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San Francisco plaintiff lawyer Mary Alexander has been named president of the Roscoe Pound Institute, a think tank funded by plaintiff lawyers and affiliated with the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, which conducts educational programs, most notably conferences for judges. Alexander, a former ATLA president and head of ATLA’s political action committee for the past two years, said her work with Roscoe Pound will focus on education programs. “It’s like being the president of ATLA, although not as much work,” she said last week. Alexander said she was chosen for the position because of her range of experience in the courtroom and with public fundraising and education efforts. “They’re interested in my experience as ATLA president and dealing with issues of civil justice, such as tort reform,” she said. Alexander, who specializes in defective product and personal-injury cases, said she will continue practicing law full time at the Law Offices of Mary Alexander & Associates. On Friday her attention was shifted away from her new position by the first verdict against drug maker Merck on claims that its painkiller Vioxx causes heart problems. With a Texas jury awarding more than $250 million to the widow of a man who died of heart problems, Alexander � who’s handling several Vioxx cases � said legal work in those suits will follow a common thread for plaintiff lawyers. “The theme of that trial was profits before people,” she said. “And the jury said, ‘I like that.’”

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