Buffy is an accomplished trial attorney who has handled cases in a wide range of practice areas, including product liability, toxic torts, commercial, environmental and natural resource damages, federal claims, project development litigation and internal investigations. Buffy’s clients are largely Fortune 500 companies in various industries including, among others, automotive, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, government contracts and retail. Buffy has been instrumental in achieving defense verdicts for numerous ‘bet-the-company’ trials. She has extensive experience in the defense of corporate clients in complex and mass tort litigation in both state and federal multidistrict proceedings. In Buffy’s most recent trial, she secured a complete defense verdict in a jury trial of six test plaintiffs alleging damages resulting from the spraying of an aerial herbicide in southern Colombia. In 2016, Buffy was instrumental in forcing a favorable settlement on the last day of trial for a 26-year-old personal injury case in the Civil District Court for Orleans Parish, Louisiana, an ATA-certified hellhole jurisdiction. In 2014, Buffy was trial counsel in a pharmaceutical product liability case in federal court in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she secured a complete defense verdict as to all claims following a seven-day jury trial.
Buffy also litigates parallel tort actions seeking personal injury, property and medical monitoring damages; she has successfully defended such cases whether filed by individual plaintiffs, as part of a mass tort or as a class action. She manages and develops defense of product liability cases, analyzing ongoing litigation, coordinating the work of counsel across the country, selecting and preparing expert witnesses and deposing treating physicians. She has managed massive discovery efforts and handled class certification litigation in complex, multi-defendant product liability cases.
Buffy also defends clients (including those in the health care industry and defense contractors) against qui tam actions filed under the False Claims Act, government investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice or other federal agencies and in civil or criminal prosecutions brought by the U.S. Attorney.
In her environmental practice, Buffy has handled complex litigation involving claims of natural resource damages and recovery claims related to one of the largest dredging projects in the country. She also advises clients regarding the defense of potential claims and the pursuit of potential contribution actions.
With Shook Partner John Lewis, Jr., Buffy leads Shook’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Focusing on the recruitment, hiring, development, engagement and advancement of attorneys from underrepresented groups, Buffy and John work to integrate diversity, inclusion and talent development across the firm. Together, they continue to develop innovative pathways for professionals from underrepresented groups to leverage opportunities for career success, by addressing organizational barriers and equipping diverse talent with the skills they need to excel in the legal profession.
Buffy devotes significant time to her community in pro bono service, working with civil justice organizations and the Board of Professional Responsibility of the D.C. Bar.
Ehlers v. Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., No. 2:19-cv-00194 (D. Vt., May 2020). Buffy and a trial team partner obtained a motion to dismiss in a consumer-brought nationwide class action alleging a false advertising claim against Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The court found the plaintiff was taking marketing statements out of context and therefore the complaint did not stand up to scrutiny.
Quinteros, et al., v. DynCorp et al., No. 7-1042 (D.D.C., April 20, 2017). With a trial team partner, Buffy obtained a unanimous jury verdict finding no liability in tort in a case where six test plaintiffs claimed damages resulting from a herbicide used to spray illicit coca plants in the Republic of Colombia.
Ezeb v. Sandoz Pharm. Corp., No. 1992-20622 (La. Civ. Dist. Ct., Orleans Parish, June 21, 2016). Buffy and a trial team partner persuaded the plaintiff to accept a settlement favorable to Sandoz on the last day of trial before closing arguments. The settlement finally ended the 26-year-old personal injury case, venued in an American Tort Reform Association-certified “judicial hellhole.”
Earp v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. 11-680 (E.D.N.C., May 14, 2014). With a trial team partner, Buffy obtained a complete defense verdict following a finding by the jury that the alleged failure to provide an adequate warning or instruction regarding the use of chemotherapy drugs Zometa and Aredia wasn't the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s jaw injury.
Presentations and Publications
Data Must Drive Diversity to Make a Meaningful Impact, ACC Colorado Quarterly Newsletter, July 2020 (with John Lewis).
The Plaintiffs’ Bars’ Use of COVID-19 To Spur Personal Care Products Lawsuits, COVID-19 Shook Client Primer, May 8, 2020 (with James Muehlberger).
Panelist, Disrupting Structural Barriers Impeding the Advancement of Lawyers of Color, Corporate Counsel Conference, National Bar Association Commercial Law Section (NBA-CLS), February 13, 2020.
Panelist, The Business Imperative for Diverse Legal Perspectives, Retail Law Conference 2019, Nashville, Tennessee, October 16, 2019.
Speaker, Disrupting the Mass Tort Industry, 22nd Annual Conference on Drug & Medical Device Litigation, New York City, December 6, 2017.
Panel Moderator, Inside View: Legal and Ethical Considerations for In-House Counsel, 4th Annual Life Sciences Legal Summit, San Francisco, California, September 14, 2017.
Speaker, The Parallel Bars: Investigating Risks From, and Best Practices to Push Against, the Intense Surge in Parallel Proceedings, 27th Annual Seminar on Complex Litigation Defense, Washington, D.C., April 2015.
Panelist, Leave Humble Behind: Lead Your Cheering Section, Georgetown Law Women’s Forum, February 2015.
Panel Moderator, Subprime Lawsuits: Unbundling Baseless Claims in Serial Litigation, 26th Annual Seminar on Complex Litigation Defense, Washington, D.C., April 2014.
Speaker, Big Government in the Courtroom: Case Study of Westrick v. Second Chance Body Armor, et al., 25th Annual Seminar on Complex Litigation Defense, Washington, D.C., April 2013.
Speaker, Who Pays the Bills: “Loser Pays” and Cost-Shifting in E-Discovery, Daubert Proceedings and More, 24th Annual Seminar on Complex Litigation Defense, Washington, D.C., April 2012.
Panel Moderator, Persuading With Passion: Tips From the Top, Litigation Forum of the Women’s Bar Association, January 2012.
Ben & Jerry’s Gets Quick Win in “Happy Cows” False Ad Suit, Law360, May 7, 2020.
Shook Hardy Nabs Life Sciences Trial Pro From Hollingsworth, Law360, August 10, 2017.
DynCorp Prevails in Ecuadorean Farmer's Herbicide Suit, Law360, April 21, 2017.
Law360 Product Liability Editorial Advisory Board, Law360, March 2, 2017.
10 Partners On the Secret Of Success, Law360, December 10, 2015.
And the Defense Wins, The Voice (DRI), August 26, 2015.
La. Appeals Court Backs Novartis in Schizophrenia Drug Suit, Law360, June 17, 2015.
And the Defense Wins, The Voice (DRI), July 24, 2014.
Novartis Prevails in Bone Drug Trial in NC, Law360, May 14, 2014.
Novartis Gets Punitive Damages Barred in Bone Drug Suit, Law360, May 12, 2014.
Novartis Picks Up Win in Okla. Bone Drug Injury Suit, Law360, July 18, 2012.