Top 250 Women in Litigation - West


Louisiana Cutler in the Anchorage office of K&L Gates is equipped with considerable experience in oil and gas issues, taxation, legislation and ordinance drafting, elections, administrative proceedings, constructional law, and contracts.

Head of Dorsey & Whitney's Anchorage office and trial group, Jahna Lindemuth practices in the areas of complex commercial disputes and has considerable experience with appeals to the Alaska Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, at which she recently briefed and argued three successful appeals on corporate governance and proxy regulation issues.


Osborn Maledon's Mary O'Grady manages a practice focused on appeals, civil litigation, and administrative law. She has represented the State of Arizona and public officials in high-profile lawsuits and appeals and has handled ten cases which the United States Supreme Court gear dib the merits.

Susan Freeman of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie focuses not only on distressed real-estate acquisition and management, but, as a bankruptcy law specialist certified by the Arizona State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, she also deals in all aspects of business bankruptcy. She has briefed more than 300 appeals and argued many of them, primarily in Arizona appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals. C hair of Fennemore Craig's Financial Restructuring, Bankruptcy, and Creditor's Rights practice group, Cathy Reece manages every aspect of corporate workouts and bankruptcies. She represented the Official Investors Committee in the bankruptcy of Mortgages Ltd. And Textron Financial Corporation in the ILX Reports bankruptcies.

With a practice focused on commercial litigation, employment law, administrative law, and appeals, Ronda Fisk of Osborn Maledon also practices in the areas of privacy and data security and trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and emergency relief law.


Name partner of her firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, Elizabeth Cabraser has more than 30 years of experience practicing in the areas of consumer protection, defective products, personal injury and mass tort, and securities and financial fraud. She has had a hand in an impressive number of high-stakes cases, including multi-state tobacco suits, the Exxon Valdez disaster, and many securities and investment fraud cases. "Elizabeth is one of the best trial lawyers to be found anywhere," extols a peer. "She has an unassuming yet massive courtroom presence." Also at Lieff Cabraser, Kelly Dermody is the managing partner of the San Francisco office and chair of the firm's employment practice group. Her clients include female and minority professionals alleging gender and race discrimination by Wall Street and Silicon Valley firms, individuals claiming wage suppression against technology companies, and clients bringing overtime pay lawsuits against prominent corporations.

Proskauer Rose's Nancy Sher Cohen is co-head of her firm's Insurance Recovery & Counseling Group and offers legal services relating to insurance coverage, mass tort, toxic torts, class actions, product liability and general commercial litigation. Linda Kornfeld in the Los Angeles office of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman boasts more than 20 years of experience in high-stakes insurance coverage litigation. Specifically, Kornfeld has handled claims involving data breach and privacy issues; directors' and officers' liability; business interruption and extra expense; employee fidelity; professional errors and omission; employment; entertainment industry liabilities; intellectual property infringements; construction defects; and asbestos, environmental, and product liabilities.

Leader of Sidley Austin's Intellectual Property Litigation practice on the West Coast, Patricia Thayer concentrates her practice matters relating to technology and life sciences, including the areas of biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, drug delivery systems, medical devices, and software. She served as counsel for Gilead Sciences in Gilead Sciences v. Natco Pharma, a litigation concerning treatment for influenza. A member of her firm's Board of Directors and practice in its Intellectual Property Group, Annette Hurst hails from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe's San Francisco office. Recently, Hurst successfully argued summary judgement on copyright claims brought by Fix against Hopper DVD and its Sling, Prime Time Anytime and AutoHop features. Partner at Morrison Foerster's San Francisco office, Rachel Krevans has more than 25 years of experience in handling patent disputes in the areas of electronics, materials science, chemistry, and life sciences. Between 2012 and 2015, she served as co-lead counsel in a smartphone case which concluded with a jury verdict of over &1 billion and in five other cases before the International Trade Commission. Daralyn Durie, co-founder of Durie Tangri, specializes in general commercial and intellectual property litigation. In 2015, she represented Google in a copyright litigation matter against The Authors Guild, which sought to reverse a 2013 ruling when Durie won her client a summary judgement affirming that its product was fair use. She also served as lead counsel for California State University in a class-action lawsuit against over 170,000 students, who alleged that the university had violated the implied covenant of good faith by double billing them for the same classes when fees were increased. Peers refer to Durie as "one of the best of the best." Although regarded as an "IP rockstar," Durie's practice extends beyond said practice; she has represented defendants in nationwide and international class actions, scoring major jury victories in the process. Making her debut in Top 250 this edition, Keker & Van Nest's Christa Anderson specializes in the areas of antitrust in addition to intellectual property litigation. Anderson scored big when she (as second chair to name partner Robert Van Nest at trial) secured a significant victory for Google in a high-profile and hotly contested copyright dispute with Oracle.

Tammy Webb of the San Francisco office of Shook Hardy & Bacon focuses her practice on class actions and multidistrict litigation and serves clients such as consumer goods manufacturers, food and beverage companies, railroads, automobile manufacturers, fuel retailers, tobacco companies, cell phone manufacturers, and service providers. She currently represents Union Pacific in a commercial litigation matter in the Central District of California in which the states of California and Arizona allege property rights over subsurface under Union Pacific's right-of-law. A member of Sidley Austin's Executive Committee, Debra Pole is based in Los Angeles and is the practice group leader for the Products Liability and Mas Torts Practice. Pole acted as National Coordinating Counsel for defendants in the silicone breast implant litigation and the diet drug litigation and as lead trial counsel in a series of pharmaceutical and medical device litigations. In April 2013, Pole was honored by the Los Angeles Association of Black City Attorneys for being a "trailblazer in the African American community" and distinguishing herself in the legal profession while serving the community as a positive role model. A life sciences and product liability trial lawyer who hails from Kaye Scholer's Los Angeles office, Pamela Yates receives regular accolades from clients and from peers, who rave that she is "top super star #1" and praise her "superior trial savvy." She boasts significant experience in handling matters relating to pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and medical devices, and especially in class action work.

A litigator who manages a practice focused on securities litigation and corporate government disputes and who serves as co-leader of her firm's Securities and Shareholder Litigation practice group, Sara Brody is based in the San Francisco office of Sidley Austin. Brody represents issuers, officers, directors, underwriters, and venture capital firms in various levels of court in class action and derivative matters throughout the country. "You have to look at Sara Brody!" insists one peer. "She is coming up strong in the securities world, and in this region, she is acknowledged as a real star for this." Hailing from Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro in Los Angeles, Patricia Glaser, head of Glaser Weil's Litigation Department, offers legal services to clients in a wide variety of areas, including intellectual property, real estate, entertainment, banking, and securities. In 2015, Glaser handled a libel case in which her client was accused of having pedophilic tendencies. After proving this accusation to be false, she Glaser led the following action against the plaintiff for malicious prosecution. Anita Stork of the San Francisco office of Covington & Burling manages a practice that focuses on complex securities, intellectual property, consumer class actions, and antitrust litigation matters. In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, she won early dismissal from price-fixing cases for a German manufacturer of wire harnesses.

Cristina Arguedas, who is equipped with more than twenty years of experience, operates out of the office of Arguedas Cassman & Headley. She specializes in white collar, sensational murder, and many other forms of criminal matters. She is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and, in 2010, she was inducted in the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California – an honor she shares with just 20 other lawyers in the state.


Managing partner of Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell, Carolyn Fairless represents clients in complex commercial litigation, insurance disputes, and professional liability defense. Most recently, she won summary judgement for a large regional law firm in a legal malpractice case as well as a unanimous opinion from the Colorado Supreme Court in a case which upheld Colorado's privity rule in determining whether non-client beneficiaries may sue an estate lawyer for malpractice. One peer enthuses, "She is a lawyer's lawyer, representing some of the largest firms." He further notes that "She does some travel but is doing her best to keep it local. I think she would be considered one of the very, very top women lawyers."

Jane Michaels of Holland & Hart and chair of the firm's Trial Practice specializes in intellectual property. Among her successes are multiple trademark, trade secrets, patent, and copyright disputes regarding the technology, pharmaceutical, energy, manufacturing, and retail industries. In addition to dealing regularly in high stakes litigation, Michaels is a certified arbitrator and mediator.

New Mexico

Samantha Adams, formerly of Modrall Sperling until decamping to join her husband at the boutique Adams & Crow Law in June 2016, focuses her practice on commercial litigation for business, government, and non-profit organizations. Her list of clients has included such names as Mountain State Insurance Group, New Mexico Cancer Center, and Albuquerque Public Schools.

Adams's former colleague at Modrall Sperling, Jennifer Anderson specializes in product liability, employment, class actions, mass torts, insurance, healthcare, and commercial litigation, and she serves a wide variety of clients, such as pharmaceutical companies, medical suppliers, medical service providers, national retail corporations, school districts, and insurance companies.


Carolyn Walker handles cases regarding employment matters such as wrongful discharge based on race, ethnic origin, gender, age, and religion; retaliation; FMLA and state leave laws; sexual and racial harassment; disability discrimination; discipline and discharge; and many other claims. In 2015, she represented Pacific College in a matter involving the institution's refusal of employment to an adjunct professor applicant who does not share the institution's religious beliefs.

With 25 years of practice and more than 200 cases under her belt, Renée Rothauge specializes in complex business and intellectual property disputes. A member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, she has been described by peers as one of "the top IP practitioners in the Pacific Northwest."

Member of Gordon & Rees's Tort & Product Liability Litigation and Commercial Litigation practice groups, Nancy Erfle runs a practice focused on the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, agricultural chemical manufacturers, aviation manufacturers, and companies involved in commercial disputes.


Recognized statewide for her expertise in labor and employment law, Lois Baar at Holland & Hart not only defends employers in lawsuits but also provides workforce training and advice on related issues. She is a highly regarded and sought-after speaker on the important subject of avoiding employment claims and good management practices. A member of the US District Court Roster of Mediators and Arbitrators as well as the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution, Baar frequently serves as a mediator and arbitrator in employment disputes.

Peggy Tomsic, who has amassed more than 25 years of experience representing clients in trials and appeals involving business litigation, practices specifically in the areas of trade dress, trademark, and patent infringement; breach of contract; breach of fiduciary duty; common law fraud; securities fraud; and eminent domain.


Focusing her trial practice on complex, commercial, health care, and regulatory disputes, Barbara Duffy serves as the Director of Lane Powell's Litigation Department, Chair of its Long Term Care and Seniors Housing Clients Service Team, and Chair of its Litigation Practice Group. Duffy is also the Chair of the American Health Care Association Legal Committee and a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. Patty Eakes of Calfo Harrigan Leyh & Eakes specializes in complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, and employment disputes. Most recently, she represented King County Wastewater Division against employment discrimination, retaliation, and failure to accommodate claims in a case which resulted in the jury returning a defense verdict. Gwendolyn Payton of Lane Powell, Chair of her firm's Class Action Practice Group, manages a practice which centers on complex commercial litigation, class actions, antitrust, and trade litigation. In an antitrust case under Section one of the Sherman Act in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Payton represented Premera Blue Cross against allegations of illegal territorial restrictions and price fixing. She also represented Premera Blue Cross against the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, which alleged that they had been systematically underpaid under the Indian Welfare Act. Co-Chair of Lane Powell's Trusts and Estates Practice Group, Gail Mautner advises and litigates probate, trust, and guardianship disputes. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel and a member of the Estate Planning Counsel of Seattle. Summit Law Group's Shannon Phillips, who currently serves as her firm's co-CEO, offers services in employment-related litigation in federal and state courts, arbitrations, and in administrative hearings. In 2015, she represented ABM Industries when it was accused of wrongful discharge in violation of Washington law. Her skillful representation led to the dismissal on a motion to dismiss and summary judgement of all claims, and she is now defending the dismissal on appeal. Phillips also represented City of Federal Way in a jury trial in defense of allegations of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.

With a practice centered on intellectual property, trade secrets, false advertising, contract, and business fraud cases, Jessica Goldman is lauded by peers as "the best First Amendment litigator in Washington." She recently represented Waste Management of Washington before the Utilities and Transportation Commission in litigation that led to the granting of the client's application for expansion of its biomedical waste services.