Mary defends companies against complex individual and class product liability actions in courts throughout the country, and specializes in tobacco litigation. She has substantial experience in high-stakes litigation, from inception to verdict, and has served on over a dozen trial teams. A senior associate within the firm’s Legal Issues Group, Mary has enjoyed success briefing novel and complex issues, including drafting interlocutory appeals and removal papers during trial, as well as motions for post-trial relief.  She closely monitors evolving case law in her jurisdictions, and capitalizes on new legal theories and defenses in developing and executing creative legal strategies for her clients. 

Mary also practices regulatory law, and advises her consumer product and agribusiness clients on both offensive and defensive strategies, regulatory compliance, enforcement, and policy matters. She has experience counseling clients dealing with administrative appeals, label reviews, warning letters, FDA and USDA inspector requests, and FTC compliance issues. 

Mary is an active ally and leads the firm’s Project Affirmation, a pro bono name change and gender marker amendment clinic serving the transgender community in and around Kansas City. She has represented and counseled hundreds of adult and minor trans clients in obtaining accurate government-issued identification documents, including litigating before hostile judges and negotiating with counsel for state vital records offices throughout the country. Mary is a well-known advocate for the trans community, and her pro bono practice entails navigating undefined and at times non-existent state law schemes that discriminate against trans people. Advocating for the trans community is Mary’s greatest honor and favorite thing to do as a lawyer.

Mary graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law, a member of the Order of the Coif (highest honor), the Kansas Law Review, and Moot Court Council, and recipient of six CALI Excellence Awards. In the years between receiving her B.A. in English and enrolling in law school, Mary managed an assisted living facility in her hometown of Manhattan, Kansas. 

Presentations and Publications

Cultural Competency: Assisting Transgender Clients With Name Changes & Gender Marker Corrections, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Kansas City, Missouri, November 15, 2018.

Pin the Tail on . . . Somebody: The Kansas Supreme Court’s Decision to Expose Firearms Dealers to Unwarranted Liability, 62 U. Kan. L. Rev. 1401 (2014).