Pamela Yates has represented numerous large corporate clients. Her primary area of experience is in the area of product liability, where her work has included the defense of thousands of tort claims involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer and prescription product recalls, animal health, and toxic torts.MEHR
Early in her career, Pamela was responsible for the Daubert case on behalf of Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. She drafted the summary judgment motion that lead to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision (see below). Throughout her career, Pamela has worked extensively with medical experts in several disciplines, including hearings to exclude plaintiff experts based on the Daubert standard.
Pamela has tried cases in multiple state and federal court venues, most recently obtaining defense verdicts in U.S.D.C., District of Connecticut (Bridgeport) and Southern District of West Virginia in cases involving prescription medicines. She has also obtained defense verdicts in medical device and prescription medicine lawsuits in different states, including California and Texas.
She has extensive experience in MDL and class action work, and for many years has acted as national coordinating counsel in mass tort cases. In that role she has been responsible for all aspects of litigation, including trial, trial preparation, overall litigation strategy, and settlement, including hundreds of arbitrations and mediations, and management and coordination of regional and local counsel.
In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, Pamela was recognized as one of California’s top women litigators in Daily Journal’s, supplement feature, “Top Women Litigators.” In the 2010 edition of the Legal 500 United States, Kaye Scholer is ranked in the first tier in the area of Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense. In the 2007 edition of Legal 500, Pamela received individual acknowledgment in this area of practice and was described as “superb in court.” She has also been featured in Who’s Who Legal in the areas of Product Liability Defense (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012) and in Life Sciences (2010 and 2012).
In addition, Chambers USA (2008) named Kaye Scholer the best product liability firm in the U.S. at its 2008 “USA Awards for Excellence” ceremony. In presenting Kaye Scholer the award, Chambers noted that clients praise the firm for its “impressive depth of quality attorneys.”
In January 2006, Kaye Scholer’s product liability lawyers were awarded The American Lawyer Litigation Product Liability Department of the Year. The award specifically references several successes in the Rezulin litigation, which involved Pamela.
In August 2005, The National Law Journal’s “The Defense Hot List, sizing up Defense Firms With Big Wins” featured Pamela’s defense verdict, discussed below, in a multiple plaintiff products case, In Re Rezulin Litigation, JCCP No. 4122 (Los Angeles County, California, Superior Court, 2004).
- In May 2012, Pamela, 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 in U.S. 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 Pamela and Andrew’s second win in less than one year regarding both HT medications. Lynn Gardner Moss, et al. v. Wyeth, Inc., et al.
- In July 2011, Pamela, 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.
- In 2008, Pamela served as trial and coordinating counsel in two HT trials in state and federal court.
- The landmark case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 727 F.Supp. 570 (S.D. Cal. 1989); aff’d 951 F.2d 1128 (1991); 509 U.S. 579 (1993). Daubert sets forth the standard by which judges are to act as gatekeepers in excluding “junk science” from the courtroom.
- Currently acting as national, regional, and local counsel for Pfizer Inc in the hormone therapy litigation. Responsibilities include acting as lead trial counsel, coordinating the science defense, and handling all phases of litigation, involving several hormone therapy products.
- Currently acting as national and local counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. in litigation relating to a recall of oral contraceptive products. Pamela is coordinating all phases of the litigation.
- Recently served as national and local counsel for Pfizer Inc (Warner-Lambert) in the Rezulin (diabetic medication) litigation. Responsibilities covered all aspects of litigation. Pamela obtained 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. All defense verdicts were unanimous. This verdict was featured in The National Law Journal’s “The Defense Hot List: Sizing Up Defense Firms with Big Wins” (August 22, 2005).
- Pamela, along with others on the Kaye Scholer team, won an important Daubert victory in the Rezulin multi-district litigation (2005 WL 583751 (S.D.N.Y.)). After a two-day hearing, the court ruled that plaintiffs could not rely on their proposed expert testimony that Rezulin caused a “silent” liver injury. Pamela cross-examined the plaintiffs’ lead toxicologist, the focus of the court’s Daubert opinion excluding said testimony.
- Previously, Pamela acted as National Coordinating Counsel in the silicone breast implant litigation, representing Baxter Healthcare Corporation and Baxter International Inc. Responsibilities involved handling all phases of litigation, including trials. Pamela obtained defense verdicts in two separate multiple plaintiff trials in Texas. All plaintiffs claimed defective implants due to rupture, negligence, failure to warn, strict liability and fraud. The juries returned defense verdicts on all claims.
- Previously represented Wyeth Inc., defending their diet medications Dexfenfluramine and Fenfluramine in the Phen-Fen litigation. Specifically, Pamela was responsible for deposing and defending expert witnesses, and developing national experts in the areas of cardiology and pulmonology.
- Previously acted as national counsel for a major pharmaceutical corporation, the manufacturer of Bendectin, an anti-nausea medication for pregnant women. She successfully defended the company against claims of birth defects, ultimately resulting in many courts excluding plaintiff’s expert evidence on the grounds of “junk science,” following her Daubert success.
- She also served as national counsel for pharmaceutical clients in the L-trytophan litigation. Claims involved manufacturing and design defects resulting in Eosinophilia Myalgia Syndrome.
- Defended heart valves and other implantable medical devices on behalf of Baxter Healthcare Corporation.
- Defended multiple clients in toxic tort exposure claims.
- Defended and advised clients in product recalls, including consumer products.
Pro Bono Activities
Pamela is the Los Angeles partner in charge of pro bono activities, ranging from tenant disputes with landlords, asylum cases, death penalty cases, victims of home equity fraud and guardian ad litem cases.
Pamela was a finalist in the philanthropy category for her pro bono leadership at the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2009 “Women Making A Difference” program and ceremony on May 5, 2009.
Pamela was a recipient of the 2007 Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono legal services awarded by the State Bar of California’s Board of Governors in recognition of her “voluntary provision of legal services to the poor.”
In Re Rezulin Products Liability Litigation (2005) WL 583751 (S.D.N.Y.).
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 727 F.Supp. 570 (S.D. Cal. 1989); aff’d 951 F.2d 1128 (1991); 509 U.S. 579 (1993).
Obiago v. Merrell National Laboratory, Inc., 560 So. 2d 625 (La. App. 4 Cir); writ denied 565 So. 2d 445 (La. 1990).
Pamela was born and raised in England. She represented England in junior tennis matches and came to the U.S. on a tennis scholarship. She is a three time NCAA Women’s Tennis Division II winner as well as a two time recipient of All American Honors. Additionally, Pamela was a recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in recognition of her academic and athletic achievements.