Adam Levitt, DiCello Levitt & Casey
Adam Levitt, DiCello Levitt & Casey (courtesy photo)

Former Grant & Eisenhofer director and practice leader Adam Levitt is leaving to lead a newly formed plaintiffs firm, along with a pair of lawyers formerly of Cleveland’s DiCello Law Firm.

The new firm, DiCello Levitt & Casey, announced its launch Monday morning and will be helmed by founding partners Levitt, Mark DiCello and James Casey. The plaintiffs firm will start with 11 lawyers, a full support staff and offices in Chicago and Cleveland.

Beyond the founders, the new firm will also count as partners John Tangren, formerly of Grant & Eisenhofer, Amy Keller, formerly of Wexler Wallace, and Robert DiCello, who comes from DiCello Law and is Mark DiCello’s brother.

Levitt, who left Grant & Eisenhofer’s Chicago office after serving as head of the firm’s consumer protection and product liability group, said in an interview that he felt the time was right to branch off.

“We saw an opportunity to create a dream team of sorts, putting together recognized leaders with strong track records of leadership and success—and creating a one-stop shop for high-end, plaintiffs-side litigation,” said Levitt.

Billing itself as a “new breed of plaintiffs law firm,” the fledgling DiCello Levitt & Casey aims to pursue a wide variety of cases, ranging from personal injury and medical malpractice to consumer protection and securities litigation.

Levitt has had a hand in some of the largest class actions in recent years at Grant & Eisenhofer and, before that, at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz. He served recently as a member of the plaintiffs steering committee in class action litigation against Volkswagen AG stemming from its diesel emissions scandal, which settled last year for roughly $16 billion. He also has a public client practice, which includes representing the state of New Mexico in another emissions case against VW.

DiCello, meanwhile, focuses his practice on personal injury and mass tort cases, having served as co-lead counsel in a transvaginal mesh injury litigation against Mentor Corp., among other roles. And Casey’s practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Over the years, he has helped recover at least $500 million on behalf of injured clients and their families, according to a statement issued by DiCello Levitt & Casey announcing their new firm.

“The market is ready for a plaintiffs’ firm with our range, and we are excited to represent clients of all types that deserve vindication through aggressive, attentive, and creative legal action,” Casey said in the statement.

The three founding partners of the new firm have known each other for several years. Levitt and DiCello previously worked together on a class action brought on behalf of landowners and landscapers against DuPont & Co., alleging the company’s Imprelis herbicide caused tree and foliage damage—a case that resulted in a $550 million settlement for the plaintiffs. Levitt said he met Casey through DiCello, and that all three realized quickly that they shared many of the same approaches to running a plaintiffs-side legal practice.

“Just being reactive in this field doesn’t work in this day and age.… One of the things that I think sets our new firm apart is that we’re always looking for what’s next,” said Levitt. “We all realized that we share a like-minded approach in everything we do.”

They’re now hoping that, by bringing together people who have built strong reputations in a range of plaintiffs-side cases and a track record of strong trial results, they can create a thriving firm.

“The ability to step up and say that we are prepared to try any case that we file—and actually try those cases—separates us from the pack in a very real sense,” said Levitt.

Scott Flaherty covers the business of law with a special focus on plaintiffs firms. He can be reached at sflaherty@alm.com. On Twitter: @sflaherty18. 

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