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Lewis Brisbois Strengthens East Coast Network, Med Mal Practice with New Roanoke, Va. Office

Roanoke, Va. (August 22, 2019) – Lewis Brisbois is proud to announce the opening of its newest location in Roanoke, Virginia, and the addition of six medical malpractice attorneys, including five partners. This is Lewis Brisbois’ first office in the Commonwealth and its 51st location nationwide. The new office will be led by Managing Partner John T. Jessee, who joins with Partners Paul C. Kuhnel, Charles L. Downs Jr., Eleanor Lasky, and Martha “Mollie” W. Elder, and Associate Sarah C. Jessee.

“We are delighted to have John, Paul, and the rest of their team join Lewis Brisbois,” said Los Angeles Co-Managing Partner Steven R. Lewis, who also oversees the firm’s lateral recruitment efforts. “Their record of success in the med mal space is truly impressive, and their strong network in the Roanoke business and legal community will guarantee a smooth entry for the firm into this new city and state.”

The new attorneys, all of whom join Lewis Brisbois’ national Medical Malpractice team, bring more than a century of combined experience in civil litigation, mostly focused on the defense of medical providers, including physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. The team also has significant commercial litigation experience, representing individuals and companies on a range of matters such as insurance coverage, contracts, business torts, real estate disputes, and more.

“We saw this as an incredible opportunity for our team to grow while working at a firm with a truly national platform,” said Mr. Jessee. “Lewis Bribois’ reputation preceded itself, so when Steve [Lewis] first reached out to us, we knew it was the right move. We’re looking forward to bringing our expertise to the firm, and the firm’s talents to the Roanoke community.”

“The support we’ve received from Steve and the rest of the firm during this transitition has been extraordinary,” said Mr. Kuhnel. “We knew from former colleagues who are now at Lewis Brisbois that it was a welcoming firm, but this experience has exceeded all expectations and allowed us to maintain the level of excellent service our clients have come to expect.”

Located in Downtown Roanoke, the new office is Lewis Brisbois’ seventh to open since the start of 2019. The firm also recently announced the addition of an eleven-strong products liability team, continuing a period of strong but steady growth for the full-service firm.

Attorney Overviews

John T. Jessee has directed much of his practice over the past 25 years to the defense of medical professionals. He has tried medical malpractice and health law related cases in Virginia and West Virginia and has been involved in over 100 medical malpractice trials. Mr. Jessee is actively involved in bar associations and local community activities, having served as president of Mill Mountain Theatre, Opera Roanoke, the Julian Stanley Wise Foundation, Concord University Foundation, and the Southwest Virginia Historical Society. He is also currently a member of the Virginia Bar Association Judiciary Committee and Boyd-Graves Conference, and has been recognized as Super Lawyer for Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice. After graduating Order of the Coif from Washington & Lee University School of Law, Mr. Jessee clerked for the Honorable Judge John A. Field, Jr. of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is licensed to practice law in Virginia and West Virginia.

Paul C. Kuhnel is a seasoned trial attorney with considerable first chair jury experience. He has been involved in numerous reported verdicts in various venues in commercial, personal injury, and managed care litigation. Mr. Kuhnel’s professional liability practice includes the defense of healthcare providers, accountants, and engineers, and his commercial practice focuses on an array of contract, trade secret, FDCPA and class action claims, representing both individuals and corporations in commercial litigation. He has served as President of the Virgina Chapter of ABOTA and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer for Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice. Mr. Kuhnel received his undergraduate degree, with honors, from the College of William & Mary, and his law degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Virginia and West Virginia, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Charles L. Downs, Jr. focuses on the medical malpractice defense of healthcare providers, including physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. He is a frequent speaker on healthcare topics, including medical record issues, the medical/legal process and claims handling. Mr. Downs also has extensive experience handling commercial litigation matters, representing businesses and individuals in matters involving tort defense, breach of contract, fraud, business torts, and real estate disputes. He received his undergraduate degree from the Virginia Military Institute, and his law degree from Pennsylvania State University, The Dickinson School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Virginia and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.


Eleanor A. Lasky focuses her practice on the defense of medical malpractice claims. She has represented a wide variety of health care providers including physicians, hospitals, nurses and ancillary health care providers in medical malpractice litigation. She received her both her undergraduate degree and law degree from the College of William & Mary. She is licensed to practice law in Virginia.
 

Martha W. "Mollie" Elder focuses her practice on the defense of health care providers in all aspects of the legal system, and has represented clients before the Department of Health Care Professions. She also frequently counsels health care providers on ways to reduce their exposure to malpractice claims. She received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Marymount College of Virginia (now Marymount University), and her law degree from the University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Virginia.

Sarah C. Jessee focuses on the defense of medical malpractice as well as other civil litigation matters. Prior to private practice, Ms. Jessee interned for judges on the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. She earned her undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University, and her law degree, cum laude, from University of Richmond School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Virginia and West Virginia.


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