February 28, 2019


FEBRUARY 24, 2019

Veteran attorneys leave old firms to embark on a new career challenge

By Sarah Mansur
Law Bulletin Staff Writer

Elizabeth A. Kaveny and Jeffrey J. Kroll have officially launched a new personal-injury firm, Kaveny + Kroll LLC.

Kroll left Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., where he spent the past six years. Kaveny has been a name partner at Wise Morrissey Kaveny, which is now Wise Morrissey, for the last eight years.

“We met each other when we were first-year associates. We had the benefit of working for probably the best senior trial attorneys in the state,” Kaveny said. “As many of them have gone on to different stages of their careers — mediators, judges, retirement — it’s our turn.”

Kroll said he and Kaveny started talking about joining forces in January, about a month after Kroll left Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard.

“I wanted a change,” Kroll said of his decision to leave the firm. “I had been there six years. It was a great place to work.”

After he graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 1990, Kroll worked for Robert A. Clifford for about three years. He spent about a year at Corboy & Demetrio P.C. before returning to Clifford Law Offices, where he worked until opening his own firm in August 2007. He joined Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard in early 2013.

“We wish Beth and Jeff all the best with their new firm and look forward to seeing their many accomplishments to come,” said Patrick A. Salvi, chairman and managing equity partner at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, in an email.

Kaveny earned her law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland in 1992.

After graduation, she went to work for Epstein, Zaideman & Esrig, and five years later, she joined Propes & Grippe, which later merged with Cahill, Christian & Kunkle. She continued at Cahill, Christian & Kunkle until 2000 when she and Lorna E. Propes left to form Propes & Kaveny LLC.

After Propes was appointed to the Cook County Circuit Court in September 2010, she opened The Kaveny Law Firm LLC. Her solo firm merged in 2011 with what was then Burke Wise Morrissey, which became Burke Wise Morrissey Kaveny.

Kaveny said she enjoyed her time at Burke Wise Morrissey Kaveny, but she left, in part, to provide mentorship to young associates.

“When I joined Burke Wise Morrissey Kaveny, they had no associates or young lawyers, and it was primarily me that brought in new attorneys and mentored young lawyers. I’m proud that those young attorneys have gone on to become partners in various law firm or even started their own firms,” she said. “Starting my career 25 years ago, it was very difficult to find female mentors but so important. It’s a difference of opinion that I have with Wise and Morrissey.”

David C. Wise, one of the named partners of Wise Morrissey, acknowledged their difference of opinion but said the split has been amicable.

“I’m happy for her,” he said, “I wish her the best of luck.” Kaveny and Kroll have hired three associates. Two of them are

“Beth has been a mentor to so many lawyers throughout her career,” Kroll said. “I’m looking forward to learning from her and watching how she mentors.”

Kroll said the pair’s collective trial experience as plaintiff attorneys sets them apart from other personal-injury firms.

He was part of the team of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard attorneys who won a record $148 million verdict in 2017 on behalf of a woman who was paralyzed after being hit by a faulty pedestrian shelter at O’Hare International Airport.

Last year, Kaveny helped win a $5.5 million verdict for the family of a man whose death was caused by a pulmonary embolism from an undiagnosed blood clot.

“So many lawyers are afraid to lose for ego or whatever reason,” Kroll said. “Nobody likes to lose but you can’t be afraid to lose. There is a difference in that. That is what we want to get across to our attorneys is: You’ve got to have some swings. It’s best for the client.”

Kaveny and Kroll are up and running already with a trial coming up next month. Kroll is also representing the family of Virginia Murray, who was killed in 2016 after a truck hit her while she was riding a Divvy bike. He said that case is set for trial in April.

“We’ve had some of the greatest mentors in the city of Chicago,” Kroll said. “That combined with our experience, our personalities, our drive — we feel like we can’t do anything but succeed.”


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