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Jason P. Eckerly

Shareholder | jeckerly@smsm.com
Shareholder | Chicago, IL
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Jason Eckerly is a shareholder in Segal McCambridge’s Chicago office focusing his practice on litigating toxic tort, product liability, general liability, and complex commercial matters throughout the country.

Mr. Eckerly serves as national coordinating counsel and local counsel for large corporations in toxic tort litigation, developing and coordinating global defense strategies. In this role, he works with clients in assessing and analyzing risk, developing long-term strategies, training local counsel, and implementing case protocols. He understands the financial pressures placed on clients involved in litigation and has successfully crafted strategies to control costs, expenses, and indemnity. Mr. Eckerly is also responsible for the development and preparation of corporate witnesses for testimony at trial and deposition.

As a trial lawyer, Mr. Eckerly has first-chair and second-chair experience, taking complex cases all the way to jury verdict in cases lasting upwards of a month. He has acted as trial counsel in courts in California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Mr. Eckerly has also argued numerous times in appellate courts.

Mr. Eckerly currently serves as the Chair of Segal McCambridge's Pro Bono and Public Service Committee. The Committee is charged with promoting the firm's pro bono efforts and increasing the firm’s commitment to pro bono and community service. 

Mr. Eckerly is a published legal author and frequent lecturer. As an author, he has written articles for bar associations and trade groups, as well as co-authored law review articles and book chapters. As a lecturer, he has presented to manufacturing associations and fellow attorneys, including the American Bar Association.

For seven consecutive years, Mr. Eckerly was selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. No more than 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40 in the State of Illinois are selected for this honor. From 2015-2017, he was recognized as an Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers and in 2018 he was recognized as a Leading Lawyer. In 2006, Mr. Eckerly was one of only five attorneys selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for its “Up & Coming Lawyers” recognition.

Honors

  • Recognized as an Illinois Leading Lawyer (a designation limited to less than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community (2018)
  • Named an Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers (The distinction of being named an “Emerging Lawyer” is reserved for the top 2% of Illinois lawyers who are 40 years old or younger and have been identified by their peers as proving themselves to be professional, ethical and experienced at an early point in their legal career.) (2015-2017)
  • 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 (2009-2015)
  • Selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as "Up & Coming Lawyers 2006," October 23, 2006 (One of only five attorneys selected in all of Michigan)
  • Listed in the Traverse City Business News "40 Under 40 - A List of the Area's Most Enterprising Business Leaders Under the Age of 40," September 2006
  • DePaul University, DePaul Business Law Journal, Executive Editor, 2001-2002
  • Who's Who: American Law Students, 2001-2002 (22nd Ed.)
  • Former Commissioner, City of Traverse City Planning Commission

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • American Bar Association; Member, Mass Torts Committee and Toxic Torts Subcommittee; Member, Litigation Committee and Trial Practice Subcommittee (Editor, Trial Practice Subcommittee [2011 - 2014])
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Michigan Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar Association

representative matters

  • Unhappy with its current counsel, a global industrial machinery manufacturer brought Mr. Eckerly in on a federal product liability case with 30 days remaining in discovery. He and his team deposed all of the witnesses and reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages of document production. They then filed motions for summary judgment and motions to bar the plaintiff’s experts. The court granted both motions to bar and the summary judgment motions.
  • Mr. Eckerly was appointed as Michigan local counsel for a corporation that had a yearly trial docket of more than 600 asbestos cases. He was able to reduce client indemnity by 20%, while reducing attorney fees by 80%.
  • A Fortune 500 corporation reassigned a matter to Mr. Eckerly in which it was seeking damages in excess of $875,000. The prior law firm had been working on the matter for more than 6 months, but once reassigned, Mr. Eckerly was able to recover the entire amount sought in 14 days.
  • Served as first-chair trial counsel in toxic tort case that resulted in jury verdict in favor of his client.
  • Obtained summary judgment for respiratory equipment manufacturer in an asbestos exposure case brought by an employee of a lumber mill in the Western District of Wisconsin.
  • Obtained summary judgment based on statute of repose for boiler manufacturer in an asbestos exposure case brought by plumber with mesothelioma in Baltimore, MD.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of welding mask manufacturer in product liability case where plaintiff was alleging loss of vision in Cook County, IL.
  • Prevailed on interlocutory appeal in California for boiler manufacturer that sought to have Michigan law apply in asbestos exposure case.
  • Served as first-chair trial counsel in breach of contract case that resulted in judgment for his client.
  • Member and Chair of Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney’s Pro Bono Committee.
  • Successfully briefed and argued complex self-directed IRA matter in Michigan Court of Appeals. 
  • Acted as trial counsel in courts in California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania.
  • Successfully briefed and argued numerous motions for summary judgment.
  • Participated in mediations in jurisdictions throughout the country.

Speaking Engagements

Defense Research Institute - Asbestos Medicine Seminar, “Attacking the Reptile,”  (November 10, 2016).

American Boiler Manufacturers Association's 2014 Summer Meeting, "Update on Asbestos Litigation – What Has Been Learned Over The Years and How It Is Being Applied" (June 28, 2014).

Perrin Asbestos Defense Strategic Summit, "Lung Cancer Experts and Medical Articles" (November 5, 2014).

American Boiler Manufacturers Association's 2013 Summer Meeting, "The Status of Asbestos Litigation: What has Been Learned Over the Years and How it is Being Applied Today" (June 22, 2013).

2013 ABA Section of Litigation Committee on Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, Hollywood, FL, "Today's Jury Pool - The Impact of Generation Y and the Social Media Revolution" (February 15, 2013).

HB Litigation Conferences, Emerging Ethical Risks for Attorneys, "Ethical Considerations Raised by Cloud Computing and Data Hosting," New York, NY (July 25, 2012).

Lorman Education Services, "The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act," National Webinar (May 9, 2006).

Lorman Education Services, "Document Retention & Destruction," Traverse City, MI (January 12, 2006).

Lorman Education Services, "Billing and Collecting for the Health Care Industry," Grand Rapids, MI (November 8, 2005).

Lorman Education Services, "Construction Lien Law in Michigan," Traverse City, MI (September 23, 2005).

Panelist

LexisNexis National Webinar, "Data Hosting & Cloud Computing: Benefits and Considerations for Your Firm, Your Practice and Your Clients" (July 23, 2012).

Author

"Discovery Strategy in Mass Tort Litigation" Chapter 6 of Mass Torts in the United States: Strategy and Practice, American Bar Association, First Chair Press (2018).

"Target Acquired: The Increased Role of Boiler Defendants in Asbestos Litigation," Today's Boiler, American Boiler Manufacturers Association (Spring 2014).

"Illinois Supreme Court Clarifies Duty Analysis in Negligent Product Design Cases," American Bar Association Section of Litigation - Trial Practice, Verdict, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Fall 2011).

"Uncertainty Surrounding FELA Welcome Releases - Circuit Split Leads to Contradictory Applications," Segal McCambridge's Toxic Tort Newsletter (Winter 2009).

"Attorney Liability Continues to Expand Under the FDCPA - 2nd Circuit Holds Filing of Lawsuit Triggers FDCPA Protections," Debt3, Volume 22, Number 4 (July/August 2006).

"Shred It, Burn It, Erase It, Or Face the Consequences," Traverse City Business News, Volume 11, Number 12 (July 2005).

Co-Author

"Defense Perspective: Examining Recent Supreme Court Rulings on Personal Jurisdiction and the Likely Impact on Toxic Tort Litigation," Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee Newsletter, American Bar Association (Winter 2018).

"Assembling the Trial Record, Pre-Trial Objections, and Motions in Limine," Chapter 4 of Trying Your First Case - A Practitioner's Guide, American Bar Association, First Chair Press (Summer 2014).

"Raising the Tax Bar: Redefining the Roles of Accountants and Lawyers for a Practical Solution to the Multidisciplinary Practice Debate," DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal (Winter 2002).

Education

DePaul University College of Law, J.D. (2002)

Michigan State University, B.A. (1998)

Admissions

  • Illinois, 2006
  • Michigan, 2002
  • Missouri, 2015
  • Pennsylvania, 2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, 2012
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2007
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, 2012
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 2003
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, 2003
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, 2017
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, 2014