MICHELLE RAMIREZ is a partner in Sidley’s Chicago office and a member of the Products Liability & Mass Torts Litigation group. Michelle represents clients in their most important trial and litigation matters. She has a diverse range of experience representing and advising pharmaceutical, medical device, manufacturing, and consumer goods clients in complex product liability and commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts, including multi-district litigation (MDL). Michelle has significant experience coordinating and leading bellwether trial strategy in coordinated proceedings. In this regard, Michelle counsels clients at every stage of the litigation process, from case management and discovery strategy through fact and expert witness depositions, mediation, jury exercises, and trial. Michelle was recognized by Euromoney LMG at their 2019 Rising Stars Awards as “Best in Product Liability” and was named to Law360’s 2020 “Rising Stars” report, a list recognizing lawyers under 40 for legal accomplishments that transcend their age.
- National counsel and coordinating counsel rigorously defending a major medical device company in high-profile product liability litigation concerning a Class III medical device. Michelle was a trial team member for the first bellwether case, which resolved shortly before trial. Michelle was responsible for coordination of the national litigation and was part of the team recognized by The Am Law Litigation Daily as “Litigators of the Week” for a June 2020 Illinois Supreme Court reversal ordering the dismissal of 160 out-of-state plaintiffs.
- Defense counsel for a pharmaceutical company in a series of product liability actions in state and Federal court involving challenges to a life-saving medication, including failure to warn, fraud, and design defect claims. Michelle is leading the bellwether strategy, with the first trial scheduled for April 2022.
- Defense counsel for a pharmaceutical distributor in a multi-million dollar breach of contract dispute pending in Kentucky state court.
- Defense counsel for a medical device manufacturer in product liability litigation in state court involving antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- Counsel for a major pharmaceutical company in antitrust class action litigation involving allegations of filing a citizen petition with FDA to delay generic entry.
- Member of a trial team involving alleged chemical exposure and birth defects leading to a defense verdict in 2011 in the Circuit Court of Cook County for a manufacturing client.
In addition, Michelle maintains a robust pro bono practice, with a focus on trials and evidentiary hearings:
- Michelle currently represents an Alabama Death Row inmate as part of Sidley’s Capital Litigation Project. Michelle recently led a trial team in support of the client’s petition for post-conviction relief at a week-long evidentiary hearing in July 2021.
- Working with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), Michelle was part of a team that prevailed in three separate habeas corpus lawsuits and obtained the release of three individuals with underlying medical conditions held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee, Illinois amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Michelle was also part of a team that successfully obtained asylum for a young Central American immigrant who fled his home country because of persecution. Michelle was responsible for several witnesses at the evidentiary hearing, including expert witnesses.
- Michelle has tried numerous cases in municipal court for pro bono clients and obtained several bench trial verdicts in breach of contract disputes.
Prior to joining the firm, Michelle represented survivors of domestic violence in a variety of civil litigation matters and evidentiary hearings in state court, including emergency and temporary orders of protection, divorce, child custody hearings, and contested child support litigation.