Alex Alvarez is a board certified civil trial lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, EAGLE Founder of the Florida Justice Association, member of The Florida Bar; American Board of Trial Advocates; Miami Dade County Trial Justice Association; American Association for Justice; and the Cuban American Bar Association. He has been recognized for his contributions to the profession including: 2016 Centurion Award, Florida Justice Association, 2013 Finalist “Most Effective Product Liability Lawyer”; 2010 Finalist “Most Effective Product Liability Lawyer” 2009 Winner “Most Effective Product Liability Lawyer” 2001 Daily Business Review, Top 10 Jury Verdicts in Miami-Dade, 2000 Daily Business Review, Top 10 Jury Verdicts in Miami-Dade 1999 Daily Business Review, Top 10 Jury Verdicts in Miami-Dade. He practices almost exclusively Tobacco Litigation where he has obtained over $300 million in verdicts since 2009. He also maintains a busy jury selection and consulting practice nationwide.
Law is Alex’s second career. At the age of 19 when he was accepted to the police academy and after graduation he quickly achieving the rank of detective — one of youngest in the Miami-Dade Police Department. He was assigned to the elite homicide Centac-26 unit that was formed to combat the epidemic drug related murders committed by the Cocaine Cowboys of the 1980s. He gained international recognition by leading the investigation in the infamous “Miami River Cops Case,” one of the biggest police corruption cases in US history, resulting in the arrest and conviction of 18 Miami police officers.
Alex spent the next 2 years assisting prosecutors in the subsequent trials. The exposure inspired an interest in the courtroom, so while continuing as a detective he attended and graduated cum laude from St-Thomas University with a BS in Criminal Justice, Cum Laude and subsequently earned his law degree from the University of Miami Law School. He was selected by the faculty to be included in a national and prestigious, Order of the Barrister. | FULL BIO
Jim Bartimus concentrates his practice in the areas of medical negligence and pharmaceutical litigation. He earned his law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1977. He then attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine for three years.
Mr. Bartimus is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, all Missouri, Kansas and Colorado state courts, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, and the Western District of Missouri. | FULL BIO
For nearly two decades, Tim Becker has protected the rights of clients injured by defective drugs, medical devices and products. As a partner at Johnson Becker, PLLC, Tim plays a pivotal role in the firm’s commitment to successfully representing clients by exclusively dedicating his practice to representing the rights of those injured by dangerous and defective drugs or medical devices. He is actively involved in prosecuting claims on behalf of his clients who suffered injuries ranging from defective knee and hip implants, to catastrophic organ failure stemming from the use of over the counter herbal supplements. | FULL BIO
David R. Buchanan focuses his practice on complex individual and class action litigation involving pharmaceutical injury, securities and investment fraud, consumer protection, and pension litigation.Dave currently serves as Liaison Counsel (and related leadership positions) in coordinated litigation proceedings involving Accutane, DePuy orthopedic hips, Gadolinium Contrast Dyes, and Yaz/Yasmin. Mr. Buchanan also served as Liaison Counsel for the closely watched New Jersey Vioxx Litigation, which involved approximately 16,000 individual cases, and settled in November 2007 for a landmark $4.85 billion. As Liaison Counsel, Dave assumes a leadership role in developing the case through discovery and trial, and facilitates communication among the parties and respective courts.
Before joining Seeger Weiss, Dave practiced with a major Wall Street law firm where he worked on complex commercial matters, including corporate change of control and securities litigation. At Seeger Weiss, Dave has earned prominent leadership and steering committee positions in several landmark securities litigation matters. He also represents aggrieved individual investors and groups of investors in arbitration proceedings and litigation against public companies and brokerage firms for losses arising out of the deceptive marketing and sale of securities. | FULL BIO
Named a “SuperLawyer” by Atlanta Magazine for seven consecutive years, Cale Conley has garnered a reputation for success in and out of the courtroom. Cale attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and graduated summa cum laude with highest honors. After working as a clerk at the law firm of Butler, Wooten in Atlanta, Cale left to pursue a writing career and authored two critically acclaimed hardbound books in two years.
While he attended the University of Georgia Law School, Cale worked in the Hall County District Attorney’s office under the third-year practice act and prosecuted three narcotics cases. Additionally, he was named a member of both Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers for academic and courtroom advocacy excellence.
After graduating magna cum laude from law school, Cale worked as an attorney at Butler, Wooten for five years. He served as a lead associate on the 1998 Six Flags v. Time Warner case, which resulted in a Georgia-record $454 million verdict for the plaintiffs. In 2001, Cale formed his own practice, which focuses primarily on products liability, trucking wrecks, business tort and wrongful death cases. He has served as lead or co-lead counsel at trial in four verdicts exceeding $1 million dollars since 2002. | FULL BIO
Mark is a founding member of DiCello Levitt & Casey which opened in 2017 with offices in Cleveland and Chicago. He represents victims of injustice ranging from those who have suffered life changing physical and psychological injuries, to small businesses, to institutional investors. Mark and his founding partners have served in leadership roles in some of the largest class action and mass tort cases in U.S. history, including litigation arising from the Volkswagen emissions scandal, which recently resulted in a $16 billion civil settlement.
A national leading plaintiffs’ attorney, DiCello previously headed the Cleveland-based DiCello Law Firm. He regularly spearheads major personal injury and mass tort actions. He served as co-lead counsel in In re Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, overseeing litigation on behalf of women around the country injured by transvaginal mesh products. Additionally, DiCello serves on Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Boston based hip litigation In re: Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation, and on Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Brooklyn based pharmaceutical litigation In re: Propecia (Finasteride) Product Liability Litigation, and on Plaintiffs’ Science Committee in the New Jersey based hip litigation In re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular Hip Implant Litigation, in which settlements have exceeded $1.5 billion and continue to grow. He also serves in leadership in other ongoing complex litigation while he continues to represent clients who have suffered catastrophic and life-changing injury.
Before entering the civil practice, Mark practiced as an assistant county prosecutor in Lake County, Ohio, where he successfully tried a variety of major felonies to verdict. In the civil arena, he focused on trial work on behalf of those catastrophically injured in truck crashes, medical malpractice and a variety of product liability matters before taking on even more complex matters.
Mark received his undergraduate degree from the University of Dayton in 1990 and his law degree from Cleveland State University in 1994. That same year he was licensed to practice law in Ohio and U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Mark is also admitted to practice in the State of New York as well as pro hac vice in Massachusetts, California and other states.
Mark has been recognized by federal and state courts throughout the country for his accomplishments. Beyond his courtroom commitments, Mark is a frequent lecturer at national conferences for Trial Lawyers. In recent years, he has been a featured speaker at over 40 national seminars on topics ranging from national Pharmaceutical Litigation, Defective Medical Products, the BP Oil Spill Disaster and general Trial Skills. Mark has been annually named a Super Lawyer™, currently serves on National Advisory Boards for Plaintiff Trial Lawyers including the Association of Plaintiffs Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA) as well as the Executive Committee for the Class Action Trial Lawyers Division of the National Trial Lawyers. | FULL BIO COMING SOON
Named by the National Law Journal as one of the nation’s top 50 women litigators, Denise Dunleavy dedicates her practice to plaintiffs in women’s health and safety, personal injury and products liability cases. Although she handles a variety of cases, her passion is obtaining civil justice for victims of preventable crimes.
Dunleavy, the senior trial lawyer and partner at Kramer & Dunleavy LLP, has won numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and obtained settlements on behalf of crime victims in lawsuits involving property owners with inadequate or defective security, becoming one of the first lawyers in New York to develop an expertise in this area. Many of these cases involved women who were sexually assaulted due to inadequate building security, or as the result of powerful “date-rape” drugs. As a result of her work in this area, victims as well as neighbors, visitors, the property owners, and the community at large, are now more aware of this widespread problem across the nation. More importantly, security in these cases has been corrected and improved.
Well known for her litigation involving women’s health issues, Dunleavy was i a pioneer in breast implant litigation. She is the only lawyer to receive a punitive damage award in a products liability case against a breast implant manufacturer by a federal judge following a bench trial. In addition, she tried the first breast implant case alleging and proving that breast cancer resulted from the polyurethane foam of a particular implant. In that case, she won a $4.5 million dollar verdict for her client and was instrumental in getting the product removed from the marketplace within six weeks after the verdict. Dunleavy has published numerous articles on and has spoken frequently on this subject.
Denise also focuses her energy on cases involving birth trauma to infants and their mothers, late diagnosis of breast cancer, unnecessary hysterectomies, sexual harassment, traumatic brain injury, civil rights law, the rights of the disabled, product liability, wrongful death, auto/trucking accidents, as well as construction law and labor law which focus on those who suffer preventable injuries in the workplace. | FULL BIO COMING SOON
A partner in the firm of Meyers & Flowers, Pete been named an Illinois Super Lawyer in the area of medical malpractice, and recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois by his peers, a distinction earned by only 5% of the state’s lawyers. He is a member of both the Million Dollar Advocate Forum, for resolving many cases in excess of $1 million, and the elite Verdict Club Society, which includes top attorneys from around the United States.
An active member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Pete has served in a number of leadership positions over the years. Most notably, he was the organization’s president from 2009-2010. His tenure was marked by the organization’s successful fight to protect the rights of patients.
Pete received his undergraduate degree from Loyola University in 1989 and his law degree from DePaul University in 1992. That same year he was licensed to practice law in Illinois and U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Pete is also admitted to practice pro hac vice in Massachusetts, Florida and other states.
Pete is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the DuPage County Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Association. | FULL BIO
A Yale University graduate, John Gomez worked for the international law firm of Latham & Watkins and served the United States as an Assistant United States Attorney before founding his firm in 2005. Over the years, John has established himself as one of California’s most accomplished trial lawyers, recovering over $250 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 50 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more.
In 2010, Lawyers USA named him the national Lawyer of the Year, and Best Lawyers in America named him the 2011 and 2012 Plaintiffs Products Liability Attorney of the Year. John’s peers have also honored him as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. In 2011, he attended and graduated from Gerry Spence’s acclaimed Trial Lawyers College, and John continues his work with the college regularly.
Although he is active in the legal community, John also devotes much of his time to community service efforts that benefit kids at risk, foster children, Latino causes, local hospitals, and the March of Dimes, among others. The San Diego County Bar Association recognized him with its 2012 “Community Service” award, and John consistently strives to make his community a better place. | FULL BIO
Don Haviland is the founding member of Haviland Hughes, a boutique firm of “Philadelphia lawyers” specializing in complex commercial and class action litigation. Mr. Haviland began his career under the tutelage of the late Herbert B. Newberg, the renowned class action scholar and author of the seminal treatise, Newberg on Class Actions.
Over the course of his more than 21 years of courtroom experience, Mr. Haviland has achieved unparalleled success in his area of expertise in Pennsylvania. Since 2010 alone, he has recovered over $160 million for his clients, through eight (8) of the top fifty (50) verdicts and settlements in the State. Over the last decade, Mr. Haviland routinely has been selected by his peers in the legal community as among “The Best Attorneys in Pennsylvania”, a distinction reserved for the top 5% of attorneys in a State. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District of New Jersey, and the Eastern District of Wisconsin, as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Third and Sixth Circuits.
Mr. Haviland currently serves as Co-Lead Counsel in several cases of national importance involving consumer protection, product liability, antitrust, privacy, and related matters. Under Mr. Haviland’s direction, Haviland Hughes maintains a robust pro bono and philanthropic practice focused on giving back to the community the firm so proudly serves. The firm’s guiding principle holds that “true leadership is the art of changing a group from what it is into what it ought to be.” | FULL BIO
Voted among the Best Lawyers in America in the Medical Malpractice Law practice area for 2011, William Hawal has litigated numerous cases across the country involving defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices. He has helped people across the United States who have suffered severe and debilitating injuries from various medical procedures and products, including Thalidomide, DES, and Omniscan.
Super Lawyers magazine recognized Bill to be among the top five percent of attorneys in Ohio specializing in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice areas. Despite Bill’s success with medical malpractice litigation, he has also successfully settled cases involving defective helicopter components, automobiles, farm equipment, industrial machines, and consumer products.
A 1980 cum laude graduate from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Bill has been named as a fellow of the International Society of Barristers and has been appointed as a life member of the Eighth District Judicial Conference. The American Trial Lawyers Association also selected Bill as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Ohio. | FULL BIO
Julie Braman Kane has nearly 20 years’ experience successfully representing injured plaintiffs in high-level litigation. A partner of Colson Hicks Eidson, she has secured multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for clients, including a $38 million verdict in a medical malpractice and drug negligence case.
Julie is an AV-rated Florida injury lawyer who handles personal injury, medical malpractice and products liability litigation for individuals and in class actions. In 2010, Julie received the Daily Business Review’s Most Effective Lawyers Award for receiverships, and was a finalist for medical negligence litigation. In 2010, the University of Miami School of Law honored her with the Alumni Leadership Award, and she received the South Florida Business Journal’s Woman Extraordinaire Award.
A cum laude graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, Julie serves in a leadership role in legal professional organizations and the civic community. She is a past president of the Miami-Dade Florida Association for Women Lawyers and is a Commissioner on the Florida Elections Commission. She was a trustee and co-chair of the National College of Advocates.
Julie is an officer and serves on the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), where she was the chair of the Products Liability Section and the Women’s Caucus. The AAJ awarded Julie the Marie Lambert Award for “exemplary leadership to the profession, to her community, to AAJ, and to the Women Trial Lawyers Caucus.” She received the AAJ’s Joe Tonahill Award for legal excellence, given in recognition of outstanding and dedicated service to consumers and the trial bar. | FULL BIO
Robert W. Kelley has been recognized by Lawyers USA as one of the Top Ten Lawyers in the United States. In 2009 he obtained the 7th largest jury verdict in the entire country as reported by the National Law Journal.
Mr. Kelley is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Nova Southeastern Law Center, where he served as Editor-In-Chief of the Nova Law Review.Over the course of his career, Mr. Kelley has been selected and continuously included in the publications Best Lawyers in America, Florida Super Lawyers and South Florida’s Best Lawyers. He has been repeatedly selected as a finalist by the editors of the South Florida Daily Business Review as one of the Most Effective Lawyers in South Florida. He has tried more than 100 jury trials, and has won over 25 multimillion dollar jury verdicts in a wide variety of cases involving automobile, trucking and boating accidents, medical malpractice, construction site accidents, defective products, and brain and spinal cord injuries.
In addition to his exceptional legal career, Mr. Kelley is an active participant or significant contributor to a number of charitable organizations, both local and national. Mr. Kelley and his firm have been Justice Circle Sponsors for Legal Aid and FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD. Mr. Kelley serves on the Board of the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale which provides housing for the elderly and low-income families, and he has served on the boards of United Way and the Broward County YMCA. He was the founding donor of the Kelley Boathouse at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, and is a significant contributor to the Dolphin Research Center and The Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys. | FULL BIO
In his fourth decade of representing those injured by the wrongdoing of others, Mike Kelly continues to succeed in the courtroom and excel in the legal community. His March 2013 $8,341,000 verdict in the first DePuy ASR/Johnson and Johnson metal-on-metal artificial hip trial set the standard for future artificial hip implant litigation. In 2010, Kelly’s $23,200,000 jury verdict in a medical negligence case ranks among the nation’s largest verdicts ever for obstetrical injury.
Kelly’s practice includes personal injury cases associated with defective medical devices, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, medical negligence, product liability, government liability and mass tort claims. Additionally, Kelly has spoken at nearly 200 continuing education seminars for attorneys across the country, and he served as the director of teacher training programs for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy for ten years.
Throughout his career, Kelly has consistently been recognized and honored in the local and national community. He’s a member of the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, has been annually selected by SuperLawyers Magazine as one of the Top Ten lawyers in Northern California, and has been listed among the “Best Lawyers” in America for 17 consecutive years. | FULL BIO
Charles G. Monnett III founded the law firm of Charles G. Monnett & Associates over 30 years ago with a mission to serve as a fierce advocate for those who had suffered life altering injuries or other legal wrongs. He believes that the practice of law should always remain a true profession dedicated to the service of others.
Charles was born and grew up in Greensboro, NC, graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and then obtained his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1983. He started his law firm in Charlotte immediately after graduating from law school and has been practicing as a trial lawyer throughout the state of North Carolina ever since.
In his decades of practice, Charles has become an experienced and highly effective courtroom advocate who has successfully concluded a number of high profile cases. He has served as lead counsel in numerous jury trials in both state and federal court.
Charles has also served in a number of leadership positions within the legal profession. He is a past president of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association, serves on the Board of Governors of both the American Association for Justice and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. He is the incoming President of the Belli Society and past chair of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group. He received the inaugural Randy Evans Advocacy Award in 2009, recognizing his years of work on behalf of brain injured individuals in the state of North Carolina.
Charles is married. His wife, Deborah, spent her career in public education. They have 3 children.
Charles is an avid water skier and restores classic American automobiles and British sports cars in his spare time. He is also an accomplished woodworker. | FULL BIO
Kathleen Nastri is a partner with Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C. in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She works exclusively on behalf of plaintiffs, and focuses her work on medical malpractice for injured patients. She was the first woman president of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers’ Association, is a co-chair of its Continuing Legal Education Committee, and serves on its Board of Governors, and Executive and Nominating committees.
Nastri also sits on the Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now American Association for Justice), and is a fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. She is currently the Secretary for the AAJ and is also a member of the International Society of Barristers, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
She has lectured extensively on personal injury and medical malpractice at local and national seminars. She received her law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, graduating cum laude, in 1986. | FULL BIO
C. Richard Newsome is the senior partner of Newsome Melton, a boutique law firm that specializes in representing consumers who have been catastrophically injured by defective products. Before his consumer practice, he worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern and Middle Districts of Florida, and then worked for the Cabaniss Firm representing manufacturers including DuPont and Ford Motor Company.
Rich has spent substantial time helping protect the civil justice system through his work for the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice. He has served on the Board of the FJA since 1998, has served as a F.L.A.G. Trustee, as a member of the Executive Committee, and was the 2010‐2011 FJA President. He has also served as a member of the Board of Governors for the AAJ, and is a Past‐President of the Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association.
He has published dozens of articles about the law and practice of product liability litigation and is a regular presenter at FJA seminars. He has received numerous awards and honors including Best Lawyer’s in America, Florida’s Legal Elite, Law Dragon 500, Florida Super Lawyers, Orlando Magazine’s Best Lawyer’s in Orlando, Who’s Who in America, FJA’s “Tiger in the Bush” Award, the FJA President’s “Rough Rider Award,” the FLAG Award, the FJA Shoe Leather Award, ATLA Top 100 Trial Lawyers and the AAJ Stephen C. Sharpe Award. He has served on the Attorney General’s transition team, was the Chairman of the Fifth District Court of Appeals Judicial Nominating Committee, is on the Board of the Attorney’s Information Exchange Group, and served on the Parish Counsel of St. James Catholic Church.
Rich lives in Orlando with his wife Marcy and three children, Caroline, Grant and Grace. | FULL BIO
Mel received his undergraduate finance degree from Washington State University and his J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law. After a law clerk position with the 9th Judicial District Court, Mel spent over 10 years specializing in civil trial litigation until early 2005 when he was asked to join Gerry Spence’s team of litigators. Mel has been a partner in The Spence Law Firm since 2005. To further develop his trial skills, Mel attended his partner Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer College (TLC) and was asked to be on staff the following year. As a TLC graduate and staff member, Mel joined his fellow partners as graduates, staff members and teachers of the most prestigious and most demanding trial college in the world.
Named a Rocky Mountain States “Super Lawyer” for 2013, Mel is a board member and past president of the Wyoming Trial Lawyer’s Association and a current Governor to the American Association of Justice. He is also Board Certified as a Trial Attorney by both the National Board of Trial Advocacy (dual boarded in Civil Trial Advocacy and Civil Pretrial Practice) and with ABOTA, the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mel is AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell and has an Avvo rating of 10.0 Excellent.
During his trial career, Mel has been a part of record breaking civil jury verdicts in both Wyoming ($2.25 million mild traumatic brain injury case) and Arizona ($11 million trucking wrongful death), and has tried over 30 major cases in state and federal courts throughout the West. And because the majority of cases end up in settlement prior to trial or during trial, Mel has negotiated hundreds of cases totaling more than $100 million for injured clients and families who have lost a loved one to wrongful death. | FULL BIO
Jim M. Perdue, Jr. is a partner in Perdue & Kidd, with a national practice focusing on civil trials and medical products and pharmaceutical liability claims. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Medical Professional Liability by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. He currently serves on the Rules Advisory Committee of the Texas Supreme Court. Mr. Perdue is both an Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates and Fellow in the International Society of Barristers.
Mr. Perdue has tried over 30 personal injury cases to jury verdict, including multi-million dollar verdicts for cases involving pharmaceutical liability, work place injury, and medical malpractice. This includes his $27.6 million dollar verdict against Boston Scientific, listed as one of the largest product liability verdicts of 2014 by the National Law Journal. Mr. Perdue is a speaker and teacher around the nation on trial advocacy techniques and legal issues facing victims.
Mr. Perdue currently serves on the Boards of TIRR Foundation, which is the charitable research arm of TIRR Hospital in Houston, Texas, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Foundation (Houston), the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and the Silver Spurs Alumni Association. He is a past director of the Texas Lyceum and Past President of the University of Houston Law Center Alumni Organization. He and his wife Nicole have three sons, 14, 12, and 10. | FULL BIO
Troy Rafferty is a shareholder at Levin, Papantonio. He litigates mass tort, pharmaceutical and major personal injury cases throughout the country. Mr. Rafferty has been recognized as one of the country’s top lawyers through inclusion in the publication, The Best Lawyers in America, as well as The Legal 500. He has also been recognized as one of Florida’s top lawyers by Florida Super Lawyers. Mr. Rafferty has been awarded an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell legal directory, the highest rating for competence and ethics issued by that publication, and reserved for attorneys designated as outstanding in their field. Mr. Rafferty has been selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association. He is a fellow in the International Society of Barristers. He has also received numerous jury verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million, including a recent jury verdict for $9.2 million in Escambia County, Florida.
Mr. Rafferty is an active philanthropist, and along with donating to local charities, he also funds two local scholarships under his name (The Rafferty Scholarship/Award), which is awarded annually to two area high school prep athletes. Each of the area high schools also compete each year to be awarded the Rafferty Cup for excellence in athletic achievement. | FULL BIO
Dion G. Rassias is a partner in Philadelphia’s oldest and most prestigious plaintiffs’ trial firm, The Beasley Firm, LLC. He was recognized by American Lawyer Media as meeting “that supreme standard of being a ‘lawyer’s lawyer’. That is to say, if I were in trouble, I would want him representing me.” In a world where everyone claims to be a “trial lawyer,” Dion really is. He has stood victorious in the courtroom in all types of cases, from cases involving catastrophically injured members of our community, to business disputes, complex litigation(s) and insurance matters. As you will see, trying cases is what he does. | FULL BIO
Ellen Relkin is of counsel to Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. in New York City and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney. She has been elected as a “Super Lawyer” of New Jersey and New York as well as AV rated and selected for the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. She is licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.
Ms. Relkin is co-lead counsel in the DePuy ASR MDL litigation. In that capacity she played a key role in negotiating the $2.5 billion settlement for 8,000 victims of the failed hip implant. She is Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) in the New Jersey Multi-County Stryker Rejuvenate/ABG II Hip Implant Litigation and serves on the PSC of the Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation. She was a member of the trial team in the landmark Vioxx case McDarby v. Merck, that obtained a $13,5 million verdict and successfully defended the compensatory verdict in writing and arguing the appeal before the New Jersey Appellate Division, 949 A.2d 223 (N.J. App. Div. May 29, 2008). This precedential case established that New Jersey recognized a heeding presumption in pharmaceutical product liability litigation.
Ms. Relkin is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and serves on the Board of Governors of the New Jersey Association for Justice as well as the Roscoe Pound Foundation. She is a former chair of the Toxic, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Torts Section of the American Association of Justice. | FULL BIO
Over the course of his 20-year career, Ron has recovered over $600,000,000 for victims nationwide. He has achieved over 100 settlements in excess of one million dollars, including several record-setting recoveries on behalf of his clients in numerous courts across the United States.
Ron’s groundbreaking work on behalf of victims in several recent national food borne illness outbreaks (Peter Pan peanut butter, Castleberry’s chili, Nestle cookie dough, Kellogg crackers, Subway sandwiches, Wright County eggs, and Jensen Farms cantaloupes, to name a few) have been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and virtually all other major television networks and print media. He has represented over 5000 victims of food-borne outbreaks in the past five years alone.
Ron has been voted a “Texas Super Lawyer” by his peers, and a “Top Lawyer for the People.” He also holds an “AV” Peer Review rating for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability – the highest rating available.
He has also been named one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association.
By virtue of his expertise in food-poisoning cases, Ron is routinely interviewed by television and print media, and he frequently serves as an invited speaker at food-borne illness conferences across the United States.
Ron’s articles on ongoing food poisoning outbreaks and related litigation – as featured at www.foodpoisoningnews.com – have been viewed by readers in over 180 countries.
Through litigation, media commentary, and his food poisoning publications, Ron relentlessly challenges food companies to do a better job in making our food safe.
Ron was raised in Baytown, Texas. He graduated from Baytown Lee High School in 1986. He was awarded several scholarships to attend the University of Texas in Austin, where he received his bachelor’s degree in the Civil Engineering Honors Program in 1990 (graduating #5 in his class), and his J.D. in 1993.
Ron is married to his college sweetheart, Sarah. They have three children – Jessica, Ashley, and Jordan. | FULL BIO
Steven J. Skikos is a founding partner of Skikos, Crawford, Skikos & Joseph LLP in San Francisco. He has litigated and tried numerous product liability, employment and personal injury cases over the last three decades. Steve has lead numerous pharmaceutical mass tort litigations throughout the country, as well as the successful settlement of many of those litigations. In addition, Steve has served in Court-appointed leadership positions in more than twenty multi-district and California coordinated litigations. Recent positions include: Co-Lead Counsel of In re: DePuy Orthopedics Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products (MDL No. 2197 N.D. Ohio), Co-Lead Counsel (Plaintiffs’ Liaison) in the California Coordinated Proceeding Reglan/Metoclopramide Cases Litigation, JCCP No. 4631, and Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of In re: Gadolinium Contrast Dyes Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1909 (N.D. Ohio).
Steve graduated from Hastings College of Law in 1990 where he was Executive Publications Editor of the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review and recipient of the Hastings 1066 Scholar Award. He received his undergraduate degree, with honors, from the University of Notre Dame in 1987. He is currently a member of the State Bar of California, San Francisco Bar Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, National College of Advocacy, and the Hellenic Law Society. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences on issues relating to pharmaceutical mass tort litigations. | FULL BIO
Christine Spagnoli of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, is a products liability trial lawyer well-known throughout California. One of her signature victories was a case she co-tried in 1999 against General Motors which resulted in a landmark $4.9 billion verdict.
Due to her vast experience with tire tread products liability, Ms. Spagnoli is a member of several California automotive legal organizations, including the Plaintiffs’ Steering committee of Ford/Firestone and the Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel for Cooper Tires. She is an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the former president and first vice-president of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and a board member of the Consumer Attorneys of California. Her other memberships include participation in the American Association of Justice (AAJ) and the Attorneys Information Exchange Group, an organization specializing in automotive product liability cases.
Ms. Spagnoli has been listed in the Southern California Super Lawyers magazine as one of the Top 50 Women Southern California Lawyers from 2004 to 2008. Other awards include Most Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer (2001), the F. Scott Baldwin Award from the AAJ and the 2001 Trial Lawyer of the Year award from her alma mater, the Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. | FULL BIO
Kenneth M. Suggs, a principal in the firm of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, has been a tireless champion of consumer legal rights for nearly 40 years. Known for his advocacy in the areas of medical malpractice, product liability and business litigation, he has been recognized nationally as one of the nation’s finest trial lawyers.
As head of the firm’s Business Litigation Division, Ken has won judgments and verdicts for business clients wronged by major corporations, including a win for a $1 billion company against a Fortune 500 corporation. As a leader in the firm’s medical malpractice area, he has sought and won justice for many, ranging from infants who suffered severe birth injuries to families who lost loved ones due to dangerous prescription drugs. | FULL BIO
Six months after graduating from the University of Florida School of Law, Dale Swope founded a solo firm practice, which eventually evolved into Swope, Rodante P.A. As the firm’s most senior lawyer, Dale has received virtually every professional recognition available to lawyers who practice in his field and has an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Named as a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine, Dale is also listed in “Best Lawyers in America,” “Who’s Who in the South,” and “Who’s Who in American Law.”
Dale has been active in leadership roles throughout his career. He was the original incorporator of the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association, the director of the Florida Justice Association, and was recently elected President of the FJA for the 2017-2018 term. For more than a decade, Dale has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is also a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and was elected to the prestigious American Law Institute.
With board certification as a Civil Trial Specialist, Dale has received the most substantive credentialing of attorneys. Aside from his growing list of awards and professional distinctions, Dale has co-authored several handbooks and regularly contributes to the FJA Journal. Dale is currently authoring the ‘Bad Faith and Unfair Claims Practice in Florida Auto Insurance Cases’ chapter in Florida Automobile Insurance, 10th Edition published by the Florida Bar. He’s also given numerous presentations and remains active in his Tampa community. | FULL BIO
A partner in the law firm of Ashcraft and Gerel, LLP, Christopher Tisi has been appointed several times to serve as a member of the Discover and Science Committees for large pharmaceutical mass tort cases. Most recently, Christopher was appointed to serve as co-chair of the Plaintiffs Discovery Committee for the Gadolinium Based Contrast Agent Litigation.
As the Co-Chair of the Vioxx Plaintiff’s Discovery Committee, Christopher helped oversee all Vioxx-related discovery conducted in the federal courts, which eventually led to a settlement on Vioxx cases totaling 4.85 billion dollars. Other mass tort cases that he’s been a part of total more than 20 billion dollars in recoveries for the plaintiffs.
Although Christopher has been at the forefront of major pharmaceutical litigation, he has also achieved significant jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. His success spans a wide variety of cases, including medical malpractice, product liability, and pharmaceutical liability. | FULL BIO
Timothy Tomasik is a founding member of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, LLC. In his 24 years of practice, Tim has distinguished himself as one of Chicago’s elite trial attorneys. Prior to joining the firm, Tim practiced for 15 years at the prestigious Clifford Law Offices in Chicago and, before that, as a member of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Bureau of Special Prosecutions. He has tried over 100 jury and bench trials to verdict. Tim has handled and successfully resolved hundreds of millions of dollars in claims in a variety of practice areas, including complex premises liability, aviation litigation, medical negligence, medical liability, hospital liability, and mass disasters.
As a trial attorney, Tim has handled some of this generation’s most high profile and complex cases. For instance, after 180 depositions and navigating millions of pages of documents over several years, Tim, acting as one of the lead counsel of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, secured a $1.2 billion settlement in the World Trade Center litigation against the airlines for security breaches that led to the tragic 9/11 hijackings and air crashes. After a scaffolding collapse at the John Hancock center in March 2002 that resulted in the heartbreaking death or serious injury of ten bystanders, Tim acted as co-counsel and received a $75 million global settlement for the victims.
Tim is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, American Bar Association Mass Torts Committee, and Chair of the Sub-Committee on Experts and Evidence. He is also a member of the American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section and the Chicago Bar Association Antitrust Law Committee. Tim was a member of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Federal Agency Preemption of State Tort Laws and sits on the Chicago Bar Association’s Board of Managers. In February 2014, Tim was inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates, one of the most exclusive and respected groups of trial lawyers in America.
Tim is frequently invited to speak before audiences ranging from anesthesiologists to business professionals to other lawyers. He has given presentations on aviation litigation and mass disasters before audiences in New York, Miami, London, Barcelona and Shanghai. Specifically, in February 2012, Tim lectured on the profound effects 9/11 has had on the aviation industry and aviation litigation to the International Air Transport Association Legal Symposium in Shanghai. Tim also presented on litigating cases in the United States at the 2012 Cross Border Personal Injury Seminar in London. As a recognized authority in the legal field, Tim also speaks regularly to members of the American Bar Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association, and Chicago Bar Association on a wide range of legal topics, including the benefits of mock juries, jury research, professionalism, Medicare, aviation, medical malpractice, and evidentiary issues. As a fellow of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, Tim also moderated a forum for state appellate court judges at the American Association of Justice Convention. | FULL BIO
John Uustal practices in South Florida. He specializes in helping catastrophically injured victims and the survivors of wrongful death by protecting their rights against massive corporations and insurance companies.
Mr. Uustal has repeatedly been named one of the Best Lawyers in America, in the American Lawyer’s Top Verdicts of the Year, and as a Florida Super Lawyer. Uustal teaches seminars throughout the United States on a number of topics, such as trial skills and investigating automobile defect cases. | FULL BIO