Since 1984, Clifford Law Offices has been dedicated to serving the needs of clients in the Chicago area and throughout the nation. Today, we are one of the premier law firms in Chicagoland and are known nationally for our success in complicated legal matters.
The National Law Journal named Clifford Law Offices one of the 50 Elite Law Firms in the country, and we are the only firm in Chicago to be given this distinction. The National Law Journal has also named the firm as one of the top 10 Litigation Boutiques in the country. And in 2020, Clifford Law Offices was named “Aviation Law Firm of the Year” by the same organization and ALM. This recognition was awarded due to our ongoing success in representing our clients as well as our solid track record of client wins.
At the individual level, our attorneys have received numerous awards and accolades for their exceptional legal work. This includes many Lawyer of the Year awards and other prestigious honors.
Contact us today if you need legal assistance with any of the following:
Call 888-494-6028 today to arrange your free initial consultation.
Robert A. Clifford is the founder of Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, an internationally-recognized plaintiffs’ trial firm that concentrates in aviation, transportation, personal injury, medical negligence, product liability law, mass torts and class actions. The National Law Journal has named Clifford Law Offices one of the Top 10 Litigation Boutiques in the country and has awarded Mr. Clifford the Elite Trial Lawyers’ Award. Mr. Clifford has the distinction of being selected by Super Lawyers, a peer-review organization, as the number one lawyer in Illinois from 2009-2016 and has always been in the top three. He was named by Chicago Magazine as one of the 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans and was named the 2012 Chicago Lawyer Person of the Year, based upon his trial accomplishments, his contributions to the legal community and to the Chicago area. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals gave him its Professionalism Award in 2014. The Chicago Bar Association gave him the Justice John Paul Stevens Award in 2017, its highest honor. Also that year he received the Unity Award by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation. The National Trial Lawyers named Bob Clifford the Class Action Trial Lawyer of 2018 and he has been listed in Best Lawyers from its inception, decades ago, including being the top in the Chicago metropolitan area in certain practice areas. In 2019, the Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association honored Mr. Clifford with the Leonard Ring Lifetime Achievement Award. He also was among those honored in 2019 by Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.
Richard Burke is a partner at Clifford Law Offices. He is an outstanding product liability attorney and one of the most respected aviation liability attorneys in Chicago. Mr. Burke is experienced in many complex practice areas including medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, heavy truck litigation, product liability, aviation liability, aviation litigation, airline liability, and other forms of transportation liability.
Over his decades of work at Clifford Law Offices, he has obtained multiple million-dollar-plus settlements in truck collision cases, including an $11 million resolution for a client with catastrophic permanent injuries. He also recently settled a $2 million nursing home claim and has settled several complex medical malpractice cases, some on the eve of trial.
A tireless worker, Mr. Burke stays on task with the most difficult of cases. He is a quiet, behind-the-scenes leader who knows how to get things done. From establishing groundbreaking liability in sport utility vehicle rollovers to negligent product design and operation of jumbo jet passenger aircrafts, he explores every angle of his cases whether it be researching case law across the country or garnering experts from the other side of the globe. Mr. Burke uncovers the answers to each issue, leading him to many successful verdicts at trial.
Susan Capra is a partner at Clifford Law Offices, one of Chicago’s premier law firms, serving clients nationally and internationally for decades. Susan concentrates her practice in the area of medical and hospital negligence litigation where she has achieved numerous record settlements and verdicts in her 30-plus years as a highly respected attorney in Chicago, particularly in the health care arena.
Susan joined Clifford Law Offices as an associate in 1989, becoming partner after 10 years. She graduated from DePaul University with a nursing degree in 1982. Susan first was a nurse at Children’s Memorial Hospital (now called Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago). She worked largely with infants and children with serious neurological conditions and disabilities. During her last two years as a full-time nurse, she worked in the operating room. Her nursing background has been a tremendous asset in her work as a medical negligence attorney. Susan sums it up appropriately, “As a nurse, I was the patient’s advocate. As a medical malpractice attorney, I am still the patient’s advocate but in a different arena and profession.”
Jack J. Casciato joined Clifford Law Offices as a partner in 2018 after he tried a significant truck accident case as a defense attorney against Bob Clifford and other Clifford Law Offices’ partners. Jack’s previous time on the defense provides him with a unique, insider advantage in representing personal injury clients in the same lawsuits he use to defend for insurance companies and large corporations.
In his time as a plaintiff’s attorney, Jack has had numerous newsworthy results that have been covered by local and national media outlets including a $52.5 million settlement on behalf of eight Ringling Bros. acrobats that were severely injured in a set collapse, a $18.1 million verdict on behalf of a 17-year-old critically injured when he was hit by a truck, a $7 million settlement for a woman that was struck in a crosswalk by a commercial vehicle, and a $6.2 million settlement for an injured construction worker.
Every Spring since 2018, Jack has been invited to serve as a lecturer in Europe for the Pan European Organization for Personal Injury Lawyers on various aspects of American personal injury litigation and jurisprudence which has taken him to England, Ireland and Spain. Jack is also a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin where he authors articles on all areas of personal injury litigation. Jack’s practice is focused on representing victims of trucking accidents, medical and nursing home malpractice, construction accidents, products and car accidents.
Erin Clifford is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Clifford Law Offices. She provides overall management of strategic business development, such as planning, coordinating, and implementation of marketing and business plans.
Erin Clifford grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and attended Northwestern University as an undergraduate, where she majored in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. After graduating, Erin taught high school English in the Chicago Public Schools for five years. Thereafter, she matriculated to DePaul College of Law, earning her Juris Doctorate. Erin then clerked for five years at the Illinois Appellate Court, First District for the Honorable Justice Terrence J. Lavin and then for a period as legal counsel at the Cook County Treasurer’s Office.
In addition to her development work at Clifford Law Offices and legal background, Erin is the Founder of Erin Clifford Wellness and Rockstar Doggy Momma. She became a Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Health Coach Training Program and works with families, professionals, and corporations in creating and maintaining healthy lifestyles through nutrition, life and wellness coaching.
Bradley M. Cosgrove is a Chicago medical malpractice attorney, personal injury attorney, and partner at Clifford Law Offices. He is an experienced trial attorney in the areas of medical malpractice, trucking accidents, automobile collisions, personal injury, and wrongful death who believes that results speak for themselves. Recently, Brad has received several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients including:
Kevin Durkin is a partner at Clifford Law Offices. Over a career that spans more than 35 years, Mr. Durkin has successfully represented clients in many practice areas, including:
Mr. Durkin has been named a top-tier attorney by U.S. News-Best Lawyers® in the areas of personal injury litigation, aviation law and product liability since 2011. He was named 2021 Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” in the Chicago area for Aviation Law, and “Lawyer of the Year” for several years in the area of Plaintiffs’ Product Liability Litigation and in 2018 for Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Litigation. These accolades are based on peer reviews and his legal ability, professionalism and integrity. He has also been named an Illinois Super Lawyer and a Leading Lawyer since 2003, its inception in the state.
Keith Hebeisen is a partner at Clifford Law Offices. One of the most respected medical malpractice attorneys in Illinois, Mr. Hebeisen has achieved great results for clients in settlements and trials. Although Mr. Hebeisen concentrates his practice in the area of medical malpractice cases against doctors and hospitals, he has represented individuals in a wide variety of cases, including transportation, product liability and toxic torts. We are proud to have him on our team.
Mr. Hebeisen has been a trial attorney for over 37 years. He is known for his no-nonsense style and has garnered the respect of both plaintiff and defense attorneys. Mr. Hebeisen is thorough in the investigation, preparation, and trial of each of his cases, which are often highly complex with many defendants, putting his clients in the best position to have successful outcomes. Mr. Hebeisen has handled numerous appeals in the Illinois appellate and supreme courts.
Sarah F. King is one of Chicago’s rising medical malpractice lawyers at the firm and one of the most hard-working, intelligent attorneys one can find. She works tirelessly to investigate and prepare complex medical malpractice cases to achieve justice for those who have been harmed by medical negligence. She works with dedication and tenacity to get to the bottom of what actually happened and what proper practices should have been used to prevent injuries related to medical care. It is this passion that makes her one of today’s top Chicago medical malpractice lawyers.
Sarah has had substantial trial experience as an attorney of record in many of the firm’s trials. In less than a decade, Sarah F. King has received verdicts and settlements totaling nearly $300 million. For example, Sarah second-chaired a trial with partner Bradley Cosgrove in a two-week trial involving the negligent prescription of Yasmin that gained international attention. A 37-year-old woman took the medication for less than two weeks and suffered a debilitating stroke. The jury awarded her $13.55 million in March 2014. Sarah also tried a case alongside partner Keith Hebeisen, leader of the medical malpractice team at Clifford Law Offices, in November 2013 that involved the wrongful death of a 33-year-old mother who sustained a massive hemorrhage during a c-section. Following a three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict of $15.55 million for the family. In January 2013, Sarah tried another case with Hebeisen and obtained a $2.225 million verdict for the wrongful death of a 31-week fetus.
Yvette comes to Clifford Law Offices with a strong litigation background after serving in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for 12 years, where she managed all aspects of complex, cutting-edge cases, from investigation to litigation, such as the first terrorism trial ever brought in state court.
Yvette defended numerous challenges to the constitutionality of the Illinois state terrorism statute and litigated numerous evidentiary and procedural challenges prior to a six-week jury trial resulting in felony convictions for three offenders. Yvette also was one of the lead attorneys in the first RICO prosecution ever brought in an Illinois state trial court. Over a two-year period, Yvette painstakingly reviewed and transcribed 10 months’ worth of confidential overhears, drafted and litigated numerous pretrial pleadings involving issues of first impression, and prepared the testimony of the primary confidential informant and case agent for trial, both of whom testified for multiple days. After 12 weeks of trial and 103 witnesses, six gang members were convicted of Racketeering and sentenced to life imprisonment for multiple murders and narcotics offenses.
Shannon McNulty is a Chicago personal injury lawyer and wrongful death attorney who comes to Clifford Law Offices with a wealth of professional experience from previous employment. Having worked for 10 years with the administration of the Chicago Police Department, she served as the Director of Administration in the Bureau of Operational Services. In this critical role, she was Chief of Staff to the First Deputy Superintendent. She not only became familiar with the inner workings of this complex department; she also was instrumental in the development and implementation of administrative projects and policies. Shannon also was involved with the fact-gathering and notification of all major incidents to Department brass as well, skills which handily translate to her work as a Chicago wrongful death attorney and personal injury lawyer.
Part of her success in Chicago as a personal injury lawyer and wrongful death attorney includes the multiple death and severe personal injury cases of those who were trapped in the fire at the Cook County Administration Building in October 2003. The high profile cases deal with the workings of the 911 response system in Chicago, something with which Shannon has a great deal of experience. She is part of the legal team that handles cases involving the rollover of a number of sport utility vehicles that have resulted in the deaths or serious injuries of their occupants. Shannon also was involved in the trial of a small plane crash case at a Chicago suburban airport that killed everyone aboard. That trial resulted in a $12 million verdict in May 2003. Most recently, Shannon has been working on the case of an infant who died of injuries resulting from a lighter that allegedly lacked sufficient child safety mechanisms.
Pamela Sakowicz Menaker is the Communications Partner at Clifford Law Offices. As an attorney with two degrees in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Pam combines her experience in these two fields in handling the press in the many high-profile cases handled by the firm. For instance, Pam was involved in the month-long trial of internationally-acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton who was severely injured by a Metra train. The case drew front-page headlines and daily television coverage in what has been described as the most publicized civil trial in the history of Cook County. It resulted in a $35 million verdict that was upheld on appeal. Pam is involved with numerous clients from the initial filing of a case to the final settlement of the matter. She routinely conducts press conferences so that an organized, considered approach to high-profile matters can be presented that ensures the clients’ rights are protected. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Clifford Law Offices was the first Chicago personal injury firm to hold virtual press conferences on breaking news. Other cases for which she has handled the press that drew national media attention include the fire at the Cook County Administration Building, the scaffolding collapse at the John Hancock Building, the porch collapse in Chicago that killed 13 and injured dozens of others, the Union Pacific derailment that led to a bridge collapse killing a Chicago suburban couple and most recently an international press conference held in Boston involving seven of the eight circus performers who were injured when a “human chandelier” act collapsed in Rhode Island during a Ringling Brothers performance. Most recently, Pam conducted press conferences that streamed worldwide on behalf of American and Canadian clients who lost loved ones in the Boeing 737 Max8 crash in Ethiopia.
Joseph T. Murphy, partner at Clifford Law Offices, comes with a great deal of experience in the law since he was sworn in Illinois in 2012. He formerly was a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney and served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he prosecuted misdemeanor and felony offenses in federal court. He also previously served as chief of federal litigation for the 101st Airborne Division while serving as an attorney and Captain in the U.S. Army.
Joe is part of the aviation team of lawyers at Clifford Law Offices and is working on the 2019 crash of a Boeing jet. The firm represents 72 families who lost loved ones in the tragic crash in Ethiopia of a Boeing 737 MAX jet that led to its grounding for nearly two years. Robert A. Clifford serves as Lead Counsel in the litigation pending in federal district court in Chicago. The complex litigation involves families from 35 countries against the aircraft manufacturer.
As a trial lawyer, Jim’s philosophy on litigation is based on integrity and hard work for his clients. True to his roots as a prosecutor, Jim values fighting for justice on behalf of those people harmed and always acts with a sense of urgency to hold wrongdoers accountable. While at Clifford Law Offices, Jim has worked on behalf of many individuals and families whose lives have been forever impacted.
As the youngest of six children born and raised on Chicago’s Southside, Jim learned the value of hard work and how to stand up for what was right. Blending his strong sense of social justice along with his work ethic shaped while working in his family’s restaurant and as a union railroader, Jim became a lawyer to help people and his career proves just that.
After attending law school, Jim served 14 years in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office where he proved to be an accomplished litigator in all aspects of trial work in the Illinois and federal trial courts and appellate courts. During this time, he routinely worked on complex matters, including wrongful death, highway negligence, civil rights, labor and employment, medical deliberate indifference/medical negligence, class-action, criminal and other significant tort matters.
Craig Squillace has worked for a number of years on various cases, particularly vehicular accident cases, at Clifford Law Offices. He also has worked on claims due to medical negligence, product liability, transportation litigation, and municipal liability. In 2015, he obtained a record $4 million settlement in Will County on behalf of a family who lost their 60-year-old mother in a tragic trucking crash. He was part of the Clifford Law Offices team that reached a settlement with a major automobile manufacturing company, a tire dealership and an automobile dealership involving the rollover of a sport utility vehicle that severely injured six passengers. He was also part of the team that obtained an $11 million settlement for an insurance executive who was killed in a small airplane crash. In 2000, Craig contributed to writing a chapter for the Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Product Liability/Premises Liability Seminar on “Motor Vehicle Cases,” a reference tool used by lawyers across the state. In 2007 and 2008 he also moderated a seminar for the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Association.
Robert Walsh is a partner at Clifford Law Offices as well as one of our most qualified vehicular accident attorneys and Chicago accident lawyers. Mr. Walsh is experienced in many complex practice areas, including insurance coverage and liability. We are proud to have him on our team of accident lawyers in Chicago. U.S. News-Best Lawyers named him a top attorney in the area of plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Litigation.
The area of insurance law is becoming more complex with each passing year and, as one of our leading accident attorneys, Robert Walsh is ahead of the changes. For over three decades, Mr. Walsh has been handling automobile and other vehicular accidents, all with amazing clarity and aplomb. His keen intelligence in sorting out liability and insurance coverage issues has led many to call upon him for his expertise and sound, practical approach to what appears to be complicated, emotionally-charged matters.
As one of our most capable accident attorneys, Mr. Walsh can handle hundreds of details. He can juggle a caseload with numerous lawsuits at the various discovery, pre-trial and post-trial stages. He is a man-on-the-go. Mr. Walsh’s well-known and beloved staccato conversation allows him to move from case to case, advancing matters at an appropriate pace for all involved.
Kristofer Riddle has handled a wide range of litigation and is consistently a determined advocate for his clients. Most recently, Kris has focused on transportation liability and consumer class action matters. He brings a wealth of experience to Clifford Law Offices, as demonstrated in a $16.75 million verdict received on behalf of three clients who were severely injured in a high-profile Amtrak train derailment in DuPont, Washington. He went on to successfully settle additional cases related to the derailment for over $56 million. He is currently the lead partner on another Amtrak derailment that occurred in 2021 in Montana, killing three and injuring dozens of others aboard the Empire Builder that was traveling from Chicago to Seattle, Washington. Clifford Law Offices represents dozens of passengers in that tragic derailment.
Mr. Riddle also worked round-the-clock for years on Hale, et al. v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., et al., a complex class action case against State Farm Insurance that settled for $250 million on the first day of trial. Kris and the Hale team took on the insurance giant, on behalf of policyholders, alleging that State Farm conspired to secretly support the election of an Illinois State Supreme Court Justice who voted to overturn a $1 Billion judgment pending against State Farm. For this monumental settlement, Kris and his teammates were awarded the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in 2019 by Public Justice. Their result was also recognized as the highest settlement or verdict in the state of Illinois in 2019 by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company that gave him a Trial Lawyer Excellence Award. Kris also was recognized in 2018 by the National Trial Lawyers where he received Trial Team of the Year: Class Action Award.
Our attorney, Tracy Brammeier, was by our side from the very first moment we reached out to Clifford Law Offices. Her outstanding professionalism and compassion melted our hearts and helped us to survive during the unbearable time when we had to face the loss of our 23-year-old daughter. Tracy was supportive, knowledgeable, caring, and simply amazing. We can’t thank her enough for the way she handled our complicated case.
“The Clifford Law Firm are a very compassionate group to have on your side. I'm still speechless and in awe for how they handled my case. My girls and I knew things about my husband’s death that just didn't add up. This law group is amazing, they kept us informed and answered any questions we had. They are a brilliant group...”
“I was always very impressed with each of the firm's attorneys' professionalism in handling such difficult cases, and their hurting clients. I can't say it was easy for me to answer the phone and hear a crying client on the other end. But, I will always remember the feeling of actually being a part of a system that was helping victims who couldn't help themselves.”
“Keith is a leader in the legal community. He shares his knowledge and expertise on a regular basis by responding to attorneys on the list serves of which he is a member. The analysis he offers is in depth because his research comes from sources that are not readily available to most lawyers. He eats and breathes the law. It is obvious that he is pursuing a passion.”
"I just wanted to thank you again for looking out for me and our family. I knew the moment I talked to you that we were in the best hands. Thank you for caring and keeping on top of things and for being a true advocate."