Once a month, we have been sharing some facts about each of shareholders who make up the Simmons Hanly Conroy family. Now it’s time to introduce the rest. Our goal is to give you an inside glimpse at the dedication and passion our attorneys have for helping clients secure the justice they deserve.
Take a closer look at the people behind our dedicated law firm below.
Attorney David Miceli joined the firm’s pharmaceutical litigation department in 2006. He has more than twenty years of experience practicing law and specializing in the complex, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation areas. Thousands of consumers who were injured by drugs that were touted as safe have been helped because of the work David has done.
”We are the watch dogs,” David said. “It’s one thing to say you fight the giants of the pharmaceutical industry – and they are – but when you represent clients and individuals whose lives were harmed in such a profound way and then you are able, through the litigation, to make life-changing things happen for them you understand that helping people is really what it’s all about.”
One of the major team members in the firm’s Complex Litigation department is Paul Lesko. Paul spends his time helping inventors and small businesses develop and maintain and equal footing in the marketplace. He’s worked with entire industries and has represented clients against some of the biggest companies, such as Google, Apple, Visa and Cisco.
“We really work with…anybody whose hard-earned work is being infringed by somebody else out there,” Paul said. “We’re all truly litigators. We’re in courts. We’re out there on the front lines for our clients.”
Trent is one of the lead litigators in the firm’s pharmaceutical division. He joined the company in 2003 and has since helped thousands of people who were harmed by dangerous drugs and defective medical devices. Trent decided to become a lawyer for one reason: to help people who have the odds stacked against them.
“I’ve worked with thousands of people who’ve been wronged by large companies,” he said. “You are not alone, but you alone can make the decision to stand up for yourself. Once you do that, we are here to help you with the rest.”
With more than 10 years of legal experience at Simmons Hanly Conroy, Matt focuses primarily on asbestos bankruptcy litigation. He is dedicated to helping families who have either lose a loved one to an asbestos-related disease, or who have recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis.
“My clients are trying to deal with a myriad of issues all at once, so having someone like me help ensure their recovery amounts are financially secure through a trust is a benefit they might not have considered,” Matt said.
Working out of the San Francisco office, Deborah has practiced law for more than 15 years. She focuses primarily on asbestos, personal injury and commercial litigation. Even before joining the Simmons Hanly Conroy team, she represented clients dealing with asbestos and benzene-related exposure.
“I am a true believer in justice as a basic human right and in the ability of our civil justice system to level the playing field in a way that few other institutions can,” Deborah said. “I feel honored to be a part of that process.”
Melissa Crowe Schopfer
Melissa joined the firm in 2005 and has since helped recover more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for her clients. In 2014, she was named a shareholder. Though her main office is at the firm’s headquarters in Alton, Illinois, she’s just as likely to work from a client’s dining room table, a hotel room, airport waiting areas or somewhere even more unusual. One of her more unusual visits found her meeting with a client in a Nevada rock quarry.
“My clients are hard-working, down-to-earth people who would be willing to give you the shirt off their backs,” she said. “I feel privileged and honored that they are willing to share their stories with me.”
Drew is a shareholder in the firm’s asbestos litigation department. Drew handles all aspects of his mesothelioma cases, so his clients can focus on more important things, like their family and treatment. As one of he mesothelioma lawyers, he has helped recover more than $50 million in verdicts and settlements on their behalf.
“Mesothelioma is such a rare disease and often times the initial shock of a diagnosis, coupled with the cost of treatment and the need to file a lawsuit, can be overwhelming for my clients,” Drew said. “I respect the difficult situation they are facing and want them to know I am here to answer questions and counsel them in any way possible.”
Working out of the New York office, Thomas has more than 35 years of experience trying cases and arguing appeals in state and federal courts. He’s worked in a variety of areas, including securities, fraud, products liability, intellectual property and more. Thomas is known for his careful analysis and thorough preparation of the case, well-written motions and briefs, and superior trial and oral argument skills.
“It is important to practice law with people you like, trust and respect,” Tom said. My colleagues at Simmons Hanly Conroy are that kind of people – lawyers to whom I would entrust my own case.”
Mike has represented people across the United States in wrongful death and personal injury cases. He currently represents individuals and their families in product liability, wrongful death, railroad injury and FELA claims and other catastrophic injury cases. Before joining the firm, Mike was a member of the United States Marine Corps.
”A lot of what we do is making sure that those people who lie in bed at night and think ‘Is everything going to be OK?’, we make sure everything is going to be OK,” Mike said.
As one of the mesothelioma lawyers, Tim has vast, firsthand experience handling complex toxic exposure cases. He’s represented between 300 and 400 families who have been impacted by a mesothelioma or other asbestos-related cancer diagnosis. He played a key role in setting up the first benzene docket in Delaware courts, which was the first mass benzene docket of its kind in the United States.
“We’re representing our clients in a legal action. But the truth is, there’s a lot more they are worrying about than just their lawsuits. It’s important to be there for them in a variety of ways, which can be a very personal thing, but I believe we serve those interests very well,” Tim said.
Taylor Kerns is a shareholder in the asbestos department. He oversees a team of asbestos attorneys and staff who represent people and families impacted by asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. Through his leadership, Taylor and his team have helped secure millions of dollars in settlements on their behalf.
You can get to know the rest of the Simmons Hanly Conroy attorneys. See what makes our team of employees truly unique today.