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William R. Irwin

Associate | wirwin@smsm.com
Associate | Chicago, IL
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Will Irwin is an associate attorney who has experience with a wide variety of litigation matters, but with a particular focus on products and premises liability claims associated with the use of asbestos.  As part of a national coordinating counsel team for a large industrial products company, Mr. Irwin oversees asbestos litigation in some of the country's most active and dangerous jurisdictions, including New York, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, and Michigan, analyzing and executing client strategy with a long term perspective.  As local and regional trial counsel in Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Indiana for numerous companies embroiled in litigation over the use of asbestos in their products and on their premises, Mr. Irwin handles day-to-day aspects of large-liability wrongful-death and terminal illness claims, including fact and expert depositions, pleadings and motion practice, settlement negotiations, and trial.

In January 2016, Mr. Irwin served as second chair trial counsel in an asbestos products-liability action tried to verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against one of the leading boutique mesothelioma plaintiff firms in the country. Mr. Irwin successfully executed a strategy of applying foreign law instead of Missouri law, which allowed the jury to allocate 95% of the fault for the plaintiff's injuries to non-parties. This strategy resulted in a verdict that represented a savings of more than $4.75 million from the plaintiff's final settlement demand and savings of more than $12.75 million from the amount of damages requested at trial.

From 2009 through 2011, Mr. Irwin served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Donald J. Stohr in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. In that role, Mr. Irwin gained invaluable insight into the judicial decision-making process that continues to inform his case strategy and to enhance his ability to achieve positive results for his clients.

Honors

  • 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 (2016)
  • Washington University Law Review, Executive Editor
  • CALI Award for Excellence in Civil Procedure
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Defense Research Institute

Clerkships

  • Hon. Donald J. Stohr, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (2009-2011)

Education

Illinois Wesleyan University, B.A. (biology and economics), magna cum laude, 2004

Washington University, J.D., 2007

Admissions

  • Illinois, 2007
  • Missouri, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2011