I consider myself very lucky to have a career in which I can help people, specifically people who have been harmed by contaminants in the environment.
My law practice has focused on representing people who have been harmed by contaminants in the environment, most recently workers and their family members who have developed cancer from exposure to asbestos. I have been fortunate to have a diverse practice, including extensive experience in toxic torts, mass torts, multi-district litigation, and complex litigation.
I have chosen to pursue my career representing those who have developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers at Dean Omar Branham Shirley because this firm has the resources, talent, and tenacity to zealously represent those who have been harmed. The lawyers and support staff here truly believe in what they do and dedicate tremendous energy to pursue justice for our clients.
I love what I do, which is legal research and writing and then orally advocating my client’s position to the court. I have successfully defended on appeal several multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of individuals who were afflicted with asbestos-related diseases. I have prevailed on appeals in supreme and intermediate courts across the country, and in 2008 I won a case before the Louisiana Supreme Court, whose opinion remains one of the most cited and relied-upon rulings on asbestos in that state.
My devotion to helping those in need extends beyond my legal practice. For example, I represented victims of the 9/11 attacks as a member of Trial Lawyers Care, Inc., a non-profit organization established by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and I volunteered in a program that helped Hurricane Katrina evacuees relocate to Dallas. I have also tried to share my knowledge by lecturing at seminars, including a presentation on legal issues in asbestos litigation at Harvard Medical School.
My interest in helping others began well before my practice of law. At the same time that I was in law school, I was also studying psychology and public policy in graduate school, and I was the lead graduate researcher overseeing a large federally-funded research project on women in the workplace.
Before attending law school and graduate school, I lived in Asia and Europe, where I volunteered with nonprofit organizations focusing on women’s rights and environmental issues in developing countries. My work at Dean Omar Branham Shirley is a natural extension of my lifelong interest in pursuing justice for others.
University of Arizona (J.D. 1997), Arizona Law Review, Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif
University of Arizona (M.S. 1997)
University of Florida (B.S. 1992), Cum Laude
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100
Member of the team awarded 2006 “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
Named “Rising Star of Texas Law” by Texas Super Lawyers and Texas Monthly
Law clerk, The Honorable Martha Craig Daughtrey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Law clerk, The Honorable Robert E. Jones of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
Order of the Coif
Arizona Law Review
Elected mentor to fellow law students
Member, committee to hire new law professors
American Association for Justice
Sizemore v. Reilly-Benton Co., 265 So. 3d 41 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2019)
Startley v. Welco Manufacturing Company, 78 N.E.3d 639 (Ill. App. 1 Dist.), appeal denied 89 N.E.3d 764 (Ill. 2017)
Hegwood v. DSM Copolymer, Inc., No. 10-145, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128424, 2010 WL 5018259 (M.D. La. Dec. 2, 2010)
General Motors Corp. v. Grenier, 981 A.2d 531 (Del. 2009)
Rando v. Anco Insulations, 16 So. 3d 1065 (La. 2009)
Spillman v. Anco Insulations, 994 So. 2d 132 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2008), writ denied, 18 So. 3d 93 (La. 2009)
Norris v. Crane Co., B196031, 2008 WL 638361 (Cal. App. 2 Dist. Mar. 11, 2008)
Abram v. EPEC Oil Co., 936 So. 2d 209 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2006), writ denied, 942 So. 2d 537 (La. 2006)
Thomas v. A.P. Green Industries, 933 So. 2d 843 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2006)
Co-author, Toxic Torts and Mass Torts in Survey of Developments in Texas Law, 61 SMU L. REV. 1155 (2008)
Author, Arizona’s Insane Response to Insanity, 40 ARIZ. L. REV. 287 (1998), cited in Clark v. Arizona, 548 U.S. 735 (2006)
Co-Author, Explaining Sexual Harassment Judgments: Looking Beyond Gender of the Rater, 28(1) LAW & HUM. BEHAV. 69 (2004)
Author, Women and the Environment: Interview with Dr. Azizan Baharuddin, 54(2) MALAYSIA NATURALIST (2000)
Co-author, The Utility of the Reasonable Woman Legal Standard in Environment Sexual Harassment Cases: A Multimethod, Multistudy Examination, 5 PSYCHOL. PUB. POL’Y & L. 596 (1999)