Anne Marie Ellis | Buchalter
Anne Marie Ellis is the California Chair of Buchalter’s Products Liability practice group. Her practice focuses on product liability defense, general liability, personal injury litigation including sexual assault and misconduct, commercial litigation, premises liability, regulatory compliance, and client counseling. Clients appreciate her practical, cost efficient and results oriented approach to handling complex issues. She has helped clients including manufacturers, retailers, distributors, importers, and franchisors across a variety of industries including motor vehicles, motorcycles, food and cosmetics, jewelry, clothing, off-road vehicles, sporting goods, power tools, exercise equipment, large scale wildland fires, restaurants, trash and recycling haulers and amusement park venues.
Understanding that litigation is not the only problem plaguing companies, Ms. Ellis also provides advice and counsel to clients dealing with complex regulatory schemes such as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission and California’s Proposition 65. Anne Marie has been recognized as a thought leader on Prop. 65, and frequently publishes and speaks about defense related issues. Ms. Ellis has been successful in helping clients fight back against Consumer Legal Remedies Act, false advertising and unfair business practices shakedown suits. Anne Marie routinely defends lawsuits and claims I nvolving Title III of the Americans with Disability Act, and corresponding California statutes including the Unruh Civil Rights Act for brick-and-mortar stores and website accessibility.
With extensive experience in complex litigation, Ms. Ellis has effectively defended cases of all sizes in state and federal courts across the country, including catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death/survival lawsuits and class actions, and has played a key role in all phases of litigation and trial. She is also wellversed on a wide-range of discovery issues and procedures including handling of e-discovery and trade secrets.
Anne Marie brings her litigation and regulatory experience to a variety of industry groups, including the Hockey Equipment Certification Council Inc. which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks out, evaluates, and selects standards and testing procedures for hockey equipment.
Marissa Alkhazov | Buchalter
Trial attorney Marissa Alkhazov uses her strength in productliability defense, investigations, and client advocacy beyond the courtroom to negotiate strategic, pre-trial resolutions and offer proactive counsel. Her extensive litigation experience ranges from wage and hour class actions to defense of professional athletes as well as breach of contract and other business-related claims. Manufacturers and distributors value her risk assessment and preventive advice on regulatory compliance, particularly on labels and safety warnings. In addition, clients value Marissa’s experience with mass torts defense, chemical law and toxic tort exposure to PFAS, benzynes, silicas, talc, asbestos and other substances.
Marissa is the Northwest Chair of Buchalter’s Products Liability Practice Group. Her clients include small local businesses, tech industry leaders and Fortune 500 companies with sophisticated commercial litigation matters in the PNW. Marissa’s clients rely upon her dispute resolution skills for their routine and complex cases, counting on her ability to unravel complicated fact patterns and her right-sized, confident approach to each matter. Marissa’s lifelong interest in science and medicine supports her skilled handling of technical data and expert testimony upon which many claims depend.
As lead counsel, Marissa defends catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death/survival lawsuits and class actions at all levels of state and federal court. Additionally, she serves as local and coordinating counsel in national, complex and MDL litigation.
Litigation Prevention and Regulatory Counsel
Experienced across numerous industries, Marissa represents the makers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, nutritional supplements, cosmetics, and other health and wellness products. Her additional industry experience includes manufacturing, distributing, retail, sports and fitness, food, beverage, apparel and agribusiness.
When counseling clients on new regulations and compliance mechanisms and programs, Marissa anticipates regulatory hurdles and seeks practical solutions to clients’ compliance obligations across the lifecycle of a product.
Marissa immerses herself in her clients’ business environment to clarify goals, and is a highly effective negotiator with regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, Consumer Products Safety Commission, and Department of Ecology. Marissa is also a trusted advisor to many of her clients in the beauty industry with the roll out of MOCRA (Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022).
National Defense Bar Leadership and Programs
Marissa draws from her national network of torts, products, and defense professionals to protect clients’ positions. Marissa co-chairs the International Association of Defense Counsel’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and is vice-chair of its Environmental and Energy Law Committee.
Additionally, Marissa is a member of the prestigious Products Liability Advisory Council (PLAC) and serves as vice chair of the Torts Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) committee of the American Bar Association. Marissa has earned recognition as a “Top 100 Women Attorneys in Washington” in Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, and as a Rising Star and Super Lawyer (2016 – 2022) from Washington Law & Politics.
Marissa regularly presents substantive CLE’s to her clients, speaks at conferences on emerging issues in the product liability realm and is a regular contributor to various news sources. Marissa is regularly asked to provide insights on such issues as the Apparent Manufacturer Doctrine, Daubert and Frye Motions, GMO and other warnings/labeling issues, PFAS regulations, MOCRA developments and mediation techniques in mass tort and environmental litigation.
Elaine Freeman | Exponent Inc.
Elaine Freeman is a regulatory toxicologist with the multidisciplinary consulting firm, Exponent Inc in the Center for Chemical Regulation and Food Safety and Nutrition. Ms. Freeman is a Board Certified Toxicologist (DABT) with over 20 years of experience in regulatory toxicology in the fields of pesticides, industrial chemicals, veterinary medicines, consumer products, medical devices, and food safety. She has a comprehensive knowledge of toxicological requirements as well as a thorough understanding of the nuances of toxicological testing and human health risk evaluation requirements for varied global regulations. Ms. Freeman is adept at project management and working with clients and regulators to develop strategic approaches to addressing human health concerns.
Elaine holds an MS in Pharmacology/Toxicology from Duquesne University and a BS in Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of multiple publications in the field of regulatory toxicology.