Elizabeth A. Kavenyeak@bwmklaw.com
312-580-2041Connect on LinkedIn Follow Elizabeth on Facebook Follow Elizabeth on Twitter
Chicago, IL 60601-3330
Elizabeth Kaveny during her professional career has obtained numerous verdicts and settlements of plaintiff personal injury and professional malpractice actions, each in excess of $1 million and some at more than $10 million. She is widely respected for her success at securing just compensation for her clients in such complex, medically related matters as misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose, which carry a high burden of proof to demonstrate negligence. For example, she and former partner Kevin Burke secured a $12 million settlement from a Glenview, Illinois, hospital for a client who suffered severe injury and trauma due to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment. She was one of the first attorneys in the country to file suit against New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts on behalf of a number of victims in the outbreak of fungal meningitis traced to contaminated steroid injections. Beth is equally effective in proving liability to secure redress for clients’ injuries and medical expenses sustained from the negligence of others that contributed to falls, fires and vehicular accidents.
Such clients value Beth’s personal approach to building a working relationship with them. As a self-described “people person,” Beth strives to build the kind of trust accorded a family member, visiting clients in their homes and learning about their families and situations in detail. She emphasizes knowing her clients thoroughly, to build the foundation for the kind of credibility that leads to trial effectiveness. Because she is representing clients and families who have suffered major injury and loss, Beth approaches personal injury litigation as the opportunity to ensure that those who depend on her are not victimized by the legal system. Although she is always open to and effective at resolving a matter short of trial if it is in her client’s best interest to do so, Beth has an exceptional record of success in the courtroom. An important element of that success is her ability to blend time-tested trial skills with the application of innovative technology (including pioneering use of PowerPoint presentations) to help juries better understand key issues.
Her professional peers accord Beth the highest recognition for her litigation effectiveness. The peer-selected Leading Lawyers has named her one of the state’s Top 10 women litigators, Top 10 women personal injury lawyers and Top 10 women consumer lawyers in personal injury and professional malpractice law. She has also been named one of the Top 50 Illinois Women Lawyers by Illinois Super Lawyers. In 2013 Beth was designated by Thomson Reuters and Chicago Magazine as one of “The Top Women Attorneys in Illinois” in the areas of personal injury plaintiff – medical malpractice; personal injury plaintiff – general; and general litigation. Such recognition reflects the fact that she has received Super Lawyer designation by her professional peers in every year beginning in 2006.
In a profile of Beth, the Chicago Tribune noted that “Chicago’s most powerful medical malpractice plaintiff’s law firms rarely have women as named partners,” but she became a founding name partner of her own firm after just 10 years in practice, and joined Burke Wise Morrissey Kaveny as a named partner in 2010. Further emphasizing such accomplishments, Crain’s Chicago Business in 2013 singled out Beth among established Chicago personal injury lawyers under the age of 50 for having an active trial practice, noted her as “an exception to the general rule [that] … not many top personal injury attorneys are women,” and listed four recent successes in which she secured well over $20 million on behalf of her clients.
Perhaps equally important is that Beth’s record of accomplishment coincides with her personal responsibilities as a parent of four young children, which contributes to the empathy she brings in counseling the families that seek her help.
Beth is involved in a wide range of professional activities. She has served in leadership positions in the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and is President and a member of the board of directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation, and she serves on the nominating committees of both organizations to help select their future leadership. She has been a director of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and frequently speaks on litigation-related topics before those and other organizations. In 2013 Beth was among a select group of lawyers named to a bipartisan screening committee that will help select Circuit Court judges for appointment to fill interim vacancies on the Cook County Circuit Court. Beth is a Fellow of the prestigious International Society of Barristers. She has taught courses at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and, for more than 15 years, has been both an instructor in trial advocacy at Loyola University of Chicago Law School and an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Northwestern University Law School. Beth served as President of the Chicago Chapter of the American Inns of Court for the organization’s 2014 to 2015 membership year. In October 2014 Beth was one of five women to receive the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ 2014 Top Women Lawyers in Leadership award.
- 2015 Leading Lawyers Top 10 — Women Lawyers in Illinois: Personal Injury Lawyers, Litigators Lawyers, Consumer Lawyers, 2014 — Best Lawyer: Personal Injury — Medical Malpractice
- 2014 — WBIA Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award
- 2014 — Best Lawyer — Personal Injury – Medical Malpractice
- 2014 — Illinois Leading Lawyers — Top 10: Women Lawyers, Women Consumer Lawyers, Women Litigators, Women Personal Injury Lawyers
- 2014 — Illinois Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Lawyers (10 Years)
- 2013 — Crain’s Chicago Business — Top Five Attorneys — Personal Injury Industry
- Selected to Super Lawyers 2006-present
- Illinois Bar Foundation — President – 2016-’17
- Illinois Bar Foundation — First Vice President – 2015-’16
- Illinois Trial Lawyer Association — Treasurer – 2015-’16
- Chicago Inn of Court — President — 2014-’15
- Illinois Bar Foundation — Second Vice President & Nominating Committee — 2014-’15
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association — Parliamentarian & Board of Managers Member — 2014-’15
- International Society of Barristers — Fellow – 2014
- Women’s Bar Association of Illinois — Previous Board & National Committee Member
- Chicago Bar Association
- Mercy Home for Boys and Girls — Leader Council
- Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1992
- Lehigh University, B.S., economics, 1988
- Illinois, 1992
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals