Pamela J. Yates - Kaye Scholer LLP

Pamela J. Yates

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2014

Recognized by her clients as a “terrific oral advocate”* and “superb in court,”* Pamela J. Yates is a highly successful life sciences and product liability trial lawyer who is consistently named one of California’s “Top Women Litigators” and internationally recognized as a “Life Science Star.” Validating these client comments, Pam recently achieved back-to-back victories, including a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of client Philip Morris USA in an Engle progeny case in Florida (Surico v. Philip Morris USA Inc., June 2014), and a major Daubert victory excluding plaintiffs’ general causation expert in complex MDL proceedings on behalf of client Pfizer (In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation, June 2014).


Pam is one of a very select group of female product liability litigators in the US who has tried cases in multiple state and federal court venues involving pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and medical devices. Pam has extensive experience in MDL and class action work, and for many years has acted as national coordinating counsel in various mass tort cases. In that role, she has been responsible for all aspects of litigation, including trial, trial preparation and strategy, science and overall Daubert strategy.

Successfully defending pharmaceutical companies began early in her career when, as a young associate, Pam drafted the summary judgment in Daubert, leading to the US Supreme Court’s decision that ultimately set the standard for challenging the admissibility of expert testimony. Building on her success in Daubert, Pam’s career has involved significant expert and science related work. For example, Pam led Pfizer’s expert and science teams in defending claims relating to hormone therapy (HT) products and before that, Rezulin and silicone implants. In addition to her science related work on HT products, Pam served as co-lead trial defense counsel in several of the HT matters, securing back-to-back defense verdicts in West Virginia and Connecticut. Pam currently heads up Pfizer’s science team in their defense of Zoloft, including her lead role in a recent Daubert science hearing that resulted in a major victory for the client. 

Pam’s stellar work has garnered significant recognition from a number of industry guides. Most recently, Pam was ranked in Chambers USA 2014 for Nationwide: Product Liability & Mass Torts, with clients praising her as a “‘terrific oral advocate’ who ‘delivers high-quality service, top-notch analysis and strategy.’” Pam is as a member of the team that won Product Liability Practice of the Year for 2013 from Law360, and has been recognized as one of California’s top women litigators in the Daily Journal’s supplement feature, “Top Women Litigators” (2009-2013). Pam was also recently recognized as a “Life Science Star” by Euromoney’s 2013 LMG Life Sciences Guide and has been featured in Who’s Who Legal in the areas of Product Liability Defense (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013) and in Life Sciences (2010, 2012 and 2013). In January 2006, Kaye Scholer’s product liability lawyers were awarded The American Lawyer Litigation Product Liability Department of the Year. The award specifically references several successes in the Rezulin litigation, which involved Pam. In August 2005, The National Law Journal’s “The Defense Hot List, sizing up Defense Firms With Big Wins” featured Pam’s defense verdict, discussed below, in a multiple plaintiff products case, In Re Rezulin Litigation.

Additional Information

Court Admissions
  • USDC, Central District of California


    USDC, Southern District of California


    USDC, Eastern District of California


    USDC, Northern District of California


In re Zoloft Products Liability Litigation, ___ F. Supp.2d ___, 2014 WL (E.D.Pa. June 27, 2014)

In Re Rezulin Products Liability Litigation (2005) WL 583751 (S.D.N.Y.).

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 727 F.Supp. 570 (S.D. Cal. 1989); aff’d 951 F.2d 1128 (1991); 509 U.S. 579 (1993).

Obiago v. Merrell National Laboratory, Inc., 560 So. 2d 625 (La. App. 4 Cir); writ denied 565 So. 2d 445 (La. 1990).

Southwestern University School of LawJ.D. University of Tennessee, ChattanoogaBS
International Association of Defense Counsel

Office Location

1999 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1600
Los Angeles, CA 90067-6048
United States

Practice Areas

Biotechnology Law
Product Liability Litigation - Defendants