Genese K. Dopson Partner




Genese Dopson defends companies, particularly pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, and she serves as defense counsel in matters involving medical malpractice, personal injury, insurance bad faith, employment and discrimination. She has successfully managed cases involving multi-plaintiff, multi-state litigation and has served as national coordinating counsel in pharmaceutical and medical device mass tort litigation.

Leveraging her first career as a registered nurse, Genese brought her drug and medical device and malpractice business to Wilson Elser in 2009. She leads the firm’s Pharmaceutical & Medical Device practice and coordinates efforts to field a nationwide team of creative, resolution-oriented attorneys in the drug and medical device and malpractice arena. One of twelve attorneys elevated to the firm’s Senior Trial Group, she possesses keen insight into case assessment and courtroom strategies.

Genese, who holds a second degree black belt in Enshin karate, is known for her ability to defend complex cases and handle tough opposing counsel when matters become heated. Notwithstanding her ability to confront and fight, Genese prides herself on providing her clients early case assessment and a solid work product directed toward the earliest possible dispute resolution.

Areas of Focus

Product Liability
Serving as national coordinating counsel, Genese has strategically and economically designed and coordinated defense strategies for brand and generic drug manufacturers as well as medical device manufacturers. She has achieved defense verdicts in all of her products liability trials. By way of example, she obtained a defense verdict for a cautery manufacturer in Garcia v. ConMed Corporation, where the manufacturer was sued by a boy who developed an airway fire during a tonsillectomy procedure. Genese also helped write a motion for summary judgment in the case of Gaeta v. Perrigo, where the court granted preemption to the generic drug manufacturer based on ANDA. She designed the defense strategy that resulted in an early settlement for the brand drug manufacturer in the coordinated quinine litigation, months in advance of resolution by any other drug manufacturer in the mass tort quinine litigation. Genese keeps current with the latest regulations and case law affecting the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. She regularly presents to industry organizations and contributes to relevant publications.

Medical Malpractice
Genese has aggressively defended medical malpractice claims against hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and physicians, inclusive of claims against physicians that have called into question even the best physician’s judgment, integrity,and ability to practice.  In one multi-plaintiff malpractice case, she defended and successfully resolved civil claims against a physician accused of multiple and repetitive instances of malpractice and criminal conduct.  Genese recently spoke to underwriters on the subject of the FDA Guidance on Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs) and the fact that hospitals that conduct LDTs in-house need to understand that FDA considers LDTs to be medical devices; hence the continued in-house LDT testing could subject hospitals to malpractice and product liability exposure in the future.

Employment & Discrimination
Genese has defended numerous employers and served as lead trial counsel in several wrongful termination jury trials where plaintiffs alleged discrimination due to gender, obesity, age and/or medical disability. She handles cases arising under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. She obtained a defense verdict in Durand v. SSA Terminals, an age discrimination and medical disability suit where the employer terminated the employee allegedly after 42 years of employment one day after the employee returned to work from a medical disability.

Insurance / Bad Faith
Insurance bad faith actions carry the potential for substantial exposure and Genese is highly experienced in handling the defense of these claims. Over her years of practice, Genese has tried several insurance bad faith cases to verdict. After six weeks of trial in 2000, she obtained a defense verdict in Snowden v. Fire Insurance Exchange, an arson bad faith case where the jury was convinced it was more probable than not that the insured committed arson and denial of insurance benefits was reasonably justified.

Representative Matters

Cases Tried to Verdict

  • Kuhlmann v. Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon Endo-Surgery LLC, Alameda County Superior Court No. RG13675753: Medical Device Products Liability
  • Gull v. Garda Security, Inc., San Joaquin County Superior Court No. 39-2010-00234481-CU-PO-STK: Wrongful Death and Survival Action related to a bank robbery
  • Tommy Dye v. Asbestos Corporation Ltd., San Francisco Superior Court No. 274606: Asbestosis
  • Andrew Garcia v. ConMed Corporation et al., Santa Clara County Superior Court No. 104 CV 023354: Medical Device Products Liability
  • Steven Durand v. SSA Terminals et al., Alameda County Superior Court No. RGO4141330: Wrongful Termination/Age/Disability Discrimination
  • Kwi Butler v. Aaron Medical Industries aka Bovie Medical Corp., U.S.D.C., Northern District, Case No. C 03-00896: Medical Device Products Liability
  • David Snowden v. Fire Insurance Exchange, Sonoma County Superior Court No. 213578: Insurance Bad Faith/Arson
  • Daniel Impey v. Kevin Wesley, PeopleSoft, Inc. & Avis Rent-A-Car, Alameda County Superior Court No. V-015749-2: Personal Injury/Auto
  • Carol Picchi v. Ricon Corporation, Santa Clara County Superior Court No. CV743035: Medical Device Products Liability
  • John Rossi v. Northern Automotive Corp., Alameda County Superior Court No. 702424-1: Wrongful Termination/Disability Discrimination
  • Kimberly Patterson v. Kragen Auto Parts, Sacramento County Superior Court No. 529107: Wrongful Termination/Sexual Harassment
  • Johnson v. Transamerica Ins. Co., San Francisco County Superior Court No. 938063: Insurance Bad Faith
  • Neilsen v. Safeway Stores, Inc., Sonoma County Superior Court No. 171059: Slip and Fall
  • Cornelius Andrews v. Kragen Auto Parts, San Francisco County Municipal Court No. 048289: False Arrest
  • Heidi Barron v. Kragen Auto Parts, Contra Costa County Superior Court No. C89-00526: Wrongful Termination/Sexual Harassment
  • Gerne v. Transamerica Ins. Co., San Francisco County Superior Court No. 917062: Insurance Bad Faith
  • Kragen Auto Supply v. Kirkorian Devel. Co., Santa Clara County Superior Court No. 645405: Declaratory Relief/Indemnity
  • Phillips v. Keystone Family, Inc., San Francisco County Superior Court No. 859531: Premises Liability/Slip and Fall
  • Joseph Bartee v. Fibreboard Corporation, Alameda County Superior Court No. 588498-0: Wrongful Death/Mesothelioma
  • John Vasko v. Raymark Industries, San Francisco County Superior Court No. 814471: Asbestosis
  • Paula Sheppard v. Larson Ins. Agency, Shasta County Superior Court No. 27422: Insurance Broker E&O
  • Woodward v. Seattle Standard Corporation, Shasta County Superior Court No. 88319: Premises Liability/Slip and Fall
  • Murphy v. Whitcomb, M.D., Butte County Superior Court No. 85483: Medical Malpractice
  • Rivera v. Redding Police Department, Shasta County Superior Court No. 77864: Police Misconduct
  • Socorro Chicas v. Pioneer Hospital, Los Cerritos County Municipal Court: Medical Malpractice
  • Collins v. Monrovia Comm. Hospital, Santa Anita County Municipal Court: Premises/Slip and Fall