Mary Quinn Cooper serves as national trial counsel for major corporations and defends product liability claims and class actions across the country. For more than 25 years, she has represented Ford Motor Company nationally in challenging cases with high exposure. Mary has also tried high-stakes cases for various other manufacturers and Fortune 500 companies, including Toyota Motor Company, and has defended clients in professional malpractice matters.
Mary currently serves as co-leader of the firm’s Litigation Group.
Mary is a frequent speaker locally and nationally on trial practice issues. She has spoken before the Defense Research Institute, Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel, American Inns of Court, Oklahoma Bar Association, and Tulsa County Bar Association. She served as a faculty member for the 2005 International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy at Stanford University, the Oklahoma Trial Lawyer Association’s 12th Annual Oklahoma College of Advocacy, and the Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel’s Products Liability Seminar.
In addition to her private practice, Mary is an appointed member of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility Tribunal, a panel whose function is to conduct hearings on formal complaints filed against lawyers and on applications for reinstatement to the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma. She previously served as a member of the admissions and grievances committee of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma from 1994–1998 and as the chair from 1998–2015. In 2018, Mary was appointed by the mayor of Tulsa to the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women. She has also previously received a mayoral appointment to serve as a civil service commissioner.
Mary’s experience and expertise have earned her recognition in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America (bet-the-company litigation; commercial litigation; product liability litigation–defendants; professional malpractice law-defendants), Benchmark Litigation and Oklahoma Super Lawyers, where she has been named to its lists of “Top 10 Oklahoma Lawyers,” “Top 25 Women Lawyers“ and “Top 50 Oklahoma Lawyers.” She was listed in Benchmark Litigation’s “Top 250 Women in Litigation” from 2013-2015. Additionally, she has been designated as Best Lawyers “Tulsa Product Liability Litigation Defense Lawyer of the Year” for 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2018 and “Tulsa Bet-the-Company Lawyer of the Year” for 2017 and 2019, honors given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each community.
Prior to joining McAfee & Taft, Mary was a partner with Tulsa-based Eldridge Cooper Steichen & Leach, a corporate law firm she co-founded in 2002.
Mary and her husband have three children.Download Bio (PDF)
Mary has handled a number of high-profile cases. A brief sampling includes:
- Selected by a leading automotive manufacturer to serve on a national team to respond to coordinated consumer credit pattern litigation in California and Michigan and throughout the United States, helping coordinate a national approach.
- Obtained defense verdict in favor of a Fortune 10 auto manufacturer in a multimillion-dollar wrongful death action alleging defective design and manufacturing of a pickup truck’s roof structure and safety belt system.
- Obtained a settlement for an amount in excess of the complaint in a breach of contract case and obtained a more than $900,000 sanctions award as a result of the defendant’s discovery abuse.
- Obtained defense verdict in favor of a forklift manufacturer in a seven-day jury trial in a products liability action brought by a young woman who had her leg amputated below the knee after her leg was crushed between the stand-up forklift she was operating and another forklift parked in a retail warehouse.
- Obtained defense verdict in favor of a major automobile manufacturer in a multimillion-dollar wrongful death case alleging negligent design and manufacturing for failure to make optional safety equipment standard.
- Obtained dismissal in federal court of putative bilateral class action in which plaintiff landowners sought monetary damages and the invalidation of all oil and gas leases held by energy companies in the nation’s second-highest producing county. Judgment affirmed on appeal to the Tenth Circuit.
- Obtained summary judgment in a high-profile accounting malpractice case which was affirmed.
- Obtained defense verdict in a case in federal court in Arkansas that was prosecuted by Johnnie Cochran and his law firm. In that case Mary successfully defended a major automotive manufacturer in a products liability case where a woman who lost her husband and four children claimed that a defect in the vehicle caused their deaths.
- Successfully defended automotive manufacturer in nationwide putative class action alleging claims of breach of express and implied warranties, violations of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, and violations of state consumer protection acts.
- Successfully defended automotive manufacturer in nationwide putative class action alleging breach of express and implied warranties, strict products liability, and negligence causes of action.
- Successfully defended commercial forklift distributor in nationwide putative class action involving allegedly unsolicited facsimile transmissions sent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
- Handled class actions for various clients where nationwide classes have been certified.
- Obtained defense verdict in a multimillion-dollar wrongful death action in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, where the families of five individuals who were killed in an automobile accident sued a major automobile manufacturer alleging a defect in the vehicles caused the accident and the resulting deaths.
- Obtained defense verdict for a major automotive manufacturer in lawsuit where a man who was rendered a quadriplegic following a rollover accident sued alleging that the roof offered inadequate protection in rollover accidents.
- Obtained defense verdict for a major automobile manufacturer in a wrongful death case where it was alleged that a driver died in a fuel-fed fire as a result of a defective fuel system design.
- Obtained defense verdict for a major automotive manufacturer in a wrongful death case alleging that a seat back was not strong enough to protect its occupants.
- Obtained defense verdict for two major motorcycle manufacturers in a case in Florida where it was alleged a product defect caused a single-motorcycle accident. Jury verdict affirmed on appeal.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of a major automobile manufacturer after successfully excluding plaintiff’s expert testimony in a case where a product defect was alleged to be responsible for a catastrophic brain injury of an 8-year-old child. Judgment affirmed on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Obtained a unanimous defendant’s verdict representing a big three auto manufacturer in a wrongful death case in Washington County, OK, in which plaintiff alleged the subject vehicle had a defective restraint system.
Honors and Awards
- Listed in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
- Named a “Local Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation
- Named to Benchmark Litigation’s list of “Top 250 Women in Litigation”
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (bet-the-company litigation; commercial litigation; product liability litigation—defendants; professional malpractice law-defendants)
- “Tulsa Product Liability Litigation Defense Lawyer of the Year” for 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2018 and “Tulsa Bet-the-Company Lawyer of the Year” for 2017 and 2019 by The Best Lawyers in America
- Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
- Named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ lists of ‘Top 10 Oklahoma Lawyers’, “Top 25 Women Lawyers” and “Top 50 Oklahoma Lawyers”
- Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings
- Honored with the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award (2017)
- Inducted into the University of Tulsa College of Law Hall of Fame (2014)
- Inducted into the Bishop Kelley High School Hall of Fame (2013)
- Honored with The Journal Record’s Leadership in Law Award, recognizing legal professionals for their professional and civic contributions to the state (2012)
- Named to the Tulsa Business Journal’s inaugural list of Power Attorneys and Legal Professionals (2011)
- Honored with the Association of Fundraising Professional’s Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award (2009)
- Honored with the Tulsa County Bar Association’s Golden Rule Award, recognizing a lawyer who exhibits the highest standards of fairness
Professional Organizations and Memberships
- Tulsa County Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association (Professional Responsibility Tribunal)
- American Bar Association (Products Liability and Tort Sections)
- American Board of Trial Advocates (Past President, Oklahoma Chapter)
- American Inns of Court (Master)
- Defense Research Institute
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel
- Oklahoma Bar Foundation (Fellow)
- Products Liability Advisory Council
Civic Involvement and Leadership
- Bishop Kelley High School Advisory Council (Former Board Member, 2008-2012; Chair, 2011-2012)
- Junior League of Tulsa (Advisory Board, 2012-2013)
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Volunteer)
- Saint Francis of Assisi Tuition Assistance Trust (Trustee)
- St. Philip Neri Catholic Newman Center at the University of Tulsa (Board Chair)
- Tulsa Literary Coalition (Board of Directors)
- University of Tulsa College of Law (Dean’s Advisory Board)