CATHERINE A. O’CONNELL and MELISSA L. MCENDREE have joined the firm, bringing more than forty years of collective experience defending employers and litigating and resolving casualty, workers’ compensation and other civil matters.
For more than two decades, Ms. O’Connell, a casualty litigator, has been defending employers throughout Illinois and her practice specializes in third-party defense. For almost two decades, Ms. McEndree has been defending employers at arbitration, before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and in Illinois’ circuit and appellate Courts.
Catherine and Melissa have and continue to serve as trusted defense counsel to a wide-range of clients and employers, including construction companies, both general contractors and subcontractors, trucking and logistics companies and product manufacturers. Both have extensive trial experience.
Ms. O’Connell and Ms. McEndree are the latest in a series of prominent hires for the Firm and follow the recent addition of a top casualty defense litigator and the 2018 addition of a National Premier Maritime firm. We look forward to building our future with Catherine and Melissa.
Leahy, Eisenberg & Fraenkel, Ltd. is pleased to announce that two of its partners, Steven B. Belgrade and John A. O’Donnell, have been included in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Admiralty & Maritime Law. In addition, Steven Belgrade was recognized by his peers as the 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" in the practice area of Admiralty and Maritime. Best Lawyers is one of the oldest and most highly regarded peer review publications in the legal profession, where lawyers are recognized for their top legal talent. Messrs. Belgrade and O’Donnell will be featured in various regional and national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, TheChicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine. Again, congratulations to Steven and John.
Congratulations to Susan Chae Corcoran and Sara Spratt who prevailed on behalf of a Boutique Hotel after a four day jury trial in Cook County. Plaintiff, a 56 year old corporate executive, slipped in the hotel’s shower in 2016. Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the negligently designed shower caused a displaced, fractured clavicle. He claimed continuing pain, disability, loss of normal life (avid golfer), and disfigurement.
LEF’s trial team convinced the jury that the shower was not unreasonably dangerous contrary to plaintiff’s retained expert’s opinions and further argued that plaintiff’s injuries were not as severe as claimed by plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeons and retained medical expert. Plaintiff’s counsel asked for a verdict in excess of $590,000. Six of the jurors provided feedback to both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys explaining what evidence they found compelling. Case was tried February 19-22, 2019. Case No: 17 L 1333 (Cook).
Partner Jeff Pavlovich, with the pre-trial assistance of Maggie Gosselin, won a defense verdict ("not guilty") on behalf of the client, a condominium Association located in Cook County, IL. Plaintiff alleged that the Association breached its Bylaws in failing to properly clear their parking lot of ice and snow, resulting in plaintiff's fall and shoulder injury resulting in surgery. Plaintiff requested $285,000 from the jury. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour before returning the defense verdict and awarding plaintiff $0. Afterwards, the jury highlighted the following points in supporting their award for the defendant: 1) plaintiff's failure to report the incident; 2) weather data which supported defendant's position; and 3) plaintiff's knowledge of the conditions. The case was tried before Judge Thomas Lyons. Constance v. Horizon House, Inc. Case No.: 16 L 011930 (Cook)(Feb. 26, 2019).
Susan Chae Corcoran has joined the firm’s Commercial, Liability and Transportation Practice groups as a Partner, bringing more than twenty-five years of experience litigating and resolving casualty and commercial civil matters.
For more than two decades, Susan has served as trusted defense counsel to a wide-range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to individuals. She has extensive trial experience, including actions involving premises liability, general negligence, breach of contract disputes, construction defect and liability claims, automobile defense, insurance related matters, and civil rights litigation.
Ms. Corcoran has served as a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Korean-American Bar Association, Korean-American Womens’ Association, Asian-American Bar Association, National Asian Pacific, American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Young Lawyers’ Association. Susan is also actively involved with The Misericordia Womens League of Hinsdale, Autism Speaks, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Womens Charity. Ms. Corcoran is also fluent in Korean.
Susan is the latest in a series of prominent hires for the Firm and follows the 2018 addition of a National Premier Maritime firm.
Susan received her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School and her B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago.