Simmons Hanly Conroy

Speaker Bio

Laura S. Fitzpatrick is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy in the Complex Litigation Department. Based out of the New York office, her primary practice is in the area of complex class action and multidistrict litigation, including medical device and pharmaceutical products liability cases and clergy sexual abuse cases.

In her 10-plus years practicing law, Laura has built an extensive resume with impressive results. Familiar with all phases of litigation both in and out of the courtroom, Laura's experience establishes her as a valuable member of any team. Her ability to work collaboratively with hundreds of lawyers from dozens of law firms accentuates her already notable skill set.

In February 2020, Laura was appointed to the Plaintiffs Executive Committee (PEC) for the MDL involving Allergan's Biocell textured breast implants, which were linked to a rare type of cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL). The litigation is In re: Allergan Biocell Implant Products Liability, MDL 2921 (District of New Jersey).

Laura has considerable federal court experience as an active member of the bellwether trial teams for the following litigations: In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL 2804 (Northern District of Ohio); In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2244 (Northern District of Texas); and In re: Genetically Modified Rice Litigation, MDL 1811 (Eastern District of Missouri). She has argued before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on behalf of her clients and is intimately familiar with the MDL practice, having co-authored several bar law journal articles on topics ranging from the ethical considerations of global and class settlements to MDL bellwether trial practice and procedure.

In addition to her courtroom experience, Laura has become adept at the proverbial “œnuts and bolts” of litigation, including but not limited to taking depositions, preparing experts, and contributing considerably to strategic decision-making, both with respect to pre-liability development and settlement negotiations.

While Laura has established herself as a valued member of every MDL she's been part of, perhaps the most notable example came in 2019. Laura served as an integral member of the firm's Prescription Opiate MDL trial team and was instrumental to its success. She and other members of the team helped to secure $325 million in settlements for two Ohio counties ravaged by the opioid epidemic. The MDL, dubbed by the New York Times as “œthe most daunting legal challenge in the country,” presented an intricate web of obstacles and challenges that Laura and the rest of the team navigated successfully, setting a precedent of success for further trials to come.

Laura joined the firm in 2013 and was promoted to shareholder in 2020. Before joining the firm, Laura served as a judicial extern to federal judge Carl J. Barbier in the Eastern District of Louisiana. She went on to work as a law clerk where she managed the docket for federal judge Tucker L. Melacon in the Western District of Louisiana and in the Eastern District of New York and District of Connecticut where Judge Melancon was a visiting judge.

Laura attended Louisiana State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006. She earned her J.D. from Tulane Law School in 2009. She is admitted to practice in Louisiana; the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.