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Jill M. Felkins

Shareholder | jfelkins@smsm.com
Shareholder | Chicago, IL
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Jill M. Felkins is a trial and appellate attorney who devotes her practice to defending clients in the areas of products liability, premises liability, construction negligence, personal injury, class action, toxic tort, and environmental litigation including, but not limited to, Legionnaire’s Disease, mold, and groundwater contamination. Ms. Felkins provides a wide range of litigation services to her clients from initial analysis and pretrial workup through trial and appeal. Ms. Felkins practices in state and federal courts in Illinois, Indiana, and beyond. She has obtained summary judgment for national and local clients in multiple areas of law, including premises, toxic tort, transportation, and environmental contamination coverage litigation. Her appellate practice includes favorable results in post-trial and interlocutory appeals.

Ms. Felkins is a member of the firm's Pro Bono & Public Services Committee. She also volunteers as a guardian ad litem through Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. In that capacity, she has successfully protected the best interests of multiple children in the Chicago area.

Honors

  • CALI Award for Excellence, Products Liability, 2007
  • CALI Award for Excellence, Property, 2005
  • Senior Production Editor, Federal Communications Law Journal
  • Best Brief Award, Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition
  • Brief editor and oralist, National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition
  • 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 (2014-2016)

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Indiana State Bar Association
  • Alzheimer's Association volunteer

representative matters

  • Obtained a successful reversal of an Indiana trial court's ruling certifying a class in LHO Indianapolis One Lessee, LLC v. Bowman (Indiana Court of Appeals, August 11, 2015).
  • Stanley v. MidAmerican Energy Co., et al., Case: 1:12-cv-06073 (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, October 22, 2013) Obtained summary judgment for utility company client on the basis that, as a property owner, it  did not owe a duty to warn the plaintiff, the employee of an independent contractor, of exposure to asbestos because it did not control the construction methods of two of its power plants in Iowa. A copy of the opinion can be found here.
  • Obtained dismissal due to lack of standing for client Kimberly-Clark Corporation in class action lawsuit involving children's bath products.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal and an order compelling arbitration, which was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals, in a class action lawsuit where plaintiffs sought damages for alleged fraudulent representations and inducement relating to a surgical training program. Connie Brumley v. Commonwealth Business College Education Corp., 945 N.E.2d 770 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011).
  • Assisted with trial on behalf of an international cargo carrier in a breach of contract claim where jury returned a verdict for our client after less than 10 minutes of deliberations.
  • Successfully defended a pharmaceutical manufacturer in a products liability case before the Indiana Supreme Court.
  • Succeeded in barring a plaintiff's expert and screening company evidence from trial in an asbestos/silica/"mixed dust" case.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a property owner in a case of first impression in Iowa brought by an employee of an independent contractor in an asbestos exposure case.

Published Appellate Opinions

LHO Indianapolis One Lessee, LLC v. Bowman, 40 N.E.3d 1264 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015)

Connie Brumley v. Commonwealth Business College Education Corp., 945 N.E.2d 770 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011)

Kovach v. Caligor Midwest, et al., 913 N.E.2d 193 (Ind. 2009)

Articles & Publications


Author

"A Survey of Asbestos Litigation - Nationally and in Indiana," Indiana Civil Litigation Review, Volume V, Number 2 (2008).

Education

Indiana University - Bloomington, B.A. (Journalism), 2004, Highest Distinction

Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington, J.D., 2007, cum laude

Admissions

  • Illinois, 2008
  • Indiana, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2015
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2007
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2012