Sherry A. Rozell

Shareholder

(918) 574-3001
sherry.rozell@mcafeetaft.com
Springfield

Sherry Rozell is an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer and legal strategist whose practice is concentrated in the areas of products liability defense, mass torts litigation, and class actions, with specific emphasis in the automotive industry. Throughout her career, she has successfully represented clients, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, in litigation in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. She is also widely regarded for her expertise in matters involving complex Federal Rules of Civil Procedure issues in federal courts nationwide.

Over her more than 35 years in practice, Sherry has served as a trusted legal advisor to major automotive manufacturers, representing the top 10 Fortune 500 company in discovery, trial and appellate matters in numerous state and federal courts across the United States in defense against a broad range of tort claims. She holds the distinction of serving as both national discovery counsel and national appellate counsel for the automaker and serving as a national advisor on appellate strategy.

As national discovery counsel, Sherry serves as lead counsel in complex discovery matters across the United States, including class actions, and is responsible for all aspects of case discovery, including case strategy; case management conferences; protective orders; joint case management orders; privilege logs; the collecting and producing large volumes of documents; and the handling of all aspects of written discovery. She also has extensive experience preparing corporate employees for deposition and trial.

As national appellate counsel, she provides legal assistance in connection with complex appellate matters, including providing assistance in strategic goal planning and preparing and arguing complex pre-trial and post-trial motions and appeals. She also frequently serves as an embedded appellate lawyer at trial, where she is responsible for developing the appellate strategy in the case, including error preservation, preparation of jury instructions and handling of the charge conference, and preparing and arguing motions in limine and directed verdict motions. Her experience also includes preparing appellate briefs and extraordinary writs and presenting the issues at oral argument.

Sherry’s achievements as a trial lawyer have earned her inclusion in Missouri Super Lawyers.

Prior to joining McAfee & Taft, Rozell was a shareholder with the law firm of Turner, Reid, Duncan, Loomer & Patton, PC in Springfield, MO, for more than 30 years. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, is a Life Fellow of the Missouri Bar Foundation, and is an active member of the International Association of Defense Counsel.  Previously, she was an appointed member of the Missouri Supreme Court Advisory Committee for 10 years.  She attended law school at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, receiving the Honor Scholar Award and was Order of the Coif.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of Ford Motor Company following a two-week trial in St. Louis County, MO, on manufacturing defect claims alleging a vehicle’s exhaust system allowed carbon monoxide to enter the passenger compartment, resulting in elevated carboxyhemoglobin and claiming significant and debilitating long-term neurological deficits.
  • Obtained unanimous defense verdict on behalf of Ford Motor Company following a two-week trial in the City of St. Louis, MO, on theories of strict liability design defect and failure to warn and negligent design and failure to warn related to alleged asbestos exposure from brake components.
  • Successfully defended Ford Motor Company in a products liability case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas in a case involving an alleged defective roof in 1999 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck. District court’s ruling granting Ford’s Daubert motions and motion for summary judgment affirmed on appeal to the Tenth Circuit.
  • Obtained favorable result for Ford Motor Company in a class action involving an alleged defective brake master cylinder when the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, denied plaintiffs’ motion to compel a keyword search across multiple custodians’ data as part of the e-discovery process on the basis it was unreasonable under Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • Obtained favorable result for Ford Motor Company in a products liability case pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi involving a rollover of a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac in a single vehicle accident. On Ford’s motion, the court quashed plaintiff’s “Notice of Deposition of Ford Motor Company’s Most Knowledgeable Representatives Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(1),” with subpoena duces tecum.
  • Obtained defense verdict in case against a major automotive manufacturer alleging lung cancer was due exposure to asbestos from brakes pending in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, McLean County (Bloomington), Illinois, after a two-week trial.
  • Obtained defense verdict in a case against a major automotive manufacturer pending in the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Morgan County, Illinois.  Plaintiff alleged her deceased husband’s asbestosis was caused by his exposure to manufacturer’s asbestos-containing brakes, clutches, and gaskets.

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Missouri Super Lawyers
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings
  • Honored with Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association’s Outstanding Service Award (1990)

Professional Organizations and Memberships

  • Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar Foundation (Fellow; Trustee, 1995 — 2016)
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Foundation (Life Fellow)
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
  • Defense Research Institute
  • International Association of Defense Counsel

Speaking Engagements

  • Old Habits Die Hard: What You Need to Know About the Recent FRCP Amendments

    ABA 2018 Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation

    April 4, 2018
    | Phoenix, AZ
  • What is the “Big Deal” Chief Justice Roberts is Talking About and How Shall We Keep the Gates? A Primer on How the Amended Federal Rules and Daubert May Affect Your Practices in Court in Missouri

    The Missouri Bar/Missouri Judicial Conference 2016 Annual Meeting

    September 1, 2016
    | Lake Ozark, MO
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court for the Western and Eastern Districts of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Eighth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits
  • J.D., Washington University, 1986
    • Associate Editor, Washington University Law Quarterly; Order of the Coif; Honor Scholar Award
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Drury University, 1982