Marie is well-versed in the defense of complex litigation through more than 30 years of practice in this area. Marie has handled cases in numerous state and federal jurisdictions. She has served as national counsel for multiple pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, for whom she has developed and implemented defense strategies in broad ranging litigations involving thousands of cases pending in multiple jurisdictions. Marie has tried cases, argued appeals and resolved cases through mediation and arbitration. Marie teaches and lectures on civil procedure and expert issues and is widely recognized for her knowledge in pharmaceutical and medical device law as well as legal and trial strategy.

Marie is the past chair of the Shook Search Committee and past chair of the Shook Professional Development Committee. In addition, she is actively involved in the firm’s diversity efforts and organized and chaired the Shook Women’s Management Council to address specific issues related to retention and development of women attorneys.

Marie is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America and a member of The Trial Law Institute. She has been listed as one the Best Lawyers in America and in The International Who’s Who of Life Science Lawyers and The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Missouri and as one of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in Kansas and Missouri. Kansas City Business Journal recognized Marie as one of 25 "Women Who Mean Business" for her career accomplishments and her contributions to the success of other women in the community. The BTI Consulting Group has also named Marie a Client Service All-Star. Marie has also been recognized in The Legal 500 United States, the Expert Guides: Guide to the World's Leading Product Liability Lawyers and LMG Life Science.

Representative Matters

Mass Tort Litigation

For the last 20 years, Marie has focused on mass torts involving the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. In this capacity, she has served as:

  • national counsel for Bayer in the Mirena® litigation. Her defense strategy includes aggressive motion practice targeted to weakness in plaintiffs' claims, including dispositive motions based on limitations, proximate cause and lack of expert testimony;
  • trial counsel for Roche in the Accutane litigation pending in New Jersey in front of The Hon. Carol Higbee;
  • national counsel for Bausch & Lomb Inc. in the ReNu contact lens solution litigation, including developing and implementing a successful strategy to resolve 2000 matters alleging permanent vision loss. The vast majority of cases were disposed of by Daubert/Frye challenges to plaintiff’s experts. See In re Bausch & Lomb Inc. Contact Lens Solution Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 2:06-MN-77777-DCN, 2009 WL 2750462 (D.S.C. August 26, 2009); Bausch & Lomb Contact Lens Solution Prod. Liab. Litig., Decision and Order, No. 766000/2007 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. July 15, 2009);
  • national counsel for Eli Lilly and Company in lawsuits alleging autism as a result of exposure to Thimerosal in childhood vaccines. The defense strategy involved repeated attacks on the legal basis of claims, as well as an aggressive attack on the reliability of plaintiffs' expert opinions. All cases were ultimately dismissed by plaintiffs with no trials and no settlements;
  • trial counsel for Wyeth in the diet drug litigation, including claims for heart valve disease and a fatal lung disease. Defense verdict in the trial of Weston v. Wyeth was recognized by The National Law Journal’s “Defense Hot List” in 2006;
  • national counsel for Pharmacia and Upjohn in litigation involving its sleeping medication, Halcion. The defense strategy included challenges to plaintiffs' expert. as well as plaintiff-specific, pleading and proof issues;
  • lead counsel for Eli Lilly and Company in litigation arising out of intentional dilution of chemotherapy drugs by a Kansas City pharmacist. These cases were ultimately resolved following aggressive discovery and motion practice focused on the weaknesses of plaintiffs' theory of liability; and
  • national counsel for Eli Lilly and Company in lawsuits alleging the DPT vaccines caused brain damage in children. All cases were ultimately dismissed without settlement or trial.

Product Liability Litigation

Marie has served as:

  • counsel for pharmaceutical companies in cases involving migraine medications, polio vaccine, anti-reflux devices, antibiotics and angioplasty devices;
  • counsel for a ball bearing manufacturer in a grain elevator explosion case in Northwest Texas; and
  • counsel for manufacturers of electrical circuit breakers, press brakes and tobacco.

Commercial and Administrative Matters

Marie has:       

  • represented clients in trademark infringement claims and pursued restitution for distribution of counterfeit products; and
  • represented manufacturers and pharmacists before state regulatory boards.

Publications and Presentations

Marie Woodbury & Micah Hobbs, 11th Circ. Pushback On Professional Litigation Guides, Law360, October 7, 2014. 

Implementing Best Practices for Bellwether Trial Selection in Mass Tort Litigation, American Conference Institute's 17th Annual Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference, December 5, 2012.

Marie Woodbury, Christopher Gramling and William Northrip, Keeping the Lid on Pandora’s Box: Using Traditional Limits on Liability to Defend Corporate Defendants Against Civil Liability Based on Criminal Misuse of Legal Products, Mealey’s Personal Injury Report, October 24, 2011. 

Marie Woodbury and Matt Bohnen, Partnering in Alternative Fee Arrangements, Executive Counsel, August/September 2010. 

Deposition Skills Workshop, Faculty member for intensive two credit intersession course at University of Kansas Law School, January 2010.

Marie S. Woodbury, Denise J. Talbert and John C. Vaglio, Chapter 28: E-Discovery – Practical Considerations, in Product Liability Litigation: Current Law, Strategies and Best Practices (PLI 2009).

Preemption Defense Workshop: Lessons From Good, Levine & Riegel, Sixth Annual Update of the Law, June 25, 2009.

Preemption and Wyeth v. Levine: Looking Into the Future, American Conference Institute, December 10, 2008.

Marie S. Woodbury and Laurie A. Henry, Crossing Borders and Seas: International Regulatory Events and Their Impact on United States-Based Litigations and Trials, Defense Research Institute Monograph and Presentation, May 2008.

In Re Courtney Litigation: The Scope of the Duty Owed By a Manufacturer to Prevent Criminal Conduct, UMKC Law School, June 2003.

Discovery From Plaintiffs In a Mass Tort Case, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, May 2003.

Marie S. Woodbury and Sharon M. Williams, Medical Monitoring: an Overview, Global Legal Group: The International Comparative Legal Guide to Product Liability 2003. 

Marie S. Woodbury and Angela M. Seaton, An Arsenal for Excluding Expert Witness Causation Testimony, Defense Research Institute Monograph and Presentation, May 2001.