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Dec. 4, 2023

Nelson Mullins Expands Product Liability Practice with Hires in Dallas, Los Angeles

Contact: Tania Longest, Communications Supervisor,, 919.329.3876

DALLAS — Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, a national law firm with offices from coast to coast, announced the arrival today of a group of seven lawyers from Lathrop GPM.  Joining the firm are three partners in Dallas and two partners, an of counsel and an associate in Los Angeles.

Leading the group is Dallas-based renowned trial lawyer Robert E. Thackston, recognized as a “Texas Trailblazer” by Texas Lawyer in 2020. Thackston has been ranked by Benchmark Litigation as a “Local Litigation Star” from 2020-2024 and has been ranked by Best Lawyers in American for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants from 2020–2024. Thackston has handled a variety of civil matters but focuses his practice on defending companies in complex toxic tort and product liability litigation. He has represented clients in a wide variety of industries including cosmetics, food production, automotive, and industrial equipment and plastics. He has tried cases from San Francisco to South Carolina, New York to Los Angeles.

"Robert is a very experienced trial attorney in high-stakes cases and a great addition to our firm’s already deep and diverse trial bench. Robert’s strong team also adds to our firm’s growing presence in California and Texas, both of which are states we see as growth areas for us in litigation," said Nelson Mullins Managing Partner Jim Lehman.

"I have always admired Nelson Mullins as it has gone from a Southeast-based firm to a national powerhouse," Thackston said. "It has been a dream of mine to team up with my good friend Mike Brown at Nelson Mullins. Clients know they can count on us to defend their interests."

With the addition of these new attorneys, Nelson Mullins' overall product liability practice will include more than 200 lawyers who currently serves as national, regional, and local counsel for numerous companies in various industries across the United States. The firm is experienced in all phases of complex litigation, including individual cases, multiparty and multijurisdictional cases, class actions, MDL proceedings, and state-coordinated proceedings.

Benchmark Litigation named the firm Law Firm of the Year for Product Liability in 2020 and 2021. The Legal 500 recognized the firm in 2023 for Dispute Resolution: Product Liability, Mass Tort, and Class Action Defense: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices as well as for Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action – Defense: Automotive/Transport and Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action – Defense: Toxic Tort. In 2023, Chambers USA recognized the firm nationally as Band 1 for Nationwide Product Liability: Automotive as well as naming the firm nationally to Nationwide Product Liability & Mass Torts: The Elite.

Also joining are:


Kurt W. Greve (Partner) – has a practice that involves medical malpractice, toxic torts, product liability, and commercial litigation. 

Paula D. Pendley (Partner) – focuses her practice on product liability litigation and has particular experience in the agribusiness, automotive, and manufacturing sectors.


Julia A. Gowin (Partner) – has a practice representing clients in product liability and premises matters in the pharmaceutical and medical device area.  She has additional experience in toxic torts and commercial litigation.

Nilofar Karbassi (Partner) – concentrates on product liability matters in a wide range of industries, including in automotive, pharmaceutical, and construction.

Brice Nakamura (Of Counsel) – focuses his practice on product liability and environmental litigation defense.

David E. Ashdown (Associate) – works on product liability and toxic tort matters and is currently working as national coordinating counsel for a client involved in talc litigation.

Nelson Mullins opened its Dallas office in 2022 with a group of litigators from Bowman and Brooke. The firm’s Los Angeles office opened in 2017 with attorneys who have extensive experience in franchise and distribution law and litigation in the motor vehicle industry. Since then, the office has expanded to include attorneys with commercial litigation and product liability experience.

Established in 1897, Nelson Mullins is an Am Law 100 firm of more than 1,000 attorneys, policy advisors and professionals with 33 offices in 17 states and Washington, D.C. For more information on the firm, go to For more information contact Tania Longest, Communications Supervisor,, 919.329.3876.