Walton Telken Foster and partners Troy E. Walton, Stephen J. Telken and Ronald J. Foster Jr. have been named as the best in class among law firms handling personal injury litigation, according to Leading Lawyers magazine.
Attorney Micah Summers also was named an "Emerging Lawyer" by Emerging Lawyers magazine. Fewer than two percent of licensed Illinois attorneys have received "Emerging" awards, which are presented to attorneys 40 or younger.
¨We're honored to receive the awards, especially inasmuch as each one of us received such recognition. We also feel particularly honored that our peers in our chosen field and more broadly across the legal profession vote for award winners,¨ Walton told the Record.
Two recent settlements factor among Walton, Telken's recent successes. The law firm announced in February that it had reached a $1.06 million settlement on behalf of Eugene Brackman, a Staunton resident who had been severely injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 270 near Edwardsville in October 2014.
In June, Foster negotiated a $500,000 settlement on behalf of two miners seriously injured in an accident. The two were rendered immobile as a result of an equipment failure at the Doe Run Bushy Creek lead mine in Reynolds County, Mo.
"We are a truly client-focused practice," Walton said.
"Not every client has the same goals or looks for the same outcomes," he said. "We try very, very hard to identify and achieve the specific goals and results of each and every one of our clients.¨
Maximizing the amount of compensatory damages is typically a primary goal of clients but by no means the only one, he continued.
¨It really depends on the case," Walton said. "It would be disingenuous to say that maximizing the amount of a monetary award isn't a common goal, but clients often have other goals in mind as well.¨
That's particularly the case in workers compensation lawsuits and other types of personal injury litigation, Walton added. ¨For instance, employers in Missouri and other states determine the medical facilities employees go to receive treatment. Clients in these types of cases may be more interested and willing to shave a few dollars off a settlement if they are granted the right to decide which doctor and facilities they are allowed to go to for treatment.¨
Other examples include clients injured as a result of defective products that should have been recalled.
¨In these types of cases, clients also may want to inform the local community of the impact of the defective products in order to potentially prevent others from being injured,¨ Walton said.
Commenting on the legal environment for personal injury litigation in Illinois and Missouri, Walton said it's fairly balanced and a level playing field exists at present despite a dearth of jury trials.
¨The lack of jury trials has somewhat emboldened insurance companies and employers to hold out and refuse to pay out in personal injury cases," Walton said. "That said, solid, well-founded cases are recognized and proceed through legal process fairly."