Congratulations to GWM attorneys Dan Manna and Stephen Trigg for being selected by Wisconsin Super Lawyers as “Rising Stars.” Super Lawyers recognizes top lawyers in Wisconsin through a multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. This honor reflects top-rated peer recognition and professional achievement. A well-deserved recognition for both.
Congratulations to GWM attorneys Brian Cahill, Joseph Fasi, J. Ric Gass and Ralph Weber on their selection to The Best Lawyers in America 2019.
Brian Cahill – Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
Joseph Fasi – Insurance Litigation, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
J. Ric Gass – Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
Ralph Weber – Bet-the-Company Litigation*, Commercial Litigation, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs
*Named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for Bet-the-Company Litigation in 2016
Following on its selection as 2018 Wisconsin Law Firm of the Year, Gass Weber Mullins is pleased to announce that Benchmark Litigation—the definitive guide to the litigation and disputes market in North America—has selected J. Ric Gass as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in North America. In addition, Benchmark has selected partners Tamar Kelber, Dan Manna, Dave Turek and Ralph Weber as local litigation stars and counsel Dan Kennedy as a Future Star. Benchmark conducts editorially driven, in-depth analysis of the litigation and disputes market, highlighting only those firms and lawyers which it deems highly recommended or recommended.
Gass Weber Mullins lawyers Joseph Fasi and Frantz Destin Jr. recently obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a doctor following a four-day jury trial in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The plaintiff alleged that the doctor failed to diagnose and treat a bone infection, failed to perform the proper procedures, kept inaccurate medical records, and prescribed the wrong medication. The infection resulted in a partial amputation of the plaintiff’s toe and, at trial, the plaintiff argued that she would still have all of her toes but for the doctor’s negligence. The defense argued that the plaintiff failed to take the medication that the doctor prescribed and chose to have her toe amputated instead of undergoing antibiotic treatment for several weeks. The jury agreed with Mr. Fasi and Mr. Destin and found that the doctor’s conduct was not the legal cause of injury to the plaintiff—rendering a defense verdict in a plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction.
This September, Gass Weber Mullins hosted our first annual blood drive. With our region’s blood supply being critically low, we joined forces with the American Red Cross and encouraged our neighbors to roll up their sleeves, and together we provided blood that will be used to save up to 80 lives! We are grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to such a worthy cause.
It is incumbent upon us to take some time every day to think about how we can help others in need. While 60 percent of people are eligible to donate blood, only ten percent actually do. Blood is essential for treating chronic illness, surgeries and traumatic injuries. According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. To make an appointment to donate, please call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or visit www.redcrossblood.org to find a listing of community blood drives.
Ralph Weber and Stephen Trigg obtained judgments totaling $2,399,732.49 for the Milwaukee Center for Independence, Inc. (“MCFI”). MCFI is a vital Milwaukee institution that delivers innovative care to people with special needs in the local community. We were asked to help MCFI several years ago when a contracting party began withholding millions of dollars owed MCFI for treating brain-injured patients. The court granted summary judgment for breach of contract against the corporate defendant, and for personal tort liability based on conversion and civil theft against the individual managing member.
After extensive discovery and briefing, Gass Weber Mullins attorneys Ric Gass, Tamar Kelber, Daniel Kennedy and Stephen Trigg recently obtained a dismissal of personal injury action in New Jersey for lack of personal jurisdiction. The case arose out of a New Jersey resident’s accident at the Emerald Grande Resort in Destin, Florida, when he dove into a pool in the middle of the night, causing severe, permanent personal injuries. He brought suit in New Jersey state court against the Emerald Grande and several other defendants. Plaintiff conducted voluminous purported jurisdictional discovery argued that the various defendants’ contacts with New Jersey subjected the Emerald Grande to the New Jersey court’s jurisdiction. The Emerald Grande argued that it lacked continuous and systematic contacts with New Jersey sufficient to deem it “at home” in that state for purposes of general jurisdiction, and that plaintiffs had not established an “act or occurrence” in New Jersey that would make it reasonable to require the Emerald Grande to defend itself in a New Jersey court. The Court accepted the Emerald Grande’s arguments, concluded that it had neither “general” nor “specific” personal jurisdiction over the Emerald Grande, and dismissed the case.
Gass Weber Mullins attorney David Turek has been named a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA). The LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation. Senior Fellow status in the society is reserved for advanced commitment to and support of the LCA, Diversity Law Institute and Trial Law Institute. The LCA is aggressively diverse in its composition. Established as a trial and appellate lawyer honorary society reflecting the American bar in the twenty-first century, the LCA represents the best in law among its membership. The number of Fellowships has been kept at an exclusive limit by design, allowing qualifications, diversity and inclusion to align effectively, with recognition of excellence in litigation across all segments of the bar. Fellows are generally at the partner or shareholder level, or are independent practitioners with recognized experience and accomplishment. In addition, the LCA is dedicated to promoting superior advocacy, professionalism and ethical standards among its Fellows. Congratulations, Dave, on this stellar accomplishment!
Canada is experiencing an increase in civil jury trials. Attorney Joe Fasi was asked to offer his trial practice advice to the Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association in Toronto, Canada. Joe discussed how he conducts jury selection and presents opening statements in complex medical cases in the United States. Joe demonstrated jury selection, presented an actual opening from a recent trial, and showed video clips of the cross-examination of a plaintiff expert in trial.
Gass Weber Mullins partner Antar Vaughan obtained summary judgment for defendant Wal-Mart in a very plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction in South Florida and recently successfully defended that judgment on appeal. The plaintiff alleged she had been injured in an accident at a Wal-Mart store, and that Wal-Mart had actual and constructive notice of a condition caused by a third-party that led to the accident. Vaughan successfully argued that the third party caused the accident, and that Wal-Mart had no actual or constructive notice of the condition.
Gass Weber Mullins lawyers Joseph Fasi and Antar Vaughan recently completed a two-week jury retrial of personal injury claims in Alachua County, Florida. A prior jury had deadlocked on whether to award punitive damages against our client, a tobacco company. In the retrial, Fasi and Vaughan successfully argued against punitive damages. The jury agreed with Fasi and Vaughan and awarded zero punitive damages – a first in the world of Florida tobacco litigation.
Gass Weber Mullins partner Michael B. Brennan was quoted in the State Bar of Wisconsin “Inside Track” article, “Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 2014-15 Term: Unanimous Decisions Up, 4-3 Decisions Down.”
Brennan noted how the unanimous results did not necessarily reflect unanimity in the Court’s reasoning to arrive at those results.
“Going back to Plato, we have accepted the notion that if we tried hard enough we can make decisions solely on reason,” Weber said.
But, as it turns out, that’s not how the human mind works. Click here to read more.
The Winter 2012 edition of the Wisconsin Civil Trial Journal, published by the Wisconsin Defense Counsel, features an article written by attorney Daniel J. Kennedy that details the history and evolution of Wisconsin’s Pollution Exclusion Jurisprudence. The article provides wide-ranging and valuable insight into the ramifications of the gradually expanding scope of substances and situations to which standard pollution exclusions apply. Kennedy’s analysis examines both historical and contemporary court decisions in order to provide clues to the likely future direction of the courts.
Dan Kennedy is a 2004 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law. His practice encompasses a wide variety of civil litigation matters, including products liability, professional negligence, insurance coverage and personal injury defense.