SANTA ANA, Calif. – U.S. District Judge James Selna has chosen Dawn Barrios of New Orleans as liaison counsel to state courts and other federal courts involving litigation over Toyota accelerators.
Selna presides over most Toyota suits from federal courts around the nation.
As of May 12, Toyota faced 99 accelerator suits in federal courts and 299 in state courts.
Barrios practices with Barrios, Kingsdorf and Casteix.
She previously secured leadership appointments in six multi district cases like the one before Selna.
She currently serves on a steering committee for Chinese drywall litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana, and she leads its coordination with other courts.
According to an application she sent to Selna, she was an invited speaker at a Toyota recall litigation conference in March.
Last year, she addressed a Louisiana Bar Association symposium on federal and state involvement in complex litigation.
In 2008, she addressed a conference on the topic, "State and federal courts: Which court will hear the case?"
She graduated from Newcomb College in New Orleans in 1974, majoring in English.
She graduated from Tulane University law school in 1976.
For three years she worked as clerk for Supreme Court Chief Justice Joe Sanders.
She joined Carl W. Cleveland and Associates, and in a year he advanced her to partner and named the firm Cleveland, Barrios, Kingsdorf and Casteix.
For the last 15 years, she has led the firm.
She's 57, and has three sons.