DRI Faculty List

Drug and Medical Device Seminar

Sheraton New Orleans | New Orleans, LA, United States | May 11 - 12, 2017

Rebecca Weinstein Bacon
Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP

Rebecca Weinstein Bacon is based in Bartlit Beck's Chicago office but her cases span the U.S. She has a broad substantive practice that includes pharmaceutical products liability, antitrust, consumer class actions, and commercial disputes. In addition to trying cases, Rebecca is an appellate advocate. Rebecca has served as trial counsel on a number of mass torts including Baycol, Trasylol, and Yaz. Rebecca is a 2017 Benchmark Litigation Star, 2017 Benchmark National Star for Product Liability, and Benchmark Top 250 Women in Litigation for the last few years.

Steven C. Benz
Assistant General Counsel
Eli Lilly and Co

Steven C. Benz is Assistant General Counsel at Eli Lilly and Company who leads the Corporate Litigation Department. The team has global responsibility for litigation matters, external and internal investigations, advising the Compliance organization, and all Human Resources legal matters. He serves on the General Counsel Leadership team and also on the Company's Ethics and Compliance Leadership team. Before coming to Lilly, he was an attorney at Schiff, Hardin & Waite in Chicago. Prior to attending Law School, he served six years as an officer in the United States Air Force. He received his Law Degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1994.

Sheila S. Boston
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Sheila S. Boston is a partner in the New York City office of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. Sheila has a complex commercial litigation practice with considerable experience in products liability and class action issues with a focus on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, food litigation, and mass torts. She has practiced before both state and federal courts, including MDL experience. Sheila is a trial lawyer and litigation strategist who defends clients from initiation of the case through trial. She has managed regional and national teams and implemented creative mass resolution programs. She is a member of DRI's Drug & Medical Device Steering Committee and currently serves as the Vice Chair of its annual seminar.

John F. Brenner
Vice President
CR Bard Inc

John F. Brenner is Vice President, Litigation, at C. R. Bard, Inc., a multinational developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical technologies for vascular, oncology, urology and surgical specialties. At Bard, Mr. Brenner oversees all non-IP litigation and government investigations. Before joining the company, he was a partner at McCarter & English LLP and Pepper Hamilton LLP, where he specialized in representing pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the defense of mass tort, product liability and related matters.

Mark S. Cheffo
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Mark S. Cheffo is Co-Chair of Quinn Emanuel's Global Product Liability and Mass Torts Practice. He represents defendants in products liability, insurance, environmental exposure, and other mass tort litigations, serving as national coordinating and trial counsel. He has successfully argued a number of Daubert and Frye challenges and dispositive motions and has secured complete dismissals in multiple MDLs on behalf of pharmaceutical companies. He has also been a member of several trial teams in high-profile pharmaceutical litigations.

D'Lesli M. Davis
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

D'Lesli M. Davis of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP has garnered 25 years of trial experience and currently focuses on representation of global pharmaceutical/medical device clients in all aspects of product liability litigation. She has particular expertise in pharmacovigilance issues and has been named to Best Lawyers in America – Product Liability Defense. D'Lesli has been involved in Vioxx, Seroquel, Actos and Coloplast matters, and recently tried two Actos jury trials resulting in unanimous defense verdicts.

Sara Deskins Tucker
Greenberg Traurig LLP

Sara Deskins Tucker concentrates her practice on complex products liability litigation, with a focus on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. Sara has experience representing and defending clients in federal and state courts, including multidistrict litigation, consolidated state court litigation, mass torts, consumer class actions and medical malpractice.

Danielle J. Diviaio
Senior Counsel
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp

Danielle J. Diviaio is Senior Counsel at Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation. In this role she manages the defense of mass-tort product liability, antitrust, and commercial litigation in all phases of the litigation process. She is also responsible for the daily operations of the legal department and cost optimization programs.

Larissa A. Eustice
Bayer Corporation

Larissa A. Eustice focuses her practice on mass-tort pharmaceutical product liability litigation and is engaged in in all phases of the litigation process, including motion practice, discovery, and deposition and trial preparation.

Kelly A. Evans
Snell & Wilmer LLP

Kelly A. Evans is a partner with Snell & Wilmer LLP. His practice is focused on product liability defense, employment, and intellectual property litigation. His product liability litigation focuses on defending automotive and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Kelly's employment litigation practice includes representing employers in discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge, and contractual matters. His intellectual property litigation concentrates on unfair competition, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and trademark and patent infringement. Kelly has extensive experience in state and federal court, and before administrative agencies.

Amy R. Fiterman
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Amy R. Fiterman is a partner in Faegre Baker Daniels LLP's product liability and environmental group. Ms. Fiterman concentrates her practice in the defense of class actions, mass torts, product liability and consumer fraud cases—focused primarily on the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Ms. Fiterman has also played a prominent role as a member of the defense teams in nationwide class actions and multi-district litigation involving various types of products. Most recently, she has managed mass tort medical device litigation as in-house counsel on secondment to Boston Scientific Corporation.

Rick R. Fuentes, Ph.D.
Managing Partner
R & D Strategic Solutions LLC

Rick R. Fuentes, Ph.D. is a founding partner of R&D Strategic Solutions, LLC. He has specialized in jury behavior and decision-making and the evaluation of complex evidence for over 25 years. Dr. Fuentes has a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology from Texas A&M University. He has worked with trial teams on hundreds of civil and criminal cases involving issues of tort, contracts, anti-trust, intellectual property, product liability, and professional malpractice. He has authored numerous professional articles on the topics of jury behavior and jury decision-making.

M. Ashley Garry
Eli Lilly and Co

M. Ashley Garry is a member of Lilly's global litigation and compliance team where he manages product liability and commercial litigation while serving as a litigation strategy resource for Lilly's global affiliates. Ashley previously worked as an associate at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP and as a law clerk and legislative liaison to the then Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court following graduation from Cornell Law School.

Sara J. Gourley
Sidley Austin LLP

Sara J. Gourley, a litigation partner in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP, is widely recognized for defending life sciences companies in multidistrict product liability litigation. Ms. Gourley is coordinating the defense of ongoing claims aimed at a widely distributed diabetes medicine. She is the committee vice chair of this seminar.

Reiko Hasuike, Ph.D.
R & D Strategic Solutions

Reiko Hasuike, Ph.D., is one of the founding partners of R&D Strategic Solutions, LLC. She has been in the field of litigation consulting for over 25 years. Her expertise includes jury research, jury selection, witness preparation, arbitration/mediation strategy, persuasive communication, international business disputes. She has published articles on topics such as jurors' perceptions, persuasive communication strategy, and videotape depositions. She has worked on a significant number of cases in the areas of antitrust litigation, securities litigation, environmental litigation, pharmaceutical litigation, intellectual property litigation, and white collar criminal cases.

Evan C. Holden
Greenberg Traurig LLP

Evan C. Holden concentrates his practice on complex product liability litigation, with a focus on representing manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, heavy equipment, and consumer products in both state and federal courts, including multidistrict litigation (MDL) and consolidated state court litigation. Evan also advises a variety of manufacturers and distributors in connection with compliance matters, risk assessment, product recalls and reporting activities governed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, FDA, and other federal and state regulatory bodies.

Heather M. Howard
King & Spalding LLP

Heather M. Howard is Counsel in the Atlanta office of King & Spalding, where she is a member of the firm's Tort & Environmental Litigation Practice Group. Ms. Howard focuses her practice on the defense of pharmaceutical manufacturers in product liability suits at the trial level and on appeal. Ms. Howard serves as a Young Lawyer Liaison to the Drug & Medical Device Committee.

Christopher J. Kaufman
Senior Associate
Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

Christopher J. Kaufman is senior associate in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation Division at Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP, in Kansas City. He has experience defending manufacturers as national counsel in individual and mass tort litigation across the United States and in Canada, including the management of discovery, preparation of company witnesses for deposition, and development of experts.

Mariam Koohdary
Deputy General Counsel
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP

Mariam Koohdary is Deputy General Counsel of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, where she is responsible for setting, overseeing, and directing the strategy for the Company's commercial litigation and government investigations matters globally. In addition, Mariam is accountable for the legal teams providing strategic legal advice to AstraZeneca's Global Development, Global Product & Portfolio and North American business teams. Mariam joined AstraZeneca in 2005 and has served in a variety of roles in the Legal Department.

Brandee J. Kowalzyk
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Brandee J. Kowalzyk is a partner in the Atlanta office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, where she has spent more than a decade focused on defense of pharmaceutical and medical device companies. She has experience defending manufacturers in multi-district, mass tort, and class action litigation involving a variety of prescription medical devices. Brandee is a member of DRI's Drug and Medical Device committee and the National Native American Bar Association.

Thomas P. Kurland
Senior Litigation Associate
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Thomas P. Kurland is a senior litigation associate at the New York law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP. His primary areas of practice include products liability defense, brand protection, and commercial tort. Mr. Kurland routinely defends major pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers against products liability claims in both state and federal courts, including multi-district litigations. Mr. Kurland was recognized was recognized in 2016 as a Rising Star in the New York-Metro edition of Super Lawyers for products liability defense.

Sandra Leung
Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co

Sandra Leung is the Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. She leads the Worldwide Law Department and is responsible for intellectual property, commercial and regulatory law, litigation, corporate governance and securities and transactions including licensing, acquisitions and divestitures. She also has responsibility for Environment, Health & Safety, Corporate Security and Corporate Philanthropy. Sandy is on the board of directors of the Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a trustee of the NALP Foundation and on the board of directors of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

Heidi L. Levine
Sidley Austin LLP

Heidi L. Levine focuses her practice on product liability litigation in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. She provides general counsel to life sciences clients on a variety of matters. Heidi most often acts as national litigation counsel, representing clients in coordinated state and federal actions. Heidi has been named by The American Lawyer in 2011 to its "45 under 45" list of "The Top Young Women of the AmLaw 200." Heidi also received the National Organization of Women's "Women of Power and Influence" Award in 2014.

Michael K. Loucks
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP

Michael K. Loucks, a nationally recognized health care fraud prosecutor, joined Skadden as a litigation partner in 2010. Mr. Loucks most recently served as acting U.S. Attorney and first assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, where he led major criminal and civil investigations and high-profile health care fraud prosecutions. Mr. Loucks' practice focuses on representing companies in government criminal investigations, in False Claims Act civil litigation, in regulatory matters with the Food and Drug Administration and the Office of Inspector General, and in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations.

Bradley A. Matta
Associate Litigation Counsel
Mylan Inc.

Bradley A. Matta is Associate Litigation Counsel for Mylan. In this role he assists in overseeing product liability, antitrust, commercial, employment, and general litigation. Prior to joining Mylan, Bradley litigated pharmaceutical mass tort and commercial actions and was recognized by Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star" in Pennsylvania products liability defense litigation.

Ted J. McDonald, III
Founding Partner
McDonald Davidson PA

Ted J. McDonald, III, is a founding partner of McDonald davidson PA in Overland Park, Kansas. Mr. McDonald specializes in defending long-term care and assisted living facility claims for major providers of health care services throughout the country.

Katy O. Meszaros
Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Katy O. Meszaros is an associate in the Litigation Department and a member of the Products Liability Litigation practice group at Nutter McClennen & Fish in Boston. Katy defends pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in product liability suits in state and federal courts around the country concerning orthopaedic implants, painkillers, contraceptives, aesthetic fillers, and surgical tools and instruments. Clients rely on Katy's extensive knowledge of FDA regulations and a variety of other issues related to the design, manufacture, and sale of prescription drugs and medical devices.

Kim E. Moore
Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC

Kim E. Moore is a founding partner of Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC in New Orleans, Louisiana. She focuses her practice on complex litigation, with an emphasis on products liability. She has extensive experience managing litigation, as well as handling cases in state and federal court around the country. Her innovative approach to matters has gained her national recognition as a go-to attorney for leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Marc A. Polk
Senior Legal Counsel, Litigation
Stryker Corporation

Marc A. Polk is Senior Legal Counsel, Litigation for Stryker Corporation, a $10 Billion global manufacturer of medical devices, including orthopedic products, instruments, supplies, and services. As head of litigation based in Allendale, NJ, Marc leads an in-house team in developing and implementing global strategies to effectively manage and resolve offensive and defensive litigation. Marc works closely with business clients and colleagues to define strategies and secure results that balance business interests, potential exposures, risks, and legal costs. Marc also provides training to address effective communications and other issues related to litigation and risk management. Prior to Stryker, Marc was Chief Litigation Counsel for 11 years at Covidien, a leading medical products company located in Massachusetts, where he handled all litigation including product liability and non-product matters such as commercial, intellectual property, general liability, insurance coverage and qui tam litigation and related investigations. Marc graduated from Cornell Law School and before his in-house practice was in private practice in firms in Philadelphia and Boston, where he was a partner at the firm Nutter McClennen & Fish.

The Honorable Loretta A. Preska
United States District Judge
US District Court Southern District of New York

The Honorable Loretta A. Preska was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on August 12, 1992 and entered duty on September 18, 1992. She served as Chief Judge from June 1, 2009 to the June 1, 2016. Judge Preska received a B.A. from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York in 1970, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1973, and an LL.M. in Trade Regulation from New York University Law School in 1978. Following graduation from Fordham, Judge Preska was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and an associate and, beginning in January 1983, a partner at Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason until her induction as a United States District Judge in September 1992.

Jeffrey E. Richardson
Adams and Reese LLP

Jeffrey E. Richardson is a partner in the New Orleans office of Adams and Reese LLP, where his practice primarily involves representing defendants in class action and complex litigation, appellate litigation and products liability litigation. Mr. Richardson is also the publisher of iPhone J. D., the oldest and largest website devoted to the use of iPhones and iPads by attorneys. Mr. Richardson graduated from Emory University in 1991, summa cum laude, and Georgetown University Law Center in 1994, magna cum laude.

Gail Rodgers
DLA Piper LLP (US)

Gail Rodgers is a partner in the New York City office of DLA Piper. She concentrates her practice in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, mass torts and government and internal investigations. Gail represents clients on a wide variety of compliance matters, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as well as advising and enhancing compliance programs in response to investigations. Gail has extensive experience in a wide variety of state and federal litigation, including providing strategic advice at each stage of litigation, managing national discovery teams, and implementation of national resolution programs.

Paul W. Schmidt
Covington & Burling LLP

Paul W. Schmidt is a partner with Covington & Burling LLP, residing in its Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Schmidt's trial practice includes representing companies in the most complex mass torts and multidistrict litigations. His recent trial and appellate wins have been featured by sources such as National Law Journal's "Top Litigators" series and American Lawyer in its Product Liability "Litigation Department of the Year" selection and its "Litigator of the Week" feature.

J. Carter Thompson, Jr.
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC

J. Carter Thompson, Jr., a shareholder in the Jackson, Mississippi, office of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC is chair of its product liability and mass tort practice group. He focuses on the national, regional, and local defense of drug and medical device cases. He is the chair of DRI's Drug and Medical Device Committee.

Kate Comerford Todd
Senior Vice President & Chief Counsel
US Chamber Litigation Center

Kate Comerford Todd is Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel for the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center. She serves as a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and on the D.C. Circuit's Advisory Committee on Procedures. She also teaches "federal courts" at The George Washington University Law School. Todd previously served as Associate Counsel to the President, as a law clerk to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas and for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the Fourth Circuit.

Chilton Davis Varner
King & Spalding LLP

Chilton Davis Varner is a past President of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a former member of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and a member of the Editorial Board of Moore's Federal Practice, a leading treatise on federal law and procedure. She is the senior partner on her firm's product liability team, which The American Lawyer has recognized as one of the top practices in the country.

Elpidio (PD) Villarreal
Senior VP, Global Litigation

Elpidio (PD) Villarreal, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Litigation at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). A self-described reluctant warrior for diversity, PD has dedicated his career in private practice—in-house and in the community—to helping others. In 2012, PD was awarded the prestigious International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution's (CPR Institute) Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is repeatedly recognized for being at the forefront of innovation in the legal industry, including being named one of Law360's Most Innovative Corporate Counsel in 2011.

Justin I. Woods
Clerk of Court
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal State of Louisiana

Justin I. Woods has been appointed to serve as Clerk of Court by the Judges of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal - State of Louisiana after spending 19 years in the private practice of law.