Pamela J. Yates is a Chambers ranked*, highly successful life sciences and product liability trial lawyer internationally recognized as a "Life Science Star." She tries cases in multiple state and federal court venues, and has extensive experience in MDL and class action work. Ms. Yates has successfully acted as national coordinating counsel in various mass tort cases, responsible for all aspects of litigation, including trial, trial preparation and strategy, science, and overall Daubert strategy.

Ms. Yates represents several major corporate clients in the pharmaceutical, consumer products, technology, and life sciences areas. Recently she has served as national counsel for a major pharmaceutical company successfully defending a breakthrough oral anticoagulation prescription medicine. She is currently trial counsel for a major pharmaceutical company in the opioid national litigation as well as trial counsel defending a consumer product in another national litigation.

Her successes at trial are extensive, covering actions in multiple state and federal courts involving bellwether and multiple plaintiffs trials. She recently obtained a unanimous defense verdict for pharmaceutical clients in a prescription TRT medicine case. She has also achieved multiple successes, including defense verdicts on behalf of a major tobacco company. One such verdict was featured in The Daily Journal’s “Top Verdicts” (2017) of the year and was recently affirmed (December 2020) by the 9th circuit. In addition to trials, her successes include leading science teams securing major Daubert victories. Early in her career, Ms. Yates wrote the original motion for summary judgment in Daubert v. Merrell Dow, that led to the Supreme Court’s standard for exclusion of expert testimony.

Born and raised in England, Ms. Yates came to the US on a tennis scholarship. She is a three-time NCAA Women's Tennis Division II champion as well as a two-time recipient of All American Honors. Additionally, Ms. Yates was a recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in recognition of her academic and athletic achievements.

*Chambers Rankings in: Litigation: Trial Lawyer (Nationwide); Product Liability & Mass Torts (Nationwide)

Experience

  • Currently acting as trial counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. in the Opioid Product Liability Litigation.
  • Currently acting as trial counsel and national counsel for Monsanto (Bayer) in the nationwide Roundup litigation.
  • January 2020, Ms. Yates was selected as lead trial counsel for a major technology company in federal court pending in N.D. Cal. Dolby v. Adobe.
  • 2015 to 2020, Ms. Yates was national and trial counsel for Bayer Corporation defending their oral anticoagulant prescription medicine. The cases were coordinated in an MDL proceeding before Judge Fallon in the E.D.La. In re: Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Products Liability Litigation.
  • Lead counsel for Bayer Corporation in a case involving claims of toxicity against low dose aspirin. The case resulted in a complete victory for the client when Judge Real (U.S.D.C. Central District, Cal.) granted summary judgment on all claims in June 2016. Steen v. Bayer et al., C.D. Cal. The 9th Circuit recently affirmed. (June 2018)
  • Lead trial counsel for Philip Morris USA defending Engle class action progeny and non-Engle personal injury tobacco cases. In February 2016, a jury reached a unanimous defense verdict after deliberating for under two hours finding a former smoker's lung cancer was not caused by her smoking. Pooshs v. Philip Morris et al., N.D. Cal. Affirmed by the 9th circuit (December 2020). This verdict followed a series of successful trials in Engle progeny cases tried in Florida state and federal courts, including a June 2014 unanimous defense verdict. Surico v. Philip Morris USA Inc.
  • Recently acted as co-national counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc., with her NY partner Andrew K. Solow, in product liability litigation, including an MDL, involving TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) products defending against claims of heart attack, stroke and related cardiac issues. In November, 2017, Ms. Yates and her partners Mr. Solow and Mr. Herschlein secured a victory in the first MDL bellwether trial case for Auxilium. After a seven-day trial, a jury in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois returned a unanimous defense verdict. Holtsclaw v. Auxilium et al.
  • Recently acted as coordinating science counsel (working with national counsel) for the science defense in Zoloft cases for Pfizer Inc. These efforts resulted in two significant Daubert victories for the client. Indeed, Ms. Yates was recognized for her thorough cross examination of the plaintiffs' only causation expert in a week-long Daubert hearing (April 2014). On June 27, 2014, Judge Rufe issued an opinion and order stating that the methodology and reasoning underlying Dr. Berard's opinion is not scientifically valid and excluding all of the opinions as being based on a "novel methodology." In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline) Products Liability Litigation. In, E.D. Pa. A second Daubert hearing took place in September 2015 when plaintiffs were permitted to substitute a new causation expert, Dr. Nicholas Jewell. As with the first expert, Ms. Yates cross-examined Dr. Jewell. After a three-day hearing, Judge Rufe issued a second opinion and order, excluding this replacement expert. Id.
  • Previously served as national and local counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Qualitest in the successful defense of lawsuits relating to a recall of several oral contraceptive products. Ms. Yates coordinated all phases of the litigation and led her team to several successes, including successfully opposing formation of an MDL proceeding, and defeating three purported class actions in California, Georgia, and Illinois.
  • Previously acted as national counsel for Pfizer Inc. in the HT litigation. Responsibilities include acting as lead trial counsel, creating, coordinating, and implementing the science defense and handling all phases of litigation, involving several hormone therapy products.
  • Previously, Ms. Yates, along with Andrew K. Solow (Partner in the New York office), served as co-lead trial counsel for Pfizer units, Wyeth, Inc., and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. in US District Court (Connecticut) and obtained a defense verdict on all counts related to a wrongful death suit involving Wyeth's hormone therapy (HT) medications Premarin and Prempro. After a three-week trial, the jury dismissed all four of the alleged claims. This decision marks Ms. Yates and Mr. Solow's second win in less than one year regarding both HT medications. Lynn Gardner Moss, et al. v. Wyeth Inc., et al.
  • Previously, Ms. Yates, along with Andrew K. Solow, served as trial counsel for Pfizer units, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Pharmacia & Upjohn Co., and obtained a defense verdict in a case involving claims of injuries from the client's HT medicines. After a three-week trial, the jury found that the HT prescription medicines did not cause the plaintiff's breast cancer and that the plaintiff's claims were time-barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Notably, this was the first defense verdict for Pharmacia & Upjohn in the hormone therapy litigation. Hines v. Wyeth, et al.
  • Served as national and local counsel for Pfizer Inc. (Warner-Lambert) in the Rezulin (diabetic medication) litigation. Responsibilities covered all aspects of litigation. Ms. Yates obtained unanimous defense verdicts against all plaintiffs in the first in the nation consolidated plaintiff trial. All three plaintiffs claimed liver injury from exposure to the medication. This verdict was featured in The National Law Journal's "The Defense Hot List: Sizing Up Defense Firms with Big Wins" (August 22, 2005).
  • Served as national and trial counsel for Baxter Healthcare Corporation in the Silicone Implant Litigation. Ms. Yates obtained defense verdicts in two multiple plaintiff trials in Texas state court.

Perspectives

Keeping Junk Sciences Out of the Courtroom
Speaker, Association of Corporate Counsel, Redwood City, CA

Recognition

The Legal 500 US
Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices – Defense (2011-2016, 2018-2019, 2021)
Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Consumer Products (including Tobacco) (2018-2019)
Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Toxic Tort – Defense (2018-2019)
Chambers USA
Product Liability & Mass Torts (Nationwide) (2015-2021)
Litigation: Trial Lawyers (Nationwide) (2018-2021)
Chambers Global
Litigation: Trial Lawyers (United States) (2020-2021)
More

Credentials

Education
  • JD, Southwestern University School of Law, 1988
  • BS, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, 1985, cum laude
Admissions
  • California
  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US District Court, Eastern District of California
  • US District Court, Northern District of California
Activities
  • Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
Overview

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