Made up of talented partners, associates and professionals from a wide diversity of backgrounds.
Combined to deliver unparalleled expertise in trial law.



Senior Trial Attorney

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Olivia Sarmas-Ford is a passionate and relentless senior trial attorney at Kaveny + Kroll. She practices in all areas of personal injury with a special focus on personal injury, medical malpractice and products liability. She is perhaps most proud of a medical malpractice case she tried in Lake County, Illinois, recovering $1.4 million for her client.

“In every case, there is a client who has a story that needs to be told,” Olivia says. She makes it her personal mission to get to know her clients to best tell their stories, getting them through what is often a very difficult time.

Olivia is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice and provides pro bono work through Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. She will be co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association Tort Litigation Committee for 2019-2020. Olivia earned her law degree from IIT Chicago-Kent School of Law where she was awarded three CALI Excellence awards and earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois. She enjoys spending time with her husband, who is also a Chicago attorney, and their families, and experiencing new travel destinations whenever possible.

J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law. 2014
B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2011


Trial Attorney

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Ava Gehringer is a tenacious trial attorney at Kaveny +Kroll. She practices in all areas of personal injury, including medical malpractice and workplace injuries. Ava earned her law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she was awarded three CALI Excellence awards, and her bachelor’s degree in Russian and Slavic Studies from NYU, where she was a University Honors Scholar.

A Chicago-area native, Ava grew up in Evanston and spent her young adult life traveling the globe as a rhythmic gymnast, representing the United States in numerous World Cup and Grand Prix competitions. She retired as a National Champion and member of the U.S. World team, and then became athlete representative to the USA National Team.

“Acting as a liaison between youth and adults in that role is what instilled in me the importance of giving a voice to the voiceless,” Ava says. “That’s what ignited my passion for advocacy work.”

J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law. 2018
B.A., New York University. 2013



Junior Trial Attorney

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Liz Bauerbach is a Junior Trial Attorney at Kaveny + Kroll where she represents individuals in all areas of personal injury and medical malpractice law. Before being sworn into the Illinois Bar, Liz was assisting Jeffrey Kroll at a medical negligence trial held in Winnebago County. The experience served to cement her desire to help people in need of legal assistance.

Prior to joining K+K, Liz earned her law degree at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where, in addition to graduating cum laude, Liz was the Lead Articles Editor for the Loyola Law Journal and tutored Legal Writing. Further, she was awarded three CALI Excellence Awards for academic achievement.

Before becoming a Loyola Rambler, however, Liz was, and remains, a proud Indiana Hoosier.  While at Indiana University, Liz majored in Law and Public Policy and minored in Non-Profit Management.

When not in the office, Liz enjoys being outside with her fiancé and their dog, Sadie, exploring Chicago’s many parks and trails.


J.D., Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, 2022.
B.S. Indiana University 2019



Executive Assistant

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Angelina Mijares has 25 years of experience in the legal field, the past 10 as the executive legal assistant for Elizabeth A. Kaveny. She prides herself on her caring nature and ability to build relationships with clients, keeping them updated and answering questions about developments in their cases.

Angelina is driven by her desire to help people, using her experience to their advantage. “So many people put all their trust into physicians and hospitals and think that accidents just happen,” she says. “But negligent acts can create horrific situations that can even result in death.” Angelina helps the firm’s clients become more knowledgeable about the legal system, generally, and what the client can expect as their case progresses through the legal process.

Angelina was educated at Robert Morris and Westwood Colleges and is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. In her spare time, she loves to travel to all parts of the world, especially warmer, oceanside locales.

While Chris may be one of the newest members of Kaveny + Kroll, she is no stranger to the firm, having worked with Elizabeth Kaveny previously at Propes & Kaveny. At Kaveny + Kroll, Chris works as an Executive Assistant to Jeffrey Kroll.

In between working at P&K and K+K, Chris has worked both in and outside the legal field.  Her experience includes working at another Chicago plaintiff’s firm where she assisted lawyers at trials involving property insurance claims resulting from weather-related disasters.  Her work involved traveling to jurisdictions in Texas, Florida and even New Zealand.  Chris is also a licensed investigator, and, as part of her work as an investigator, has identified and interviewed witnesses, performed site inspections, and prepared reports to provide to clients.

As an offshoot of her 22 years of volunteering at the city’s animal shelter assisting both the Courts and CPD in rescuing animals, Chris started her own animal rescue working to rehome pets that have been given up by their owners.

Chris also assists in the organization of a travel baseball team. As a result of her efforts, the team has enjoyed success on the field. By her own slightly biased opinion, the team is also the club with the best uniforms.

Her experience both in the legal field and on the baseball field, coupled with her exposure to people of all socio-economic backgrounds is invaluable to the firm in dealing with the variety of individuals that Chris encounters during a day’s work at K+K.


Certified Legal Nurse Consultant

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Jodie has traveled many roads successfully on her path to being the Certified Legal Nurse Consultant at Kaveny + Kroll Trial Lawyers. Her background as an RN, BSN served her patients well during a 20-year career, specializing in Women’s Health at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Jodie worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse, a women’s health center coordinator and also gained her certification as a childbirth and CPR instructor. As an emergency room nurse, Jodie also earned ACLS and TENS certification. Her vast range of experience provides her with a strong working knowledge of healthcare and its inner workings.

Returning to school, Jodie earned her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) as well as becoming certified as a Legal Nurse Consultant. Her understanding of medical issues and problems are an integral part of the Kaveny + Kroll team, working side by side with the trial attorneys and the clients in order to achieve the best outcome, justice and financial compensation. Jodie’s work is part of the extensive review and critical research that Kaveny + Kroll conducts for every case to assure that our clients’ needs are being heard and met.

In her spare time, Jodie combines her love of animals and healthcare as the President and Founder of Soul Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program. Founded in 2018, Soul Harbour is an all-volunteer 501c3 nonprofit that provides animal-assisted activity and therapy visits with miniature therapy horses, miniature donkeys and therapy dogs to those in need. Activity and therapy programs include: SOUL Buddies, SOUL Veterans, SOUL Scouts, Read to Me, Walk with Me, Just Say WHOA to Bullying, and virtual visits to hospitals, schools, community centers and events. Her tireless work with the organization was recently featured on Chicago Today

Jovita Padilla has worked with attorneys in a variety of practice areas since she graduated high school.  She earned a Bachelors’ Degree in Legal Studies from Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana, all the while pursuing her career and raising two young daughters

Since her graduation, Jovita continues to assist attorneys in every step of the legal process.  Currently, she brings her legal acumen to her position at Kaveny + Kroll every day by assuring that every client feels like they are being heard and their needs are being addressed.  Jovita serves as the lead assistant in the firm’s Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) Litigation involving premature infants who received infant formula after birth.

Jovita’s career goal is to one day become an attorney – following her heart which has always ‘lived’ in the legal field.

Outside of her career, she enjoys family time, watching basketball, listening to music, and cooking.