Rebecca Nickelson is a partner at Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska, with over 20 years of experience representing clients in bet-the-company litigation. She focuses her practice on toxic tort claims including products and premises liability, asbestos, and other toxic torts. Rebecca has successfully defended her clients in thousands of cases to dismissal without payment, settlement, and jury verdict. She is involved in all aspects of litigation, and routinely obtains successful outcomes for her clients through negotiations, hearings in court and other motion practice.
For two decades, Rebecca has served as Regional and Local Counsel for companies sued in various areas of civil litigation. She has defended entities ranging from small family-owned businesses fighting to keep their doors open to Fortune 500 companies.
Rebecca is a proud member of DRI — the largest international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation, where she has held numerous leadership positions at the national and state level. She served on the Board of Directors 2019-2022. She served as the Chair and Vice Chair of the DRI Cares (f/k/a Philanthropic Activities Committee), which is responsible for coordinating and publicizing DRI’s public service projects by its members and at its seminars. In this role, she has helped organizations like CASA, local hospitals, Dress for Success, and many others. She has volunteered for the annual auction and raffle which raises money to educate appellate judges through the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (NFJE). She also serves as a member of the leadership group for the Women in the Law Committee and is on the marketing committee for the highly successful DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar. She also served as the DRI State Representative for Missouri and the State Membership Chair.
Since 1999, Rebecca has coached students at various levels to compete in Mock Trial competitions. She has coached MICDS, a high school in the St. Louis area, to win the Missouri State Championship and be a national qualifying team four times. In 2011, MICDS was runner-up for the National Championship. She served as co-chair of the Missouri High School Mock Trial Program for eight years and has been an instructor at the St. Louis Internship Program (SLIP) Mock Trial. She has also coached undergraduate and law school mock trial teams at Washington University in St. Louis.
She serves on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Lawyer Trust Account Foundation. Rebecca is rated as “AV Preeminent” by Martindale Hubbell. She received the President’s Award (2014 and 2020) and the John C. Shepherd Professionalism Award (2009) from the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL).
In her free time, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her family, spoiling her granddaughter, and traveling.
Publications and Presentations
Rebecca is a frequent speaker on various topics, including tort litigation, settlement negotiations, personal jurisdiction and diversity.
"Service on Nonprofit Boards: How to Give Back (Ethics)," DRI Women in the Law Seminar (Austin, 2022)
“Philanthropic Activities,” DRI Annual Meeting (New Orleans, 2019)
“Litigating Cases in a Post-OSHA Paradigm: Views from Both Sides of Aisle,” Perrin Conferences — Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation Conference (Beverly Hills, 2019)
“Negotiations Training Seminar,” MCIC Vermont (New York, 2019)
"Negotiation Tactics," DRI Women in the Law Seminar (San Diego, 2019)
"How an Insurance Company Selects the Right Law Firm," ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section seminar (St. Louis, 2018)
"Handling Discovery and Depositions" and "Settling the Asbestos Claim," National Business Institute seminar, Asbestos and Mesothelioma Claims Litigation (Video Webcast, 2018)
"St. Louis Asbestos Cases: Practice Pointers," Harris Martin's Midwest Asbestos Conference (St. Louis, 2018) Co-presenter with Judge Elizabeth Hogan (St. Louis, MO)
"ISMs: Racism, Sexism, Genderism, Ageism — How Do We Move Forward?" BAMSL CLE (St. Louis, 2018). Co-presenter with Judge Judy Draper (St. Louis County, MO)
"Personal Jurisdiction: A New Look at Mass Tort Litigation — Where Do We Go From Here?" FETTI 24th Annual Conference (Chicago, 2017)
"Personal Jurisdiction on the Hot Seat," Harris Martin's Midwest Asbestos Conference (St. Louis, 2017). Co-presenter with Judges Mark Neill and Steven Ohmer (St. Louis, MO)
"Special Issues in Asbestos Settlements and Depositions," Harris Martin's Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference (St. Louis, 2016)
"Settling the Asbestos Claim," National Business Institute seminar — Asbestos: Current Issues and Effective Litigation Tactics (Clayton, MO, 2016)
"Local Court Procedures in Asbestos Cases," Harris Martin's Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference (St. Louis, 2013). Co-presenter with Judge Clarence Harrison (Madison County, IL) and Judge Steven Ohmer (St. Louis, MO)
Notable Cases and Trials
- King v Crane Co., et al., Third Circuit Court – Madison County, IL/2014