Paula Bliss was an established restaurateur with two restaurants on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, when she decided to switch gears and become an attorney. The lawyer she had retained during the expansion of her culinary career was speaking a language she didn’t understand, Ms. Bliss says, and, simply put, she wanted to learn it. The rest is history: Ms. Bliss has spent the past 15 years representing people in state and federal courts throughout the country, mostly concentrating on those injured by pharmaceutical drugs that have been inadequately tested and labeled.
The range of cases has been impressive, including the weight loss drug fen-phen, birth control pills, DES, ephedra, Granuflo kidney dialysis product, hormone replacement therapy, Zofran and Forced Air Warming Blankets.
Ms. Bliss believes the work is something of a calling. “I was clerking for a judge in Superior Court and happened to watch a fen-phen diet drug trial, and I was fascinated,” she says. “I wanted to know the science and learn everything I could about it. I knew immediately that was the kind of work I wanted to do. I was completely sucked in.” So much so that she approached the attorney who was trying the case and asked for an internship at his firm. From there, Ms. Bliss was off and running: She has been working on behalf of injured plaintiffs ever since—by fighting for justice both inside the courtroom at trial as well as crafting satisfactory pre-trial settlements.