I started my practice in 1996 and, at the time of this writing, am in my 24th year as a Medical Negligence lawyer. I pretty much always knew the law was my calling. Even in my teens, I aspired to right wrongs for people who could not protect themselves. I was quick on my feet, enjoyed research and debate, and the law seemed ideally suited for my strengths.
While in law school, I gave birth to a baby girl, Katlyn. She had significant health issues and tragically passed away when she was 7 months old. By the time of her death, I felt as though I should have had an honorary degree in nursing, genetics, neonatal medicine and infectious disease. Through my experiences with that pregnancy and Katlyn’s all-to-short life, I also learned so much about the fear and helplessness patients and the parents of patients feel when trying to navigate the medical system. Those experiences undoubtedly drew me to a career in Medical and Health law where I could help particularly vulnerable people.
I am very passionate about my clients and their cases, have a keen eye for detail, a deep understanding of medicine, and a never-ending determination to get the best possible outcome for each person I represent. My work in the US as a trial lawyer gives me unique perspective and a deeper understanding of how to best put together a case to maximise the recovery for the client. An opposing barrister once referred to me as being “like a dog with a bone” in my efforts to get a favourable settlement for my client. I’m not sure that he meant it as a compliment, but I took it as one because I do go above and beyond in representing my clients, and am proud that I fight hard for every last dollar, because that is exactly what my clients deserve.
My husband, Rick, died in 2009 as a result of medical negligence. While I previously thought I understood what my clients were going through, after Rick’s death I realised no one could fully understand the devastation of losing a loved one due to someone else’s neglect, until they had walked in the same shoes. As a litigant in Rick’s matter, I gained real insight into the frustration, stress and fear a client experiences throughout a medical negligence claim. I draw from these personal experiences, every day, as I do my level best to make that journey a bit easier for those who I have the privilege to represent.
Professional Qualifications and Admissions
- Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, Law Institute of Victoria
- Admitted, Supreme Court of Victoria
- Admitted, multiple states in the USA
- 2020 - Present, Slater and Gordon Lawyers
- 2014 - 2020, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
- 2012 - 2014, Slater and Gordon Lawyers
- 2005 - 2010, Bachus & Schanker, LLC
- 2005 - 2005, Law Offices of Shari R.L. Willis, Esq
- 1999 - 2004, Bradshaw, Johnson & Hund, PA
- 1996 - 1999, McDonald, Tinker, Skaer, Quinn & Herrington, PA
Memberships and Associations
- Board Member and Wyndham Camp Chairperson, Wombat’s Wish
- Mentor, VWL & WBA Law Student Mentoring Program