Paula Fisetta Sweeney

Paula Fisette Sweeney

Partner

Practice Areas

Paula Sweeney focuses on cases involving complex medical and scientific issues. She has been a leader in the field of healthcare liability litigation (medical malpractice) for decades, and still takes a few cases in that field, along with work on pharmaceutical and prescription liability cases. Paula is well known for her powerful cross-examination skills and her expertise in handling complex cases involving catastrophic injury and complicated medical issues.

A frequent teacher and invited lecturer for legal, medical, and other professional groups across Texas and much of the United States, Paula was named a Legend of Trial Law by the Dallas Bar Association as well as its 2012 Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Congratulations, Paula Sweeney, on Being Named Partner at Slack Davis Sanger

In the courtroom, Paula's skills as a cross-examiner have been described as “relentless” and “driven”; as one defense lawyer put it, “Paula is like a heat-seeking missile.” Paula has been a Martindale-Hubbell AV®-rated attorney for more than 35 years and has been Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law since 1986. She has also received the Gene Cavin Award from the State Bar of Texas for lifetime commitment to continuing legal education. Paula is licensed to practice law in Texas and Montana.

Recent Publications

  • "Case Law Update," State Bar of Texas Advanced Medical Malpractice Seminar, Santa Fe, NM, March 2022
  • "Case Law Update," Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Meeting, November 2021
  • "Healthcare Liability Update," State Bar of Texas, Advanced Personal Injury Law Course, Summer 2021
  • "Winning at Deposition, Overcoming the Problem Witness," University of Texas Law CLE, April 2021
  • "Case Law Update," Virtual Seminar, State Bar of Texas, Advanced Healthcare Liability Seminar, March 2021
  • "Preparing for Virtual Trials," Virtual Seminar, State Bar of Texas, Advanced Trial Strategies," February 2021
  • "Presenting Complex Evidence" (State Bar of Texas [SBOT] Advanced Trial Skills Course, 2020)
  • "What you Absolutely, Positively Gotta Know About Ch 74," Texas Trial Lawyers Annual Meeting, November 2020
  • "Simplifying Complex Evidence," State Bar of Texas, Advanced Trial Strategies Panel, February 2020
  • "7 Med Mal Mega Trends," Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Meeting, November 2019
  • "Healthcare Liability Update," State Bar of Texas, Advanced Personal Injury Course, Summer 2019
  • "Case Law Update," State Bar of Texas Advanced Health Care Liability Seminar, March 2019
  • "The Intersection of Litigation and Gender," Dallas Women Lawyers Association, March 2019
  • "Cross Examination," State Bar of Texas Advanced Trial Strategies, Course Co-Director and Speaker, February 2019
  • "Trends in Health Care Liability Litigation" (Texas Trial Lawyers Association Annual Meeting, 2019)
  • "Cross Examination of Hostile Witnesses"(SBOT, 2014–present)
  • "Statute of Limitations Under Chapter 74," Texas Trial Lawyers Association Annual Meeting, Medical Malpractice Seminar, December 2018
  • "Saving the Jury Trial," Panel, Dallas Bar Association, November 2018
  • "Deposing the Difficult Witness," State Bar of Texas, Advanced Evidence & Discovery Seminar, Summer 2018
  • "Health Care Liability Case Law Update," State Bar of Texas, Advanced Medical Malpractice Seminar, March 2018
  • "Jurors by Generation," State Bar of Texas Advanced Trial Skills Seminar Panelist, New Orleans, February 2018
  • "Personal Injury Damages," State Bar of Texas, Damages in Civil Litigation Seminar, February 2018
  • "Women and the Law," State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting (Dallas) Panelist, June 2017
  • "Cross Examination of the Technical, Difficult or Uncooperative Witness" (SBOT, 2016)
  • "The Perfect Storm: Strategies for Difficult Witnesses" (SBOT panel presentation, 2016)
  • "Preparation and Trial of Medical Malpractice and Pharmacy Products Cases" (Montana Trial Lawyers Association Annual Summer Convention, 2015)
  • "Making and Responding to Daubert Challenges — Perspectives from a Civil Lawyer" (SBOT, Advanced Criminal Law Course - 2015)
  • "Trial Lawyer Tips, Techniques and Observations By and For Women Litigators" (Dallas Trial Lawyers Association, 2015)
  • "Advanced Settlement — Why Your Case Won’t Settle" (SBOT, 2015)
  • "Complex Evidence" (SBOT, 2015)
  • "Complex Litigation" (University of Montana School of Law, 2014)
  • "Women in the Courtroom" (Dallas Bar Association Tort & Insurance Practice Section, 2014)
  • "Dealing with the Difficult Attorney" (Dallas Bar Association Judiciary Committee Panel Discussion, 2014)
  • "Cross Examination of the Difficult Witness" (SBOT Annual Meeting, 2014)
  • "Medical Malpractice Update: Themes and Mega-Trends" (SBOT, 2014)
  • "Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Witnesses" (SBOT, 2014)
  • "ABOTA Masters in Trial — Cutting Edge Cross Examination" (SBOT 30th Annual Litigation Update Institute, 2014)
  • "Cross Examination" (Texas Trial Lawyers Association [TTLA} Advanced PI Seminar, 2013)
  • "Tales From the Crypt" (TTLA Legends CLE, 2013)

Education

  • J.D., Southern Methodist University School of Law
  • B.A., The University of Dallas

Professional Associations

  • American Board of Trial Advocates — Dallas Chapter, President (2000)
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association, President (1998)
  • State Bar of Texas, Director (1992–1995)
  • Dallas Trial Lawyers Association, President (1991)
  • American Association for Justice, Governor (1990–1992)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers (2006-2021)
  • International Society of Barristers ( 2010-2021)
  • Innocence Project (Montana), Founding Director
  • University of Dallas, Board of Trustees
  • SMU Dedman School of Law, Board of Law School Governors

Honors & Awards

  • Texas Watch’s Champions of Justice Award
  • TTLA 2021 Don Bowen Distinguished Service Award
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, Dallas Bar Association, 2013
  • Dallas Bar Association Legend of Trial Law, 2012
  • The State Bar of Texas Gene Calvin Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2009
  • Extraordinary Women in Texas Law, Texas Lawyer, 2008
  • Super Lawyers, 2001-present
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 1995-present
  • Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine, 2001-present
  • University of Dallas Alumna of Distinction
  • Common Cause Texas Defender of Democracy Award, 2003
  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
ABOTA
TEXAS_TRIAL
AAFJ
Best-Lawyers-in-America (1)
Super

Notable

Cases

Meyer v. Cooper Industries, et al

Workplace injuries suffered due to negligence or faulty tools can tragically and permanently change the lives of an employee and their family, as happened to elevator technician Michael Meyer just days before Christmas 2018. Meyer lost the use of his right arm, suffered severe damage to the left, and suffered other permanent and debilitating injuries…

Case Details

Rangel v. P.A.M. Transport (2017)

A busy interstate highway crowded with 18-wheelers can be a recipe for tragedy, as it was for Jose Rangel and his family from Laredo, Texas, two days before Christmas in 2013. Rangel, his wife Martha, and their daughter were traveling from Laredo to San Antonio when the acts of two negligent trucks drivers changed their…

Case Details

Grigson, et al. v. Farmers Group, Inc. (W.D. Tex.)

In 2017, Charles Grigson filed a class action lawsuit against Farmers Insurance Group, Inc. alleging discriminatory rates. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all Farmers auto insurance customers in the state of Texas who were policyholders in the Farmers Auto 2.0 (FA2) book. This book of insurance was the only one offered in Texas…

Case Details

Murphy v. Excel Site Rentals LLC

On November 11, 2017, an employee of Consolidated Well Services LLC was working as a floor hand on the Yoder 2-H well site in Bradford Country, Pennsylvania. A power swivel unit owned and operated by Excel Site Rentals LLC rotated unintentionally as the worker was reaching to release the elevators. His glove was caught by…

Case Details

Southwest Airlines Flight 1380

On April 17, 2018, a Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines (SWA), N772SW, experienced engine failure after departing from New York’s LaGuardia airport. As a result of the engine failure, the crew began an emergency descent and diverted to Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania. One passenger was fatally injured, and eight were seriously injured. One…

Case Details

Strothman v. Airbus Helicopters

On March 18, 2014, an Airbus Helicopters AS350 B2 with registration number N250FB crashed in Seattle, Wash., killing the pilot and one passenger, and injuring people on the ground. The helicopter was owned by and registered to Helicopters, Inc. and had been contracted by Seattle television station KOMO. The helicopter was leaving the KOMO helipad…

Case Details

Reno Air Race Disaster

On September 16, 2011, a highly modified P-51D Mustang crashed near the spectator area at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, killing the pilot and ten spectators, and injuring at least seventy other spectators. It is the third deadliest airshow disaster in United States history. The racecourse was 8.5 miles long, marked by…

Case Details

Conklin v. Super Shuttle

On July 4, 2012, our client was on her way to work. She was traveling on the service road of Highway 121 in Frisco, Texas. She came to a stop at the red light at the intersection with Parkwood Drive. As she was waiting for the light to turn green, a commercial van approached her…

Case Details

Moore v. Wilkes, et al

In December 2020, Mrs. Moore was traveling down the highway on her way home from a shopping trip.  Suddenly, an oncoming vehicle was thrown into her lane of traffic by a commercial vehicle that failed to pay attention to the traffic ahead.  As a result, Mrs. Moore’s vehicle was hit head on at highway speed. …

Case Details

Cezar v. The Crestmont Apartments

In June 2017, Ms. Cezar was a resident of an apartment complex in the DFW metroplex.  When she rented the apartment, she pointed out to management several water stains on the ceiling in different parts of the apartment.  The apartment management assured her nothing was wrong and said it was just a cosmetic issue.  The…

Case Details