Vanessa concentrates her practice in product liability, focusing on pharmaceutical and medical device matters. With a strong background in trial advocacy and court practice, as well as a deep commitment to helping her community, she brings real-world experience, compassion and discipline to her work for clients facing the challenges of litigation.

Before joining Shook, Vanessa completed a judicial clerkship for the Honorable Zoe Bush, now a Senior Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Vanessa also is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where she served as a military police officer.

Matters of Note

Monroe v. Johnson & Johnson — State Court of Richmond County, Georgia. Member of a defense team in a product liability case alleging client’s product was responsible for deadly ovarian cancer. The jury cleared Johnson & Johnson of wrongdoing on all 11 accusations of negligent manufacturing and failure to warn, plus two charges of conspiracy. (October 2021).

Margulis v. Stryker Corporation & Howmedica Osteonics Corp. — In a product liability case alleging a hip implant was defective, successfully obtained dismissal of claims against Stryker Corporation on personal jurisdiction grounds and dismissal of claims against HOC on forum non conveniens grounds, ending the litigation. No. 2:19-cv-10745, DE 36 (D.N.J., December 12, 2019). 

Anglade v. Pimienta-Johnson — Circuit Court of Broward County, Florida. Conducted full evidentiary hearing on petition for injunction for protection against domestic violence, resulting in the granting of a final injunction in client's favor (pro bono family law matter). (February 2019).

Hackman v. Goya Foods, Inc. — Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Motion to dismiss in favor of client (slack-fill litigation). (October 2018).

Cavanaugh v. Stryker Corp. — Circuit Court of St. Lucie County, Florida. Four-week jury trial involving a medical device and resulting in full defense verdict. (Neptune 2 Ultra Waste Management System) (June 2018).

Publications and Presentations

The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good: How COVID-19 Restructures the Workplace and Careers of Women in the Law, The Voice, DRI, January 27, 2021.

Giving Is Receiving: How to Enhance Your Skills by Taking on Pro Bono Cases, 2021 Young Lawyers Seminar, DRI, June 24, 2021. 

Tips for Navigating the Pro Bono Waters, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, December 1, 2020 (with Antar Vaughan).

Five Tips for Conducting Remote Video Depositions, Practice Points, American Bar Association, July 31, 2020 (with Mihai Vrasmasu).

Implications of Withdrawing an Already Deposed Expert, The Dade County Bar Association Bulletin, December 2018.

Saving You From Spoliation: How to Minimize the Risk of a Spoliation Claim, 9th Annual Association of Corporate Counsel - South Florida CLE Conference, September 2018 (with Al Saikali, Jim Feeney, Jennifer McLoone and Devin Moss).