OUR LEGAL TEAM

CHICAGO MESOTHELIOMA LAWYERS

The lawyers of Vogelzang Law dedicate themselves to representing victims of mesothelioma throughout the country by offering a comprehensive, hands-on approach to the litigation process to ensure our clients receive the best possible outcomes for their cases.

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WYATT J. BERKOVER

Associate Attorney

After receiving his B.A in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012, Mr. Berkover graduated cum laude from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2016. Mr. Berkover is admitted to the Illinois State Bar and is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association.

After receiving his B.A in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012, Mr. Berkover graduated cum laude from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2016. Mr. Berkover is admitted to the Illinois State Bar and is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association.

While attending Chicago-Kent, Mr. Berkover was the Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association representative and the Chicago-Kent student representative to the Illinois State Bar Association. Mr. Berkover was awarded the CALI Award for the highest grade in Environmental Law and Policy 2 while studying at Chicago-Kent. Mr. Berkover began working with Nicholas Vogelzang in 2015 as a law clerk and joined Vogelzang Law as an associate in the fall of 2016.

Mr. Berkover represents victims of personal injury and wrongful death, from the initial client meeting through the trial. He focuses on representing victims of mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases.
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NICHOLAS J. VOGELZANG

Lead Counsel

Nicholas Vogelzang has tried numerous asbestos lawsuits on behalf of families stricken with mesothelioma, in both Cook County and Madison County, Illinois. During one of his first trials on behalf of Roby Whittington in 2003, he and his team received the most significant asbestos verdict in Illinois history at $250,000,000.  

Nicholas Vogelzang has tried numerous asbestos lawsuits on behalf of families stricken with mesothelioma, in both Cook County and Madison County, Illinois. During one of his first trials on behalf of Roby Whittington in 2003, Mr. Vogelzang and his team received the most significant asbestos verdict in Illinois history at $250,000,000.

Since then, he has represented more than 200 families with every imaginable type of asbestos exposure throughout the country, resulting in more than 200 million in settlements and verdicts. In 2017, he represented a variety of workers diagnosed with mesothelioma. His clients included: a bricklayer from US Steel; an insulator from Hooker Chemical; a laborer from Union Carbide; a sheet metal worker from John Deere; a plastic worker from Batts Plastics; two employees from Borg Warner; and a Local 130 Chicago union plumber. Nicholas takes pride in personally getting to know each family by working with them to determine the source of the asbestos exposure.

His clients for 2018 include: a sheet metal worker; a chemical engineer from Allied Chemical; a TWA airplane mechanic; the mother and husband of a Local 597 Chicago pipefitter; a residential and commercial plumber; a window glazier; a Local 17 asbestos insulator; the wife of a John Jay High School maintenance worker; a pipe fitter that worked at Bethlehem Steel and later Kroger Dairy; and two steelworkers from US Steel.

Mr. Vogelzang dedicates himself to his craft, regularly appearing in court on behalf of his clients to argue motions against Fortune 500 companies and their national counsel. He continues his dedication to his clients by working with bright young associates that assist in every aspect of the litigation.
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MICHAEL A. MAIENZA

Associate Attorney

Mr. Maienza earned his B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business in 2013. He received his Juris Doctor from the DePaul University College of Law in 2017 and served as a judicial external under the Hon. Michael T. Mullen in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Mr. Maienza earned his B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business in 2013. He received his Juris Doctor from the DePaul University College of Law in 2017 and served as a judicial external under the Hon. Michael T. Mullen in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

While at DePaul, Mr. Maienza competed in both Minneapolis and Cincinnati as a member of the Appellate Moot Court Society. Throughout law school, Mr. Maienza volunteered with the Legal Aid Society ultimately gaining his 711 license, allowing him to work directly with clients for the Domestic Violence team.

Vogelzang Law

A boutique, personal injury firm with a family environment.

Our firm is committed to our clients, their families, and justice. As our client, a unified team of Vogelzang Law staff will shepherd you and your family through each phase of the litigation process. This multi-angle approach enables us to provide each client with continuity of care.

Our new, larger office space–which has excellent views, professional meeting rooms, a comfortable “think tank,” and a memorial wall–provides a highly functional and collaborative space for our dedicated attorneys and staff to serve you.

MEET OUR DEDICATED

Staff Members

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Caylei Vogelzang

Director of Business Strategy

Caylei Vogelzang, a native Oregonian, spent her early years on her family’s idyllic organic herb farm where her savvy business marketing skills began to form. Her family’s business built rapport in the local community, and eventually with a national audience. Now, the Director of Business Strategy at Vogelzang Law, Caylei sets and drives the course for the firm.

Caylei Vogelzang, a native Oregonian, spent her early years on her family’s idyllic organic herb farm where her savvy business marketing skills began to form. Her family's business built rapport in the local community, and eventually with a national audience. Now, the Director of Business Strategy at Vogelzang Law, Caylei sets and drives the course for the firm.

In pursuit of higher education and adventure, Caylei left Oregon to attend St. Andrew's boarding school in Middletown, Delaware, followed by Columbia College at Columbia University in New York, NY where she received her B.A.

Upon graduation, Caylei returned to her family business full time, serving as East Coast Sales Manager and National Sales Manager before moving to Chicago. In Chicago, Caylei took a position as Director of Sponsorship Fulfillment for a race management company before co-founding the Fort2Base Race, which she developed from the ground up and sold.

As Director of Business Strategy at Vogelzang Law, responsibilities include overseeing the general operations of the firm, marketing and PR efforts, charitable initiatives, and community outreach.
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Mirela Stefanescu

Public Relations Manager/Union Liaison

As the PR Manager and Union Liaison for Vogelzang Law, Mirela Stefanescu oversees, coordinates, and manages all events the firm attends and hosts, from union golf outings to charitable activities. Mirela has worked with a majority of the unions throughout Illinois and Northwestern Indiana on awareness of asbestos-related disease while incorporating how the litigation process can benefit members.

As the PR Manager and Union Liaison for Vogelzang Law, Mirela Stefanescu oversees, coordinates, and manages all events the firm attends and hosts, from union golf outings to charitable activities. Mirela has worked with a majority of the unions throughout Illinois and Northwestern Indiana on awareness of asbestos-related disease while incorporating how the litigation process can benefit members.

She received her AS in Health and Wellness Promotion from the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL and studied advertising and marketing at Bentley University in Waltham, MA.

She is extremely passionate about giving back to the community, both locally and nationally. She has volunteered both personally and professionally at many charitable organizations, including Imerman Angels, PAWS Chicago, Lakeview Pantry, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, The American Lung Association and Breakthrough Urban Ministries. Her most significant charitable endeavor will be organizing the Vogelzang Law first annual Mesothelioma Race for Justice 5K on September 22, 2018, benefiting the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
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Kelsi Lockhart

Director of Business Development

As the Director of Business Development at Vogelzang Law, Kelsi Lockhart manages the firm’s digital properties and assists in developing and implementing the overall marketing and business strategy. Raised in central Illinois, Kelsi has called Chicago “home” since attending DePaul University, where she obtained her B.A. in Public Relations & Advertising.

As the Director of Business Development at Vogelzang Law, Kelsi Lockhart manages the firm's digital properties and assists in developing and implementing the overall marketing and business strategy. Raised in central Illinois, Kelsi has called Chicago “home” since attending DePaul University, where she obtained her B.A. in Public Relations & Advertising.

During her time at DePaul, she also studied marketing, Latino media, and organizational development. Throughout college, she obtained PR and marketing internships for organizations in various industries, including entertainment, sports, and education.

Post-graduation, Kelsi accepted a job offer with Keyence Corporation, a factory automation company. At Keyence, Kelsi worked as a technical marketing engineer in a lead generation role tasked with managing all channels of marketing (i.e., email marketing, digital marketing, advertising, PPC, SEO, direct mail, and trade shows) for the Digital Microscope Team.

Kelsi hopes to utilize the skills she acquired at Keyence but make a difference in the world by working for the people who built America. She aims to obtain justice for new clients while providing them with a community and the tools to understand every step of their litigation process.
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Katie Neuman

Executive Coordinator

As a Chicagoland native and a Columbia College alumni, Katie Neuman joins Vogelzang Law and brings with her 13 years of experience in litigation. Katie’s charming yet efficient nature is the driving force behind her ambition and also why she spearheads Vogelzang Law’s Media & Publications division.

As a Chicagoland native and a Columbia College alumni, Katie Neuman joins Vogelzang Law and brings with her 13 years of experience in litigation. Katie’s charming yet efficient nature is the driving force behind her ambition and also why she spearheads Vogelzang Law’s Media & Publications division.

Katie’s genuine desire to connect with people will continue to steer her down a successful path as she builds relationships with the top names in legal media in a spirited effort to continually boost Vogelzang Law’s presence.
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Vanja Lapic

Financial Analyst

Vanja oversees the daily functions of the finance/accounting department. He uses his analytical background towards integrating cloud-based solutions for improved oversight and scalability.

Vanja oversees the daily functions of the finance/accounting department. He uses his analytical background towards integrating cloud-based solutions for improved oversight and scalability.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Business with a core in Economics from DePaul University. Soon after, he obtained a Master of Science in Applied Economics from DePaul University’s Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

During his time at DePaul, Vanja applied himself to various organizations and events that helped promote not-for-profit and small business growth. He was a member of Net Impact, a social organization increasing sustainable growth. He also worked for a financial service company (where he improved internal workflows) and a German start-up on the financial and business development front.
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Barbara Summers

Senior Claims Analyst and Settlement Paralegal

Barbara Summers serves as Vogelzang Law’s Senior Claims Analyst and Settlement Paralegal where she manages the firm’s Bankruptcy and Settlement Departments. She has more than seven years of experience in the legal industry as a paralegal working in various aspects of personal injury.

Barbara Summers serves as Vogelzang Law’s Senior Claims Analyst and Settlement Paralegal where she manages the firm’s Bankruptcy and Settlement Departments. She has more than seven years of experience in the legal industry as a paralegal working in various aspects of personal injury.

Her responsibilities include coordination of incoming asbestos claims, reviewing and summarizing medical records, performing legal research and gathering case-relevant data and material for claims submission, and managing administrative matters for various Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts. She is also responsible for drafting and reviewing all settlement and confidentiality agreements, monitoring the entire process of ensuring settlement and coordinating settlement distributions and allocations.

Barbara attended Georgetown University and DePaul University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She is a member of the Illinois Paralegal Association, National Notary Association, and Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society.

Before joining the firm in 2015, Barbara worked as a Subrogation Paralegal and HIPAA Compliance Officer at a commercial law firm. Her responsibilities included working on all aspects of the recovery process and managing subrogation programs for national healthcare plans. Her legal experience also includes work in litigation and product liability.

She enjoys working at Vogelzang Law, PC where she can make a personal connection with clients and a positive impact on their lives through her work. Each day she is motivated by opportunities to help victims of mesothelioma and to experience new challenges.
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Genevieve Mladenka

Legal Assistant/Claims Analyst

Genevieve Mladenka works in the Bankruptcy Claims Department at Vogelzang Law. She also handles the resolution of all pertinent Medicare reimbursement claims for Vogelzang Law clients. Genevieve was born and raised in the area surrounding Austin, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Texas at Austin.

Genevieve Mladenka works in the Bankruptcy Claims Department at Vogelzang Law. She also handles the resolution of all pertinent Medicare reimbursement claims for Vogelzang Law clients. Genevieve was born and raised in the area surrounding Austin, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Texas at Austin.

After graduation, her first job out of college was at a law firm located in the central Texas area. Genevieve moved to Chicago, Illinois to earn her Master of Arts in Humanities at the University of Chicago.

Despite her Lone Star situation, Genevieve has traveled throughout the United States of America to meet with people who exposed to asbestos, and she has years of experience helping clients receive the compensation they deserve. She joined Vogelzang Law in 2016 and she is proud to contribute to the firm’s dedicated and compassionate service to those affected by asbestos-related disease.
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Daniel Flores

Law Clerk

Mr. Flores is currently in the Juris Doctor program at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he is now on track to graduate in 2019. Prior to this, Mr. Flores earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Loyola University of Chicago in 2016. As a law student, Mr. Flores’ focus has been on plaintiff advocacy.

Mr. Flores is currently in the Juris Doctor program at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he is now on track to graduate in 2019. Prior to this, Mr. Flores earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Loyola University of Chicago in 2016. As a law student, Mr. Flores’ focus has been on plaintiff advocacy.

In his 1L year at Chicago-Kent, Mr. Flores was awarded the CALI Excellence for the Future Award for the highest grade in Legislation and Legal Writing II. He was on the Dean’s List in both of his 1L semesters. Currently, in his 2L year, Mr. Flores is a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, for which he will compete in the Rendigs Products Liability competition. He also serves as a Teaching Assistant for civil procedure.

Before clerking at Vogelzang Law, Mr. Flores worked as a clerk in a firm focused on medical malpractice litigation. Mr. Flores finds it rewarding to get relief for working class people injured while faithfully working their job. His goal is to get the full panoply of relief available for our clients to try and make them feel whole.
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Sadie Grunewald

Law Clerk

Ms. Grunewald is a third-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law, anticipating graduation in May 2018. She earned her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she majored in International Studies and Political Science and minored in African Studies and Global Health. She began her law school career at The John Marshall Law School and subsequently transferred to Chicago-Kent after her first year.

Ms. Grunewald is a third-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law, anticipating graduation in May 2018. She earned her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she majored in International Studies and Political Science and minored in African Studies and Global Health. She began her law school career at The John Marshall Law School and subsequently transferred to Chicago-Kent after her first year.

In the summer following her first year of law school, she served as a law clerk at the Environmental Law & Policy Center and participated in a summer program on Global Health Rights Litigation at Georgetown Law. During her second year of law school, she gained experience as a law clerk at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, and Chicago Environmental Law Clinic. At Chicago-Kent, she currently serves as a Submissions Editor for the Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property, a member of the Society of Women in Law, and participant of the 2018 National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition.

Sadie was drawn to Vogelzang Law because her position combined her interests in health and the environment. She believes her work helps clients and families take a stand against corporate practices which willfully ignored the health hazards of asbestos. Settlements will never replace the client or the family for what these companies did, but Sadie believes it is a step to helping the client and their family.
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Marissa Divine

Paralegal

Marissa Divine works as one of the firm’s litigation paralegals. She works closely with lead counsel in preparation of handling complex cases for litigation, from discovery to the trial phase. Her primary responsibilities include assisting attorneys with managing deadlines, drafting and filing legal documents, and addressing any administrative needs to ensure an organized and timely court process.

Marissa Divine works as one of the firm's litigation paralegals. She works closely with lead counsel in preparation of handling complex cases for litigation, from discovery to the trial phase. Her primary responsibilities include assisting attorneys with managing deadlines, drafting and filing legal documents, and addressing any administrative needs to ensure an organized and timely court process.

She graduated cum laude from Loyola University Chicago, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice & Criminology and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. While attending Loyola as an undergraduate student, she won the Dr. Dean Charles W. Hart award and was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She is currently working toward her Master's degree in Criminal Justice & Criminology at Loyola.

Marissa has nearly two years of experience in the legal field, working mainly in civil litigation. Before joining the firm in May of 2017, Marissa worked as a legal assistant at a firm specializing in personal injury and insurance law.
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