Confident, articulate, and exceptionally cool under pressure, Ed Casmere has been described by colleagues and opponents alike as one of the most engaging and persuasive attorneys with whom they have ever worked. He is widely respected as a formidable litigator and trial lawyer but is also acknowledged as a generous and ethical collaborator who impresses clients, judges, jurors, and opposing counsel with his thoroughness, dedication, and preparation.
Although he has an impressive history of securing positive trial outcomes for his clients, Ed’s first line of attack has always been to look for effective ways to circumvent litigation, either through compelling and persuasive legal arguments or the negotiation of mutually beneficial settlement agreements. Ed has successfully litigated cases for both defendants and plaintiffs.
Ed has served as lead counsel in cases across the country. In his role as a high-level risk manager, strategic advisor, negotiator, and trial lawyer, Ed has successfully represented national and international businesses in the banking, food, automotive, children’s products, insurance, agricultural products, chemical, industrial products, aviation, technology, and glass industries. Ed has litigated a diverse array of cases including environmental claims, chemical exposures, securities fraud, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, railcar injuries, lease disputes, warranty claims, and catastrophic property damage/personal injury.
Judicial Extern — U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (1999)
- Ed has served as first-chair trial lawyer in numerous catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases in state and federal courts nationwide.
- Ed has worked with private equity firms to analyze the product liability and litigation portfolios of target companies as part of the due diligence conducted at various points in the negotiations of the transactions.
- Ed took over prosecuting a wrongful death case for the family of a young man who died from “undetermined” causes after their prior lawyer withdrew shortly before the final pre-trial mediation. Following some last-minute discovery, research, and forensic analysis, Ed and his team crafted a mediation strategy and opening statement that resulted in the defendants changing their “no pay” position and settling the case.
- Ed has functioned as chief negotiation and settlement counsel for clients in product liability and mass tort litigation nationwide.
- Successfully defended the enforceability of a broad exculpatory agreement/waiver of liability for an adventure experience company in a personal injury action resulting in the dismissal of several claims at an early stage of the litigation.
- When a customer refused payment for significant orders over several months, a large commercial bakery turned to Ed for help. He crafted and filed a complaint in federal court that compelled the customer to admit enough facts to obtain partial judgment in the bakery’s favor. He then executed on the judgment and negotiated a secured payment plan. That plan provided the bakery immediate cash flow and a secured debt and also allowed them to maintain a working relationship with their customer who was able to remain in business.
- Ed joined a small team of lawyers to assist a Fortune 500 company after an unanticipated onslaught of mass tort claims was filed against it and its subsidiaries. He assumed responsibility for managing hundreds of cases, working with the client’s upper management and national counsel to create and implement settlement negotiations and trial strategies. Following an intense period of discovery and trial preparations, Ed negotiated a short-term resolution that ultimately became the final negotiated resolution.
- Secured and defended on appeal, the dismissal of an action at the pleading stage against an international banking client based on claims related to Italian law, Illinois law, and the Commercial Code.
- When a food distributor was sued by one of its suppliers for rejecting a substandard product, Ed negotiated a settlement on very favorable terms during the pleading stage. The supplier later tried to add the same client as a defendant in a different case, in a different county, involving litigation with the upstream supplier. Once again, Ed obtained judgment for his client at the pleading stage by convincing the court to enforce the language of the previous settlement. Thanks to his quick action, skillful drafting, and effective litigation strategy, Ed’s client avoided years of costly litigation in two difference state courts, and maintained a constructive relationship with the plaintiff.
- Successfully challenged, at trial and on appeal, the admissibility of experts in federal courts, and also defended experts against such challenges in state and federal courts.
- Obtained a directed verdict at the close of plaintiff’s case in a wrongful death jury trial involving a novel liability claim in a cancer case.
- Served as a member of the Defense Liaison Committee for the MDL-875 Court overseeing asbestos claims filed in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
- Successfully drafted, argued and implemented deferred dockets for unimpaired non-malignancy claims in two southern Illinois counties.
John Marshall Law School (Chicago), J.D., Jan. 2001, magna cum laude, Order of John Marshall
Illinois State University, B.S., Double major in Political Science, and Public Relations/Communications, 1995
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
American Bar Association
Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, Chair (2017‐2018)
Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, Vice-Chair
Products Liability Committee, Vice‐Chair
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Illinois State Bar Association
Bench & Bar Section Council Member
Asst. Editor Bench & Bar Section Newsletter
Honors & Awards
Award For Excellence In Pro Bono Service United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (2015)
Settlement Assistance Program Service Award United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (2015)
Peer Reviewed AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell (Since 2014)
Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (Since 2013)
Illinois Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters' Illinois Super Lawyers (2008-2012)
40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty, Law Bulletin Media (2009)
“Premises Liability: Where Are the Claims Headed?," (co-panelist) Perrin Conferences Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation, Beverly Hills, CA (March 8, 2018)
“Shakespeare’s cold wisdom - Too early seen unknown, and known too late?," (author) Illinois State Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Section Council Newsletter (September 2017, vol. 48, no. 3)
“Rule 502: Something Illinois litigants can learn from federal courts," (co-author) Illinois State Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Section Council Newsletter (May 2017, vol. 47, no. 10)
“Practice Pointer: Persuading Jurors, What Works and What Doesn’t,” (co-presenter) ABA 26th Annual Spring CLE Meeting, Phoenix, AZ (April 8, 2017)
“Proportionality in e-discovery: The Illinois appellate court seeks to find the right fit," (co-author) Illinois State Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Section Council Newsletter (April 2017, vol. 47, no. 9)
“People v. Jones: Prejudicial Remarks in a Criminal Trial,“ (co-author) Illinois State Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Section Council Newsletter (December 2016, vol. 47, no. 5)
“The Second District avoids causing new ripples in the common Law ‘test the waters’ doctrine," (co-author) Illinois State Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Section Council Newsletter (September 2016, vol. 47, no. 2)
Program Chair of the American Bar Association’s, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Committee’s 25th Annual Spring CLE Meeting, Phoenix, AZ (April 8-9, 2016)
From the Trenches: Strategies and Tips from 21 of the Nation’s Top Trial Lawyers, Chapter 3: Brevity (author), 2015, American Bar Association
“Recent Developments in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law," (co-author) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal, American Bar Association (Winter 2015)
“On Point: Predicting the Next Mass Torts and Pattern Litigation,“ (co-presenter) Lloyd’s of London Old Library, London, England (October 20, 2015) discussed the state of mass tort litigation and its future. The topics included nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, e-cigarettes, wearable technology, and fracking.
“Apportioning Liability in Jurisdictions with Fault Allocation: Products, Product Types, Product Uses, Product Identification Witnesses, Deposition Strategies, Trigger of Coverage Issues, and Beyond,” (co-presenter), American Conference Institute, Chicago, IL (June 24, 2015)
“Take Home Exposures in Asbestos Cases: How Jurisdictions Differ in Their Approach,” (co-presenter) American Conference Institute, Chicago, IL (June 23, 2015)
“Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls When Preparing Clients and Experts to Testify at Trial,” (co-presenter) ABA 24th Annual Spring CLE Meeting, Phoenix, AZ (April 10, 2015)
“Effectiveness and Ethical Considerations in Depositions,” (co-presenter) Perrin Conferences, Beverly Hills, CA (March 17, 2015)
“Evaluating the Need for Daubert Hearings Challenging Expert Opinions and Methodologies in Light of Barabin,” (co-presenter) American Conference Institute, Chicago, IL (June 26, 2014)
“Hot Topics in Food Litigation,” (moderator) Hot Topics in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law, ABA 23rd Annual Spring CLE Meeting, Phoenix, AZ (April 5, 2014)
"A Cautionary Note For Lawyers in Asbestos Litigation," (co-author) Law 360 (March 7, 2014)
“Recent Developments in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law," (co-author) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal, American Bar Association (Fall 2013)
“Navigating the Nanotechnology Frontier: Getting Smart about Getting Small," (co-author) Tort Source (Spring 2013)
“Cook County, Illinois Asbestos Litigation: Docket and Procedures,” (co-presenter) Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference, St. Louis, MO (Sept. 21, 2012)
“The Illinois Rules of Evidence - Perspectives from Plaintiff and Defense Counsel,” HarrisMartin Midwest Conference, St. Louis, MO (Sept. 23, 2011)
“Examination of Corporate Representative,“ (co-presenter) HarrisMartin Asbestos Conference: Trial of a Mesothelioma Case from Jury Selection to Verdict, Chicago, IL (June 23, 2009)
“Do the Right Thing: Ethical Challenges in Asbestos Litigation," (co-presenter) Andrews Asbestos Litigation Conference 2009, New Orleans, LA (April 30, 2009)
“Rx for Liability: Advocating the Elimination of the Pharmacist’s No Duty to Warn Rule," (author) 33 John Marshall Law Review 425 (Winter 2000)
Helping Girls Navigate Adolescence, Inc.
Walnut Grove Homeowners Association, President