Gretchen M. Callas is a trial lawyer and the leader of the Firm’s General Litigation Practice group. She routinely represents publicly traded companies in significant matters involving products liability, class actions, and industrial disasters. She practices out of the Firm's office in Charleston, West Virginia.
Gretchen is an integral part of the Jackson Kelly team. She was the Firm’s first female assistant managing member from 2007 to 2011 and today serves as Jackson Kelly’s Recruiting Chair.
Gretchen frequently represents corporate defendants in complex litigation, class actions, and mass tort litigation, often involving product liability claims, violations of consumer fraud statutes, or significant industrial accidents. Gretchen always gives her all when defending her clients, and it hasn't gone unnoticed – both Chamber USA and Best Lawyers® have recognized Gretchen for her mass litigation and class action work. She was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® for Charleston, West Virginia in the category of Mass Tort/Class Actions. Gretchen has defended employers from class actions brought under the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act and financial services companies and pharmaceutical companies from claims arising under the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.
Gretchen's experience is extensive and wide-ranging, and her cases often involve both legal and logistical complexities. She defended a heavy equipment manufacturer against claims involving decades of occupational exposure, served as liaison counsel on behalf of 20 defendant companies before the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel, and managed the discovery phase of cases involving hundreds of depositions. She also has extensive trial and appellate experience related to these representations.
Her work has taken her to many unexpected places, including underground mine sites. Gretchen knows these on-site investigations are crucial to understanding her clients' cases, where she takes the time to talk to clients and employees, review documents, and get a working knowledge of the physical location. Gretchen put these on-site investigation skills to work while serving as a leader of the defense team that handled the civil litigation resulting from the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster.
Gretchen does more than work, though – she also gives back to the legal community. From 2010 to 2013, she served as a chairperson in the Campaign for Legal Aid of West Virginia and has been a member of the Visiting Committee for the West Virginia University College of Law since 2016. When Gretchen manages to find some free time, she loves spending it outdoors – she's an avid skier and mountain biker.
She’s also a blackjack player, so all things considered, it's never a good idea to bet against Gretchen.