Laura defends one of the largest employers in the world in its personal injury litigation nationwide. She also defends the manufacturers of medical devices in product liability actions and she represents owners and design professional as a part of her construction law practice.
Personal Injury/Product Liability: Laura is a key member of a team that acts as personal injury national counsel for one of the largest employers in the world. The representation involves aggressively defending or making strategic settlement recommendations for the client in a wide variety of personal injury claims across the country. Laura has tried several personal injury cases, all of which resulted in a favorable outcome for the clients involved.
Laura has also assisted one of the major medical device manufacturers in the country transfer and consolidate all of its nationwide litigation with Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Ten years later, Laura still defends this company against individual and complex product liability cases involving a variety of products from surgical staplers and ventilators to dental needles. On behalf of this client, Laura recently resolved hundreds of lawsuits consolidated in Cook County, Illinois, and in an MDL in the Northern District of Ohio without the client paying a single cent in settlement costs. Laura has represented this client on a flat-fee basis for several years.
Construction and Design: Laura is a senior member of the construction law team providing outside general counsel services for one of the top design firms in the country and for various local owners who undertake construction projects. Her work with these clients involves: drafting, reviewing, and negotiating design and construction form contracts (AIA, AGC, EJCDEC) and original contracts; defending professional negligence cases, which includes drafting pleadings, drafting and responding to discovery, taking and defending depositions, preparing witnesses for deposition, trial, and arbitration, and developing trial or arbitration strategy; negotiating and resolving disputes with contractors, clients, and sub-consultants; supervising local counsel assigned to defend lawsuits in other jurisdictions; and responding to subpoenas and open records requests and other day-to-day legal issues that may arise.
In addition, Laura represents numerous other companies. Laura drafted the winning brief for a major chemical company in a case against the company’s insurer, involving an indemnity clause in the insurance contract. This ruling was the first time in the country that the insurance company was unsuccessful in defending its position on the indemnity language.
Before joining Shook, Laura clerked for the Kansas Supreme Court for three years. She is a member of the firm’s Professional Development Committee where she develops and teaches writing seminars for summer associates.
Publications and Presentations
Presenter, Deposition Training for KU Law School Inter Term Session, January 2012.
Presenter, Summer Associates Writing Clinic, Summer 2012.
Presenter, A Design Professional Liability For Seismic/Wind Damage to HVAC & R Equipment, Winter Meeting of American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Chicago, Illinois, January 23, 2006.
Reviewer, Chapter 4: Design Professionals, Missouri Bar CLE, Missouri Professional Liability, 2005.
Author, Legal Ramifications of Unethical Engineering, 47:9 ASHRAE Journal, September 2005.
Presenter, The Future of Asbestos Litigation, Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar, Construction Law Subcommittee, Jefferson City, Missouri, September 2003.