MEET THE TEAM

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

JUNIOR TRIAL ATTORNEYS

OLIVIA
SARMAS-FORD

Junior Trial Attorney


+1 312 761 KKTL(5585)
olivia@kavenykroll.com

Olivia Sarmas-Ford is a passionate and relentless junior 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.


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

AVA GEHRINGER

Junior Trial Attorney


+1 312 761 KKTL(5585)
ava@kavenykroll.com

Ava Gehringer is a tenacious junior 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.”


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

ZACHARY HOFELD

Junior Trial Attorney


+1 312 761 KKTL(5585)
zach@kavenykroll.com

Zachary Hofeld is a junior trial lawyer at Kaveny + Kroll. He is dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of his clients against some of the most powerful interests imaginable.

Hofeld graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School. During that time, he served as Managing Editor of the Minnesota Journal of International Law, advanced to the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Championship, earned his M.B.A. degree, and briefed, argued, and won a prominent immigration appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Jasso Arangure v. Whitaker, 911 F.3d 333 (6th Cir. 2018).

He also co-founded the Well-Being Initiative, served as an officer of the American Constitution Society, was a judicial extern to Judge Donovan Frank of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, and was a recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Scholarship, the Robina Public Interest Scholarship, and the University of Minnesota Law School’s 2019 Mondale Hall Engagement Award, awarded to the graduating student who enriched the Law School through student initiatives, mentorship, and service to their peers, the Law School, and the community.

Hofeld spent his undergraduate years at Harvard, where he studied Government, led the Harvard Cancer Society, and played Varsity Baseball. After graduating from Harvard in 2011, Hofeld taught in low-income communities for three years–two with Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta and one with the Noble Charter School Network on Chicago’s West Side. He also worked in state government for a year as a policy analyst to the Illinois Speaker, before going to law school.

A proud Chicago native, Zach is ‘back home’ where he is deeply involved in his community as a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club and local soup kitchen. In his spare time, he enjoys all types of fitness, sports, concerts, and dancing.


ACADEMICS
J.D.-M.B.A., University of Minnesota Law School, 2019
B.A., Harvard, 2011


PUBLICATIONS
Zachary Hofeld, Studying Abroad: Foreign Legislative Responses to Mass Shootings and Their Viability in the United States, 28 Minn. J. Int’l L. 485 (2019)

SUPPORTING STAFF

ANGELINA MIJARES

Executive Assistant


+1 312 761 KKTL(5585)
angelina@kavenykroll.com

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.

JEAN CASSERLY

Business Manager


+1 312 761 KKTL(5585)
jean@kavenykroll.com

Having abandoned her notion of becoming a professional tennis player, Jean Casserly works at Kaveny + Kroll as the firm’s business manager. Jean has worked at firms both large and small since graduating from Bradley University in 1981. Her experience has provided her with a firm grasp of both the practice of law and the business of practicing law.

Jean’s legal career started when she took a job as an assistant docket clerk long before the advent of e-filing which allowed her to become familiar with the inner workings of both state and federal courts. Desirous of an office of her own, Jean obtained her paralegal certification from Roosevelt University. That certificate was a ticket to jobs at both defense and plaintiff firms where she had the privilege of representing everyone from Fortune 500 companies to single moms. Jean has assisted at civil and criminal proceedings in courtrooms in New Orleans, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Sacramento, Aberdeen (Scotland) and, of course, the city she loves, Chicago.

At Kaveny + Kroll, Jean divides her time between representing clients, managing the inner workings of the office and paying the bills. As for tennis, she continues to pass on her love for the sport as the coach of the girls’ tennis team at Walter Payton High School.

BROOKE CARTER

Legal Assistant


+1 312 761 KKTL(5585)
brooke@kavenykroll.com

Brooke Carter grew up in Missouri with a family whose roots are in Louisiana. Nevertheless, Brooke opted for the city of Chicago when she finished her college education. Yet, she has managed to maintain her loyalty (her co-workers would say misguided) to the New Orleans Saints and the LSU Tigers.

Brooke attended Southeast Missouri State University where she received her degree in Economics, and is in the process of obtaining her Masters of Legal Studies and Certificate in Business Law remotely from Washington University’s School of Law.

Working at Kaveny + Kroll, has ignited Brooke’s passion for representing individuals who have been injured by the negligence of others. More so, it has inspired Brooke to one day attend law school. When not working or studying, Brooke enjoys running and cardio kickboxing. As such, Brooke routinely reaches her activity goals on her Apple watch more often than her co-workers.