James T. Newman

James Newman

Mr. Newman received his J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in 1978 and is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago (Bachelor of Science, Mathematics and Physics). He joined the firm in 1978, and had his first jury verdict in 1979. He has a number of jury verdicts over one million dollars, including a $19,997,000 verdict for wrongful death in a trucking accident on an Interstate highway in the Midwest.

Mr. Newman has obtained multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts in state and federal court on behalf of asbestos victims and their families.

In addition to his verdicts and settlements in the areas of asbestos disease, product liability, transportation negligence, dramshop, construction liability, and medical malpractice, Mr. Newman has also written major appellate briefs on behalf of victims who were victorious at the trial courts. His briefs have been written to protect consumers against corporate and insurance industry attacks.

He has been a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association for over 30 years, and a member of the Amicus Curiae Committee for 20 years, serving as chairman from 1991-1994. Mr. Newman has written over twenty briefs for the Supreme Court of Illinois on important injury cases and has also authored numerous articles. His appellate practice has resulted in the affirmance of key jury verdicts for clients of the firm.

Timothy R. Ocasek

Tim Ocasek

Mr. Ocasek received his J.D. from DePaul University School of Law in 1979 and his B.A from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1976. Mr. Ocasek joined the firm in 1979 and represents clients at both the trial and appellate levels.

Mr. Ocasek has won numerous personal injury verdicts and settlements for his clients throughout the state of Illinois in a variety of areas, including wrongful death, medical and professional malpractice, product liability, construction negligence, premises liability and transportation liability.  He has also obtained settlement of many significant cases including a seven-figure settlement of the only personal injury lawsuit occurring as a result of the Chicago Flood.

He is admitted to practice before the Illinois State Bar and the United States District Court and is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Fenwick Bar Association. He has provided service as a moot court appellate judge and as an independent and court-appointed arbitrator.  He also serves as a Director on the Boards of community and regional organizations.  He has also lectured at seminars of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

Mr. Ocasek has been rated AV preeminent since 1990 by Martindale-Hubble, their highest peer and judicial review rating for legal ability and ethical standards.

Cases of local and national significance

Mary S. v. 32 West Randolph Limited Partnership, et al., Mary S., a Cook County clerical worker, suffered a leg injury when she was descending 22 flights of a dark stairwell when the building was forced to evacuate during the Chicago Flood. The leg injury accelerated a diabetic related amputation below the knee.  Mr. Ocasek filed an action against the building owners for inadequate life safety systems within the building.  Investigation revealed that the building's failure to have an evacuation plan and inadequate emergency lighting caused her injuries.  This result was featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Michelle G. v. Harrah's Casino, involved a casino dealer who severely injured her knee when required to quickly transfer buckets of coins from a bank to a cart.  Investigation during this lawsuit revealed that the casino had conflicting mandates that employees must follow for safety of the money which required lifting procedures that were not safe for the workers.  A Cook County jury awarded substantial damages based on Mr. Ocasek's argument that Ms. G. was not provided with a safe place to work as required by the Jones Act.  The result was published in the Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter and the National Law Journal.

Clark v. City of Chicago, involved a transport bus driver who crashed into the rear of an aviation truck repairing the roadway which enters O'Hare Airport, resulting in multiple fractures and nerve damage in the leg.  With the aid of expert testimony regarding road construction, Mr. Ocasek successfully argued to a jury that the Department violated numerous road safety codes mandating traffic control and warnings to motorists, resulting in a substantial jury verdict in favor of Mr. Clark.

Construction Negligence:  Mr. Ocasek has achieved numerous successful results for substantial damages for construction workers through litigation, including McAdoo v. Meadowood Bldrs. (jury verdict for crushed ankle from falling drywall stack); Johnson v. AirTech (jury verdict for arm fractures from unsafe scaffold); Samuel R. v. Walsh, et al., (1.35 million for failure to coordinate and correct unsafe work); Durham v. Amoco (knee reconstruction as a result of unsafe access to work area); Heelien v. CSR (ankle fusion as a result of unsafe job conditions); Kimble v. AMEC (back surgery as a result of unguarded deck opening); Batka v. Walsh Construction (neck surgery due to fall on site debris); Johnson v. AMEC (shoulder surgery due to improper storage); Madsen v. Jirsa Construction (failure to coordinate and control subcontractors’ work).  Mr. Ocasek has authored and argued numerous court briefs and memoranda supporting his clients' right to a safe place to work.

Product Liability:  Mr. Ocasek has achieved numerous successful results through litigation for substantial damages for consumers and workers injured by defective products, including Nguyen v. Brown (traumatic finger amputations in a forming press); Gettis v. Asplundh (multiple fractures and nerve damage of the arm from defective mechanical and hydraulic systems of a bucket truck); Davidson v. Standard (serious hand injuries due to a design defect in a conveyor system); Walski v. Bd. of Ed., (burn injuries from defective classroom chemistry equipment); Hansen v. Galion (defective access system on a road grader).

Premises Liability:  Mr. Ocasek has achieved successful results for substantial damages through litigation for individuals injured due to premises defects, including Mary S. v. 32 West Randolph Building ($1.1 million for acceleration of diabetic amputation from unsafe evacuation); Josic v. Florsheim (jury verdict for multiple ankle fractures after fall from loading dock); Salmen v. A. Suburban (jury verdict for multiple wrist fractures from faulty storage and maintenance); Reisenmy v. Lewin (multiple ankle fractures from defective exterior stairs) Trocchio v. Thyssen (neck surgery from structural failure of elevator); Melendez v. Dominick’s (knee surgeries from defective roof access ladder).

Vehicular and Transportation Negligence: Mr. Ocasek has achieved numerous successful results by jury trial, mediation, arbitration, and settlement for clients injured in collisions, including Chatskis v. Schulte ($1.3 million for an elderly pedestrian struck by a vehicle); DeCastro v. Randell (six figure with structure for aggravation of laminectomy from low speed impact); Coronado v. National Oak ($1,735,000 for partial foot amputation from forklift).

Jones Act, Maritime:  Mr. Ocasek has achieved several successful results for substantial damages for maritime employees through litigation, including Gaines v. Harrah's (knee injuries from employer's unsafe work policies and procedures): Paytosh v. Harrah's (necrotizing fasciitis flesh eating disease from employer's unsafe place to work and failure to provide supervision and medical care); Dorge v. Elsasser (arm deformity due to line entanglement on sailboat).

Daniel T. Stanton

Mr. Stanton received his J.D. from John Marshall Law School in 1980 and his B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago in 1977. He joined the firm in 1978 as a law clerk and became an associate in 1980.

Mr. Stanton has handled an extensive variety of cases including multiple mesothelioma cases, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, motor vehicle negligence, product liability, premises liability, construction site negligence, nursing home neglect and abuse, and wrongful death. Mr. Stanton actively litigates cases in Cook, Will, DuPage, McHenry, and Kane Counties, and elsewhere, and has achieved numerous million-dollar settlements for his clients, including a $2.5 million settlement for a father and daughter who were injured in a head on collision in a construction zone.

He has been a member in good standing with the Illinois State Bar since 1980 and has been admitted to practice before the United States District Court. Mr. Stanton was named an Illinois Super Lawyer for 2009-2010. In addition to numerous jury trials, Mr. Stanton has successfully arbitrated and mediated cases in excess of tens of millions of dollars.

Mr. Stanton is an avid golfer and is the captain of the Hearts and Sharks cycling team. His team has competed in the annual Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour for the past 25 years. He enjoys traveling throughout Ireland.

James E. Ocasek

Jim Ocasek

Mr. Ocasek received his J.D. from DePaul University School of Law in 1981 and his M.A. from Northwestern University in 1975.

Mr. Ocasek's practice is concentrated in the various aspects of personal injury and negligence as well as insurance-related litigation, including ERISA, health plans, and coverage disputes. His appellate practice has resulted in state and federal decisions which secure the right of clients to protect their recoveries from claims by other insurance companies. He successfully prevented an insurer from claiming it was entitled to a share of a minor's proceeds in Keleher v. Blue Cross.  He prevented Wal Mart's ERISA plan from taking all of a plaintiff's limited recovery when there were still outstanding medical bills in Speciale v. Wal Mart.  He wrote the Amicus Brief for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association in Hoglund v. State Farm and Greenawalt v. State Farm; cases which resulted in the Illinois Supreme Court establishing the principle that setoffs may only be applied in Underinsured Motorist cases to prevent double recovery.  In Noakes v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. he re-affirmed the Illinois standard on expert testimony and the right of an expert to present testimony with a factual foundation without further basis.

He has lectured for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association on the subjects of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage and has written the chapter on third party insurance coverages for the Automobile Litigation Manual published by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.  He is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and is frequently requested to serve as neutral arbitrator in 3 attorney panels for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist claim arbitrations.

He has been a member in good standing with the Illinois State Bar since 1981 and has also been admitted to practice before the Federal Bar for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

James R. Hopkinson

Jim Hopkinson

Jim Hopkinson received his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1985 and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from John Carroll University in 1982. He joined the firm in 1983 as a law clerk and became an associate in 1985, at which time he was admitted to practice before the Illinois State Bar and the United States District Court.

Mr. Hopkinson has obtained jury awards and million-dollar settlements for his clients in the areas of asbestos litigation, aviation litigation, medical malpractice, FELA litigation, product liability, and a wide variety of other civil trial matters. He has done pro bono work through community outreach programs and as appointed counsel for indigent clients.

Mr. Hopkinson has lectured in Illinois and nationwide on a wide range of issues. He has given talks about demonstrative evidence to the Plaintiffs Asbestos Litigation Seminar, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the Chicago Bar Association. He has also spoken on a wide range of issues related to Toxic Tort Litigation and has been a guest lecturer at Chicago-area law schools.

Mr. Hopkinson is an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the Fenwick Bar Association. He has received Certificates of Appreciation from the Chicago Police-Community Council, the Loyola Alumni Association, and the Chicago Bar Association. He is listed in the ninth edition of Who's Who in American Law. He is a member of the President's Council of John Carroll University and a member of Loyola School of Law’s Circle of Advocates.

Mr. Hopkinson is active in his community and has coached youth baseball and basketball. He is past president of the St. Luke Men's Club, past chairman of the St. Luke School Athletic Committee, and an active member of the Fenwick Fathers Club. In his spare time he enjoys reading, football, basketball, and golf.

Kathy Byrne

Kathy Byrne

Kathy Byrne has been practicing in the field of asbestos litigation since graduating from law school in 1988.  She exclusively represents plaintiffs in product liability litigation at both trial and appellate levels.  She has secured multi-million dollar jury verdicts in many asbestos trials.  In addition to being licensed to practice law in Illinois, she is also a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Trial Bar, the Seventh Circuit Appellate Bar, and has also argued, by special permission of the Court, before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Bankruptcy Court.

Ms. Byrne was appointed by the Court to the committee which framed the criteria for the Cook County asbestos registry and she successfully defeated an appellate challenge to the registry by several asbestos manufacturers. It has since been adopted as a model in other jurisdictions.

Ms. Byrne was heavily involved with the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association's successful challenge to the constitutionality of the Illinois Legislative Tort Reform package.  Her Appellate Brief, submitted on behalf of the Brotherhood of Heat and Frost Insulators, Local 17, and The Southeast Environmental Task Force, was the first Amicus Curiae brief accepted by the Illinois Supreme Court in the tort reform challenge.

In addition to many trials, verdicts, and settlements of mesothelioma cases, Ms. Byrne has written briefs in a majority of the major asbestos cases in Illinois. Her legal knowledge and experience at the trial and appellate levels has made her a popular lecturer in Illinois and around the U.S.

In addition to her practice, Ms. Byrne has also lectured extensively throughout the nation at litigation seminars; written a published chapter in the Illinois Continuing Legal Education Premises Liability Handbook volume; judged and critiqued law school moot court finalists, and acted as a mentor for new trial lawyers through a special program instituted by the American Association for Justice (AAJ).  She is a member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, where she serves on the legislation committe, and is listed in Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in American Women.

Ms. Byrne has served as Chairman of Children's Dental Health Month for the Chicago Chapter of the American Dental Association, and is a charter member of the Loyal Law School Circle of Advocates. She, is a graduate of  Loyola University School of Law and Saint Mary's College of Notre Dame. A lifelong Chicago resident, she lives on the near northside and enjoys traveling and going to Cubs games with her young son.

Michael D. Mulvihill

Mike Mulvhill

Mr. Mulvihill received his J.D. from DePaul University School of Law in 1988 and his B.A. from Marquette University in 1985. He joined the firm as a law clerk in 1986 and became an associate in 1989.

Mr. Mulvihill's practice includes a wide variety of civil trial matters concentrated in asbestos litigation, product liability, medical malpractice, construction negligence, premises liability, and transportation liability. In addition to being trial counsel for Cooney and Conway in asbestos related matters, he is often retained by other plaintiffs firms as trial counsel in mesothelioma and other asbestos related injury and death cases. He has obtained over 425 verdicts and settlements in excess of a million dollars, including 40 matters in excess of 5 million dollars. While Mr. Mulvihill's mesothelioma and asbestos practice is nationwide, it is concentrated in representing asbestos victims throughout the Midwest.

He is admitted to practice before the Illinois State Bar, as well as the Federal Bar for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois.  He has also been admitted pro hac vice in the Northern District of Indiana, as well as St. Louis City in Missouri. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and the Fenwick Bar Association.
 

Michael John Lubeck

Michael John Lubeck

Mr. Lubeck became associated with the firm after graduating cum laude from Loyola University School of Law in 1994.  He was a member of the Loyola Student Bar Association and the National Moot Court Team, and was recognized intramurally for Best Brief and Best Oral Presentation.  He was the recipient of several American Jurisprudence Awards in Appellate Advocacy.

Mr. Lubeck has assisted in numerous mesothelioma cases involving many millions of dollars. Mr. Lubeck’s practice is concentrated in automobile, premises and construction negligence cases, as well as various probate procedures related to minors and decedent estates.  He is currently counsel for a group of children suffering from birth defects as a result of their parents exposure to toxic chemicals at work.  He has represented clients in nationally significant litigation arising from the E2 Nightclub tragedy, the Lincoln Park porch collapse, and the I-90 Marengo accident of 2003.  He has secured several settlements in excess of a million dollars in premises liability cases, including 1.2 million dollars for a glazier who injured his back after slipping on ice.  He has acted as local counsel in association with national firms representing injured railroad workers in northern Illinois.  He has also authored a number of successful appeals for the firm.

Mr. Lubeck holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Illinois University.  He is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

Michael Terrence Egan Jr.

Mike Egan

After nine years as a Chicago Police Officer, Mr. Egan joined the firm as an associate in 2001.  Receiving his B.A. from the University of Illinois - Chicago, Mr. Egan graduated cum laude from  John Marshall Law School in 2000.

Mr. Egan's practice includes a wide variety of civil trial matters concentrated in asbestos litigation, product liability, medical malpractice, construction negligence, premises liability, and transportation liability.  He has secured over a dozen one million dollar settlements for clients since joining the firm.  In June of 2003, Mr. Egan secured settlements totaling over five million dollars for an asbestos client.

Mr. Egan has traveled across the country uncovering documents and taking depositions that have been used to prove negligence against major multi national corporations.

He is admitted to practice before the Illinois State Bar and is a member of the Federal Bar for the Northern District of Illinois.  He is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice.  Mr. Egan was named a personal injury Rising Star in Illinois for 2008 and 2009.

Lawrence Robert Weisler

Larry Weisler

After two years as a law clerk at Cooney & Conway, Mr. Weisler joined the firm as an associate in 2004. Receiving his B.S. from Michigan State University, Mr. Weisler graduated with a J.D. from John Marshall Law School.

Mr. Weisler's practice includes a wide variety of civil trial matters concentrated in asbestos litigation, product liability, premise liability, and personal injury. Since joining the firm, Mr. Weisler has obtained settlements in over 100 mesothelioma cases on behalf of his clients against  numerous national manufacturers and distributors of asbestos containing products.

Mr. Weisler has traveled to over 100 cities, in many states, securing proof from families of victims, coworkers, and key witnesses in asbestos litigation. His recovering evidence has made an impact on hundreds of multi-million dollar cases.

He is admitted to practice before the Illinois State Bar and is a member of the Federal Bar for the Northern District of Illinois. Recently, Mr. Weisler was recognized by SuperLawyers Magazine as a Rising Star in Illinois.

Timothy G. Martin

Tim Martin

Tim received his B.A. from Boston College in 2001 and his law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 2005.  In 2004, while studying as a visiting student at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, he joined the firm as a law clerk and in the Fall of 2005 was hired as an associate with Cooney & Conway.

Tim  specializes in cases involving asbestos related illnesses, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis and his work has resulted in dozens of multi-million dollar recoveries in mesothelioma cases. In addition to his asbestos work, he has extensive experience across a broad range of civil trial matters, including product liability, construction negligence, premise liability, and motor vehicle negligence.

Tim  is admitted before the Illinois Bar and the Federal Bar for the Northern District of Illinois.  He is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice.

In 2009 and 2010, he was recognized by SuperLawyers magazine as a Rising Star in Illinois in the area of product liability and personal injury litigation.

 

Daniel T. Ryan

Larry Weisler

Mr. Ryan received his B.A. from Villanova University in 2002 and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 2005.  He joined the firm as a law clerk in 2003, and rejoined Cooney & Conway as an associate in the Summer of 2006.

Mr. Ryan's practice areas include a broad range of civil trial matters, including asbestos litigation, wrongful death, product liability, construction negligence, premises liability, and personal injury.  He devotes most of his practice to representing victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.  Since joining Cooney & Conway, he has secured numerous multi-million dollar settlements for his clients against national manufacturers and distributors of asbestos containing products.  In 2009 and 2010, SuperLawyers magazine selected Mr. Ryan for its Illinois Rising Stars list.

Mr. Ryan is admitted before the Illinois State Bar as well as the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  He is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and the Fenwick Bar Association.

Charles A. Porretta

Charley Poretta

Charles Porretta is a 1991 graduate of John Marshall Law School.  For his entire legal career, Mr. Porretta has represented seriously injured victims of negligence and families in wrongful death actions.  He has extensive experience in litigating cases in the fields of product liability/asbestos litigation, aviation law, transportation negligence, construction injuries, premises liability, sexual abuse, and medical malpractice.  At Cooney and Conway, he primarily concentrates on asbestos litigation. He has settled many mesothelioma cases in excess of one million dollars.

He has been trial counsel in many cases that have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts, including a $21 million verdict in an airplane crash (reduced to $18.9 million due to a finding of  10% pilot error), a $6.2 million dollar verdict, and a $2.7 million dollar verdict .  He has settled numerous cases for well in excess of one million dollars.  He has orally argued matters before the Illinois Appellate Court and the Supreme Court of Illinois and has authored many appellate briefs.  He is a frequently invited speaker before local bar associations.

Mr. Porretta is in good standing with the Illinois State Bar and the Federal Bar for the Northern District of Illinois.  He is also a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

Mr. Porretta has had a significant impact on over 25 multi-million dollar settlements at trial in the past 2 years.

David O. Barrett

Dave Barrett

David Barrett earned his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 2007 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2004, where he studied economics and philosophy.  He joined Cooney & Conway in 2005 as a law clerk and became an associate in 2007, at which time he was admitted to practice before the Illinois State Bar and the United States District Court. 

Mr. Barrett specializes in asbestos litigation, working tirelessly on behalf of clients suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.  He has obtained numerous multi-million dollar settlements for his clients, and he has done this against almost every kind of corporate defendant.  A recent case against a manufacturer of asbestos-containing ceiling tiles resulted in a $1.35 million dollar settlement with the tile manufacturer. 

Mr. Barrett is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.  He remains actively involved in Loyola's trial advocacy program, serving frequently as a judge at various moot court competitions.  In addition, he currently serves as an associate board member at both St. Gregory the Great High School, a Catholic school located in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, and Thresholds, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to finding employment for people afflicted with serious mental illness.

Matthew J. Adair

Matt Adair

After receiving his B.A. from Northwestern University in 2006, Mr. Adair graduated cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2009. Mr. Adair joined Cooney and Conway as a law clerk in 2007 and returned to the firm as an associate in the spring of 2011. Prior to rejoining the firm, Mr. Adair served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Terrence J. Lavin of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District.

Mr. Adair concentrates in cases involving asbestos related illnesses, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. In addition to his asbestos work, Mr. Adair has experience across a broad range of civil trial matters, including product liability, construction negligence, premise liability, and motor vehicle negligence.

Mr. Adair is an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago, where he teaches a course in legal writing and appellate advocacy. Mr. Adair also coaches Loyola's Jessup International Law Moot Court team.

Mr. Adair is admitted before the Illinois State Bar and is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Thomas J. Power

Tom Power

Thomas Power formally joined the law firm of Cooney & Conway as an associate in 2011.  Mr. Power’s primary areas of practice in personal injury matters include: toxic tort liability; automobile liability; premises liability; and construction negligence.  Currently, he is counsel for a group of children suffering from birth defects as a result of their parents’ exposure to toxic chemicals at work.

Mr. Power received his Juris Doctor degree in 2011 from Loyola University Chicago School of Law after graduating cum laude from Saint Xavier University on Chicago’s south side with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy.  He is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois.

While attending Loyola, Mr. Power worked for Cooney & Conway as a law clerk where he gained a wealth of knowledge and excellent experience assisting in a wide variety of personal injury matters. 

Cooney and Conway's success has not been limited to mesothelioma cases. The firm has also successfully prosecuted claims for asbestosis and lung and digestive tract cancers against the manufacturers of asbestos products.

If you would like further information about our asbestos practice, or would like a complimentary analysis of your or a family member's potential case, please call us at 888-875-7899, or complete the Free Case Evaluation. We are pleased to have the opportunity to be of service.

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