Limitless energy, passion and organization, combined with a wealth of legal knowledge and skill. That’s what Kathryn Conway’s peers point to when describing how this plaintiffs’ personal injury litigator has risen to the top of her profession.
Conway, with Chicago’s Power Rogers & Smith, has already achieved the type of success in her young career that many trial attorneys with far more years of experience can only dream of attaining. Sarah King, a fellow plaintiffs’ attorney with Chicago’s Clifford Law Offices, points to the case of Toro v. Cook County Stroger Hospital as just one example of Conway’s legal skill.
This medical-malpractice case involved the wrongful death of a 55-year-old woman after medical providers failed to timely perform surgical intervention or provide blood transfusions prior to her arrest. Through production requests and the depositions of various information technologists, Conway established that years after her client’s death, the defendant had accessed her medical chart and made changes to it. Thanks to Conway’s relentless efforts to find the truth, the case settled at mediation for $6.45 million.
Recently retired judge Kay Hanlon presided over two trials that Conway had in 2018. “Both matters were complex medical-malpractice cases with many difficult legal and factual issues. Hanlon said, “Kate was professional, prepared to tackle the difficult issues presented in both cases, and successful. She connected with the jurors who found her (as I do) honest and credible. She has a command of the courtroom through her preparation, tenacity, and professionalism,” Hanlon added. “Kate has a very effective style when cross-examining difficult witnesses. Instead of arguing with a reluctant witness, she redirects them and implores them to answer the question she asked. She is very effective without offending the witness or jurors.” Both cases resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts for her clients.
Aiju Thevatheril, with Chicago’s Swanson, Martin & Bell LLP, points to another example of Conway’s legal prowess. Conway second-chaired Altiveros v. Alexian Brothers Medical Center, a case in which Thevatheril defended a hospitalist physician. The three-week trial involved a woman suffering neck pain who was admitted to the emergency room. An MRI was not completed for two days, by which time the plaintiff had suffered a massive intramedullary hemorrhage resulting in paralysis.
The plaintiff argued that the delay in completing spinal imaging and surgery resulted in the patient suffering catastrophic spinal injury. Conway handled the liability aspects of the emergency room care and all damages witnesses at the trial. She also addressed damages in the closing argument. The trial resulted in a verdict of $3.3 million against two of the defendants. “Ms. Conway’s poise, composure and presence before the jury were impressive,” Thevatheril said.
“People often come to personal-injury attorneys after experiencing the most traumatic event of their life,” said R. Joseph Kramer with Chicago’s Kramer Injury Law, who tried a five-week case in federal court alongside Conway in 2016. “Personal-injury victims desperately need the help of a reliable attorney. The most reliable personal-injury attorneys are skilled trial lawyers. In my opinion, Kate is one of the most skilled trial attorneys in the nation. Without question, she is the most skilled trial attorney under 40 that I know.”
Despite these successes – and these are just a few of the many Conway has earned – this young attorney finds time to give back to her profession. She will serve as president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois in 2020, becoming the youngest president in the 105-year history of the association.