Jan is a nationally recognized trial lawyer known for her courtroom representation of clients in product liability, mass torts, and toxic exposure litigation. She has tried cases throughout the country in both state and federal courts, including in Arizona, California, Illinois, Missouri and New York, winning verdicts in product liability and mass tort cases, as well as lawsuits involving premises liability for violent crimes. In addition to her trial work, Jan has a track record of successfully arguing appeals in the Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as in the state appellate courts of California, Illinois and Missouri. 

Jan’s goal for her clients is practical, rational outcomes. She is frequently called upon to enter cases as trial counsel shortly before trial. Outside of the courtroom, she excels in early case investigation and assessment; her clients benefit from her trial-tested perspective as she develops legal theories, the factual story of the case, and coordinates defense strategy. Jan also counsels clients in litigation-risk mitigation through review of warnings and labels and internal company practices. Jan helps coordinate national dockets and formulate key defense strategies. 

Jan has received repeated recognition for her advocacy skills. The National Law Journal selected her trial verdict in In re PPA—in defense of an over-the-counter cold medicine—as one of the top 10 defense verdicts in the country. For more than a decade, Chambers USA has recognized Jan nationwide in Product Liability & Mass Torts. Clients have described her to Chambers as “thorough, very professional” and said she is “passionate on behalf of her clients.” 

A Missouri native, Jan began her legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. Edward D. Robertson Jr., former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri. After her clerkship, she forged her trial skills in Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois—known as “judicial hellhole” counties—as well as in St. Louis, where she was appointed as a special state’s attorney general of Missouri to pursue claims on behalf of the state against tobacco companies. 

Before her legal career, Jan worked briefly as a television news reporter. Her broadcast journalism background enables her to transform her clients’ cases into compelling stories that resonate with a jury. 

Representative Matters

Jan won defense verdicts for the manufacturer of an over-the-counter cold medicine that was withdrawn from the market following studies linking it to strokes in young women. In two cases that were consolidated into one trial, the plaintiffs alleged they suffered devastating strokes. They also claimed the company knew of the danger but failed to warn consumers or remove the drug from the market. The plaintiffs sought millions in compensatory and punitive damages. After a more than four-month trial, the jury found in favor of the drugmaker on all counts. 

Jan obtained a unanimous defense verdict for the manufacturer of an orthopedic implant that had been withdrawn from the market. The plaintiff claimed the product was defectively designed, and sought punitive damages. 

Jan obtained another unanimous defense verdict in a case involving an industrial meat grinder.  In a terrible work accident, a young mother got her hand and arm caught in the grinder, leaving her severely disfigured and permanently disabled. The woman claimed the meat grinder was designed with a defective emergency stop. Jan was brought into the case shortly before trial and successfully defended the manufacturer. The jury found the manufacturer not liable for the accident or for punitive damages.  

Jan favorably resolved claims against a major oil company by a young woman who was abducted from a gas station and left partially paralyzed. The plaintiff claimed the station failed to provide adequate security. Jan entered the case as trial counsel only 75 days before trial. She reworked the defense, retained new experts, and located and obtained favorable testimony from the perpetrator, who was found on death row in Idaho. The case was favorably resolved after four days of trial. 

Jan was part of the team that secured an important Daubert ruling in the Rezulin multidistrict litigation. Jan cross-examined the plaintiff’s world-renowned cell biology expert during a two-day hearing. The court ruled that the plaintiffs could not rely on the proposed expert testimony that the medication Rezulin caused “silent” liver injury.

Jan’s experience also extends to cases involving asbestos, breast implants, incontinence implants, intra-aortic balloon catheters, Lap-Band, latex gloves, Norplant, orthopedic implants, pedicle screws, phenylpropanolamine (PPA), surgical instruments, and toxic chemical exposures. Through her extensive product and personal injury work, she has developed specific knowledge and resources in a number of medical fields, including neurology, cell biology, hepatology, endocrinology, pulmonology, epidemiology, and orthopedic surgery.