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HarrisMartin's Webinar Series: Johnson & Johnson Discontinues Talcum Powder in North America - What is Next? Faculty


R. Allen Smith Jr., The Smith Law Firm, PLLC, Ridgeland, MS Show/Hide Bio

R. Allen Smith Jr.

Allen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi. He was elected to numerous honor societies and served as Vice-President and Rush Chairman for his fraternity. Allen was also on the Dean’s and Chancellor’s Honor Rolls while attending Ole Miss. He obtained his Juris Doctor from Mississippi College School of Law.

Allen has spent nearly two decades representing and fighting for those who have been injured or killed due to the negligence of another individual or corporation. Allen is a fierce and skilled trial advocate who has litigated in State and Federal Courts throughout the United States.

Allen opened the Smith Law Firm, PLLC in 2007. Since that time he has recovered over $100 million in settlements and verdicts in products liability and personal injury cases.

Ted G. Meadows, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., Montgomery, AL Show/Hide Bio

Ted G. Meadows

After graduating from law school, Ted returned to his hometown of Prattville, Ala., where he joined the general practice law firm of Howell, Sarto & Howell. In 1995, Ted moved his growing personal injury practice to Birmingham, Ala., where he became a partner in the plaintiffs' litigation firm of Davenport, Lavette & Meadows, P.C. In 2001, Ted accepted an "of counsel" position at Beasley Allen. While he has spent his entire career helping the injured and defrauded, Ted now focuses on representing personal injury victims throughout the country in claims against pharmaceutical, cosmetic and medical device companies.

Ted became a principal at Beasley Allen in 2002. Since that time, he has been a leader at Beasley Allen with verdicts and settlements totaling more than $325 million, including a $72.6 million compensatory verdict in a hormone replacement therapy trial. This verdict was selected by the National Law Journal as No. 30 on its list of Top 100 Verdicts of 2011. Ted received the 2009 award for Beasley Allen Mass Torts Lawyer of the year, and the 2012 award for Beasley Allen Litigator of the Year. He is listed in the 2014 and 2015 Super Lawyers Magazines.

Leigh O'Dell, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., Montgomery, AL Show/Hide Bio

Leigh O'Dell

Leigh O’Dell practices in Beasley Allen Law Firm’s Mass Torts Section. Currently, her focus is on product liability actions involving talcum powder, transvaginal mesh and Gardasil.

Leigh was recently selected to serve as co-lead counsel for consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court concerning talcum powder’s link to ovarian cancer. It is estimated that 14,000 women die from talc-related ovarian cancer each year. One medical expert calculates that this use of talcum powder leads to nearly 10 percent of the new ovarian cancer cases reported annually. The lawsuits allege defendant Johnson & Johnson is liable for personal injuries or wrongful deaths that resulted from ovarian or uterine cancer in women who used the company’s talc products for feminine hygiene. More than 70 cases are pending in the MDL.

In addition, Leigh handles cases involving transvaginal mesh and Gardasil. Transvaginal mesh is used to repair conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The mesh is implanted through the vagina and is used to shore up pelvic organs that have become displaced due to age, childbirth, hysterectomy or obesity. According to the FDA, reported complications from of the transvaginal placement of the mesh include erosion of the mesh into the vaginal tissue, organ perforation, pain, infection, painful intercourse and urinary and fecal incontinence. Often women require surgery to remove the mesh. In some cases, this can require multiple procedures without successful removing all of the mesh. Currently, Leigh is investigating cases involving mesh manufactured by American Medical Systems, Bard, Boston Scientific, Caldera and Johnson & Johnson.

Michelle A. Parfitt, Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP, Washington, DC Show/Hide Bio

Michelle A. Parfitt

Michelle A. Parfitt is a Senior Partner with the law firm of Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP. Over the past thirty-eight years of her professional career, Ms. Parfitt has sought to distinguish herself as a champion of individual rights as well as a leader before the bar in the area of mass torts specializing in pharmaceutical and product liability cases. She currently heads the Mass Tort practice section of Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP and has had the privilege of representing thousands of individuals in various state and federal courts across the country who have filed suit against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.

Ms. Parfitt is the past president of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. having previously served as an officer and member of the Board of Governors for that association since 1998. Additionally, Ms. Parfitt has been selected by her peers to be included in “Best Lawyers in America,” “Super Lawyers,” “Best Lawyers in Washington, DC,” Washingtonian’s “Top Lawyers” and The Trial Lawyer magazine’s “The RoundTable: America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers.” In addition, she was awarded the Clarence Darrow Award in 2013, the 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from TLA-DC and is a member of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, International Society of Barristers and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Within her practice concentration in the area of pharmaceutical and device litigation, Ms. Parfitt has earned a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable attorneys in the areas of medical science and expert testimony preparation. Ms. Parfitt has been appointed to and has served on numerous Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees in national mass tort and complex litigations and has held leadership positions in some of the largest mass torts in recent years. She currently serves as Co-Lead Counsel in the Talcum Powder MDL.

Steve Nober, Founder and CEO, Consumer Attorney Marketing Group (CAMG), Woodland Hills, CA Show/Hide Bio

Steve Nober

Steve Nober, Founder and CEO of Consumer Attorney Marketing Group, has been a major force in the legal industry for over a decade. His expertise covers the full spectrum of legal marketing, from offline, online, and social media marketing to telemarketing, intake and contracting services and medical record retrieval and review. Employing a staff of over 350, Consumer Attorney Marketing Group operates six service divisions to help law firms with new case acquisition. With CAMG’s Legal Marketing Index, Steve makes the agency’s proprietary data and marketing trends available to law firms. Recognized as an industry innovator, Steve speaks at over 40 conferences a year on topics including best marketing practices and ethics in advertising.

Tighe Wilhelmy, Co-Founder and CEO, Velawcity, Scottsdale, AZ Show/Hide Bio

Tighe Wilhelmy

Tighe Wilhelmy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Velawcity, a legal advertising network providing contract services for mass tort and class action lawsuits to attorneys nationwide. Velawcity is primarily focused on digital marketing solutions, including but not limited to social, search, display, audio and video channels. Tighe has been one of the most progressive thought leaders in the legal industry since entering the space (8) years ago. He and the Velawcity team have leveraged various automation and machine learning technologies to help their clients become more efficient and effective with case acquisition and operations.




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June 12, 2020
2:00PM - 3:30PM





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