Consultant to the firm:
Maria H. Dawson, Legal Nurse Consultant
Maria H. Dawson, R.N., J.D., is a nurse consultant for McCarthy, Winkelman & Mester, LLP. For the past 15 years, Maria worked with Christian Mester as an associate and then partner until she retired from full time practice in June 2019. Now, she continues to use her experience as a legal nurse consultant for the firm to provide critical insight into the clients’ cases.
Prior to completing her law degree in 2004, Maria received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Columbia Union College in 1979 and her Masters of Science in Nursing from University of Maryland in 1984. During her twenty-five plus years as a nurse, Maria worked for thirteen years in an inner city emergency department as a staff nurse, supervisory nurse and educational specialist for critical care units and was a member of both departmental and hospital-wide safety committees. She taught competency skills classes to nurses and other critical care staff. Maria was an instructor for physicians, nurses and other health care providers in advance life support (ACLS) and cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). She was active in the District of Columbia chapter of the Emergency Nurse Association serving as secretary & treasurer. Maria uses this extensive experience to benefit her clients.
After completing her law degree, Maria joined the law firm of Janet, Jenner & Suggs in Baltimore, Maryland. The firm focused on birth injuries among other areas of litigation around the country. In her first trial, the JJ&S team obtained a $13,400,000 million dollar verdict in a birth injury case. At JJ&S, Maria was an associate attorney and was part of multiple million dollar and multi-million dollar settlements. It was at JJ&S that Maria began working with one of that firm’s partners, Christian Mester. After Christian left the firm to start and head the medical malpractice department at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, Maria followed a year later.
At GF&M, Maria was an integral member of the medical malpractice team, which focused on representing clients injured by negligence. Her medical malpractice team was successful in multiple trials, including a $4,000,000 million dollar verdict in a North Dakota birth injury case (believed to be the 2nd highest medical malpractice verdict ever in that state) and a $3,750,000 million dollar verdict in Montgomery County, Maryland for a delay in the diagnosis of cancer. Maria and the team settled many cases for substantial amounts including birth injuries, negligent surgical cases, including gallbladder surgeries, nursing home abuse, and negligent inpatient hospital care by hospitalists and other physicians.
Maria then joined McCarthy, Winkelman & Mester with Christian to continue their partnership along with Kevin McCarthy and Michael Winkelman in representing victims of medical and other negligence actions until her June 2019 retirement.
In her leisure time, Maria and her husband enjoy spending time with their three children and two granddaughters and traveling.
Kevin J. McCarthy
“One of D.C. Area Best Lawyers” – Washington Post Sunday Magazine
Michael J. Winkelman
Michael practices civil litigation in State and Federal Courts throughout Maryland and select other jurisdictions.
Christian C. Mester
Christian investigates and prosecutes medical negligence (also called medical malpractice) cases.