This blog contains the personal views of the Blogging Team (and of any authors of guest posts) concerning various topics that arise in the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device product liability litigation. Please read the DISCLAIMER about the nature of this blog, and understand that you are accepting its terms, before reading any of the posts here.

Blogging Team

beck-jm_90x100pxJames M. Beck is Senior Life Sciences Policy Analyst resident in the Philadelphia office of Reed Smith. He is the author of, among other things, Drug and Medical Device Product Liability Handbook (2004) (with Anthony Vale). He wrote the seminal law review article on off-label use cited by the Supreme Court in Buckman v. Plaintiffs Legal Committee. He has written more amicus briefs for the Product Liability Advisory Council than anyone else in the history of the organization, and in 2011 won PLAC’s highest honor, the John P. Raleigh award. He can be reached at

mcconnell,sj_90x100pxStephen McConnell has authored articles and chapters on product liability (though nothing as snappy or authoritative as Beck’s book) and has tried drug and device cases that managed to evade the pretrial gauntlet. He is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Reed Smith and can be reached at

Michelle Yeary

Michelle Hart Yeary is a seasoned products liability litigator who focuses on attempting to bring order to the chaos that is mass torts, concentrating on the practicalities and realities of defending coordinated and multidistrict litigation. She is counsel in the Princeton office of Dechert LLP and can be reached at

alexander,el_90x100pxEric L. Alexander, a partner at Holland & Knight, has spent almost his entire career representing drug and device companies in product liability litigation from discovery through motions, trials, and appeals, usually on the right side of the v. He is particularly interested in medical and proximate cause and the intersection of actual regulatory requirements and the conduct that plaintiffs allege was bad, which covers quite a bit. He can be reached at

boranian,sj_90x100pxSteven J. Boranian is a partner in Reed Smith’s San Francisco office, where he focuses his practice on representing drug and medical device companies in product liability and other kinds of litigation. He has handled drug and device matters from pre-litigation demands to appeals and all points in between, with particular interests in “mass” proceedings and class actions, to the extent the latter should ever be allowed in the drug and medical device context. He can be reached at

weil,rb_90x100pxRachel B. Weil is a partner in Reed Smith’s Philadelphia office. Except for a brief, misguided trip to the “dark side,” Rachel has spent her whole career defending drug and device manufacturers in product liability litigation and in government actions arising from such litigation. While she laments the single-plaintiff drug cases of her youth, she loves nothing better than a good mass tort.

Andy Tauber image Andrew Tauber is a partner in Winston & Strawn LLP’s Appellate & Critical Motions practice. One of the leading experts on federal preemption in the U.S., he regularly defends medical-device manufacturers (as well as clients in other heavily regulated industries). Andy not only represents clients on appeal, but frequently drafts and argues trial motions to ensure the proper presentation and preservation of issues for appellate review. He can be reached at

109-1499442238.jpgLisa Baird is a partner in Reed Smith’s Miami office, where she represents manufacturers of medical devices, prescription drugs, and OTC drugs in product liability and related complex litigation matters. While she loves nothing more than litigating a good preemption issue, she also is an accomplished appellate attorney, Vice Chair of DRI’s Amicus Committee, and committed pro bono advocate. She can be reached at

Mark Herrmann Blogger Emeritus. October 28, 2006 to December 16, 2009.