Jan Dodd is a nationally recognized trial lawyer known for her courtroom representation of clients in product liability, mass torts and toxic exposures. In a career spanning more than 25 years, she has successfully tried lawsuits in both state and federal courts from New York to California. The National Law Journal selected Jan's trial verdict in In re PPA for its annual top 10 defense verdicts in the country. The American Lawyer featured Jan in "Litigation's Rising Stars" as one of the top lawyers in the country under the age of 45. And, for more than a decade, Jan has been recognized in Chambers USA in the area of National Product Liability. She is described by clients as "a talented trial lawyer" "efficient and effective" and a "star products liability defense lawyer".
Clients often call upon Jan to enter a case as trial counsel shortly before trial. Outside of the courtroom, Jan excels in early case investigation and assessment, and she brings a trial tested perspective to the development of legal theories, the factual story of the case and the coordination of the defense strategy. She also counsels clients in litigation risk mitigation including review of warnings and labels and internal company practices. In addition, Jan has successfully argued appeals in the Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal, as well as the state appellate courts of California, Missouri and Illinois.
Raised in Missouri, Jan began her legal career as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Edward D. Robertson, Jr., former Chief Judge of the Missouri Supreme Court. After clerking, she honed her trial skills in courtrooms in the City of St. Louis and Madison and St. Clair County, Illinois. Twelve years later, she moved to Los Angeles, California and continues to represent clients in high stakes litigation. Jan seeks practical, rationale outcomes for her clients and confronts opponents with a no nonsense attitude of "show me". Before her legal career, Jan worked briefly as a television news reporter.
JD, University of Missouri, Kansas City, 1988
BJ, BA, with honors, University of Missouri, Columbia, 1985
Ms. Dodd is admitted to practice law in California, Missouri and Illinois, and before the United States Supreme Court, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Examples of matters that Ms. Dodd has handled in recent years:
- Ms. Dodd won defense verdicts for the maker of an over-the-counter cold medicine. The drug was withdrawn from the market following studies linking the medicine to strokes in young women. In two cases consolidated for a single trial, the plaintiffs asserted they had suffered devastating strokes. They also claimed the company knew of the danger years before and had neither issued warnings nor removed the drug from the market. The plaintiffs sought millions in compensatory and punitive damages. After 4-1/2 months of trial, the jury found in favor of the drug maker on all counts.
- Ms. Dodd won a defense verdict for a manufacturer of an orthopaedic implant that had been withdrawn from the market. The plaintiff claimed the implant was defectively designed and sought punitive damages. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the manufacturer.
- Ms. Dodd represented a major oil company sued by a young woman who was abducted from a gas station, subsequently raped and shot in the head. Although this 17-year-old survived the attack, she was left partially paralyzed. She claimed the station failed to provide adequate security. Ms. Dodd was named trial counsel only 75 days before trial. She revamped the defense, retained new experts and located and obtained favorable testimony from the perpetrator, who was found on death row in Idaho. After four days of trial, the case was favorably resolved.
- Ms. Dodd was part of a team winning an important Daubert decision in the Rezulin multi-district litigation. During the two-day hearing in a Manhattan federal district court, Ms. Dodd conducted the cross-examination of the plaintiffs' world-renowned cell biology expert. The court ruled the plaintiffs could not rely on the proposed expert testimony that the medication Rezulin caused "silent" liver injury.
Other areas of Ms. Dodd's experience include cases involving asbestos, breast implants, incontinence implants, intra-aortic balloon catheters, Lap-Band®, latex gloves, Norplant, orthopaedic implants, pedicle screws, PPA, Rezulin, surgical instruments and toxic chemical exposures. As a result of her extensive product/personal injury work - she has developed specialized knowledge and resources in a number of medical fields including neurology, cell biology, hepatology, endocrinology, pulmonology, epidemiology and orthopaedic surgery.
- Reported Cases:
- O'Neill v Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., 147 Cal.App. 4th 1388 (2007)
- In re Rezulin Products Liability Litigation, 2005 WL 583751
- Delaney v. Warner-Lambert Co., 2003 WL 1548691 (Cal. 2003)
- Stone v. Crown Diversified Industries Corp., 9 S.W.3d 659 (Mo. App. 1999)
- Knoth v. Smith & Nephew Richards, 195 F.3d 355 (8th Cir. 1999)
- Ralston v. Smith & Nephew Richards, 1999 WL 619048 (D. Kan. 1999), 275 F.3d 965 (10th Cir. 2001)
- Chromalloy American Corp. v. Elyria Foundry Co., 955 S.W.2d 1 (Mo. Sup. Ct. 1997)
- National Liberty Corp. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 120 F.3d 913 (8th Cir. 1997)
- Thornton v. Deaconess Medical Center, 929 S.W.2d 872 (Mo. App. 1996)
- P.S. v. Psychiatric Coverage Ltd., 887 S.W.2d 622 (Mo. App. 1994)
- Ellington v. Bilsel, 626 N.E.2d 386 (Ill. App. 1993)
- Comcast, Inc. v. AMCA Systems, Inc., 959 F.2d 631 (7th cir. 1992)
- Johnson v. Belleville Radiologists, Ltd., 581 N.E.2d 750 (Ill. App. 1991)
- California State Bar
- Illinois State Bar
- Missouri State Bar
Rankings and recognitions
- Chambers USA, Nationwide: Product Liability & Mass Torts, Chambers & Partners, 2007-2018
- Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Product liability, mass tort and class action - pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense, The Legal 500, 2016
- Legal 500 US, Product liability & Mass Tort Defense: Toxic Tort, The Legal 500, 2014-2015
- Southern California Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2004, 2007-2009, 2011-2018
- Co-author, "Gorsuch's Views On 'Legal Tourism' Could Shift High Court," Law360, March 10, 2017
- Featured, "Q&A With Fulbright & Jaworski's Jan Dodd," Law360, August 3, 2011
- Featured, "Product Liability Roundtable," California Lawyer, March 2011
- Author, "Is the Right Man for the Job a Woman?" Legal Corner, Los Angeles Business Journal, November 17, 2008
- Featured, "Women Making a Difference," Los Angeles Business Journal, May 2007
- Featured, "Litigation's Rising Stars," The American Lawyer, January 2007
- Author, "Inside the Mind of the Litigation Lawyer," Scrip Magazine, April 2005
- Featured, "Top Defense Wins of 2004," National Law Journal, March 28, 2005
- Featured, "Sudden Impact," Daily Journal, April 5, 2004
Speaker, IADC Open Forum, "Crisis: How to See Clearly as the Dust Settles," July 2011
Course Moderator and Speaker, ACI Products Liability Boot Camp for Life Sciences, "Products Liability 101: Understanding the Expanding Theories of Liability and the Threat to Drug and Device Companies," July 2010
Speaker, ACI's 14th Annual Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference, "A Case Study of a Pharmaceutical Trial: Combating Plaintiffs' Tactics and Developing a Winning Strategy Against Any Tough Opponent," December 2009
Moderator, Corporate Counsel Exchange, "Litigation Lifecycle Management: Analyzing Critical Areas of Concern for Today's Corporations," April 2009
Speaker, ACI Drug and Medical Device on Trial, "Mastering Voir Dire," June 2008
Speaker, ACI Drug and Medical Device on Trial, "Mastering Voir Dire and Selecting the Right Jury," July 2007
Speaker, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice, "Five Tips for Early Case Evaluation," May 2007
Speaker, ACI Resolving Mass Tort Product Liability Claims, "Meeting Objectives Through Defined Roles and Innovative Coordination Tactics," March 2007
Speaker, ABA Women in Product Liability Seminar, "Under Deconstruction: Getting Behind the Expert Report," September 2006
Speaker, ABA Corporate Counsel Litigation Seminar, "Corporate Strategies that Win Trials," February 2006
Speaker, DRI Drug & Medical Device Seminar, "Lessons from the PPA Trial - What Jurors Understand and Value," May 2005
In product liability and toxic tort litigation, plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the defendant, or an act of the defendant, caused his or her injury..
February 07, 2017
Super Lawyers lists ten of our Los Angeles lawyers.
January 30, 2018
From our Los Angeles office, 13 lawyers were selected for inclusion on the 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers list..
January 29, 2015