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Pioneering Mesothelioma Attorneys

With mesothelioma litigation, plaintiffs' attorneys have several important duties, but mainly to uphold justice and be the victim's voice in trial. There have been several asbestos cancer lawyers who are leaders in asbestos litigation whose success has paved the way for mesothelioma attorneys and their clients for decades to come. The arduous work these asbestos manufacturer fighters have endured have brought forth triumphant settlements for thousands of victims. Their accomplishments have changed the lives of victims and their families and they are not easily forgotten. Many are known for the large mesothelioma settlements they have obtained over the years.

Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger is known for his work on behalf of mesothelioma patients and families. He founded the firm, Danziger and De Llano, with his partner, Rod De Llano, and has been helping mesothelioma victims for more than a decade to ensure that they and their families are taken care of legally and financially.

Danziger began his successful career after graduating with honors from the University of Texas with a Business Degree in Accounting. Upon graduation, Danziger worked as a tax consultant in New York City at one of the top accounting firms, where he obtained his commission as a Certified Public Accountant. Danziger did not begin his career in the legal arena, and has an extensive background in financial matters. His unique background gives him a vantage point that benefits mesothelioma victims because he can assist them with the financial aspect of dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis.

He then furthered his education and received a law degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. Danziger worked for the law firm, Tilleke & Gibbins, in Vietnam and Thailand, focusing on international intellectual property rights and business transactions. After returning to the U.S., Danziger founded his own law firm, with Michael Weiss. In a well-known case, Danziger and his partner, Weiss, took on major medical giants and Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) in order to improve needle safety for nurses and patients. The subject of the case was made into the movie, "Puncture" starring Chris Evans (Captain America) and distributed by Millennium Films.

Danziger has had involvement in a number of high-profile cases, which have been featured in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Houston Chronicle, and on CNN, and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients.

Mark Lanier

Mark Lanier was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of“40 Most Influential Attorneys” across the U.S. and revolutionized the status by being the sole plaintiffs' attorney acknowledged. Lanier has been noted for several other achievements and his work over the years has led to significant monetary compensation for thousands of clients, particularly in asbestos law suits. In 1998, Lanier won the largest verdict in U.S. history during that time with a 21-client asbestos class action suit.

The Lanier Law Firm was founded by Lanier in 1990 with only two practicing lawyers. The firm has since grown to employ over 45 attorneys practicing in New York, Houston, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. Lanier has been mentioned in several notable publications for his impressive work and sincere dedication in the courtroom including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the National Law Journal. Lanier has revolutionized the legal world with his turning point trials that have led to the development of several books and his legal advice is highly regarded on Fox Business News, CNBC and ABC quite frequently.

Fred Baron

It has been estimated that Baron & Budd, along with another law firm, Ness Motley, are responsible for half of the hundreds of thousands of asbestos litigation claims in the country. Baron, who partly founded Baron & Budd, has undertaken important work to pave the way for asbestos claimants in the future. This includes convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to de-certify nationwide class action settlements for future claims of people who hadn't yet developed mesothelioma, but who might later develop the disease. This brought light to the fact that asbestos-related diseases and illnesses have a latency period of 20-40 years after exposure and changed the way courts handled asbestos cases.

Baron retired from Baron & Budd in 2002, but the work he did while he was there is instrumental in the future of asbestos litigation. Baron & Budd has become one of the largest firms in the country representing toxic and chemical exposure claimants. During Baron's early work in asbestos litigation, he pioneered the application of strict liability causes of action using the Restatement Second of Torts Section 402a. He represented employees and widows of deceased employees from Pittsburg Corning's Tyler, a plant in Texas. The reason Baron's work in asbestos litigation was so important is because asbestos exposure, as cited by plaintiffs' attorneys, is the leading cause of occupational injury in the U.S. Baron passed away on October 30, 2008 at age 61.

Lisa Blue

Lisa Blue began her career as a teacher, but then decided to pursue additional education and earned her PhD in counseling psychology. After earning her PhD, Blue went on to earn her juris doctorate and began working at the District Attorney's office in Dallas, Texas. After Blue worked in the DA's office prosecuting more than 125 cases to verdict, she joined the law firm, Baron &Budd and specialized in environmental and toxic tort law.

Blue's accomplishments in trial courts have earned her top honors such as being named one of The Top 50 Women Litigators in the U.S. by the National Law Journal and Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Texas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Blue is considered an expert in jury selection and has co-authored several articles and a book on the topic.

Ron Motley

American Lawyer appropriately named Ron Motley “The man who took on Manville,” which is a well-known asbestos company. Motley has represented thousands of asbestos victims and achieved several trial breakthroughs as a mesothelioma cancer attorney. He expertly exposed asbestos manufacturers and the dangerous effects of occupational, environmental and household asbestos exposure. He is also well known for his groundbreaking work against tobacco industry giants where he convinced them to reimburse states for health care costs related to smoking.

Motley has built Motley Rice into one of the nation's largest plaintiffs' law firms focusing on extremely complex litigation with his remarkable legal and trial skills, charisma and impressive record of success. Some of the class actions and mass consolidations Motley has achieved trial breakthroughs in were: Cimino et al. v. Raymark et al. (US.D.C. TX), Abate et al. v. ACandS et al. (Baltimore) and In Re: Asbestos Personal Injury Cases (Mississippi). – View Full Bio »

Joe Rice

As co-founding member of the Motley Rice law firm, Joe Rice has received recognition as a skillful and innovative negotiator of complex litigation settlements. It is also mentioned in a poll of defense counsel and legal scholars conducted by Corporate Legal Times that Rice is one of the nation's“five most feared and respected plaintiffs' lawyers in corporate America.” He is known for being one of the toughest, sharpest and hardest working litigators in the courtroom.

Rice's work in structuring some important resolutions in asbestos liabilities on behalf of victims of asbestos exposure has been recognized many times over the past two decades. Rice served as co-chair of the Asbestos Creditor Committee concerning bankruptcies of such companies such as AWI, Federal Mogul and Pittsburgh Corning. His role as co-chair of the Asbestos Creditor Committee, and working on Negotiating Committees and Trust Advisory Committees has been instrumental in obtaining structured settlements from asbestos manufacturers emerging from bankruptcy. He has been selected to speak at several asbestos legal bankruptcy and asbestos litigation conferences nationwide, as well as the National Asbestos Litigation Conference because of his expertise on the topics. – View Full Bio »

Perry Weitz

While Perry Weitz was studying politics and government in 1977, the media was inundated with stories about toxic contamination at Love Canal in Upstate New York. Weitz was compelled to pursue a career in law when he saw the devastation that occurred to innocent people from the negligence of a chemical company. After Weitz and a colleague founded the asbestos law firm, Weitz &Luxenberg, the asbestos lawyers represented 36 workers from the Brooklyn Navy Yard for asbestos contamination and were successful. Weitz tried some of the most important mesothelioma cases in New York, serving as lead counsel in the first major consolidated trials. Weitz and his mesothelioma law firm have obtained asbestos settlements and verdicts well over one billion dollars for mesothelioma injury.

Because Weitz pioneered asbestos litigation in New York City and throughout New York State, he is liaison counsel in State and Federal Court. Under the Privatization Theory Weitz implemented, he settled thousands of asbestos cases and organized the National Settlement Program of Owens Corning/Fibreboard, negotiating the first settlement. While serving as chairman of the Halliburton Bankruptcy Committee, Weitz bargained a $5.1 billion settlement to be set aside for future claimants as well as present ones. Weitz also serves on the Trust Advisory Committee for several Asbestos Bankruptcy defendants.

Brent Coon

Brent Coon is well known for his work as an asbestos cancer attorney advancing asbestos and tobacco litigation. He is often referred to as a“lawyer's lawyer” for the work he has done seeking justice for his clients. After his important work forcing British Petroleum to pay $32 million to universities and charities after the explosion that killed 15 people, Coon was named“Lawyer of the Year” and awarded the Steven J. Sharp Award for Excellence by the American Association of Justice.

Coon has been involved in a considerable amount of asbestos class action lawsuits. For instance, in 2004, Coon represented more than 2,000 plaintiffs against 400 or so asbestos corporations. Coon has negotiated asbestos settlements in excess of $100 million. Coon is well-known for his work in toxic and environmental litigation and has been featured, interviewed or served as an expert for“60 minutes”,“Good Morning America”,“The Today Show”, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time Magazine, CNN, The Associated Press and several others.

Mike Papantonio

Mike Papantonio has worked on more than 5,000 individual asbestos lawsuits. He has also had several books published, including Defenses You Can Count on in an Asbestosis Case and How to Prove a Sick Building Case.

Papantonio also founded Goleft.tv, an innovative multi-media Internet television and video-sharing portal which serves as an outlet for news, political commentary and exclusive progressive reports on issues many Americans are facing. Papantonio has discussed some of these important political issues on“Good Morning America”, CNN, and Fox News. He also founded the up-to-the-minute continuing legal education seminar organization, Mass Torts Made Perfect, which is utilized by thousands of attorneys learning how to improve their legal practice. Mass Torts Made Perfect has hosted speakers such as former President Bill Clinton, Johnnie Cochran, Bob Woodward, Elliot Spitzer and Jack Kemp.

John O'Quinn

John O'Quinn, who practiced in Houston, TX, was perhaps one of the most talented trial lawyers of his time. He was well-known for his exemplary trial preparation and his unique ability to connect with jurors. His ability to connect with jurors is perhaps how he obtained such huge verdicts. A well-known trial verdict for O'Quinn was for the family of a chemical plant worker, who died of leukemia after the employee was exposed to benzene. O'Quinn obtained a substantial $105 million for the family in 1984. A tactic that O'Quinn often used in the courtroom was bringing the human aspect in front of jurors. He said in an interview once,“Until you can get the case to that level, it's not going to happen; the really big verdict's not going to happen.”

Sadly, O'Quinn was involved in a tragic car accident about a year ago, but he left behind a trail of successful verdicts and settlements and quite an impression on those that knew him. Even though he was a generous philanthropist, he preferred not to bring attention to the large donations he gave to several organizations.

John Simmons

The Simmons firm was founded by John Simmons in 1999 with only eight employees. The firm was strongly focused on asbestos litigation and Simmons' goal was to provide clients with the highest level of service and care. It has been said that Simmons' goals have been reached today while the firm has grown to include more than 50 attorneys and 200 employees.

Simmons supervises some of the firm's largest verdicts and settlements, which include some of the largest asbestos injury awards in U.S. history. The Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation was launched this year, as well as Miles for Meso, a running and walking fundraiser. Simmons and the firm together pledged $10.2 million to establish the Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University in Springfield, which is a community-based patient care facility. Considering the legal work Simmons has successfully undertaken and the philanthropic contributions he has made, his commitment to mesothelioma victims is apparent.

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