Daphne O'Connor, co-chair of the firm's Product Liability Litigation practice group, focuses her practice on managing, litigating and trying complex product liability and mass tort cases. She has served as national counsel for major pharmaceutical and tobacco companies with a focus on legal strategy, settlement and complex scientific and medical issues. She also counsels clients on litigation risks, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory issues, including on tobacco, hemp and cannabis, and the litigation and compliance impacts of potential legislation.

Ms. O'Connor rejoined the firm after having served for seven years as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Altria Client Services, Inc. In that role, she managed all aspects of commercial and product liability litigation, including trials and appeals in both state and federal courts throughout the country. She handled a diverse portfolio of cases including personal injury and consumer fraud, class actions and large consolidations, tax refund, patent, antitrust, contract, environmental, and regulatory cases. She also coordinated major settlements.

Ms. O'Connor has a deep commitment to pro bono representation and civil rights issues, and has represented individuals in civil Section 1983 lawsuits, employment discrimination lawsuits, prison conditions cases, and in criminal cases. She is on the Chair's Roundtable of the Colorado Lawyers Committee and has served on the University of Colorado Law School Alumni Board.

Experience

  • Philip Morris USA Inc.: Engle Progeny Litigation (numerous Florida State and Federal Courts) (2015-present), where Ms. O'Connor represents Philip Morris USA Inc. in the management and defense of thousands of smoking and health actions brought by individual plaintiffs in dozens of Florida jurisdictions following the decertification of a high-profile class action.
  • Wyeth: In re Diet Drugs (2001-2008), where Ms. O'Connor represented Wyeth in all facets of state and federal litigation in defense of products liability suits. During this representation, Ms. O’Connor served as trial counsel in Daniel v. Wyeth (Phila. Cty. Ct. Com. Pleas January 2007).
  • Wyeth: In re Hormone Replacement Products Liability Litigation (2004-2008), where Ms. O'Connor handled all aspects of litigation including as trial counsel in Conlon et al v. Wyeth (Phila, Cty. Ct. Com. Pleas, March 2005).

Perspectives

CBD-Infused Cosmetics: A Comprehensive Legal Overview
Speaker, Personal Care Products Council Webinar
Eyes on the Courts
Arnold & Porter Webinar Series: Legal Trends in the Wellness Industry
USDA Issues Guidance on Hemp Legalization Following the 2018 Farm Bill
Advisory

Recognition

BTI Client Services
"All-Star"–Product Liability Litigation (2020)

Credentials

Education
  • JD, University of Colorado Law School, 1994, Order of the Coif
  • AB, Duke University, 1989
Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania
  • US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • US District Court, District of Columbia
  • US District Court, District of Colorado
  • Supreme Court of the United States
Overview

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