Jason Eckerly’s practice focuses on litigating general liability, toxic tort, product liability and complex commercial matters throughout the country. He is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and previously served as chair of the firm’s Toxic Tort / Hazardous Substances practice group.

Jason serves as national coordinating counsel and local counsel for large corporations in toxic tort litigation, developing and coordinating global defense strategies. In this role, he works with clients in assessing and analyzing risk, developing long-term strategies, training local counsel and implementing case protocols.

He understands the financial pressures placed on clients involved in litigation and has successfully crafted strategies to control costs, expenses and indemnity. He also is responsible for the development and preparation of corporate witnesses for testimony at trial and deposition.

As a trial lawyer, Jason has first-chair and second-chair experience, taking complex cases all the way to jury verdicts in cases lasting upwards of a month. He has acted as trial counsel in courts in California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania and also has argued numerous times in appellate courts.

Jason previously served as chair of Segal McCambridge’s Pro Bono and Public Service Committee, which was recognized for its efforts during his tenure. The committee is charged with promoting the firm’s pro bono efforts and increasing the firm’s commitment to pro bono and community service. 

Jason is a published legal author and frequent lecturer. He has written articles for bar associations and trade groups, as well as co-authored law review articles and book chapters. As a lecturer, he has presented to manufacturing associations and fellow attorneys, including the American Bar Association.

Honors

  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, 2018 – present
  • Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers, 2015 – 2017
  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2009 – 2015
  • Up & Coming Lawyers, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2006
  • 40 Under 40, Traverse City Business News, 2006
  • Executive Editor, DePaul Business Law Journal, 2001 – 2002
  • Who’s Who: American Law Students, 2001 – 2002

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Former Commissioner, City of Traverse City Planning Commission
  • American Bar Association
    • Member, Mass Torts Committee and Toxic Torts subcommittee
    • Member, Litigation Committee and Trial Practice subcommittee
    • Editor, Trial Practice Subcommittee, 2011 – 2014
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Michigan Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar Association

Practice Highlights

Representative Matters

  • Represented a global industrial machinery manufacturer on a federal product liability case with 30 days remaining in discovery after the client was unsatisfied with previous counsel. He and his team deposed all witnesses and reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages of document production, then filed motions for summary judgment and motions to bar the plaintiff’s experts. The court granted both motions to bar and the summary judgment motions.
  • Appointed as Michigan local counsel for a corporation that had a yearly trial docket of more than 600 asbestos cases. Jason reduced client indemnity by 20 percent while reducing attorney fees by 80 percent.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 corporation seeking damages in excess of $875,000 after a prior law firm had been working on the matter for more than six months. Once reassigned, Jason recovered the entire amount sought in 14 days.
  • Served as first-chair trial counsel in a toxic tort case that resulted in a jury verdict in favor of his client.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a respiratory equipment manufacturer in an asbestos exposure case brought by an employee of a lumber mill in the Western District of Wisconsin.
  • Obtained summary judgment based on statute of repose for a boiler manufacturer in an asbestos exposure case brought by a plumber with mesothelioma in Baltimore.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of a welding mask manufacturer in a product liability case where the plaintiff was alleging loss of vision in Cook County, Illinois.
  • Prevailed on interlocutory appeal in California for a boiler manufacturer that sought to have Michigan law apply in an asbestos exposure case.
  • Served as first-chair trial counsel in a breach of contract case that resulted in judgment for his client.
  • Successfully briefed and argued a complex self-directed IRA matter in the Michigan Court of Appeals. 
  • Acted as trial counsel in courts in California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania.
  • Successfully briefed and argued numerous motions for summary judgment.
  • Participated in mediations in jurisdictions throughout the country.

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • “Attacking the Reptile,” Defense Research Institute Asbestos Medicine Seminar, 2016
  • “Update on Asbestos Litigation – What Has Been Learned Over the Years and How It Is Being Applied,” American Boiler Manufacturers Association Summer Meeting, 2014
  • “Lung Cancer Experts and Medical Articles,” Perrin Asbestos Defense Strategic Summit, 2014
  • “The Status of Asbestos Litigation: What Has Been Learned Over the Years and How It Is Being Applied Today,” American Boiler Manufacturers Association Summer Meeting, 2013
  • “Today’s Jury Pool – The Impact of Generation Y and the Social Media Revolution,” ABA Section of Litigation Committee on Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, 2013
  • “Ethical Considerations Raised by Cloud Computing and Data Hosting,” HB Litigation Conferences, 2012

Panelist

  • “Data Hosting & Cloud Computing: Benefits and Considerations for Your Firm, Your Practice and Your Clients,” LexisNexis National Webinar, 2012

Publications

  • “Discovery Strategy in Mass Tort Litigation,” First Chair Press, American Bar Association, 2020
  • “Defense Perspective: Examining Recent Supreme Court Rulings on Personal Jurisdiction and the Likely Impact on Toxic Tort Litigation,” co-author, Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee Newsletter, American Bar Association, 2018
  • “Assembling the Trial Record, Pre-Trial Objections, and Motions in Limine,” co-author, Trying Your First Case – A Practitioner’s Guide, First Chair Press, American Bar Association, 2014
  • “Illinois Supreme Court Clarifies Duty Analysis in Negligent Product Design Cases,” Trial Practice, American Bar Association Section of Litigation, 2011