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Attorney Jo Anna Pollock is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy in the Complex Litigation Department where she focuses on class actions, sex abuse and environmental litigation. She devotes her practice to representing people and businesses that have been harmed through the wrongdoing of others.
Jo Anna works on cases nationwide through all stages of the litigation process. She has spent the last 20 years in trial and appellate courts across the country and has secured hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of her clients.
“Every day, I wake up determined to give a voice to people who would not otherwise have one,” Jo Anna said. “My clients are hardworking and sometimes vulnerable people who have been taken advantage of and deserve justice – and it’s my mission to ensure they get it.”
Jo Anna has worked tirelessly on behalf of sexual abuse victims located in Haiti, which ultimately resulted in a $60 million settlement, and in the United States. She stands by their side throughout the entire litigation process to help ease their burden.
In the area of environmental litigation, Jo Anna has extensive experience going to bat for clients. She represents victims in class action suits against the largest industries, such as steel mills and refineries, whose negligence threatens the environment, groundwater and neighborhoods where neighboring residents live. In these cases, Jo Anna is responsible for case strategy, all stages of litigation, meditation, and trial preparation.
“It’s important to clients for their lawyer to look at a case from all angles and with compassion and common sense,” Jo Anna said. “I fight for people from all walks of life and dive into the details because I am determined to secure the best outcome for them.”
In 2014, Jo Anna helped lead the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill litigation where a federal district court approved a settlement that required the owners of the landfill to pay residents living near the site nearly $7 million. In 2017, she served as class counsel for the Village of Roxana, Illinois, a small community outside of St. Louis, and surrounding properties. In this case, a lawsuit was brought against the Wood River Refinery and Shell Oil for the contaminated groundwater emanating from the refinery – a result of both parties’ gross negligence. This resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement for her clients. In the same year, she served as class counsel and secured a $4.26 million settlement for a class action lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs whose homes were polluted by emissions coming from a Granite City, Illinois steel mill.
“Our clients can expect regular, consistent communication and a team approach at their disposal,” she said. “We will use every tool we have at our disposal to fight for them and the justice they deserve.”
Jo Anna has dedicated copious amounts of time to volunteer and pro bono work. As a pro bono attorney, she has offered free legal representation to many, including children as a guardian ad litem and veterans. Beyond advocating for clients, Jo Anna serves as an arbitrator through the state court of Illinois.
In spring 2012, Jo Anna founded the Madison County Bar Association Internship Program that mentors high-school students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in the legal profession. This program has served as a model for similar programs in Illinois.
Other community leadership includes Jo Anna’s service on the board of Fresh Beginnings Safehouse, a non-profit dedicated to providing services and housing to victims of commercial sexual exploitation, and service on the Executive Committee to the Human Trafficking Collaborative Network, which is an initiative to combat human trafficking and supported by the Washington University Institute for Public Health.
In addition to her leadership in the area of human trafficking, Jo Anna serves on the Board of Trustees at Lindenwood University where she chairs the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and serves on the Board of Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association.
Missouri Lawyers Weekly recognized Jo Anna by including her in the publication’s “Up & Coming” Young Lawyers list for 2015. She was also named an Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers from 2012-2015. In 2018, Missouri Lawyers Weekly awarded her a “Women’s Justice Award,” a recognition given to female litigators who demonstrate leadership, professionalism and a passion for improving the quality of the justice system. Most recently, The Best Lawyers in America, which is one of the most highly regarded attorney referral publications, recognized Jo Anna in the area of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiff.
Jo Anna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Lindenwood University and her law degree from St. Louis University Law School, where she graduated with honors and as a member of the Dean’s list. She served as an editor for The Journal of Health Law and a faculty fellow. She has penned several articles about practicing law for various publications and she speaks at law conferences on various topics concerning trial work.