Lindsey N. Mears ’12 and her Partner-in-Charge, Edward Slaughter, will be published in the June 2013 edition of the Defense Research Institute (“DRI”): For the Defense magazine. The article is entitled, “Rest Easy: Latent Disease and the Construction Statute of Repose.” The article is a national survey of the application of construction statutes of repose and their applicability to latent disease cases. The article also touches on the elimination of the discovery rule in cases where the statute of repose is applicable and constitutional concerns relating to the elimination of a plaintiff’s cause of action before an injury is, or can be, discovered.
We recently caught up with Mears to discuss her article and career path.
What is your current area of practice and how did you become interested in it?
My current practice areas are: product liability defense, premises liability defense, construction defect defense, toxic tort defense and general appellate matters. I became interested in product liability defense after taking Henry Salas’s Product Liability course at FIU.
What are you most proud of in your work?
I am the most proud of my quality of the work product. As a first-year associate, I have been given the opportunity to work on some very advanced projects including appellate briefs, drafting jury instructions for complex toxic tort cases, and motions for summary judgment. In fact, I recently authored a brief that was filed in the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, that’s something I am proud of!
What does it mean for your career to be published?
I am very fortunate to work for a firm that provides publishing opportunities right out of the gate. And working for Edward Slaughter, in particular, has been an awesome learning experience because he takes the time to mentor me in order to mold me into a well-rounded attorney. Being published as a first-year associate is a huge compliment, not only for the obvious reasons, i.e. having one’s name and picture in a national litigation magazine, but also for my firm. It shows that I have landed in exactly the right place and am in the enviable position to work for a firm and partners that recognize that fostering the growth of its young associates is important.
How did your experience at FIU Law prepare you for your career?
I may be a little biased, but I believe FIU Law offers a first-class education. Our professors are some of the best and brightest in the country. In particular, the legal writing program at FIU is unmatched. Where most other law schools require two legal writing courses, we have three. The legal writing professors push us and force us to be better writers. Were it not for professors like Professor Rosenthal, I would not be charged with doing work that is typically considered “too advanced” for an associate at my level. Without the solid foundation of research and writing skills that I learned at FIU, I would not be progressing in my career at this pace.
What advice do you have for students interested in a similar career path?
For anyone interested in doing product liability work, I would recommend taking Henry Salas‘s class first. Product liability defense is a very interesting area of the law and no two cases are the same. Because product liability law is very scientifically driven, cases are won and lost by experts. Anyone who is interested in science, a high-paced practice area, and the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the products that we use on a daily basis, product liability is for you.