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Daniel J. Powell

Shareholder | dpowell@smsm.com
Shareholder | Chicago, IL
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Daniel J. Powell is an experienced litigator focusing his practice on defending product manufacturers, premises owners and contractors in litigation involving high-liability claims of catastrophic injury and wrongful death.

Mr. Powell serves as National Coordinating Counsel for a large industrial products company, helping manage and execute the defense of products liability and premises claims throughout Illinois and in various active state and federal jurisdictions across the country, including in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. In this role, he regularly collaborates with outside local counsel in these jurisdictions to develop and implement defense strategies through trial.

Mr. Powell is entrusted with assessing the risk and evaluating the value of claims, interpreting purchase agreements and insurance policies to advise the client of liabilities and responding to written discovery regarding various sensitive issues to protect the client's interests. He also frequently participates in mediations, settlement conferences and trial dockets in various jurisdictions throughout the country to effectively and efficiently manage risk and negotiate to secure favorable resolution.

In addition to his NCC role, Mr. Powell serves as local and regional counsel in jurisdictions throughout Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin for a wide range of industrial equipment manufacturer and contractor clients facing claims involving terminal illness and wrongful death. He is closely involved in recommending and implementing innovative strategies to help his clients meet and exceed their particular objectives.

Through these diverse roles, Mr. Powell has developed extensive experience and expertise in various stages of tort litigation, and he is well-versed in drafting and arguing pre-trial motions, deposing fact and expert witnesses, preparing discovery responses, mediating cases and assisting in trial preparation to effectively and efficiently achieve favorable resolution for his clients.

Mr. Powell was named a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers in 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. He has been recognized for his participation in the First Municipal District Pro Bono Program in the Circuit Court of Cook County and also served on the Associate Board for Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS).

Honors

  • Lead Articles Editor, The John Marshall Law Review
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, President, 2009-2010
  • Selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (no more than 2.5% of lawyers in the state under the age of 40 are selected), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community, 2014, 2018-2021

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Chicago Bar Association, Member
  • Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS), Associate Board Member
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association, Member

PRO BONO Matters

  • Secured a no liability/no damages award at a Cook County Mandatory Arbitration hearing on behalf of pro bono client. Plaintiffs sought $15,000 for physical injuries, property damage, medical expenses, and lost income resulting from a motor vehicle accident at an open intersection. Plaintiffs later dismissed client from the case as a result of the arbitration award.
  • Secured a no damages/no contribution award at a Cook County Mandatory Arbitration hearing on behalf of pro bono client. Plaintiffs, including a minor child, sought $50,000 for soft tissue injuries and emotional distress resulting from client's alleged involvement in a motor vehicle accident. A co-Defendant also sued client for contribution. Plaintiffs and co-Defendant later dismissed client from the case as a result of the arbitration award.

Education

UIC John Marshall Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2011

  • Dean's List all semesters

University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A., Journalism and Mass Communication and B.A., Political Science, 2007

  • Distinctive Scholastic Achievement designation

Admissions

  • Illinois, 2011
  • Wisconsin, 2019
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2011
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, 2015