright Specialized Litigation Group
        • Fellow
      • Trademark Litigation Group
    • Commercial Litigation Committee
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
    • Chair, Drug and Device Substantive Law Committee
    • Tennessee Representative
  • Fifth Circuit Bar Association
  • Litigation Counsel of America
    • Fellow
    • The Trial Law Institute
      • Advisory Board
  • Media Law Resource Center
    • Entertainment Law Committee
  • Mississippi Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Section
      • Former Chair
  • Tennessee Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Law Section
    • Entertainment and Sports Law Section
  • Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association (TIPLA)
    • Former President, 2017-2018
  • Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts
  • The Recording Academy
    • Grammy Member
  • Trial Attorneys of America
    • President, June 2022-June 2023
    • Vice President and Program Coordinator, June 2021-June 2022
    • Secretary
    • Board of Directors

Papers, Presentations & Publications

  • Co-Author, "Oh, Do I Have a Story for You…," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 16, No. 1, March 2023.
  • Author, “What’s Trending in Drug & Medical Device Litigation”, FDCC, October 14, 2022
  • Presenter, "Physician Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases: Refuting Doctor Testimony, Exposing Bias," Strafford Webinar, August 24, 2022. 
  • Presenter, "Ethics Movie Hour - Legal Ethics That Arise in the Court Room" Trial Attorneys of America 51st Annual Meeting, June 10, 2022.
  • Quoted, "How the Supreme Court with Ketanji Brown Jackson would help restore faith in our criminal justice system,Tennessean, March 23, 2022.
  • Panelist, "Trial Lawyer Roundtable," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 15, No. 1, March 2022.
  • Author, "Understanding the Evolving Psyche of Juries," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 13, No. 2, June 2020.
  • 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.
  • Speaker, “Navigating the Madrid Protocol for Your Clients,” Seminar on WIPO Services and Initiatives, Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tenn., April 13, 2016.
  • Opening Speaker, “What I Learned at the Movies about Ethics and Professionalism,” Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Winter Conference, San Diego, Calif., February 29, 2016.
  • Author, “Trending Icons and Moments Destined to Become Iconic,” For The Defense, 57-61, January 2016. 
  • Presenter, “Copyright Clearance @ The Movies,” Tennessee Intellectual Property Association, Nashville, Tenn., November 13, 2015. 
  • Presenter and Moderator, "How Lawyers Help Clients Monetize Their Intellectual Property in the Entertainment Industry," Mid-South Intellectual Property Annual Conference, Oxford, Miss., February 27, 2015.
  • Author, "Mississippi's Motion Picture Renaissance," Mississippi Business Journal, January 22, 2015.
  • Presenter, "Is it Getting Cold in Here?:  A Discussion of Intellectual Property Claims Related to the Movie ’Frozen,’” Tennessee Intellectual Property Association, Nashville, Tenn., November 7, 2014 
  • Panelist, “Interactions Among Physicians and Lawyers,” Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn., April 2014.
  • Moderator, “Robert Johnson and the Legal Blues of Celebrity Estates,” Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute, Oxford, Miss., February 2014.
  • Author, “Tipping the Scales of Fair Use to Serve the Purpose of the Copyright Act,” For The Defense 66-70, January 2014.
  • Speaker, “Transformative Use: More Than Meets the Eye,” The DRI Annual Meeting, Chicago, Ill., October 2013.
  • Speaker, “What I Learned at the Movies on Trials, Legal Ethics and Professionalism,” The Trial Law Institute, Chicago, Ill., September 2013.
  • Author, “Taking a Stand on the Right of Publicity,” The MDLA Quarterly at 4-6, Summer 2013, reprinted in the Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Newsletter, Fall 2013.
  • Guest Commentator, “Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law,” MPB’s “In Legal Terms” July 16, 2013. 
  • Presenter, “Pi, Cannibalis­­­m and Ethics,” Bioethics Fellowship Program, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss., July 2013.
  • Presenter, “Fifth Circuit's Approach to Daubert,” Trial Attorney of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill., June 2013.
  • Author, “Attorney Advertising in a Viral Age: Slowing the Electronic Tide of Misinformation,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 6, No. 2 at 15-19, May 2013.
  • Speaker, “What’s So Fair About Transformative Use,” Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Symposium, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Jackson, Miss., May 2013.
  • Speaker, “Transformative Use Meets the Eye of Copyright Law,” Tennessee Intellectual Property Association, Music Row, Nashville, Tenn., May 2013.
  • Speaker, “The Perfect Storm: Shattering the Myth of the Work-Life Balance,” Mississippi Women’s Bar Association, Jackson Convention Center, Jackson, Miss., May 2013.
  • Speaker, “The Art of the Deal,” Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Section at the Crossroads Film Festival, Madison, Miss., April 2013.
  • Moderator, “Literature Rights and More,” Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute, Oxford, Miss., February 2013.
  • Panelist, “A Legal Toolkit for Filmmakers,” Mississippi Bar, Intellectual Property Section at MIFF, Jackson, Miss., 2012.
  • Presenter, “What I Learned at the Movies on Legal Ethics and Professionalism,” Litigation Counsel of America Fellows Conference, Palm Beach, Fla., 2012. 
  • Author, “Dissecting Intellectual Property Issues in Motion Pictures,” The Mississippi Lawyer, Vol. LVIII, No. 4:25-28, Summer 2012. 
  • Author, “What I learned at the Movies on Legal Ethics and Professionalism,” Mississippi Bar Litigation Section e-Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 1, pg. 2-3, May 2012. 
  • Panelist, “Motion Picture Incentives and the Movie Deal,” From Music, Film and Television Arts to Sports: Hot Issues and Disputes in Entertainment, Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Section, Jackson, Miss., May 2012. 
  • Panelist, “Filmmakers and the Legal World,” Crossroads Film Festival, Jackson, Miss., April 2012.
  • Author, “Case Law: A Federal Survey on Protecting Confidential Information,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 5 No. 1, 12-15, February 2012.
  • Presenter, “Film and Ethics,” Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute Conference, Oxford, Miss., February 2012.
  • Presenter, “Celebrity Images in the Public Domain,” Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association, Nashville, Tenn. (approved CLE program), 2011.
  • Moderator, “Patent Law Reform Applied to Small Business,” 12th Annual Conference on Technology Innovation, Jackson Convention Complex, Jackson, Miss., 2011.
  • Panelist, “Intellectual Property Clinic for Filmmakers,” Mississippi International Film Festival, Jackson, Miss., 2011.
  • Co-Author, “State Security Breach Notification Law:  Enhance the Protection of Personal Information ,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 4, No. 2, 11-17, May 2011. 
  • Presenter, “Practical Advice for Trial Preparation,” Mississippi Bar, Criminal Law Section, Biloxi, Miss., 2011.
  • Project Director, Editor and Co-Producer, “Code of Pretrial and Trial Conduct,” American College of Trial Lawyers’ video series, 2011.
  • Presenter, “Expert Disclosure Changes in Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(2)(B),” Trial Attorneys of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill., 2011.
  • Presenter, “Drawing the Line Between Fair Use and Copyright Infringement in the Digital Age,” Mississippi Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section, 2011. 
  • Presenter, “Celebrity Image and the Public Domain,” TIPLA, Nashville, Tenn., 2011.
  • Moderator, “What the Recent Patent Law Changes Really Mean for Small Businesses,” Mississippi Technology Alliance 12th Annual Conference, Jackson Convention Center, Jackson, Miss., 2011.
  • Presenter, “Mississippi Bar’s Intellectual Property Legal Clinic,” Mississippi International Film Festival, 2011.
  • Author, “My Cousin Vinny: Trial and Error,” Mississippi Bar Litigation Section e-Newsletter, Vol. 1, Issue 1, December 2010.
  • Presenter, “Notice Pleading After Ashcroft v. Iqbal,” Trial Attorneys of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill., 2010.
  • Author, “An Updated Guide on Managing Risks and Enhancing Prescription Drug Safety after Product Launch, Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 3, No. 2, 15-19, May 2010. 
  • Presenter, “Risk Management: A Review of FDA’s Regulatory Guidance for the Pharmaceutical Industry,” (approved for multi-state CLE credits) Boehringer Ingelheim, Ridgefield, Conn., 2010.
  • Presenter, “Successfully Navigating Through the Myriad of Legal Issues Confronting Journalists,” 12th Annual HBCU Student News Media Conference, Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss., 2010.
  • Co-Author, “Mississippi Jury Instructions for Product Liability Claims and Defenses,” PLAC Handbook of Jury Instructions, 2009.
  • Author, “On-Line Images: A Thumbnail Sketch of Potential Legal Issues,” MTA Pointe Innovation Magazine, 73-75, Winter 2009.
  • Presenter, “Copyrights and On-Line Images,” TIPLA, Nashville, Tenn., 2009.
  • Presenter, “First Amendments Issues Relating to Citizen Journalism,” NBPC New Media Institute, New York, NY, 2009.
  • Author, “Wyeth v. Levine: A Showdown Between the State Jury System and Federal Preemption,” ABA Litigation Section Mass Torts Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 1, 6-9, 20, Fall 2009.
  • Author, “Using the Spear of E-Discovery to Pop the Hot Air from Plaintiff’s Case,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 2, No. 3, 14-16, July 2009.
  • Presenter, “Corporate Counsel Issues: Privilege & Confidentiality,” Trial Attorneys of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill, 2009.
  • Presenter, “The Medical Peer Review Privilege,” Trial Attorneys of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill., 2008.
  • Presenter, “From Page to Film,” Mississippi Bar, Intellectual Property Section, Oxford, Miss., 2008.
  • Presenter, “Wrangling Entertainment Issues,” Mississippi College of Law, Jackson, Miss., 2008.
  • Co-Presenter, “To Kill A Mockingbird: The Atticus Finch Professional Model,” (approved for CLE ethics and professionalism credits) Capital Area Bar Association, Jackson, Miss., 2008.
  • Author, “Case Law: A Fifty-State Survey of the Medical Peer Review Privilege,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 1, No. 4, 14-17, October 2008.
  • Author, “Exhibit A:  Case Scenario,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 1, No. 2, 16, April 2008.
  • Author, “Exhibit A: Case Scenario,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 1, No. 1, 16, January 2008.
  • Presenter, “The Physician's Role in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation,” University of Mississippi Medical Center, The Winfred L. Wiser Conference, Negril, Jamaica, 2007.
  • Presenter, “Communicating Medical Care To a Jury,” University of Mississippi Medical Center, The Winfred L. Wiser Conference, Negril, Jamaica, 2007.
  • Panelist, “Film and Literature with Morgan Freeman, Lorian Hemingway, Anita Modak-Truran and Ward Emling,” TYCA-Southeast, Jackson, Miss., 2005.
  • Presenter, “The State of Copyright Law in Music,” Mississippi Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section, Oxford, Miss., 2004.
  • Former commentator for WAPT News (ABC affiliate) for over 10 years.
  • Former commentator for Mississippi Public Broadcasting for over 10 years.
  • Published over 400 times in newspapers and magazines.
  • Recipient of numerous grants and awards for independent filmmaking.

Anita

Modak-Truran

Overview

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.”

About

Anita Modak-Truran is a leader in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, mass tort, and bet-the-company cases.  She brings over 30 years of experience and has worked on thousands of cases, working collaboratively with clients and teams of lawyers to develop and implement innovative case work up and trial strategies.  

Anita’s practice focuses on representing pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.  She has defended mass tort and individual lawsuits in nearly every state, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and  West Virginia.  

For instance, in the pelvic mesh litigation, Anita managed the case work up of over 30,000 cases in the Ethicon MDL.  In addition to managing, advising, and strategizing these and other cases for trial, Anita has tried more than 100 jury and bench cases.  She has served as trial counsel in high stakes and bet-the-company cases and enjoys the life of a road warrior.  Road warrior life starts with case specifics, and Anita has deposed thousands of witnesses in every state except Wyoming. 

A dynamic leader and tireless advocate, Anita captures the respect of clients, peers and jurors alike.  Clients have found her to be dependable to a fault and an excellent collaborator, understanding and putting their interests first.  Team members from outside firms have said that Anita is “a high performer who does excellent work that impresses and motivates others to be better.  She always goes truly above and beyond.” Juries have found Anita relatable and a “dynamic ball of energy” in the courtroom.  One of her trial partners 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 has also cultivated an intellectual property and entertainment law practice.  From new artists to well-established entertainment companies, Anita has provided business services, copyright and trademark services.   Anita’s passion for entertainment work has led to her packaging the first official documentary on Nobel Laureate William Faulkner and being an active Grammy Member of The Recording Academy.

Anita serves as President of the Trial Attorneys of America and is active in a number of professional organizations, including the Defense Research Institute, 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®.

Experience

  • Anita’s legal experience encompasses the representation of some of the world’s preeminent Fortune Global 500 corporations, major entertainment companies and the City of Chicago. Highlights include:

Selected Trial Experience:

  • Defended and tried before federal and state juries prescription medical device lawsuits involving demands for tens of millions of dollars.
  • Defended and tried before a state jury a prescription medical drug involving multiple plaintiffs and demands for tens of millions of dollars. 
  • Defended and tried before a federal jury commercial and product liability lawsuit on behalf of chemical supplier involving a ten million dollar demand.
  • Defended and tried before a state court jury a lawsuit concerning the design and construction of the City of Chicago's former State Street Mall.
  • Defended and tried before a federal judge high-profile matter involving First Amendment and national security issues concerning the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.  
  • Defended and tried before a federal judge a Commerce Clause challenge to City of 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).
  • Defended and tried before a state court jury a wrongful death action involving a stolen firearm of a Chicago police officer.
  • Defended and tried before a state court jury a catastrophic personal injury concerning a police pursuit.
  • Defended and tried numerous federal and state bench trials concerning First Amendment challenges to zoning ordinances by the City of Chicago.
  • Defended and tried before a state judge a class action lawsuit concerning taxicab medallions.

Selected Appellate Experience:

  • Briefed and argued on behalf of Sony Music Entertainment an ownership claim involving photographs of blues musician Robert Johnson before the Mississippi Supreme Court.  See Anderson v. LaVere, 2014 Miss. LEXIS 119 (Miss. 2014).
  • Briefed on behalf of Wyeth an appeal from a summary judgment in manufacturer’s favor on statute of limitation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.   See Bryant v. Wyeth, 816 F. Supp. 2d 329 (S.D. Miss. 2011), aff’d, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18657 (5th Cir. Sept. 5, 2012).
  • Briefed and argued on behalf of Johnson & Johnson an appeal from a summary judgment in a pelvic mesh lawsuit regarding failure to warn and design defect claims before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  See Smith v. Johnson & Johnson, Civil Action No. 3:08cv245, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98719 (S.D. Miss. Aug. 31, 2011), aff’d, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16000 (5th Cir. Aug. 2, 2012).
  • Briefed and argued on behalf of Michael Travis an appeal concerning subject matter    jurisdiction before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  See Travis v. Irby, 326 F.3d 644 (5th Cir. 2003).
  • Briefed and argued on behalf of the City of Chicago an emergency appeal on a First Amendment challenge to peddlers at “Taste of Chicago” before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Posner, J. presiding).   See Ayres v. City of Chicago, 125 F.3d 1010 (7th Cir. 1997).
  • Briefed and argued on behalf of the City of Chicago a due process and equal protection challenge to landscaping ordinance before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  See Schilling v. City of Chicago, 1 F.3d 494 (7th Cir. 1993).

Other:

  • Representing major and independent motion picture, music and media companies in copyright and trademark litigation.
  • Serving as production and post-production legal counsel for independent film companies from around the United States.
  • Representing film and television producers and companies on management and monetization of intellectual property assets.
  • Counseling and providing business services to entertainment and media companies, authors, artists and musicians, including negotiating and drafting production, distribution, literary option, franchise and other agreements.
  • Counseling companies on copyright and trademark issues in day-to-day operations.
  • Working with start-up companies on intellectual property matters.
  • Producing manufacturing documentary for biologic manufacturer involved in commercial litigation. 

Distinctions

  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, 2019-2022
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Lawyer of the Year, Trademark Law, (Jackson, MS), 2019
    • Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television, 2018-2023
    • Trademark Law, 2018-2023
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Top 50 Women: Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2014-2015
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Entertainment & Sports, 2013-2022
  • Martindale-Hubbell®
    • AV®-Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, 2011-2022
  • In Charge Legal, Nashville Post, 2022
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Mississippi School of Law
    • Deal-Making Fundamentals in the Entertainment Industry, Winter Intersession 2015-2017
  • Professional Skills Fellow, University of Mississippi School of Law, 2013-2014
  • Adjunct Professor, Mississippi College School of Law, 2010
    • Oral Advocacy
  • Instructor, Tulane University, 2012
    • Media and the Law
  • Trial Attorneys of America, Worker Achievement Award, 2012
  • Technology and Intellectual Property Study Group, Mississippi Secretary of State
  • 50 Leading Business Women, Mississippi Business Journal, 2012
  • Executive Leadership Program, Harvard University, 2007
  • Graduate, International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy

Bar Admissions

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

Education

  • Loyola University Chicago, 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

Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Section
    • Minority Counsel Program
  • American Bar Foundation
    • Fellow
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
    • Intellectual Property Litigation Committee
      • Copyright Specialized Litigation Group
        • Fellow
      • Trademark Litigation Group
    • Commercial Litigation Committee
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
    • Chair, Drug and Device Substantive Law Committee
    • Tennessee Representative
  • Fifth Circuit Bar Association
  • Litigation Counsel of America
    • Fellow
    • The Trial Law Institute
      • Advisory Board
  • Media Law Resource Center
    • Entertainment Law Committee
  • Mississippi Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Section
      • Former Chair
  • Tennessee Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Law Section
    • Entertainment and Sports Law Section
  • Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association (TIPLA)
    • Former President, 2017-2018
  • Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts
  • The Recording Academy
    • Grammy Member
  • Trial Attorneys of America
    • President, June 2022-June 2023
    • Vice President and Program Coordinator, June 2021-June 2022
    • Secretary
    • Board of Directors

Papers, Presentations & Publications

  • Co-Author, "Oh, Do I Have a Story for You…," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 16, No. 1, March 2023.
  • Author, “What’s Trending in Drug & Medical Device Litigation”, FDCC, October 14, 2022
  • Presenter, "Physician Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases: Refuting Doctor Testimony, Exposing Bias," Strafford Webinar, August 24, 2022. 
  • Presenter, "Ethics Movie Hour - Legal Ethics That Arise in the Court Room" Trial Attorneys of America 51st Annual Meeting, June 10, 2022.
  • Quoted, "How the Supreme Court with Ketanji Brown Jackson would help restore faith in our criminal justice system,Tennessean, March 23, 2022.
  • Panelist, "Trial Lawyer Roundtable," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 15, No. 1, March 2022.
  • Author, "Understanding the Evolving Psyche of Juries," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 13, No. 2, June 2020.
  • 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.
  • Speaker, “Navigating the Madrid Protocol for Your Clients,” Seminar on WIPO Services and Initiatives, Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tenn., April 13, 2016.
  • Opening Speaker, “What I Learned at the Movies about Ethics and Professionalism,” Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Winter Conference, San Diego, Calif., February 29, 2016.
  • Author, “Trending Icons and Moments Destined to Become Iconic,” For The Defense, 57-61, January 2016. 
  • Presenter, “Copyright Clearance @ The Movies,” Tennessee Intellectual Property Association, Nashville, Tenn., November 13, 2015. 
  • Presenter and Moderator, "How Lawyers Help Clients Monetize Their Intellectual Property in the Entertainment Industry," Mid-South Intellectual Property Annual Conference, Oxford, Miss., February 27, 2015.
  • Author, "Mississippi's Motion Picture Renaissance," Mississippi Business Journal, January 22, 2015.
  • Presenter, "Is it Getting Cold in Here?:  A Discussion of Intellectual Property Claims Related to the Movie ’Frozen,’” Tennessee Intellectual Property Association, Nashville, Tenn., November 7, 2014 
  • Panelist, “Interactions Among Physicians and Lawyers,” Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn., April 2014.
  • Moderator, “Robert Johnson and the Legal Blues of Celebrity Estates,” Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute, Oxford, Miss., February 2014.
  • Author, “Tipping the Scales of Fair Use to Serve the Purpose of the Copyright Act,” For The Defense 66-70, January 2014.
  • Speaker, “Transformative Use: More Than Meets the Eye,” The DRI Annual Meeting, Chicago, Ill., October 2013.
  • Speaker, “What I Learned at the Movies on Trials, Legal Ethics and Professionalism,” The Trial Law Institute, Chicago, Ill., September 2013.
  • Author, “Taking a Stand on the Right of Publicity,” The MDLA Quarterly at 4-6, Summer 2013, reprinted in the Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Newsletter, Fall 2013.
  • Guest Commentator, “Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law,” MPB’s “In Legal Terms” July 16, 2013. 
  • Presenter, “Pi, Cannibalis­­­m and Ethics,” Bioethics Fellowship Program, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss., July 2013.
  • Presenter, “Fifth Circuit's Approach to Daubert,” Trial Attorney of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill., June 2013.
  • Author, “Attorney Advertising in a Viral Age: Slowing the Electronic Tide of Misinformation,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 6, No. 2 at 15-19, May 2013.
  • Speaker, “What’s So Fair About Transformative Use,” Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Symposium, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Jackson, Miss., May 2013.
  • Speaker, “Transformative Use Meets the Eye of Copyright Law,” Tennessee Intellectual Property Association, Music Row, Nashville, Tenn., May 2013.
  • Speaker, “The Perfect Storm: Shattering the Myth of the Work-Life Balance,” Mississippi Women’s Bar Association, Jackson Convention Center, Jackson, Miss., May 2013.
  • Speaker, “The Art of the Deal,” Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Section at the Crossroads Film Festival, Madison, Miss., April 2013.
  • Moderator, “Literature Rights and More,” Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute, Oxford, Miss., February 2013.
  • Panelist, “A Legal Toolkit for Filmmakers,” Mississippi Bar, Intellectual Property Section at MIFF, Jackson, Miss., 2012.
  • Presenter, “What I Learned at the Movies on Legal Ethics and Professionalism,” Litigation Counsel of America Fellows Conference, Palm Beach, Fla., 2012. 
  • Author, “Dissecting Intellectual Property Issues in Motion Pictures,” The Mississippi Lawyer, Vol. LVIII, No. 4:25-28, Summer 2012. 
  • Author, “What I learned at the Movies on Legal Ethics and Professionalism,” Mississippi Bar Litigation Section e-Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 1, pg. 2-3, May 2012. 
  • Panelist, “Motion Picture Incentives and the Movie Deal,” From Music, Film and Television Arts to Sports: Hot Issues and Disputes in Entertainment, Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Section, Jackson, Miss., May 2012. 
  • Panelist, “Filmmakers and the Legal World,” Crossroads Film Festival, Jackson, Miss., April 2012.
  • Author, “Case Law: A Federal Survey on Protecting Confidential Information,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 5 No. 1, 12-15, February 2012.
  • Presenter, “Film and Ethics,” Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute Conference, Oxford, Miss., February 2012.
  • Presenter, “Celebrity Images in the Public Domain,” Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association, Nashville, Tenn. (approved CLE program), 2011.
  • Moderator, “Patent Law Reform Applied to Small Business,” 12th Annual Conference on Technology Innovation, Jackson Convention Complex, Jackson, Miss., 2011.
  • Panelist, “Intellectual Property Clinic for Filmmakers,” Mississippi International Film Festival, Jackson, Miss., 2011.
  • Co-Author, “State Security Breach Notification Law:  Enhance the Protection of Personal Information ,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 4, No. 2, 11-17, May 2011. 
  • Presenter, “Practical Advice for Trial Preparation,” Mississippi Bar, Criminal Law Section, Biloxi, Miss., 2011.
  • Project Director, Editor and Co-Producer, “Code of Pretrial and Trial Conduct,” American College of Trial Lawyers’ video series, 2011.
  • Presenter, “Expert Disclosure Changes in Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(2)(B),” Trial Attorneys of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill., 2011.
  • Presenter, “Drawing the Line Between Fair Use and Copyright Infringement in the Digital Age,” Mississippi Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section, 2011. 
  • Presenter, “Celebrity Image and the Public Domain,” TIPLA, Nashville, Tenn., 2011.
  • Moderator, “What the Recent Patent Law Changes Really Mean for Small Businesses,” Mississippi Technology Alliance 12th Annual Conference, Jackson Convention Center, Jackson, Miss., 2011.
  • Presenter, “Mississippi Bar’s Intellectual Property Legal Clinic,” Mississippi International Film Festival, 2011.
  • Author, “My Cousin Vinny: Trial and Error,” Mississippi Bar Litigation Section e-Newsletter, Vol. 1, Issue 1, December 2010.
  • Presenter, “Notice Pleading After Ashcroft v. Iqbal,” Trial Attorneys of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill., 2010.
  • Author, “An Updated Guide on Managing Risks and Enhancing Prescription Drug Safety after Product Launch, Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 3, No. 2, 15-19, May 2010. 
  • Presenter, “Risk Management: A Review of FDA’s Regulatory Guidance for the Pharmaceutical Industry,” (approved for multi-state CLE credits) Boehringer Ingelheim, Ridgefield, Conn., 2010.
  • Presenter, “Successfully Navigating Through the Myriad of Legal Issues Confronting Journalists,” 12th Annual HBCU Student News Media Conference, Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss., 2010.
  • Co-Author, “Mississippi Jury Instructions for Product Liability Claims and Defenses,” PLAC Handbook of Jury Instructions, 2009.
  • Author, “On-Line Images: A Thumbnail Sketch of Potential Legal Issues,” MTA Pointe Innovation Magazine, 73-75, Winter 2009.
  • Presenter, “Copyrights and On-Line Images,” TIPLA, Nashville, Tenn., 2009.
  • Presenter, “First Amendments Issues Relating to Citizen Journalism,” NBPC New Media Institute, New York, NY, 2009.
  • Author, “Wyeth v. Levine: A Showdown Between the State Jury System and Federal Preemption,” ABA Litigation Section Mass Torts Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 1, 6-9, 20, Fall 2009.
  • Author, “Using the Spear of E-Discovery to Pop the Hot Air from Plaintiff’s Case,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 2, No. 3, 14-16, July 2009.
  • Presenter, “Corporate Counsel Issues: Privilege & Confidentiality,” Trial Attorneys of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill, 2009.
  • Presenter, “The Medical Peer Review Privilege,” Trial Attorneys of America Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill., 2008.
  • Presenter, “From Page to Film,” Mississippi Bar, Intellectual Property Section, Oxford, Miss., 2008.
  • Presenter, “Wrangling Entertainment Issues,” Mississippi College of Law, Jackson, Miss., 2008.
  • Co-Presenter, “To Kill A Mockingbird: The Atticus Finch Professional Model,” (approved for CLE ethics and professionalism credits) Capital Area Bar Association, Jackson, Miss., 2008.
  • Author, “Case Law: A Fifty-State Survey of the Medical Peer Review Privilege,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 1, No. 4, 14-17, October 2008.
  • Author, “Exhibit A:  Case Scenario,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 1, No. 2, 16, April 2008.
  • Author, “Exhibit A: Case Scenario,” Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 1, No. 1, 16, January 2008.
  • Presenter, “The Physician's Role in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation,” University of Mississippi Medical Center, The Winfred L. Wiser Conference, Negril, Jamaica, 2007.
  • Presenter, “Communicating Medical Care To a Jury,” University of Mississippi Medical Center, The Winfred L. Wiser Conference, Negril, Jamaica, 2007.
  • Panelist, “Film and Literature with Morgan Freeman, Lorian Hemingway, Anita Modak-Truran and Ward Emling,” TYCA-Southeast, Jackson, Miss., 2005.
  • Presenter, “The State of Copyright Law in Music,” Mississippi Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section, Oxford, Miss., 2004.
  • Former commentator for WAPT News (ABC affiliate) for over 10 years.
  • Former commentator for Mississippi Public Broadcasting for over 10 years.
  • Published over 400 times in newspapers and magazines.
  • Recipient of numerous grants and awards for independent filmmaking.