Each month, we like to feature one of our attorneys to help you get to know our team better. We sat down with Michelle Carreras to talk about her background in the legal field and what she is currently working on.
What led you to a legal career?
When I was in fifth grade, one of my classes in school put on a mock trial based on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. I was chosen as the prosecutor and I successfully prosecuted Jack for involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, and burglary! I knew at that moment I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. I’ve always enjoyed research and writing, so appellate law was a perfect fit for me.
What has been your most interesting or memorable case and why?
I’ve been heavily involved in the Pinnacle hip implant MDL for over four years. This litigation involves personal injury claims against DePuy/J&J Orthopaedics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson related to their defective metal-on-metal hip implant. To date, there have been four bellwether trials in Dallas and I have been an instrumental part of the briefing team at both the trial and appellate levels. Through this case, I’ve been able to work on and brief a variety of complex and interesting legal issues, including personal jurisdiction and the due process limitations on punitive damage awards. It also has given me the opportunity to work with exceptionally smart and talented lawyers, both within and outside of The Lanier Law Firm.
Earlier this year, in a related Pinnacle qui tam case, I had my first opportunity to write a brief for the United States Supreme Court. The defendants filed a petition for writ of certiorari on an issue relating to Rule 9(b) pleading standards and I was responsible for drafting the opposition. The Supreme Court ultimately denied the petition.
What litigation are you currently working on?
In addition to Pinnacle, I’ve been working on the talc litigation involving Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products. I’ve also been working on a commercial oil and gas case, responding to a motion to dismiss based on the Texas Citizens Participation Act (the Texas anti-SLAPP statute).
What are one or two things about you that most people don’t know?
I love to cook. If I couldn’t be a lawyer, I would probably try to be a chef. I also love to travel. So far, I’ve been to six continents. I’m still working on convincing my husband to go to Antarctica!