Katharine R. Latimer

Retired Partner

Working with the firm more than 30 years, Kate Latimer earned national recognition for her exceptional defense of complex litigation matters in federal and state courts in our clients’ most high-profile litigation. After retiring, she continued to serve for a number of years on the Legal Policy Advisory Board of the Washington Legal Foundation, the nation’s premier public-interest law firm and policy center committed to advancing America’s free-enterprise system.

Kate’s practice emphasized science and strategy in the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device products liability and toxic tort suits. She was a principal architect of the extraordinary effort which won the national Parlodel litigation—“the first significant products liability causation debate of the 21st century”—and pushed Daubert to the front of all serial litigation defense. Kate appeared in dozens of courts and defended cases brought by thousands of plaintiffs, helping our clients to pivotal, precedent-setting wins through myriad dispositive motions, lengthy evidentiary hearings, trials, and appeals, including a rare Daubert-based appellate win following a months-long mass tort trial. She retired after leading the celebrated defense of the expansive Aredia and Zometa litigation that had been coordinated in two multidistrict litigations and a New Jersey mass tort, first securing back-to-back trial wins in the initial bellwether cases. The National Law Journal profiled three of her many notable victories as top defense wins of the year:  Warren v. Sandoz Pharm. Corp. (1998); Glastetter v. Novartis Pharm. Corp. (2001); Crowson v. Davol, Inc. (2005).

Kate’s work for clients including General Electric, General Motors, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Velsicol Chemical, Avon, and other corporate members of highly regulated industries, featured successful defenses of suits involving prescription and over-the-counter drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, welding rods, pesticides and herbicides, and manufacturing-use chemical compounds. She found ways to win while facing the gamut of liability theories, including fraud, conspiracy, and other intentional torts.

A regular speaker at seminars and conferences and often tapped for her editorial contributions, Prior to joining the firm, Kate was judicial clerk to the Hon. Johanna L. Fitzpatrick of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Virginia (subsequently Chief Judge of the Virginia Court of Appeals).


Georgetown Law (J.D., 1986, cum laude) University of Tennessee (B.A., 1983, magna cum laude)


  • Super Lawyers, Washington, DC edition
  • AV Preeminent Lawyer, Martindale-Hubbell (Standard Edition and Judicial Edition)
  • Litigation Star in Product Liability, U.S., Benchmark Litigation
  • Life Sciences Star, LMG Life Sciences
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Who’s Who in the East


  • Law360, Inaugural Board of Editors, Former Member
  • Advisory Board for Expert Evidence Reporter (BNA), Former Consulting Editor and Member
  • Mealey’s Litigation Reports: Toxic Torts, Former Editorial Board Member
  • Lexis/Mealey’s Toxic Tort Defense Advisory Council, Former Member

Insights & Events

"After fewer than six hours of deliberations . . . the jury in Middlesex County Superior Court handed down its 7-1 decision in the case of Beverly Meng shortly after 11 a.m. Meng's lawsuit was the second to go on trial in the New Jersey mass tort, and Novartis has won both."

The New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to judgments for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. in the first bellwether trial in consolidated litigation over claims the drugmaker's bone cancer drugs Aredia and Zometa caused jaw deterioration.

A Texas federal judge . . . ruled against a cancer patient who sued Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. over a jaw injury she allegedly sustained after taking Zometa, handing Novartis the latest of several wins in multidistrict litigation over the bone drug in the past several months.

On March 4, 2009, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that plaintiff Diana Levine could sue the drugmaker Wyeth for injuries she suffered after receiving the antinausea drug Phenergan. Click here to view the opinion.  The medicine…
In March 2000, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma entered summary judgment for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corporation, holding that the plaintiff’s proffered expert testimony that Parlodel caused her stroke was not scientifically reliable…

Yet Another Daubert Victory

news | September 12, 2001
Following a two-day evidentiary Daubert hearing in Caraker v. Sandoz Pharm. Corp., 172 F. Supp. 2d 1046 (S.D. Ill. 2001), Judge J. Phil Gilbert granted Firm client Sandoz’s motion to exclude expert testimony of plaintiffs’ expert witnesses…