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.

TRIAL ATTORNEYS

OLIVIA
SARMAS-FORD

Trial Attorney


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

Olivia Sarmas-Ford is a passionate and relentless 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

JUNIOR TRIAL ATTORNEYS

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

SUPPORTING STAFF

Adia Brantley is an ambitious law clerk at Kaveny + Kroll.  She is a second-year law student at Northwestern University Pritzker Law School.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biology, and minoring in Chemistry (Pre-Med) from the Xavier University of Louisiana. Throughout her undergraduate years, she participated in the Hult Prize Business Competition, where she created an invention to resolve the lack of access to energy and proper waste disposal in Haiti’s poorer communities.

After graduating from college and prior to attending law school, Adia taught International Baccalaureate Biology for two years at Riverdale High School in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She has an unabashed enthusiasm and passion for intellectual property and access to medical care.  She believes through protecting intellectual property and ensuring access to appropriate healthcare, we can protect and improve the health and quality of life of all people.  In sharing this belief, Adia also mentors pre-law students who are interested in intellectual property and medical law.

Outside of academics, Adia’s personal interests include travel, soccer, tennis, music, sports, learning, and meeting new people.

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.

JODIE DIEGEL

Certified Legal Nurse Consultant


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

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkcFj9T0p0E.