Maria’s practice focuses on representing companies in individual and complex product liability cases and product recalls. She has experience in all stages of litigation in state and federal court, including fact investigation, expert witness discovery and preparation, motion practice, oral argument and trial. Maria has served on more than 11 trial teams that have consistently achieved positive results for their clients, including the defense of Engle-Progeny smoking and health cases in Florida.
Maria helps prepare for all trial-related activities, including briefing and research issues. She helps develop trial strategies, writes cross-examination outlines for plaintiffs’ fact and expert witnesses and prepares for the direct examinations of her clients’ witnesses.
Additionally, Maria manages cases during the discovery phase. She coordinates with plaintiffs’ counsel, develops strategy ideas and identifies potential themes, positioning the case for trial if necessary and working to prompt the resolution of the case before trial where appropriate. Maria’s discovery and pretrial work also includes taking depositions, arguing motions at hearings, coordinating records collection and other fact investigation, and drafting written discovery motions, motions for summary judgment and motions in limine.
Maria has also handled multinational product recalls for a major U.S. consumer goods manufacturer, including matters in Latin America, the Caribbean and Australia.
Pro bono work is important to Maria. Most recently, she represented a client through the Missouri Coalition for the Right to Counsel in a criminal matter involving allegations of first-degree felony assault, and was able to obtain a favorable plea agreement for her client. Maria also represents parents and children in family court, particularly in child abuse and neglect cases.
Before joining the firm, Maria served as a legal intern for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Topeka, Kansas, and as a legal clerk for the University of Kansas Office of the General Counsel. As an undergraduate, she was an account executive intern at Bernstein-Rein Advertising.
Moderator, Jury Selection in Personal Injury Litigation: The Basics and Techniques to Select a Jury More Likely to Support Your Client’s Position, Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention, September 7, 2017 (with panelists Stephen Paterson, President and CEO of Vinson & Company; Marcus Barbosa, Kutak Rock; and the Hon. Marco A. Roldan, 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri).