Kimberly M. Halvorsen, 33, is no stranger to tackling complicated legal matters. Over the years, she has focused on aviation and transportation liability, as well as medical and hospital negligence. For Halvorsen, the hard work has paid off. Her accomplishments in these complicated areas of law have won her the respect of her peers.
Donald A. Migliori, an attorney at Motley Rice, has known Halvorsen since 2007, when she first became an associate at Clifford Law Offices, P.C.
"Kimberly was directly and heavily involved in the September 11th tort litigation, in which I had the distinct privilege of serving as a liaison counsel for the wrongful death and personal injury clients," Migliori said. "It was a great honor for me to work alongside Kimberly in her firm's representation of property damage plaintiffs, also severely harmed by the September 11th attacks."
Migliori said Halvorsen was an important part of a national team of lawyers uniquely focused on the issue of airport security after the terrorist attack.
"Among her talents, Kimberly was an amazingly tireless worker. On behalf of our respective clients, we took the depositions, of over 200 fact witnesses testifying to the specifics of the tragic events and we collected hundreds of thousands of documents," Migliori said. "The result of several years of effort was billions of dollars of recover and the most comprehensive database of evidence regarding the pre-2001 aviation security." Migliori credited Halvorsen with having great attention to detail and remaining cool under pressure.
"The litigation born of the September 11th attacks was of first impression in so many ways. The worldwide attention to the litigation was unprecedented, yet none of these extraordinary factors proved to be intimidating to her," Migliori said. "Her resolve, dedication, ability and compassion carried her through the litigation to see it to its very successful end result."
Michael Elsner, also of Motley Rice, credited Halvorsen for handling the litigation stemming from September 11th professionally and with critical thinking above her years of experience.
Her extraordinary work in aviation litigation is not the only area where Halvorsen shines.
"After Kimberly and I challenged the airline industry, she gained experience as a trial lawyer, successfully achieving multi- million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of victims of malpractice," Elsner said, adding that Halvorsen has also assisted several distinguished governmental figures, such as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Illinois House of Representatives Speaker Michael J. Madigan. "Her dedication to public service and impressive accomplishments at the age of 33 foreshadow a promising career of client-oriented and challenging litigation for the common good."
Halvorsen also second-chaired a trial which resulted in a verdict of almost $2.91 million for medical malpractice after a routine surgery. She also achieved a $5 million settlement on behalf of a woman who was not properly diagnosed with cancer.
State Rep. Ann M. Williams has known Halvorsen for 12 years. Williams first met her when Halvorsen served on the Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan's staff. At the time, Williams was working on behalf of her law firm, Storino, Ramello & Durkin, representing private clients. "She was well regarded by her peers and others around the capitol as an outstanding staff member, and served as a 'go to' for other staffers and legislators in this capacity." The two crossed paths again when Williams became Legislative Director at the Attorney General's office in 2003, where Halvorsen was working as a law clerk in the Criminal Enforcement Division.
"Since then, I have stayed in touch with Kim and watched her evolve from a young, energetic staff person to a very accomplished attorney," Williams said. "Kim has always set the bar in terms of her job performance, legal skills and ability to communicate, and I experienced this firsthand when we worked together at the Attorney General's office."
Halvorsen was named one of the Chicago Bar Foundation's pro-bono "Stars of the Year," and serves on the Foundation's Young Professionals Board. She is chair of the Junior Board of Directors for the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.