Serious Cases. Exceptional Results.
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:
- Aviation Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Class Actions Lawsuits
- Explosions & Fires
- Medical Malpractice
- Premises Liability
- Transportation Accidents
Call 888-494-6028 today to arrange your free initial consultation.
Attorney Robert A. Clifford
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.
Attorney Richard F. Burke, Jr.
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.
Attorney Susan A. Capra
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.”
Attorney Jack J. Casciato
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.
Attorney Erin Clifford
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.
Attorney Bradley M. Cosgrove
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:
- $101 million record verdict on behalf of a baby who was brain damaged at birth at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park. This is the largest medical malpractice verdict in the history of Illinois.
- $21.5 million record verdict for a 6-year-old boy who drowned while at a public pool during a summer day camp. This is the largest verdict for a drowning victim in the State of Illinois.
- $14 million record verdict on behalf of a woman who suffered a debilitating stroke after taking Yasmin birth control for 13 days. This is the first and only Yasmin case tried in the United States. This was the largest medical malpractice verdict in Illinois in 2014.
Attorney Kevin P. Durkin
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:
- Aviation accident litigation and transportation liability
- Truck, railroad and automobile litigation
- Premises liability and negligent security
- Medical malpractice
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.
Attorney Keith A. Hebeisen
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.
Attorney Sarah F. King
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.
Attorney Yvette Loizon
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.
Attorney Shannon M. McNulty
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.
Attorney Pamela Sakowicz Menaker
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.
Attorney Joseph T. Murphy
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.
Attorney James C. Pullos
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.
Attorney Craig J. Squillace
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.
Attorney Robert P. Walsh
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.
Attorney Kristofer S. Riddle
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.
Attorney Tracy A. Brammeier
With experience and ability in all areas of the firm’s practice, Tracy Brammeier’s recent focus is primarily complex and/or
catastrophic transportation matters. Tracy has worked on several cases involving bicyclists struck by trucks, a man who suffered a crushing injury after being run over by a forklift, and a woman who died in a boating incident on Lake Michigan.
Tracy also handles aviation matters, and has worked on many of the firm’s commercial and private aviation incident cases, involving both airplane and helicopter accidents. Currently, Tracy acts as the court-appointed Liaison Counsel for all plaintiffs in the lawsuit arising from the 2019 crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane, which resulted in the deaths of 157 people.
Notably, In 2018, Tracy was heavily involved in a case where a 22-year-old pedestrian was struck by a semi-truck, obtaining a record $35 million settlement after seven days of trial alongside Robert A. Clifford and Kevin P. Durkin. She also was part of the trial team that obtained a $21.5 million verdict after the month-long trial of two park districts for the drowning of a 6-year-old boy.
Tracy works to ensure the quality and integrity of the justice system as an investigating member of the Chicago Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Committee. She also gives back to the community through her work with the 100 Club of Chicago, a not-for-profit organization that assists the families of police officers and firefighters throughout Cook and Lake Counties, by providing a legal resource following the death of a loved one killed in the line of duty. Tracy also volunteers with the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section program Wills For Heroes, which prepares basic wills for Chicago and Illinois State police officers.
As a past Chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association, a section with more than 7,000 members, and a member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Tracy is a recognized leader in the young legal community. Her work has earned her accolades from Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyers, Law Bulletin Media, and Law Bulletin Publishing Company. In 2020, Emerging Lawyers profiled her in an article titled, “Tracy Brammeier: Building a Reputation in Transportation Injury Plaintiff’s Law,” for her expertise in transportation injury law. Tracy is also a member of the International Aviation Womens Association. American Association for Justice, and the American Bar Association.
Tracy graduated from Loyola University School of Law in Chicago. While in law school, she served as an Extern for the Honorable Thomas M. Durkin of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Attorney Hon. Henry R. Simmons (Ret.)
The Honorable Henry R. Simmons (Ret.) is Managing Partner at Clifford Law Offices. He joined the firm in 2014 coming from ADR Systems of America, one of the top mediation services in the country, where he served as a Senior Mediator and Arbitrator for three years. He also worked as a Special Master and Neutral Fact Finder for ADR Systems. His experience in personal injury and multi-party disputes serves him well in running the 20+ lawyer firm at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago. He is known throughout the Chicago area as a fair person, a man with a calm demeanor and a personality that resonates with people of all ages, races, income levels, ethnicities, and backgrounds. He continues to use his knowledge and experience in representing current clients in trial strategy, mediations and settlement conferences.
Judge Simmons (Ret.) previously served as a judge in both the Law Division and Criminal Division of the Cook County Circuit Court for nearly two decades. While in the Civil Division, he was known as a peacemaker who achieved an extraordinarily high rate of success in settling matters. He presided over numerous high-profile cases involving complex issues and multi-party disputes. He successfully resolved a long-standing products liability dispute between Fortune 500 companies resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement. His perseverance and practical insight also resulted in a $40 million settlement between the State of Illinois and a mining company with issues involving negligence, punitive and compensatory damages relating to the damaging of US Route 66.
Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Simmons (Ret.) served for 12 years as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney. He handled assignments in the Felony Trial Division, Juvenile Court, Felony Review, Appellate Division and the Consumer Fraud Unit where he served as a supervisor. He was a seasoned prosecutor, handling a variety of high-profile trials. He was well respected throughout the county for his competence and work ethic.
Involvement in the Legal Community:
Over the years, Judge Simmons (Ret.) has become very active in the legal community as a member of several bar associations. He was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve on the Committee on Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases from 1994-2004. He has been recognized by several organizations for his work and his dedication to the profession including receiving the American Legion Award of Excellence (Post #808). He received the Cook County State’s Attorneys’ Recognition of Service Award. He served as a weekly volunteer for the HighSight Organization in Chicago that supports high school students in the area of academics and social support from 2006-2008. He was honored in 2014 as the Judge of the Year by the Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LAP) for his volunteer work with this organization that helps lawyers in need. Since he left the bench, he has provided extensive pro bono legal work in his community in various legal disputes. He is active in his church and numerous charitable organizations throughout the state.
Judge Simmons (Ret.) is an active speaker within the legal community. He was part of a half-day-long program of Cook County Circuit Court judges in 2011 where he spoke on advocacy tips regarding pre-trial conduct in a “Judges’ Symposium – Advice from the Bench” that earned attendees continued legal education credit (CLE). He has taught the following accredited CLE courses at law firms in the Chicago area:
- Effective Defense Advocacy: Constructive Criticism from the Bench Regarding the Use of Experts
- Motion Practice and Pre-Trial Settlements
- Winning at ADR: Understanding Advocacy in Arbitration and Mediation
- Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation: The ADR Spectrum of Processes
Judge Simmons (Ret.) moderates a panel titled “The Business of Medical Malpractice Liability”. Judge Simmons (Ret.) has served as a judge in numerous law school advocacy mock court competitions. Throughout his judicial career, he was a participant in the law school externship programs involving DePaul University College of Law and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Judge Simmons (Ret.) graduated from DePaul University College of Law and Purdue University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics. He was admitted as a member of the Illinois and Indiana state bar associations.
Clifford Law Offices is proud of Judge Simmons’ (Ret.) most distinguished career as a lawyer, a judge, a certified mediator in the Chicago area over the past 35 years, and now as Managing Partner at Clifford Law Offices.
Attorney Charles R. Haskins
Charles R. Haskins (Chuck) concentrates his practice on medical malpractice, products liability, and premises liability litigation. Chuck has worked at Clifford Law Offices for a number of years. Starting as a clerk, his commitment to his work and dedication to the law was immediately recognized. Chuck decided to work at Clifford Law Offices because of his interest in helping the injured, those who are in their most desperate times of need, and he does so with a calm, studied manner as he approaches every task in life.
A graduate of Loyola University School of Law, Chuck already has more than a dozen trials under his belt, having second chaired complex medical malpractice cases under the tutelage of partner Keith Hebeisen.
In 2019, Chuck obtained a record $101 million verdict on behalf of a baby who sustained brain damage at birth at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois. The baby was brain damaged at birth when his external fetal monitoring strips were ignored for six hours. Experts on behalf of the plaintiff testified that he would have been born a normal baby if hospital nurses and other medical personnel would have alerted doctors to the abnormalities and performed an emergency C-section. The same year, Chuck obtained an $8.5 million on behalf of a Williamson County man who died when a certified registered nurse anesthetist and hospital employees allowed the patient to become dangerously hypotensive.
In 2018, Chuck and partner Bradley M. Cosgrove tried six multi-week medical malpractice and wrongful death cases, including a $21.5 million verdict on behalf of the family of a six-year-old boy who drowned at a public swimming pool. Mr. Haskins has written extensively on complex legal issues such as Governmental Tort Immunity, and also has researched and written extensively on appellate briefs. In 2017, Chuck second-chaired a trial resulting in a $4.5 million verdict on behalf of a woman who suffered severe neck injuries when a “door-closer” fell on her head as she exited a strip-mall store. The verdict set a record in DuPage County.
Currently, Chuck is working on several complex medical malpractice and personal injury cases, preparing them for trial, including the case of the failure to diagnose and treat a brain aneurysm, a drowning death at a public high school, and an airplane crash.
Chuck spends his time in the courtroom representing the injured or their families on cases such as a $20 million settlement with Senior Partner Robert Clifford and Bradley Cosgrove on a trucking accident case; a $6.5 million settlement for the wrongful death of a 35-year-old husband and father who died as a result of the failure to timely diagnose an aortic dissection; and a woman who suffered cognitive impairment after doctors failed to diagnose and treat a pulmonary embolism – the case settled the day before closing argument.
Chuck graduated from law school cum laude where he was Managing Editor of the Consumer Law Review. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science. He is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association. He has served on the Torts Litigation Committee with the CBA, and is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s Board of Managers.
Clifford Law Offices is proud that Charles R. Haskins is a personal injury lawyer at the firm and we look forward to his years of hard work and dedication to his clients.
Attorney Courtney A. Berlin
Courtney Anne Berlin, a recent graduate of DePaul University College of Law, clerked at Clifford Law Offices in 2023 before joining the firm as an associate. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in political science at The Pennsylvania State University.
Her previous work experience includes interning at an Illinois State’s Attorneys’ office as well as various defense litigation firms.
Berlin already served as a third chair on a trial team at the firm for a medical malpractice case which resulted in an $11 million settlement and has worked on motions involving the 2019 crash of a Boeing jet that founder and senior partner Robert A. Clifford is Lead Counsel in federal district court.
She is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Chicago Bar Association, American Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. Berlin was also a member of the Jaharis Health Law Institute throughout law school and served on the DePaul Journal of Health Care Law and as the Authorities Editor for the 2022-2023 DePaul Journal of Health Care Law.
Attorney Marta Kowalczyk Davidson
Marta Davidson is a hard-working attorney with a passion to achieve justice for those who have been harmed by medical negligence.
As part of the medical malpractice trial team, Marta has achieved several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. For example, Marta second-chaired a trial in Winnebago County with partner Bradley Cosgrove involving the negligent placement of an Unna Boot on a 65-year-old man that resulted in an amputation of his left leg. The jury returned a record $3.157 million verdict for this type of injury in Winnebago County outside of Chicago. Marta tried another case alongside Bradley Cosgrove that involved a 68-year-old man who died two days after a knee replacement surgery. The jury returned a verdict of $8.25 million for the family. She was also part of the trial team that obtained a $4 million verdict on behalf of a family of a 51-year-old man who died following a carotid endarterectomy.
Marta also has taken part in negotiations resulting in multi-million-dollar settlements, including a $10.7 million settlement on behalf on a woman who suffered permanent brain injury from a ruptured aortic aneurysm, a $5.4 million settlement on behalf of a family whose husband and father died as a result of failure to timely treat a bowel perforation, and a $3.75 million settlement in DeKalb County on behalf of the family of a 45-year-old man who died from a pulmonary embolus. She currently handles a wide variety of medical malpractice and personal injury matters in Cook and the collar counties.
Prior to joining Clifford Law Offices, she worked at the Law Office of Kenneth C. Chessick, M.D. She graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law cum laude. While there, she served as Editor in Chief of the Business Law Journal and as the Productions Editor of the Journal of Law, Technology and Policy. She served as Executive Editor on the Moot Court Board and received recognition for excellence in several classes as well as in writing competitions. Every year since 2017, she has been recognized as a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers. Marta is fluent in Polish and proficient in Spanish, having studied in Barcelona during her undergraduate work at the University of Illinois.
Clifford Law Offices is proud of Marta Davidson’s accomplishments and of the consistent, high-quality hard work she puts in every day on behalf of her clients.
Attorney John V. Kalantzis
Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, John grew up working in his family’s restaurant and then stayed local attending both Northwestern University (B.A.) and Notre Dame Law School (J.D.). As a first generation Greek American, John witnessed the difficulties that immigrants can experience while adapting to a new culture. He also experienced the importance of community in helping people to assimilate and understand how to become part of that new culture. He is fluent in Greek and has been active in the community through his volunteer work for his church and other Greek American community organizations. John has also been involved with local educational groups as he has experienced the role education provides in presenting opportunities for enriching and improving one’s life.
John is involved in numerous professional organizations, including the American Bar Association and American Association for Justice (AAJ). He is a member of the Assembly for the Illinois State Bar Association Association (ISBA) where he also serves on the Tort Law Section Council and on the Bar Elections Supervision Committee. John is also on the Judicial Evaluation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA).
John focuses on aviation law and has a wealth of trial experience in motor vehicle collisions, premises liability, and wrongful death. He is also skilled in alternative dispute resolution. Currently, John is part of the team representing the families of the victims of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in their lawsuits for wrongful death against Boeing. John has also represented family members of victims of car crashes in wrongful death cases as well as those who have suffered serious and life altering injuries. His experience in these areas has exposed him to the suffering of victims of negligence and spurred him to fight on behalf of injured plaintiffs and their families. John treats every client with the same care he would offer his own family and battles the profit-driven corporations and insurance companies to ensure that his clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Attorney Nicholas T. Motherway
Nicholas T. Motherway is a highly experienced attorney having received numerous verdicts and settlements in plaintiffs’ medical malpractice, product liability, and personal injury law. He also has extensive experience in the area of nursing home neglect and abuse.
Among Motherway’s notable cases demonstrate his depth and breadth of experience: a $7.5 million settlement in a motorcyclist accident who was rendered a quadriplegic, a $3 million settlement in a wrongful death medical malpractice case and a $1.6 million settlement for a brachial plexus birth injury in DuPage County are among his recent notable cases in the area of plaintiffs’ personal injury litigation.
Prior to his working at a Chicago plaintiffs’ personal injury firm for nearly 20 years, Motherway was an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney (1997-2003) where he served in the Torts, Civil Rights, Child Support, and Misdemeanor divisions.
Motherway has been named a Leading Lawyer since 2019.
He is a 1997 graduate of DePaul University College of Law and received a B.S. in economics from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1993.
Motherway has been very active in various bar associations including the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA), the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) and the Tort Law Section Council and Judicial Evaluation Committee of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).
As the newest associate, Nick Motherway is a tremendous addition to the firm.
Attorney Devin J. Piper
Devin James Piper is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law where he graduated cum laude. Among other cases on which he is working at Clifford Law Offices, he is part of the trial team on a medical malpractice case in Cook County involving failure to diagnose and treat hypertension that led to a stroke.
He was a part of the law school’s trial advocacy mock trial team where he competed nationally in Houston, Texas, in March. He currently serves as a coach for the law school’s 2023 trial advocacy team that will be competing nationally at UCLA School of Law in November.
Piper clerked at Clifford Law Offices since lMay 2022. Prior to that, his experience included serving as a judicial extern for the Hon. Bridget Hughes of the Circuit Court of Cook County and as an intern in the State’s Attorneys’ Offices in Champaign and St. Clair counties. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Piper served as Vice President of the American Constitution Society and is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Corporate Law Society, Future Trial Attorneys Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and American Bar Association.
Attorney Patrick F. Bradley
Patrick F. Bradley has been practicing in the area of personal injury and wrongful death litigation since 1980. Having worked as a solo practitioner, he has achieved a level of respect among his colleagues for embracing ethical responsibilities and promoting civility in the courtroom to achieve justice for his clients. For nearly four decades, Patrick has tried cases to verdict so that his clients receive financial compensation that is fair in some very complex litigation. His legal wisdom combined with his exemplary communication skills has made a stellar member of the plaintiffs’ bar throughout Chicago and its neighboring communities.
Patrick F. Bradley’s skills and genius approach to litigation is evidenced by the very clients he has represented over the years. He has been described as the “best” attorney and, “it was an honor, privilege, and pleasure to witness Pat in action over the course of the lawsuit and trial.” Another client said, “You realized that he has prepared a million times… It all unraveled before your eyes in a masterful display of competency, compassion, persistence, and knowledge of the case.” That defines the quintessential trial attorney who sets a high bar for all others.
Mr. Bradley attended DePaul University College of Law where he worked at its Legal Clinic. He received his undergraduate degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pat is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Pat and his wife of 42 years, Linda, reside in Chicago. They have three sons, all lawyers, and 10 grandchildren.
Patrick F. Bradley, a kind, intelligent attorney who offers a creative and studied approach to solutions, is a proud addition to the firm.
Attorney Kenneth C. Chessick
Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick, Of Counsel to Clifford Law Offices, is a well-respected and well-known lawyer and doctor. Principal partner of the Law Office of Kenneth C. Chessick, M.D. for nearly 30 years. In particular, he has made his mark in the area of fighting for patients’ rights in medical malpractice cases, having obtained numerous record verdicts and settlements.
For example, he obtained a $5.95 million record verdict in Cook County in a wrongful death case for the failure to diagnose breast cancer in a cancer survivor. He obtained a $2 million record verdict in Cook County at the time for the failure to diagnose breast cancer in a lady who did not survive. He obtained a $10 million record verdict in a birth injury case in Ogle County. He obtained a $1.2 million record verdict in DuPage County involving the vascular injury treatment in a medical negligence case. He obtained a $1 million record verdict in Winnebago County in a dental negligence case. His achievements in the courtroom also include a $7.6 million verdict in Cook County involving the negligent administration of a tube feeding.
Kenneth Chessick obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Psychology and Zoology from the University of Illinois in 1965. He obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree with scholarships from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1968. He served a straight internal medicine internship at Michael Reese Hospital in 1969, and four years of general surgery residency at Hines VA Hospital in 1970 and the prestigious Boston City Hospital in 1973. He then served a fellowship in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Florida Shands Teaching Hospital in 1979. Dr. Chessick is certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Kenneth Chessick obtained his Juris Doctor cum laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1984. Kenneth Chessick, M.D., J.D., is an experienced trial and appellate attorney, admitted to the State Bars of Illinois and Nevada. Dr. Chessick has achieved record verdicts in several jurisdictions, including a $10,000,000.00 verdict in Ogle County in 2001. Consistent with his specialized medical training and broad experience, his main focus is medical and hospital negligence that caused catastrophic injuries to innocent patients. Dr. Chessick has published numerous articles on these topics in both the medical and legal literature. Clients of the Law Office of Kenneth C. Chessick, M.D. have received well-deserved compensation for catastrophic injuries exceeding $100,000,000 in the counties of Cook, Winnebago, Ogle, Boone, DuPage, Kane, McHenry, Lake, Lee, Stephenson, and Whiteside.
Dr. Chessick maintains a close affiliation with Northern Illinois University. Dr. Chessick has been given the prestigious NIU Alumnus of the Year award in 2001. Dr. Chessick is a member of the Board of Directors of the NIU Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the NIU Alumni Association, and Chair of the Board of Visitors to the NIU College of Law. Dr. Chessick has taught or been the moderator of a number of law seminars on Medical Negligence Law, Personal Injury Law and Trial Technique attended by the practicing legal community. A generous donation from Dr. Chessick helped create the Kenneth Chessick, M.D., J.D. Technology Center at the NIU College of Law, designed to help train lawyers in the use of technology in the practice of law and in the courtroom.
Dr. Chessick gives back to the community in many ways. His legacy is the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Facility at his alma mater, Northern Illinois University. With a generous multi-million-dollar gift to the school, Dr. Chessick and his wife’s donation allowed for the building of a state-of-the-art practice facility for athletes at the university. The school opened the last weekend in October 2013, just as the Huskies’ football team was 7-0 in their conference and were ranked 18th in the country as they appeared headed to another bowl game. The Chessicks’ strong belief in the value of a successful athletic program is only surpassed by their firm commitment to a strong academic program, something that goes hand in hand in enhancing the entire college experience for all students, faculty, administrators, and alumni. “We are dedicated to helping to provide the best possible college education experience for our NIU students, and our student-athletes are instrumental to that positive experience,” Dr. Chessick said.
As a 1984 graduate of the NIU College of Law, Dr. Chessick established the Kenneth C. Chessick Legal Training Skills Center in 2004, providing students with experience and expertise in using computerized software to present ideas. Three years later, he created a series of academic scholarships named in honor of his clients, and there are now five endowed scholarships in the Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program, which is presented annually at the school. In 2001, he was named NIU Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, and in 2012, he was named the NIU College of Law Alumnus of the Year. He serves on the Board of Directors of the NIU Foundation, and in 2013 he was selected to give the figurative “Last Lecture”, a speech delivered to the public annually. Dr. Chessick’s topic is “How an Ordinary Guy Can Do Extraordinary Things”.
Dr. Chessick is a physician and surgeon since 1968, and a surgeon, certified by the American Board of Surgery in 1974. In 1999, Dr. Chessick was one of the creators of an internet marketing organization for restaurants and restaurant consumers, Restaurant.com. Dr. Chessick is now CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Restaurant.com, which has tens of thousands of restaurant partners in all fifty states in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, 350 full-time employees, and more than 1,000 independent consultant partners.
Kenneth Chessick is also chairman of the Board of Directors of Restaurant.com, a highly-successful, national restaurant internet corporation.
Attorney Robert P. Sheridan
Robert Sheridan is the quiet genius at the firm. Although a towering figure, he is most often found cloistered behind stacks of law books and volumes of research materials, pouring over legal opinions to form the foundation of some of the most complicated and precedent-setting cases. His calm, studied manner is a comforting sight in the frenetic pace of the office. Mr. Sheridan has devoted his legal career exclusively to complex litigation and appellate law, which he taught for many years at DePaul College of Law in Chicago.
Mr. Sheridan handles a number of the cases appealed by defense firms and insurance companies, including the appeal involving the highly-publicized case involving internationally-acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton who was severely injured in a train accident. Following a month-long trial, Robert Clifford obtained a $29.6 million verdict, but defense attorneys appealed, including immediately petitioning the Illinois Supreme Court on the issue of an allegedly biased juror, an issue on which Clifford Law Offices prevailed. The final verdict obtained on behalf of Rachel was $35 million. Mr. Sheridan also was instrumental in constructing successful novel arguments on behalf of a young girl who was assaulted in a Chicago housing project where it was alleged the Chicago Housing Authority was negligent in their failure to adequately patrol the area. Mr. Sheridan can frequently be found huddled with his colleagues, brainstorming on sensitive and complex legal-ethical issues.
Clifford Law Offices is proud to have Robert Sheridan as an invaluable resource. His brilliant and creative arguments are widely respected in the profession.
Attorney Thomas Jake Tomasik
Thomas Tomasik, an attorney with Clifford Law Offices PC in Chicago, Illinois, helps clients address Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Defense situations.
He received legal training from DePaul University College of Law. He graduated from law school in 2015. Thomas Tomasik became licensed to practice law in 2015.
Thomas Tomasik was selected to Rising Stars. The designation means that he is a top-rated attorney as recognized by peers. He was selected to Rising Stars for 2022 - 2024.
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."