Steering Committee

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Sofia Bruera

Sofia BrueraSofia Bruera was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and grew up in Canada. She moved to Houston in high school and completed her undergraduate studies at Southern Methodist University, graduating with honors. Sofia received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center where she strengthened her legal research and writing skills as a member of the Editorial Board of the Houston Journal of Health Law & Policy. She received a publication award for her article, “Regulation of Internet Pharmacies using RFID tags, 2D barcodes and Biometrics.” Sofia joined the national litigation firm of Blizzard & Nabers as an associate in 2009. She has presented and published on a variety of pharmaceutical litigation topics, including the American Association for Justice Topamax Teleseminar and the articles, “The 510k Fast Track and Medical Device Discovery” in Trial magazine, “The Off-Label Promotion Conundrum” in the AAJ Products Liability Newsletter and “Where are the Women? Tips for Increasing Female Leadership in Mass Torts” in the AAJ Women Trial Lawyers Caucus Newsletter. She recently formed her own law firm The Bruera Law Firm.

 

Stacey Burke

Stacey BurkeStacey Burke is a proud fourth-generation Houstonian. She graduated early from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism in Public Relations, and obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center in 2001. She is licensed in Texas and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas. She worked in maritime personal injury litigation and mass torts litigation for the majority of her legal career. In 2010, she formed Stacey E. Burke, P.C., a nationwide law firm consulting practice, and is nationally known for her effective digital marketing strategies and strategic business consulting. Stacey serves on the American Association for Justice Publications Committee and is the Women Trial Lawyers Caucus Publications Committee Co-Chair. She serves on the Editorial Board for the Houston Bar Association’s Houston Lawyer magazine and is a past Vice President of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association. She achieved membership in the College of the State Bar of Texas, and has been named a Rising Star by Texas Monthly magazine, Top 40 Under 40 (The National Trial Lawyers), and Top 100 Trial Lawyers (The National Trial Lawyers).

 

Erin Copeland

 

Erin CopelandAfter graduating cum laude from the University of Houston, Erin Copeland went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in Houston. She has been with Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs ever since, claiming a place as the only female partner. Erin represents personal injury cases in both state and federal courts across the country.
 
Attorney Erin Copeland is licensed to practice law in Texas and Missouri, as well as the United States Courts for the Fifth Circuit, the Southern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Texas, and other state and federal jurisdictions across the country by pro hac vice admission. She is also admitted to practice law in the United States Supreme Court.
 
Erin is to have served on both the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in the Pradaxa federal multidistrict litigation pending in the Southern District of Illinois and the federal transvaginal mesh (TVM) multidistrict litigation pending in the Southern District of West Virginia. She is also the only female to be court appointed as a State-Federal Liaison Counsel in the Pradaxa MDL. Erin was recently court appointed to the Executive Committee in the Essure Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding (JCCP) in California.
 
Aside from handling a wide array of individual personal injury and death cases, Erin manages the TVM and Essure mass tort dockets for her firm. She served on the trial team for multiple TVM cases and tried several to verdict. Given her years of experience and hands on practice in litigation, she is frequently invited to speak at legal conferences across the country on these topics and more. She is also one of the original board/steering committee members for the Texas Women Rainmakers, which is a Houston-based organization aimed at empowering women through education, mentorship, and networking to advance themselves in the legal field and ultimately become their own rainmaker.

 

Christina Feller

Christina Feller

Christina Feller is a partner in Ferrer, Poirot, Wansbrough, Feller, Daniel, Abney’s pharmaceutical department, and the firm’s only female partner. She received her Bachelor of Economics from the University of Texas in 2002 and obtained her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in 2006. Since joining the firm in 2006, Christina has focused on representing victims harmed by defective pharmaceutical products, and has lobbied in Washington D.C. to protect victims’ rights. She is licensed to practice law in Texas, Florida, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Christina was selected by her peers as a Rising Star in Texas Monthly Magazine for 2012, 2013, and 2014 and as one of D Magazine’s best attorneys in 2014.

 

Caryn PapantonakisCaryn M. Papantonakis

Caryn works with Johnson Law Group as a trial lawyer who represents plaintiffs in all areas of personal injury law, with a focus on mesothelioma lung cancer, pharmaceutical and medical device liability as well as wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury. She has also represented plaintiffs in other areas of the law, including toxic torts, products liability, commercial litigation and first party bad faith insurance claims. Caryn has been licensed to practice law in Texas since 1999, and is also licensed in Oklahoma and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She has successfully negotiated millions of dollars in settlements for her clients. Caryn co-founded the Paula Gavrel Asher Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that raises funds for breast cancer research. The Foundation’s annual judiciary event has won several legal association awards.

 

Shalimar Wallis

Shalimar Wallis graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Minor is Spanish. She attended South Texas College of Law and earned her Juris Doctorate with honors in 2001. She joined Watts Guerra LLP upon graduation from law school and has spent over 10 years as one of the only female partners in the firm’s history. Her practice is dedicated to representing individual personal injury and commercial plaintiffs against large corporations nationwide. Shalimar focuses her litigation practice in product liability, trucking, industrial explosion, pipeline explosions, oilfield injuries, and other catastrophic injury cases. Since beginning her practice, Shalimar has obtained significant recoveries for her clients. She is a speaker for continuing legal education presentations on topics covering discovery, trucking litigation, and product liability cases. She was recognized by Texas Monthly magazine as a Rising Star in 2007, 2012, and 2013 and as a Super Lawyer in 2014. She is a past President of the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association. She has also been awarded Top 40 Under 40 by The National Trial Lawyers.