Jacob Sawyer is a partner in the Chicago office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation Practice. His practice focuses on defending manufacturers, premises owners, suppliers and others in toxic tort and environmental litigation in the state and federal courts of Illinois and Missouri. The focus of this defense is the provision of novel and proactive solutions that reduce his clients' potential liability in specific cases, while also focusing upon the impact and effectiveness of defenses throughout the landscape of the civil litigation.
For over fifteen years, Jacob has successfully managed litigation for companies by identifying readily available defenses to obtain quick and efficient case resolution. In other circumstances, he has helped to develop and implement defenses that serve his clients from the initial pleading stage through verdict at trial. He has drafted and argued motions through each stage of litigation and regularly participates in discovery into fact and expert witnesses. He has spearheaded the development and presentation of defenses such as a lack of personal jurisdiction, forum non conveniens, statutes of repose, and medical causation.
Jake’s experience includes:
- Serving as Illinois, Missouri, and Regional Counsel for Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies in asbestos and benzene litigation.
- Serving as Coordinating Counsel for entities involved in flavoring-related litigation.
- Defense of property owners to hazardous material, lead, and mold claims.
- Jury trial and arbitration experience in the State and Federal Courts in Illinois and Missouri.
- Representation of PRPs in groundwater contamination cases.
- Defense of catastrophic products liability claims, including claims related to industrial equipment, lithium-ion batteries, and e-cigarette devices.
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Asbestos Litigation
- Toxic Tort & Environmental Litigation
- Products Liability
- General Liability
Northern District, Central District, and Southern District of Illinois
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- Illinois Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Chicago Bar Association
Awards & Honors
- Inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Editions in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018
- Inclusion in Leading Lawyers - Chicago Emerging Lawyer in Civil Defense in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020
- Presented at the FETTI Conference in Chicago with two clients, October 1st, 2021.
- Presentations to nonprofit organizations on topics related to risk assessment and fiduciary duties.
- Presentations to company representatives and decision-makers related to novel issues presented by claims for product liability, asbestos exposure, flavoring-related allegations, and hazardous material, lead, and mold within residential locations.
Washington University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2003
- Global Studies Law Review, Editorial Board Member
Oklahoma State University
Bachelor of Science, 2000
Co-Author, “Illinois Litigants Maneuver to Present the Question of the Constitutionality of a Recent Statutory Amendment before the Appellate Courts (addressing the size and makeup of civil juries),” FETTI Case Law Update (Winter/Spring 2016.)
- Co-Author, "Illinois Passes new Law Exempting Asbestos-Related Claims from Ten-Year Construction Statute of Repose," FETTI Case Law Update (Winter/Spring 2015.)
- Author, "Applying Other-State Law to Illinois Tort Actions", Illinois Bar Journal (December 2012.)
Has participated in several multiple-week products liability civil jury trials in Illinois federal courts resulting in favorable verdicts, including:
- Kinser v. CBS Corporation; No. 94-2282 (C.D. Ill. 2014)
- Wright v. CBS Corporation; No. 1:11-cv-01954 (N.D. Ill. 2013)