Karen Barth Menzies

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Phone: (949) 720-1288
Fax: (949) 720-1292

19 Corporate Plaza Drive
Newport Beach‚ California 92660

Karen Barth Menzies is a partner at Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis‚ Inc.‚ and manages the firm’s Los Angeles office. She focuses her practice on plaintiffs’ pharmaceutical mass tort litigation‚ and in particular‚ on litigation related to women’s health issues.

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Ms. Menzies has been appointed leadership positions on Plaintiff Steering Committees in numerous federal MDLs, and has served as Lead/Liaison counsel in several state court coordinated actions. Currently, Ms. Menzies is Lead Counsel for the Fosamax® femur statewide coordinated litigation for California‚ Co-Chair of the Commercial and Marketing Committee for the Zoloft birth defect federal MDL in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania‚ and Co-Lead Counsel for the Lexapro/Celexa birth defect cases statewide coordinated for Missouri. Ms. Menzies has also been appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the transvaginal mesh federal MDL litigation against Ethicon‚ C.R. Bard‚ American Medical Systems, and Boston Scientific pending in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Ms. Menzies has been at the forefront of the SSRI antidepressant litigation for more than a decade against defendants such as GlaxoSmithKline‚ Pfizer and Eli Lilly, in cases involving antidepressant-induced suicide‚ withdrawal, and birth defects. In 2003‚ she was appointed Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Paxil Products Liability Litigation (MDL 1574). In 2006‚ Ms. Menzies was appointed and served four years as Co-Lead Counsel in the Paxil birth defect litigation coordinated in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Karen has testified twice before FDA advisory boards, as well as the California State Legislature, on safety concerns regarding SSRI antidepressants and the manufacturers’ misconduct. Ms. Menzies has authored numerous publications and has been a frequent speaker on the topics of FDA‚ drug safety and federal preemption. She is most proud of the speeches she has been invited to give to healthcare professionals and patients at medical seminars both in the U.S. and internationally.

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Ms. Menzies has received an AV rating‚ the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards under the peer review system of Martindale-Hubbell‚ the national legal directory. She has received several awards from legal organizations, including Lawyer of the Year by Lawyer’s Weekly USA (2004)‚ California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer magazine (2005)‚ the National Law Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 (2005)‚ Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist by Consumer Attorneys of California (2006)‚ and Southern California Super Lawyers (2004 – 2012).

Ms. Menzies is on the Board of Governors of the National Association of Public Justice and the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice. She is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California‚ American Bar Association‚ and the Women’s Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

Ms. Menzies grew up in Boulder‚ Colorado. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree at Colorado State University, and her Juris Doctorate from University of California at Davis in 1995‚ where she served as an intern for Justice Rod Davis‚ California 3rd District Court of Appeal (1994)‚ the Colorado Attorney General’s Office (1993)‚ the California Attorney General’s Office (1994)‚ and the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office (1995). Ms. Menzies was admitted to the California Bar in 1995.


  • California Bar‚ 1995
  • U.S. District Court‚ Central District of California‚ 1995
  • U.S. District Court‚ Southern District of California‚ 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals‚ Ninth Circuit‚ 1999
  • U.S. District Court‚ Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas‚ 2003
  • U.S. District Court‚ Southern District of Illinois‚ 2003
  • U.S. District Court‚ District of Colorado‚ 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals‚ Fifth Circuit‚ 2005
  • U.S. District Court‚ Eastern and Northern Districts of California‚ 2006
  • U.S. District Court‚ Central District of Illinois‚ 2006
  • U.S. District Court‚ Eastern District of Wisconsin‚ 2007
  • U.S. District Court‚ Eastern District of Pennsylvania‚ 2007
  • United States Supreme Court‚ 2009
  • U.S. District Court‚ Southern District of West Virginia‚ 2011


Karen Barth Menzies battles to change this Prozac Nation‚” Lawcrossing.
Female Lawyers for Female Cases‚” Los Angeles Times insert: Women Leaders in the Law 2012.
The Preemption Prescription‚” ABA Journal‚ November 2008.

Pro Bono Activities:

Co-trial counsel for defense in State v. Pittman (S.C.Gen.Sess.‚ NO. 04-GS-12-571‚ 04-GS-12-572) Zoloft-induced murder case in South Carolina against a boy who was 12 years old at the time.

Governmental Testimony:

California State Senate Transportation Committee hearing regarding investigation into Caltrans’ oversized truck permits‚ October 1999

FDA’s Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Pediatric Subcommittee of the Anti-Infective Drugs Advisory Committee hearings regarding the risk of suicide in children and adolescents taking antidepressants‚ February 2004

California State Senate hearing on Antidepressant Drugs and Suicide‚ regarding antidepressant drugs and suicide‚ August 4‚ 2004

FDA’s Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Pediatric Advisory Committee hearings regarding the risk of suicide in children and adolescents taking antidepressants‚ September 2004

FDA’s Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee meeting concerning the FDA’s Review of Suicidality Data in Adult Antidepressant Studies‚ December 13‚ 2006


Environmental, Mass Torts & Products Liability Litigation Committees” – ABA Section of Litigation Joint CLE Seminar, January 2015, Snowmass Village, CO

Morning Mass Torts – SSRIs” – California Consumer Attorneys of California  53rd Annual Convention, November 2014, San Francisco, CA

Mass Torts for the Masses” – Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorney’s, September 2014, Boston, MA

Ethical and Practical Problems with Settling Mass Tort Actions” – ABA Mass Torts Conference,  June 2014 San Francisco, CA

Advocacy Beyond Litigation” – Women En Mass , June 2014, Aspen, CO

Mass Tort Med School” – HB Litigation Conferences, May 2014,  San Francisco, CA

Fosamax Trial Analysis and Update” Mass Torts Made Perfect Seminar, April 2014, Las Vegas, NV

History of Testosterone Therapy – Manufacturers & Marketing – AAJ Education’s Testosterone Therapy Litigation Seminar, March 2014, Louisville, KY

The Changing Practice of Law – Plenary Session” – ABA Environmental, Mass Torts, & Products Liability Litigation Committees’ Joint CLE Seminar, January 2014, Avon, CO

Impact of Litigation on Family Health” – CAOC 52nd Annual Convention, November 2013, San Francisco, CA

Fosamax Trial Analysis and Update” – Plaintiff Only Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Litigation Update Seminar, American Association for Justice Convention,  May 2013, Louisville, KY

Panel on SSRI’s” – AAJ 2013 Winter Convention, February 2013, Miami, FL

Zoloft and Birth Defects Litigation Conference” – HB Litigation, July 2012 , Philadelphia, PA

Transvaginal Mesh and ACTOS Litigation” – HarrisMartin MDL Conference, January 2012, Miami, FL

Fungal Meningitis, Stryker Hip, Mirena IUD and More” – HarrisMartin MDL Conference, November 2012, Dallas, TX

The SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defects: Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa/Lexapro, Effexor and Paxil – Then, Now And What’s To Come” – CAOC 51st Annual Convention, November 2012, San Francisco, CA

Birth Defect and Zimmer Litigation” – Mass Torts Made Perfect, May 2011, Philadelphia, PA

Published Cases:

  • Prudential Home Mort. Co. v. Superior Court‚ 66 Cal.App.4th 1236 (1998)
  • Motus v. Pfizer‚ Inc.‚ 127 F.Supp.2d 1085 (C.D. Cal. 2000)
  • In re Paxil Lit.‚ 218 F.R.D. 242 (C.D. Cal. 2003)
  • Cartwright v. Pfizer‚ Inc.‚ 369 F.Supp.2d 876 (E.D. Tex. 2005)
  • Barton v. United States District Court for Central Dist. of Cal.‚ 410 F.3d 1106 (9th Cir. 2005)
  • Witczak v. Pfizer‚ Inc.‚ 377 F.Supp.2d 726 (D. Minn. 2005)
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