Simmons Hanly Conroy

Speaker Bio

Complex Litigation

Under Trent’s leadership, the firm’s Complex Litigation Department has grown from a single attorney with a handful of staff to a team of over 20 attorneys and nearly 20 staff members. They handle everything from pharmaceutical and medical device cases to class action matters and clergy abuse claims.

In addition to helping to litigate these cases, Trent manages the day-to-day running of the department as well as the strategic and tactical direction of each litigation group.

The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group alone has secured over $2 billion in settlements on behalf of its clients harmed by pharmaceutical drugs like Bextra, Yaz, Vioxx, Ortho Evra, Ephedra and more, as well as numerous defective medical devices.

“Because of the level of resources the firm dedicates to clients’ cases, my team and I are able to take on defendants at the national level,” Trent said.

The firm has built a national reputation as a leader in pharmaceutical injury litigation. Federal judges have appointed Trent to serve on plaintiff steering committees for several multidistrict litigations including Yaz, DePuy Hip Replacement, Propecia and more. Significantly, he was appointed as co-lead counsel in the multidistrict litigation involving testosterone replacement therapy.

Fighting for His Clients

Clients often tell Trent they hired the firm not only for its past successes, but also for the personal attention the staff and attorneys provide.

“A day doesn’t go by that someone on my team or myself responds to emails from clients, calls a client back or responds to an after-hours call from a client,” he said.

Trent’s typical client is someone who has suffered an acute injury as a result of a dangerous drug or defective medical device through no fault of his or her own. Every litigation area is unique.

“Each pharmaceutical case is different with a new science you have to learn in each separate litigation,” Trent said. “It’s a very specialized area of practice that not just anyone can do.”

Leveling the Playing Field

Trent became a lawyer because he wanted to help people who have the odds stacked against them — and that’s exactly what he does at the firm.

“We’re trying to make it less of a David and Goliath situation and more of an even match,” Trent explained. “Firms with our resources can level that playing field for our clients and secure meaningful results on their behalf.” 

By utilizing the firm’s resources, talent, infrastructure and financing, Trent is able to hold powerful international companies accountable and help those who would otherwise be denied justice, which is the most gratifying aspect of his work.

His Legal Background

Prior to joining the firm in 2003, Trent earned his bachelor’s degree in English from DePauw University in Indiana and graduated with his J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas in 1995. He began his career in 1996 as a personal injury attorney practicing aviation law, concentrating on airline and helicopter disasters.

Trent is regularly asked to speak at legal conferences and is the founding chairman of the American Association for Justice’s Asbestos Litigation Group. He also serves as chair of the Cambridge Mass Torts Litigation Forum.

MDL Leadership Roles

Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) happens when a federal judicial panel decides to consolidate similar cases around the nation into one judicial jurisdiction. Attorneys from around the country are then appointed by the judge to serve on a plaintiff or defense steering committee that oversees the litigation on a national basis.

Trent has been appointed to leadership positions in the following MDLs:

  • Testosterone Replacement Therapy – Co-lead, Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee
    In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2545)
  • Propecia – Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee
    In re: Propecia (Finasteride) Product Liability Litigation (MDL 2331)
  • DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement – Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
    In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2244)
  • Yaz/Yasmin – Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
    In re: Yasmin and YAZ (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2100
  • Ephedra – Plaintiff’s Mediation Committee.
    In re: Ephedra Products Liability Litigation (MDL 1598);
     helped negotiate approximately $100 million in national settlements in both the Metabolife and TwinLab bankruptcy proceedings.

When to see them

April 13

8:30 am Tepezza Litigation Update Cristal 5