Martha Swicegood Stwodah Counsel

Martha has over two decades of experience defending companies in high-stakes litigation. She has litigated hundreds of wrongful death and severe injury cases, as well as defended companies in mass tort litigation, multi-district litigation and class actions, in over 40 states.

Martha focuses on implementing creative and proven litigation strategies to deliver favorable results for her clients in all stages of litigation. She is highly regarded for the importance she places on understanding her clients’ businesses and mastering the technical and scientific aspects in every case. Her leadership skills, attention to detail, and focus on fostering relationships allow her to efficiently manage complex litigation from start to finish while simultaneously producing favorable results for her clients. She is an experienced litigator and advisor with sound judgment, integrity and vision.

Martha has handled product liability matters for manufacturers, distributors and retailers of a litany of products, including power tools, furniture, lithium-ion batteries, children’s products, clothing, grills, food, household electrical products, medical devices, cabinetry and automobiles. She routinely defends clients in toxic tort matters, including asbestos and silica litigation. 

A significant portion of Martha’s practice is devoted to counseling clients on risk management and regulatory compliance issues. She frequently represents clients before the Consumer Product Safety Commission in product recalls and investigations. She assists clients with the review of product literature, warning labels and instruction manuals for compliance with standards and best practices. She is well-versed in the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and has counseled dozens of clients on warranty-related issues for their products. She helps clients to audit document retention policies and review vendor/supplier agreements. 

Martha is committed to pro bono service and helped to spearhead a firmwide pro bono initiative to assist Afghan refugees with asylum applications in the United States, which has led to additional refugee-assistance pro bono programs at the firm. She also does pro bono work with local animal organizations and shelters.

While earning her law degree, Martha was on the William & Mary Law Review and moot court team. As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Martha was designated an Echols Scholar, a highly selective academic honors program.


National defense counsel for leading power tool manufacturer in product liability matters.

Obtained summary judgments on theories ranging from design defect, breach of warranty, negligence and failure to warn in numerous state and federal courts, including New Jersey, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and New York, for clients in product liability actions involving allegations of severe injury from consumer and professional products.

Won motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction involving European companies in federal and state jurisdictions, including the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia.

Successfully appealed to Florida District Court of Appeal, Third District a denial of a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction over European client.

Secured multiple voluntary dismissals for clients in product liability and toxic tort litigation.

Prevailed on numerous Daubert challenges to exclude opposing counsel’s experts, leading to summary judgment for clients.

National counsel for multiple clients in class action litigation alleging violations of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Defended dozens of corporate and expert witness depositions in bet-the-company litigation.

Served as coordinating defense counsel in toxic tort litigation nationwide.

Successfully defended manufacturing and retailer clients in CPSC-related penalty investigations and product recalls.

Oversaw and coordinated defense of product liability litigation in Philadelphia, resulting in defense verdict.

  • William & Mary Law School, JD, Member, William & Mary Law Review, 2001
  • University of Virginia, BA, 1997

Vice-Chair, Products Liability General Committee; Member, Litigation Section, Tort Trials and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association

Member, International Association of Defense Counsel

Member, Federal Bar Association, Federal Litigation Section

Member, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies

Member, Defense Research Institute

Member, Virginia Bar Association

Member, Richmond Bar Association

Member, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

Board member, St. Catherine’s School Parents’ Association, 2021-present

Member, Board of Directors, National Kidney Foundation of the Virginias, 2002-2004

  • Speaker, "Magnuson-Moss Information Session," In-house industry organization, August 31, 2022
  • Speaker, "The CPSIA: Congress's Response to 'The Year of the Recall'," CLE, December 2008
  • Speaker, "Legislative Update & Recent Trends at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission," Webinar, April 2008
  • Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Named to "Virginia Rising Stars," Personal Injury Defense: Products, Civil Litigation Defense, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2009, 2011

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