In a year when many firms contracted in response to the pandemic and other economic conditions, DiCello Levitt’s increasing caseload caused it to expand dramatically—representing another step forward in growing our top-tier complex litigation firm. In 2021, we opened offices in Birmingham and Detroit and added 12 associates with diverse experience and backgrounds to our incredible team of attorneys.
Our new associates will be working on an array of cases in the new year that we foresee setting new precedents, advancing the law for plaintiffs, and promoting justice.
Privacy, Technology, and Cybersecurity Growth
With an extensive resume in cybercrime cases, Sharon Cruz is already a key member of our award-winning Technology and Cybersecurity practice group. In her past work as a criminal prosecutor and investigator specializing in privacy compliance, data management, and cybercrimes, Sharon has issued and enforced hundreds of subpoenas to corporations guilty of cybercrimes. Sharon has also prosecuted human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, sexual assault, theft, environmental, and DUI cases, so she will be a valued member of several of our litigation teams.
The firm was also pleased to welcome James Ulwick to the practice. James’s technical proficiency and background as a former defense attorney provides valuable insight to the team.
James has leveraged his knowledge of social media development, streaming platforms, data security, and evolving technologies to develop complex theories of liability in complex and multidistrict litigation, using innovative approaches to develop discovery and reduce costs for all parties.
“Our practice group has accomplished a significant number of victories for consumers since its founding in 2018, including settlements valued at over $2 billion,” notes practice group chair Amy Keller. “With the addition of my partner David Straite, whose primary focus is on protecting consumer privacy, along with our group’s ongoing mission of improving information security, our firm is positioned to fight the most egregious violations—and win.”
Product Liability and Personal Injury Growth
Our Product Liability and Personal Injury practice groups grew significantly this year. With the opening of our Birmingham office, we hired Associates Eli Hare and Allison Griffith. With vast experience in complex litigation, Eli will continue pursuing commercial, environmental, and civil rights cases. Allison represents plaintiffs injured by negligence, medical devices and drugs, environmental contamination, and civil rights abuses. Eli and Allison are valued members of the Birmingham office and buttress its focus on protecting the vulnerable and seeking justice on their behalf.
Our Product Liability and Personal Injury groups in Chicago also saw the arrival of fresh talent. With Michelle Locascio’s background in psychology and Arianna Allen’s empathetic approach to advocacy, these outstanding lawyers understand what it takes to persuade decision makers.
Justin Abbarno, Joseph Frate, and Peter Soldato joined our Cleveland office to represent personal injury and civil rights abuse victims. During law school, Justin was instrumental in the achievements of The Ohio State University’s award-winning Moritz College of Law Mock Trial team and received the Michael F. Colley Award for his mock trial acumen. While attending Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Joe was a member of the Milton Kramer Health and Human Trafficking Law Clinic, where he represented and assisted disenfranchised citizens in receiving Social Security benefits and criminal record expungements. And Peter has extensive experience in the public sector representing both the government and individuals. As a graduate of the Trial Lawyer’s College and with more than 35 jury trials under his belt, Peter promises to be instrumental in the firm’s trial first strategy.
The New York office welcomed Carmel Kappus, whose experience as defense counsel representing health care providers in complex medical liability, civil rights, and general negligence cases gives her a unique perspective when representing injured plaintiffs.
“I am thrilled to be joining a team of attorneys at the top of their game,” Carmel said. “Although I was initially drawn in by the fast-paced, high caliber cases this firm attracts, my long-term goal is to learn from the tremendous mentors I have found amongst the partners and my fellow associates.”
Class Action, Environmental, and Plaintiffs’ Complex Litigation Growth
Next year promises continued litigation against PFAS “forever chemical” contaminators. With expertise in environmental litigation, Anna Claire Skinner joined the team of DiCello Levitt Special Assistant Attorneys General working alongside the Michigan and Illinois state Attorneys General seeking remediation and damages.
Saul Cohen, in the Washington, D.C., office will represent plaintiffs in our growing Whistleblower and Complex Litigation practice groups. Saul has represented a variety of clients in federal and state trial and appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. We look forward to his unique perspective as a prior law clerk to the Honorable Gregg Costa of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
All of our new associates attracted us with their commitment to justice and track record of excellent advocacy. We welcome our new hires and look forward to growing together in the new year.