Anna Maria Merritt focuses her practice in two areas – Shook’s Pro Bono team, and FDA regulatory guidance. Her primary pro bono work is defending juveniles and their parents in Jackson County Family Court; as an experienced public practice attorney, she also helps Shook attorneys who participate in the Missouri Coalition Right To Counsel project.
As a member of the Coalition, Shook works with the public defender’s office to offer pro bono representation to clients who cannot afford counsel. In the project, private firms encourage young lawyers to volunteer their services and mentor them while they gain the real-time courtroom experience that is critical to long-term development of litigation skills.
In addition, the work of the Coalition attorneys eases the staffing and financial burdens of the public defender’s office.
Anna Maria also handles regulatory matters involving FDA administrative compliance, particularly in product labeling and advertising. Through client counseling, validating accuracy and identifying market and regulatory trends, Anna Maria helps clients avoid litigation and avoid needless business expenses.
Before joining Shook, Anna Maria was an attorney for Legal Aid of Western Missouri, and the managing attorney of its Municipal Court Unit. She also was an attorney with the Missouri State Public Defender, and represented the Jackson County Juvenile Officer in child abuse and neglect cases. She also was a staff attorney at Hughes Hubbard & Reed.
J.D., University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law, 1986
B.S., Central Missouri State University, 1982 (English)