Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska News
As a quickly growing national litigation law firm, SST’s evolution is ongoing. Please find the most recent news highlighting our remarkable work and industry impact below.
As a quickly growing national litigation law firm, SST’s evolution is ongoing. Please find the most recent news highlighting our remarkable work and industry impact below.
Update your Address Books!
We are excited to announce that our Seattle Office is now located at:
2815 Elliott Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska is pleased to announce the promotion of Alayna Litchman to the position of Partner with the firm. SST is a civil defense litigation firm with offices in Chicago and Edwardsville, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; and Seattle, Washington. With the elevation of Alayna, half of SST’s leadership are women.
Alayna is admitted to practice in Illinois and Texas where she concentrates her practice on products liability defense and occupational injury claims, including asbestos litigation. Prior to joining SST, Alayna worked for a commercial litigation firm where she represented individuals and corporations in all stages of litigation. Her skills in organization and management of large caseloads have led to the efficient and timely favorable resolution of claims against her clients before trial.
“We are excited to have Alayna as our Partner. Alayna began her legal career with many of us at our prior firm and has shown herself to be an exceptional and reliable advocate. One of the reasons we are proud of SST is that we created an environment that fosters long-lasting relationships both internally and with our clients.” said Doug Sinars, the firm’s Managing Partner.
Alayna earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the John Marshall Law School, where she was named to the Dean’s List and was a member of Phi Alpha Delta and the Women’s Bar Association. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University Bloomington.
In her free time, Alayna enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, trying new restaurants, and watching Hoosier basketball.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska LLC is proud to announce Zoë Baker as the firm’s newest partner. Zoë has been with SST since its inception in March 2016 and has become an integral part of the firm. SST is a Midwest-based firm with a national reach specializing in defending a variety of civil claims.
Zoë defends both domestic and international product and equipment manufacturers, premise owners, employers, outside contractors, and suppliers in general liability, mass toxic tort and product liability cases, including multi-party personal injury claims involving exposure to asbestos, benzene, mold and Legionella.
“Not only is Zoë an excellent attorney, her humility and down-to-earth nature help her connect with everyone she interacts with," said Doug Sinars, SST’s managing partner.
Zoë received her Juris Doctor summa cum laude from DePaul College of Law (2012), where she was awarded four CALI awards and the Chancellor’s Award for Service, and obtained an LLB degree in law from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England (2007). Zoë previously was Senior Law Clerk to the Honorable Diane J. Larsen, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division where she authored draft opinions on a wide range of cases.
David Nilles and Amy Callaghan have joined Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska as partners in its Chicago office. Prior to joining SST, Dave and Amy were partners with the late Edward Matushek at Matushek LLC. Welcome Dave and Amy!
Dave has more than 30 years of legal experience handling civil jury trials and appeals. He has a significant background defending medical malpractice claims and has defended clients in cases involving product liability, aviation law and air crashes, nursing home negligence, construction liability, asbestos personal injury and other casualty claims. This includes successfully trying several matters to verdict in Cook County, Illinois.
Amy focuses her practice on defense of toxic tort/environmental, product liability, construction negligence, construction defect and general negligence claims. She is adept at working and coordinating with insurers, insureds, in-house and national counsel in developing early defense strategies to achieve successful resolution of cases. Her experience includes defending clients through mediation, at pre-trial conferences and negotiating settlements.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska sponsored the "Women in the Law" Seminar which took place virtually on April 28-30, 2021. This event titled, “Own Your Worth in Law and Life” covered topics such as, “how to come through crisis stronger; how artificial intelligence is creating new areas of legal exposure; how adding diversity to the trial team improves overall performance and increases client satisfaction; how to silence your inner critic and address anxiety in the legal practice; how to avoid gender bias in settlement negotiations; and more.”
Click here for more information.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska was established on March 4, 2016 as a boutique toxic tort firm. Since opening their doors, SST has grown significantly and diversified its practice. While not every step has been easy, the expansion into new worlds has been worth the effort. Likewise, the addition of promising young talent to our established core of veteran leadership has engendered a sense of collaboration and growth. The most important thing we all have in common is understanding that “[g]reat things in business are never done by one person.” – Steve Jobs.
Founding Partner Doug Sinars: “One thing that has influenced our growth is that we look to hire attorneys that we see as potential future partners. Unlike traditional law firm models, our model recognizes attorneys for working as a team to do what is best for our clients and the firm. We invest in our employees because we want them to invest in the firm. We have grown quickly over the last 5 years and expect to expand to another market soon.”
Founding Partner Megan Slowikowski: “We stress customer service, from the staff to the attorney level. This is a relationship business where we give the same level of expertise and attentiveness to all of our clients, from family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Everyone knows they play an important role.”
Founding Partner Jim Tomaska: “Our associates get great opportunities to develop their litigation skills from day 1 because we recruit and hire litigators, whether their experience comes from the public or private sector. We are a relatively young firm, and we are here to stay.”
Thank you to our clients and our team who have made it all possible.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska is pleased to announce that Partner James Kasper has been named to the 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers list. This is his second year in a row receiving this honor. The research team at Super Lawyers use a multi-phase process including independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations to make their annual selections. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. No more than five percent of lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor.
SST Partner Carolyn Husmann has joined the International Association of Defense Counsel, an invitation-only, peer-reviewed association of approximately 2,500 members. Members of the IADC are leading corporate and insurance defense attorneys and insurance executives from large, mid-size, and small companies. The IADC provides educational opportunities and resources in addition to a strong global network for members to develop valuable relationships.
Carolyn says, “I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to get involved in such a distinguished organization.”
Update your address books, we've moved!
Due to firm growth, we are thrilled to announce that our St. Louis office has now moved up to Suite 2950.
Please join us at Perrin Conferences National Construction Litigation Conference that will be held virtually on November 12-13, 2020. This conference will focus on the status of construction defect litigation, construction technology, handling claims, analysis of PL and GL, ethical issues and other relevant topics from a variety of perspectives. We hope you can make it. Learn more and download a copy of the agenda here.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska is pleased to announce the promotion of Jaclyn Kostich and Kevin Horan to Partner in our Chicago office. SST has grown significantly since its inception in March 2016. Starting with 11 attorneys, SST now employs over 30 attorneys in Chicago, St. Louis and Dallas. The elevation of Jackie and Kevin marks the first time SST has promoted an associate to partner. Speaking on behalf of the three founding partners, Managing Partner Doug Sinars said, “We are very proud to be promoting from within and look forward to the future. Kate, Kevin and Jackie have shown that they are talented litigators. They are dedicated to our team and have contributed substantially to our growth as a firm.”
Jackie has diverse experience with complex litigation matters, including medical/professional malpractice, personal injury, mass tort and other environmental claims. Most recently, she obtained summary judgment in a civil rights case brought by a prisoner asserting a 1983 claim seeking $2M from an oral surgeon.
Kevin has significant litigation and trial experience in both the public and private sectors, having represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of practice areas including tort, commercial and professional liability matters. In October 2019, Kevin won summary judgment in Iowa on behalf of an insulation contractor in an asbestos case, successfully arguing that the court should interpret a 2017 Iowa statute in the insulation contractor’s favor. This decision is currently before the Iowa Supreme Court.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska was a Silver Sponsor at the Women in the Law Seminar at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, AZ. On January 22-24, 2020, this conference "gather(ed) outstanding women from law firms and corporate legal departments around the country to provide you with practical advice, excellent programming on aspects of the law that span all substantive areas, and the opportunity to build lasting relationships with the women you encounter."
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska LLC is pleased to announce that Partner Matthew Fields has been named to the 2019 Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers List in the area of Class Actions/Mass Torts. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in each state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.
On September 9-11, 2019, partner Megan Slowikowski spoke at Perrin Conferences’ National Asbestos Litigation Conference at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel. This marks the tenth anniversary of the three-day conference which provides attendees with a deeper understanding of the trends currently driving asbestos litigation and the impact these trends may have on future cases.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska LLC associate, Greta Lloyd, presented at the CLM Midwest conference debating the potential implications of autonomous vehicles. Greta Lloyd was joined by claims counsel for DWF Claims, Alison Finn, expert economist at Roux Associates, Ryan Stifter, and associate at Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion, L.L.C., David Renovitch. Their presentation was titled, “I, Autonomous Vehicle: When and How this Statement Could Disrupt the Insurance Industry” and outlined the economic, regulatory, legal, and claims challenges anticipated to arise with the evolution of autonomous vehicles. #CLMMW
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska LLC is proud to co-sponsor the Women Wine & Wishes event, benefiting Make-a-Wish Illinois! The successful event surpassed last year’s total by raising over $100,000 in one evening! The impact of last night will help provide boundless hope for Illinois children with life threatening illnesses by granting their wishes and dreams. Such a truly remarkable event and we are glad to be a part of it.
We are pleased to announce that the firm led by Managing Partner Doug Sinars has changed its name to SST
The firm’s name change recognizes Megan Slowikowski’s and Jim Tomaska’s significant contributions to the firm along with the outstanding results they have achieved for our clients. We look forward to continuing to work as a team to provide clients with creative and cost-effective solutions. Our commitment to sound judgment and practical solutions remains a top priority for our firm as a whole.
SST handles the national and Midwest defense and trial of both general negligence and tort claims. With thirty lawyers devoted to litigation, we have decades of experience defending these claims. We represent a broad spectrum of clients, including product manufacturers, premise owners, distributors, contractors and professionals.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska once again sponsored the National FETTI Annual Conference, which took place September 26th to 28th in Chicago. The conference covered a wide range of evolving environmental and toxic tort issues.
Congratulations to our own James Kasper, Greta Lloyd and Senior Consultant at ESI Jason Babcock Ph.D., for a great presentation titled "Is a Chemical Innocent Until Proven Guilty? The Artificial Turf Debate." They discussed the scientific literature regarding the safety of crumb-rubber artificial turf and the litigation that has arisen from the controversy.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska has proudly welcomed two attorneys to the firm in the summer of 2018.
Patrick Garvey brings a wealth of defense experience to SST, having defended a wide variety of premises, product, and toxic tort liability claims throughout his career.
Matt Vlasman joins as an associate. Matt focuses on the defense of product liability and occupational injury claims.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska celebrates its second year in business. A big thank you to all who have helped make this possible.
Adjusters Association of Chicago Golf Outing at Old Oak Country Club in Homer Glen, IL. Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska sponsored the 6th Hole of the outing. The event is an opportunity to raise funds and give back to the community and for camaraderie among peers.
SST is excited to announce its sponsorship of Filament Theatre's Garden Party on July 12, 2018. Filament Theatre is a non-profit organization that creates theatrical programming, camps, and classes to inspire young people and their communities. The Garden Party celebrated the Theatre and raise money for its causes. For additional information, please click here.
In June 2018, the women of Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska volunteered for Community Service Day with Women Everywhere: Partners in Service Project. This volunteer organization coordinates various activities in the Chicagoland area for women and children in need. For more information, please click here.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska sponsored this Judicial Reception held by the Women's Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) on March 1, 2018.
The event took place at the Chicago Cultural Center and honored Judge Clare Elizabeth McWilliams, Judge Terrence J. Lavin, and Judge Virginia M. Kendall. This annual reception honors the judiciary and provides guests an opportunity to meet and socialize with state and federal judges.
For more information, please click here.
SST is excited to announce the opening of their new St. Louis office. The office is located at 800 Market Street, Suite 1550, in downtown St. Louis and is the firm's third, following locations in Chicago, Illinois and Edwardsville, Illinois. The new office is headed by veteran litigator Matthew Fields.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska is pleased to announce that Matthew Fields and Lew Miltenberger have joined the firm as partners. Matt will head Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska's new St. Louis office while Lew is licensed in various states including Illinois, Missouri, and Texas. Matthew and Lew have tried numerous cases to verdict and bring decades of experience in a variety of areas to the firm.
For more information on our two newest partners, please visit their biographies.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska continues to grow, and proudly welcomes Cary Press to our team.
Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska associate Kevin Horan recently presented to the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section Career Assistance Committee. Horan and fellow presenter Ari Telisman of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission addressed emerging issues in attorney discipline and professional responsibility which face Illinois practitioners. The presentation, entitled “Staying Out of Trouble: How to Recognize and Confront Ethical Issues that Arise in the Legal Profession,” was offered as part of a series of continuing legal education seminars for CBA members. Attorneys and malpractice insurers should be aware of emerging trends in the regulation of the legal profession and how best to address the challenges of a constantly-evolving legal marketplace.
For more information, please contact Kevin Horan at email@example.com.
We are pleased to announce that Kevin Horan joined our team as an associate in June 2017.
Law Bulletin's Leading Lawyers Division has named Megan Slowikowski as an Emerging Lawyer. She has been recognized by her peers as one of the top lawyers in Illinois who are age 40 or younger and have proven themselves professional, ethical and experienced. This distinction is given to less than 2% of all lawyers licensed in Illinois.
In June, the women of Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska volunteered for Community Service Day with Women Everywhere: Partners In Service Project, a volunteer collective in the Chicagoland area that coordinates activities on behalf of women and children in need. Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska spent the day with GirlForward, a non-profit organization that provides adolescent refugee girls with individual mentorship, educational programs and leadership opportunities. For more information click here.
SST partners Owen Blood and John-Michael Porretta authored an article about the legal consequences of sports-related brain injuries. The article, which was published in the June 2016 Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 104 No. 6, is titled: “Litigating Sports Brain Injuries: The New Ball Game”. As sports-related concussions (and other brain injuries) become more of a public concern, the number of personal injury lawsuits filed by plaintiffs is sure to increase. Defense counsel and insurers should be familiar with all areas of this impending litigation including the science and potential defenses.
For more information, please contact Owen Blood at firstname.lastname@example.org or John-Michael Porretta at email@example.com.