Anita  Hotchkiss

Anita Hotchkiss



Practice Groups

Anita Hotchkiss is a trial attorney with 40 years of experience defending companies and individuals in the state and federal trial and appellate courts. Her practice emphasizes complex pharmaceutical, medical device, and other products liability cases; mass torts; class actions; and medical and legal professional liability matters. Anita has tried over 35 cases and is one of the few attorneys in the country who has tried a medical monitoring class action. She is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney, and is fluent in Italian and Spanish.

Among the products she has defended are anesthetic agents, DES, DTP, flu and poliovirus vaccines, PPA, fen-phen, breast implants, denture adhesives, metoclopramide, sutures, artificial hips and knees, and phosphosoda. In the realm of medical liability, Anita has handled and tried to conclusion various types of professional malpractice actions including legal malpractice, medical malpractice, pharmacy malpractice, and dental malpractice, and she has handled disciplinary actions against hospital physicians. She has also tried to conclusion multiple pharmaceutical actions and has defended several major pharmaceutical companies in both individual and mass tort actions.

Anita secured one of the first "junk science" dismissals in the country on the basis of Daubert v. Merrell Dow. She has been involved in other cutting-edge cases involving recognition of the learned intermediary doctrine, the privilege of self-critical evaluation, and dismissals based on bankruptcy, as well as rejection of the theory of enterprise liability and the over-extension of consumer fraud acts to skirt established tenets of liability. She has written several amicus briefs on behalf of the Product Liability Advisory Council in these and other cases of interest and importance to corporate defendants. In addition, Anita has served as an expert witness in evaluating thousands of mass tort cases for a multimillion-dollar company in a commercial dispute involving allocation of a $100 million escrow.

Anita has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been named repeatedly in New Jersey Monthly Magazine's list of "Super Lawyers," with special citation as one of the top 50 women attorneys in New Jersey. She lectures frequently to attorney and corporate members of national and local legal organizations on defense issues and tactics and was an invited member of the faculty at the prestigious Trial Academy run by the International Association of Defense Counsel.

  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • AV Preeminent Peer-Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell)
  • Avvo Rating: 10 (Superb)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© Product Liability Lawyers — Defendants, 2018–19
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, New Jersey Law Journal, May 2015
  • William A. Dreier Award for Excellence in Product Liability Law, New Jersey State Bar Association, February 2013
  • Women Leaders in the Law, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2005–19 (Thomson Reuters) 
  • The International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defence Lawyers
  • McLaughlin Award, New Jersey State Bar Association Civil Trial Bar Section, 2002
  • Professional Lawyer of the Year Award, Morris County Bar Association and New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law, 2001
  • Named by Medical Herald as one of the nation's 20 most influential women in the health care industry, October 1995
  • Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney
  • View peer-review methodologies at and No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. 
Professional Affiliations
  • New Jersey Supreme Court Appointments: Vice Chair, District X Ethics Committee, 2007-2011; Committee on Model Civil Jury Charges, 1994-1998; District X Committee on Fee Arbitration, 1985-1989; Chair, 1988-1989
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Fellows of the American Bar
  • Product Liability Advisory Council, Appointed Member of Amicus Case Selection Committee
  • New Jersey Civil Justice Institute Legal Advisory Board
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Litigation Counsel of America: Fellow
  • Trial Attorneys of New Jersey: Board of Trustees, 1981-2000; President, 1998-1999
  • Worrall F. Mountain Inn of Court; Master and Counselor, 1989-1996; 2001-2004; 2007-2011
  • American Bar Foundation; Elected Fellow, 1994 to present
  • International Association Defense Counsel (IADC), 1996 to present; Defense Counsel Trial Academy Faculty, 1996; Vice Chair, International Subcommittee
  • New Jersey Bar Association: Certified Trial Attorneys Section Chair, 1989-1990; Food, Drug & Cosmetic Law Committee, Chair, 1989; New Jersey Task Force on Women and the Law, 1989
  • Morris County Bar Association: Board of Trustees, 1984-1986; Judicial Appointments Committee, 1986-1998, (Chair, 1991-1998); Judicial Selection Committee, 2003-2005
Admitted to Practice
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, and Eastern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Civic Activities
  • Board of Trustees, The Community Theatre at the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts, Morristown; Secretary and Legal Counsel
  • Morristown/Morris Township Public Library Fund Raising Committee, 2005
  • Commentator on Court TV and other radio and television programs.
  • Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1975
  • Rutgers Graduate School of Library Service, Master of Library Service, Reference, 1970 (Beta Phi Mu, International Library Science Honor Society)
  • Bates College, high honors, 1959 (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude)
  • Panelist, "Multicounty Litigation (Mass Torts): Practice in New Jersey and Beyond," New Brunswick, NJ, January 26, 2016
  • Co-Author, “The Role of Preemption in Mass Tort Cases,” Chapter 15 in New Jersey Mass Torts and Class Action Treatise, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2015
  • Presenter, "The Role of Preemption in Mass Torts," Product Liability Seminar — NJ Law Center, February 18, 2015 
  • Co-Author, “How to Win a Dismissal When the Plaintiff Declares Bankruptcy,” chapter in Product Liability Litigation: Current Law, Strategies, and Best Practices, Practising Law Institute, January 2015 and December 2013
  • Contributor, Product Liability Playbook Blog:
  • Co-Author, “The Economic Loss Rule in NJ and the ‘Integrated Product’ Doctrine,” New Jersey Law Journal, December 10, 2014
  • Presenter, “The Economic Loss Doctrine in New Jersey — Now You See It, Now You Don’t,” NJICLE Construction Law 2014 Seminar, June 2014
  • Presenter, “To Mock or Not To Mock — A Trial Lawyer’s Perspective on the Ins and Outs of Jury Science,” Medmarc 27th Medical Device Seminar, June 2014