Monica Brownewell Smith defends clients in product liability and complex commercial litigation claims. An experienced advocate at the local, regional and national levels, Monica remains dedicated to taking a practical approach to litigation by minimizing unnecessary filings, acrimony and wasted resources.
Monica is skilled in the effective resolution of product liability claims that arise out of the design, manufacture, packaging, labeling and use of myriad products. She understands the unique legal challenges companies face when defending against product defect claims in federal and state courts. Monica works closely with each client to develop and implement a defense strategy that is tailored to and appropriate for the specific case and client.
Notably, Monica has defended significant retailers throughout the country and, in particular, in Florida in litigation involving talcum powder-related claims. Moreover, she is also skilled in serving as national coordinating counsel in asbestos-related litigation.
Monica’s experience is broad and ranges from consumer goods, equipment and chemical substances to defective drugs, machinery, medical products and design. In the area of commercial litigation, she has handled many matters involving home builders with respect to construction defect claims, subcontractor disputes and class action defense. In addition, Monica has represented municipalities and national companies in complex multimillion dollar contract and supplier disputes.
Previously, Monica was a partner with Barnes & Thornburg until 2012. She rejoined the firm in 2018 after taking time to focus on family and serving as a law clerk for the Honorable Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. In addition to supporting Judge Barker with her district court docket, Monica also assisted with criminal and civil appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit involving a myriad of issues, including tax evasion, bankruptcy, ERISA, immigration, habeas proceedings, and Fourth, Sixth, Eighth and 14th Amendment challenges.
During law school, her note, “Rethinking the Restatement (Again!): Multiple Independent Holdings and the Doctrine of Issue Preclusion,” was published at 37 Val. U. L. Rev. 879 (2003).
Professional and Community Involvement
Board member, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana
Troop leader, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana
Graduate, Ardath Burkhart Governance and Management Series, United Way Leadership United