ALTON — Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s largest mass torts firms, elevated 14 attorneys to shareholders, effective Jan. 1.
The firm’s new shareholders are Karoline Carstens, W. Brent Copple, Kenneth P. Danzinger, Suvir Dhar, Ryan Dickherber, Cody Favilla, Crystal Foley, John Foley, Courtney Gregory, Ryan Kiwala, Chris Levy, John Richardson, Andrew S. Williams and Brent Zadorozny.
All of the newly named shareholders are based in the firm’s Alton office, except Danzinger, who works from Chicago, and Crystal Foley and Zadorozny, who both are based in the firm’s El Segundo, Calif., office.
“We are proud to welcome 14 experienced attorneys as Simmons Hanly Conroy shareholders for the new year,” said Chairman John Simmons. “Each of our new shareholders already has made significant contributions to our firm and we look forward to their continued successes on behalf of our clients.”
Carstens focuses her practice on helping those affected by asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma. She earned her law degree from Northern Illinois University and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University. In 2016, Carstens was selected by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company as one of its 2016 “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch,” the Illinois State Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year and Northern Illinois University College of Law Young Alumna of the Year. Carstens is active with the Illinois State Bar Association on multiple committees and is a founding member of Young Friends of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.
Copple works as an asbestos and mesothelioma attorney. He began his career at the firm in 2002 as a mesothelioma investigator, helping to develop clients’ asbestos exposure work histories. He works with clients throughout all aspects of their mesothelioma case including sign-ups, discovery, depositions and trial prep. Over the past ten years, he has successfully litigated against some of the nation’s largest manufacturing companies. He earned his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich., and also has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College.
Danzinger focuses his practice on helping individuals and families impacted by asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. He has litigated and tried cases in several jurisdictions across the United States during his 19 years as a trial attorney. Prior to joining the firm, Danzinger was a partner at a St. Louis law firm, where he specialized in Federal Employers’ Liability Act claims and other series injury claims. He also previously served as a Madison County assistant state’s attorney, as assistant city attorney for Madison and as the attorney for Venice Township in Illinois. Danzinger earned his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College.
Since joining the firm as a mesothelioma attorney in 2010, Dhar has helped recover millions of dollars on behalf of individuals and families suffering from asbestos-related diseases. Previously, he represented clients in the areas of personal injury, commercial litigation and medical malpractice. Dhar has volunteered with numerous organizations including Legal Services of Eastern Missouri where he represented clients in special education and housing law. He also serves on the St. Louis Wyman Young Leaders Board and is involved with World Pediatric Project. Dhar holds a law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from William Jewel College.
Dickherber represents individuals and families impacted by asbestos-related diseases and has secured millions of dollars on their behalf. He is experienced at all phases of litigation including pre-trial discovery, motion practice, depositions and jury trials. Prior to joining the firm in 2010, he practiced class action, personal injury and product liability litigation in St. Louis. He earned his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from Miami University. Dickherber’s community service includes working with teenagers in East St. Louis through Join Hands East St. Louis’ Alternative Education Program and serving on the Saint Louis Priory School Alumni Board of Directors. He is also involved in the Young Friends of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance.
Favilla focuses his practice on discovering and exposing what asbestos companies knew about the dangers of asbestos exposure and their failure to protect their employees. He earned his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Fort Lewis College. Outside his law practice, Favilla does pro bono work for the Southern District of Illinois concerning prisoners’ rights litigation. He also has served as a trustee and mayor pro tem for the Village of Elsah in Illinois.
Crystal Foley dedicates her practice to helping victims of mesothelioma, focusing on California asbestos procedure and practices and overseeing the firm’s California docket. Prior to joining the firm, her practice involved general civil litigation with a focus on anti-SLAPP actions, at a law firm in San Francisco. She also has experience in personal injury, wrongful death and bankruptcy cases, with an emphasis in toxic tort litigation. She holds a law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Loyola University.
A leader of the firm’s Pharmaceutical Litigation Department, John Foley focuses his practice on protecting the rights of victims harmed by dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, such as Yaz, Reglan, Chantix, Actos and Depakote, and medical products, like transvaginal mesh. He also has represented victims harmed by asbestos exposure. He joined the firm in 2004. John Foley earned his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Science cum laude from Missouri State University.
Gregory focuses her practice on helping victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Prior to joining the firm in 2008, she worked at a St. Louis plaintiff’s law firm, where she represented clients in asbestos, personal injury and Federal Employment Liability Act matters. She earned her law degree with a certificate in health law from Saint Louis University School of Law. She also has a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, from Saint Louis University. Separate from her law practice, she is an active member of many legal organizations and the co-chair of the Illinois Committee for BAMSL. Additionally, she provides legal services pro bono for the Madison County Legal Clinic and other legal organizations.
As a member of the firm’s asbestos trial team, Kiwala has 11 years of experience developing mesothelioma cases against defendants that neglected to protect workers from exposure to asbestos. He has helped recover millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for individuals and their families harmed by toxic exposures to materials such as asbestos and benzene. He earned his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Separate from his law practice, he does pro bono work for the Madison County Legal Clinic and pro bono appellate work in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. He is also an active volunteer leader in Cub Scouts.
Levy represents individuals and their families impacted by asbestos-related diseases. A veteran of more than 200 cases, he works with individuals throughout all aspects of their mesothelioma cases. He earned his law degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is licensed to practice in several states and federal circuits, and he has provided pro bono services for both the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court in Madison County and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. He also volunteers on multiple committees with the American Diabetes Association.
Richardson has handled more than 125 cases, recovering more than $100 million for individuals and families impacted by asbestos-related diseases. Prior to joining the firm, he was an associate at a national law firm representing plaintiffs in pharmaceutical litigation. He earned his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Blackburn College.
Williams focuses his practice on representing cases in pharmaceutical injury litigation. He has helped individuals injured from numerous drugs and devices, including Pradaxa, Xarelto, Propecia/Proscar, SSRI’s, and Transvaginal Mesh. Prior to joining the firm, he served as an assistant city counselor for St. Louis, representing the city and its police department in criminal and civil cases. He holds a law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He is licensed in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, California and Florida as well as numerous federal district courts.
Zadorozny focuses his practice on helping mesothelioma patients and families in California and throughout the United States. His 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer includes handling asbestos and mesothelioma matters, as well as non-asbestos injury litigation. His experience includes an $8.7 million asbestos trial verdict in Los Angeles Superior Court, as well as successful arbitration of various matters in non-U.S. jurisdictions, including Sweden and the Bahamas. He previously was a solo practitioner, focused mainly on personal injury cases. He earned his law degree from Seattle University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University.
— From the Illinois Business Journal