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Vanessa Offutt

Vanessa Offutt


Vanessa Offutt practices primarily in the area of product liability, focusing on pharmaceuticals and medical devices as well as environmental and toxic tort litigation. She represents clients facing challenging litigation in state and federal court, including complex consolidated dockets and multidistrict litigation. Vanessa develops strategies and assists in pre-trial work, including motion practice, discovery, briefs, and depositions, as well as working on trial teams.

Vanessa has a strong background in trial advocacy and court practice, as well as a deep commitment to helping her community. She brings real-world experience, compassion and discipline to her work for clients facing the challenges of litigation. 

Bar admissionsFloridaMassachusetts


Some of her experiences include:

  • In a four-week wrongful death case alleging Johnson & Johnson’s talcum product was responsible for ovarian cancer, assisting first and second chair trial counsel with fact and expert witness direct and cross outlines, exhibits, legal memos, closing argument preparation, and the punitive damages phase. The jury returned a defense verdict on all counts, including negligent manufacturing, failure to warn, negligent misrepresentation, and conspiracy. 
  • In a product liability action against Stryker Corporation and Howmedica Osteonics Corp., successfully obtaining a dismissal of claims regarding a hip implant on personal jurisdiction and forum non conveniens grounds. The dismissal ended the litigation, during which Vanessa conducted legal research and drafted the prevailing motion. 
  • Assisting a trial team with fact witness cross outlines, trial exhibits, legal research, and bench memos in a four-week jury trial for wrongful death matter involving Stryker Corporation’s medical device, which resulted in a full defense verdict. She also aided with appellate defense, conducted research, and drafted arguments for issues on appeal; Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ultimately affirmed the verdict and judgment and, in the process, established important precedent for medical device manufacturers.
  • J.D., Howard University School of Law 2016
    CALI Excellence for the Future Award (Legal Writing II)
    Association of Corporate Counsel Corporate Scholar, Class of 2015
    Huver I. Brown Trial Advocacy Team, Captain
    Fair Housing Clinic, Student Attorney
  • B.S., Criminal Justice; Minor in Communications, Florida International University 2011

Pro Bono

Vanessa maintains a healthy pro bono practice, including family law and tenant rights. She has been recognized by Legal Services of Greater Miami for her "extraordinary" commitment to the community through pro bono service volunteerism in the pursuit of equal justice.  She’s advised pro bono clients who are facing eviction because of payment disputes or other issues. In a pro bono family law matter, she conducted a full evidentiary hearing on a petition for injunction for protection against domestic violence, which concluded in the client’s favor.

Insight Overview

  • Moderator, Generational gaps and the role that remote working has played in the advancement, or lack thereof, of minority and female attorneys, DRI Young Lawyers Seminar, Diversity and Women in the Law Luncheon, June 2022
  • The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good: How COVID-19 Restructures the Workplace and Careers of Women in the Law, The Voice, DRI, January 27, 2021
  • Giving Is Receiving: How to Enhance Your Skills by Taking on Pro Bono Cases, 2021 Young Lawyers Seminar, DRI, June 24, 2021
  • Tips for Navigating the Pro Bono Waters, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, December 1, 2020 (with Antar Vaughan)
  • Five Tips for Conducting Remote Video Depositions, Practice Points, American Bar Association, July 31, 2020 (with Mihai Vrasmasu)
  • Implications of Withdrawing an Already Deposed Expert, The Dade County Bar Association Bulletin, December 2018

Clerk Experience

Clerk for the Honorable Zoe Bush, Senior Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Prior Experience

Early in her career, Vanessa completed a judicial clerkship for the Honorable Zoe Bush, now a Senior Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Vanessa also is a veteran of the US Army, where she served as a military police officer.

  • Intern, United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
  • Intern, The Honorable John M. Mott, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • Intern, Carey International, Inc.

Community Involvement

  • Tenants’ Equal Justice Clinic − Miami, Pro Bono Volunteer 
  • Miami-Dade County Teen Court, Volunteer Judge 
  • Judicial Intern Opportunity Program −Miami, Mentor 
  • Veterans Clinic − Miami, Pro Bono Volunteer

Memberships And Affiliations

  • The Florida Bar
    • Diversity and Inclusion Committee
      • Pipeline Subcommittee
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Young Lawyers Committee
      • Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee
  • American Bar Association