August 1, 2019 By Nicholas Vogelzang

August 2019

Welcome back to our newsletter and thanks for your loyal readership. We continue to have a busy summer at VL with a wide variety of depositions, court hearings, new client meetings, and saying goodbye to several clients as well. We had been preparing for a trial against Mead paper that was supposed to occur this past month. Unfortunately our client, Mary Miller, lost her battle with mesothelioma and the trial lost its priority status. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Miller family for the loss of their mother and grandmother. While we were saddened to lose Mary and disappointed to not be trying the case we had prepared for, it did give our trial team some breathing room to review additional documents, which isn’t easy when it gets into the thousands of pages. To make use of our additional time, we sent three law clerks down to the defense counsel’s office in Birmingham, Alabama and had them sort through 40 banker boxes of documents from 30-50 years ago. It was valuable information and a great learning experience for us and especially the law clerks.  

Speaking of law clerks, we continue to strengthen our summer program year over year. For the summer of 2019. we have had three amazingly talented law students including Chloe Morrison from Chicago Kent College of Law, Mary Liberty from Loyola University School of Law, and Ashley Weringa from Depaul University College of Law. Each of them have brought a unique skill set to the firm and they had a chance to bond over hard work and some fun outside of work.  They have been able to attend a few legal events throughout the city including a Chicago Bar Association event at the Standard Club featuring Governor Pritzker and the University Club for the Women in Law with Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke giving a guest lecture. When it comes to getting legal experience, they have been extremely busy helping the lawyers write motions, research legal issues and most importantly filter through thousands of documents to help us prepare for trial. In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating the end of summer with them and all of the employees at a White Sox game against the Texas Rangers.

We have also continued to integrate our newest associate Sadie Grunewald into the firm. She has assertively taken control of an ever-growing bankruptcy department. Sadie is supervising years of cases that have made claims to numerous bankruptcy trusts from companies that allot a certain amount of money to asbestos claimants when they go through the bankruptcy process. These claims on behalf of our mesothelioma clients can take many years of determination to ensure that they are qualified and paid. In addition, she is overseeing the filing of two cases from Greek citizens who were exposed to asbestos in United States ports. We will be filing one of the cases in New York and the other in Los Angeles. While the core of our work remains in the Upper Midwest, it is inevitably spreading across the globe as we grow, which requires a new level of sophistication and coordination. Luckily Sadie is up for the task.

Finally we have added a new digital marketing person, Melissa Soria. Melissa brings years of experience to the firm in search engine optimization (getting to the top of Google) and has excellent skills in making sure all of the hard work and experience of Vogelzang Law is communicated to our clients and partners. You should be seeing some new and exciting campaigns from the firm in several arenas this next year.  

In addition to new people, we have also added a number of new clients, including a lifelong construction worker, a Polish immigrant who worked as an equipment and vehicle mechanic, the son of a gas station owner, a lifelong laborer focusing on demolition, and the aforementioned workers from the Greek Navy, all diagnosed with mesothelioma in the last couple of months.  We will be busy digging into their life histories for the next few months as we prepare their cases for the court system. As always, being the captain of this ship is an exciting whirlwind and if it gets too stressful, I remind myself that I couldn’t ask for a better job. Have a great rest of your summer and don’t forget to take if not two weeks off, at least two Fridays off before the end of summer. 

Thanks for reading and see you next month.