A partner in the Litigation Department, Beth A. Wilkinson focuses her practice on general litigation and has built a reputation as one of the country’s most talented and respected litigators. Beth has amassed a broad range of experience from the courtroom to the boardroom, with particular emphasis in white-collar criminal defense, internal investigations, product liability and complex civil litigation. She has defended Fortune 500 companies in some of the most business-critical litigations in recent memory.
- Major League Baseball (MLB) in a nationwide
antitrust action by a putative class of purchasers of the MLB Extra
Innings and MLB.TV multi-team packages, who claim that MLB violated
Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act by allegedly conspiring to
prohibit the teams from broadcasting their individual MLB games
nationwide in competition with the multi-team packages.
- Pfizer, the world's largest research-based
- as lead counsel in achieving a complete defense verdict in the
first Zoloft birth defects case to go to trial in the U.S. At the
conclusion of a seven-day trial, a St. Louis jury returned a
verdict in under two hours, rejecting the plaintiff's allegations
that a mother's use of Zoloft in the first trimester of her
pregnancy caused her child's cardiac birth defect. Most recently,
Beth spearheaded the victory for Pfizer in its second Zoloft birth
defects case to go to trial in the U.S. wherein at the conclusion
of an eight-day trial, a Philadelphia jury returned a complete
- as lead counsel, in achieving four consecutive jury trial
victories in product liability litigation relating to the hormone
therapy drug Prempro; and
- in defending an antitrust case in which plaintiffs claim Pfizer
engaged in a patent-stacking scheme to delay generic entry and
maintain a monopoly of Neurontin.
- Federal Trade Commission, appointed to lead
its investigation of Google Inc.
- Kynetic, as lead counsel, in obtaining a
complete defense verdict in a breach of contract/tortious
interference jury trial.
- National Football League in connection with
its defense of hundreds of lawsuits filed by thousands of
former NFL players alleging that the League is liable for
purportedly failing to protect the players from the effects of
concussions sustained by them while playing professional
- Philip Morris USA, an Altria
company, in the company's first "Lights" class action to reach a
jury. Plaintiffs claimed they were entitled to billions of dollars
of damages for purchasing and smoking Marlboro Lights. A mistrial
resulted in no liability for Philip Morris USA.
- Philip Morris USA in two complex fraud and
personal injury trials resulting in complete defense verdicts.
- A large hospital corporation in various civil
cases, including a complex contract and RICO trial.
- Salt Lake City Organizing Committee in a
federal criminal investigation of bribery allegations.
- Senior officer of a pharmaceutical company in
a criminal insider trading investigation.
- The CEO of a biotechnology company in a DOJ
Beth joined Paul, Weiss after serving as the executive
vice-president, general counsel, and corporate secretary at Fannie
Mae. Prior to her in-house position at the mortgage giant, Beth
spent eight years as co-chair of the white-collar crime practice
group in a major global law firm.
Prior to private practice, Beth was an assistant U.S. attorney
in the Eastern District of New York, where she prosecuted numerous
cases. In 1995, she was a counsel to the Deputy Attorney General,
the principal deputy of the Terrorism and Violent Crime Section,
when she was asked to be a special attorney to the U.S. attorney
general in U.S. v. McVeigh & Nichols. Beth
was instrumental in securing the final verdicts against the two
men, delivering the closing arguments that resulted in a death
sentence for McVeigh, and the summation that led to the conviction
of Nichols. After prosecuting U.S. v. McVeigh &
Nichols, she became the only two-time recipient of the
Department of Justice's highest award.
Beth's legal career began in the U.S. Army, where she attained
the rank of captain and served as an assistant to the general
counsel of the Army for Intelligence & Special Operations from
1987 to 1991. In 1990, she was appointed as a special assistant
U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida to assist with
the prosecution of U.S. v. Manuel Noriega.
Beth's work has garnered her national recognition, and her
opinions are sought by numerous television news programs and
respected magazines and journals. Her insights have been sought by
any number of high-profile television programs, such as NBC's
TODAY show, Nightline, The News Hour with Jim
Lehrer, Face the Nation and Good Morning
America, and a variety of magazines and journals including
The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and
the Legal Times. Beth has been recognized by
The Legal 500 as a Leading Trial Lawyer and a Leading
Antitrust Lawyer, and by her peers for The Best Lawyers in
America in White Collar Criminal Defense. She is also ranked
in Chambers USA 2014 for General Commercial
Litigation and White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations,
where Beth is noted for being "a very dedicated, very thoughtful,
first-rate trial attorney." She is also recognized by Chambers
USA as a leading, nationwide trial lawyer, and is described as
"one of the great trial lawyers in America today." Beth was
featured as one of the top 10 female litigators in the United
States in Benchmark Litigation's 2014 "Top 250 Women in
Litigation." She was also named a National Litigation Star for
Antitrust and White-Collar Crime as well as a Local Litigation Star
for Washington, D.C. in 2013 and 2014. In 2010, she was named as
one of The National Law Journal's "Winning" litigators and
as one of "Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers" by the same
Beth is active in a variety of pro bono and community activities
as a member of the board of directors of Equal Justice Works. She
has been particularly active in the death penalty reform movement,
serving as the co-chairman of the Constitution Project's Death
Penalty Initiative. Beth has testified before both the U.S. House
of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on death penalty issues and
speaks frequently to groups around the country about her work on
the McVeigh trial and issues surrounding the imposition of the