Attorney Leslie Cronen came to the firm nine years ago after a stint practicing with two different insurance defense firms, defending insurance and other large companies. Now, Ms. Cronen primarily works for clients injured from defective medical products and other substandard medical care. Mrs. Cronen states that, even before making the switch, she knew that representing individuals suited her better than defending large corporations. When she joined the firm, she hit the ground running and hasn’t looked back since.
Like all of the firm’s attorneys, Ms. Cronen finds her work most satisfying when her work helps her clients close a painful chapter in their lives. “Our clients come to us at the most difficult times in their lives – not only are they facing physical problems, but they are financially in jeopardy as well,” says Ms. Cronen. “There is no better feeling than when the litigation wraps up and our clients receive the settlements that they deserve. It sometimes takes months or even years. Our opponents are rich, very powerful, and unwilling to admit their wrongdoing. But at the end of it all, the relief my clients receive is sure worth the effort.”
As a lawyer Ms. Cronen finds the complex cases she handles to be personally rewarding as well. “I find the work incredibly interesting because there’s always something new to learn from a medical and scientific standpoint and you’ve got to stay very much on top of it,” says Ms. Cronen. Her work began with the firm’s Vioxx work. She is now primarily working on other mass tort litigation, such as Infuse, a bone graft product manufactured by Medtronic that causes damage to her clients’ spinal cord. “The lawyer’s challenge is also in coordinating between various jurisdictions when there are that many cases at once. Every state has its own legal procedures and interpretations of the law.”
In many ways, it’s only natural that Ms. Cronen would devote her practice to an area of the law involving complex medical issues. For one, her family counts several doctors and nurses among its ranks, while her husband spent part of his career as an emergency room and operating room technician. “Immediately out of law school I started handling medical malpractice defense cases, and now I’m doing complex drug products cases. Now, I confront cases where hundreds or even thousands of people have serious adverse reactions,” says Ms. Cronen, the only attorney in her family.
Ms. Cronen also says her defense experience prepares her day-to-day work in one major way: by helping her play devil’s advocate. “I’m always thinking about the other side of the story and how they are going to defend a case,” she says. “What are the defense’s arguments going to be? What will they be looking for in the medical records? I find that if I can anticipate a lot of those things then I will automatically be more effective. It helps in identifying any weaknesses we might have so we can correct them.”
As a member of her high school’s debate team who found her calling in the crafting and defending of arguments, Ms. Cronen says she knew a legal career was in her future from a fairly young age. “There has never been anything else I thought I’d like to do,” she says. “That’s especially true now that I work on behalf of people who truly need my help.” A skilled trial lawyer, she also enjoys the hard work that comes with presenting a case in front of a jury. “There’s nothing that compares with the intensity of it,” says Ms. Cronen, whose first trial as a plaintiffs’ attorney was for a case centering on a man who had received a kidney transplant and was having problems with a stent involved in the procedure.
A mother of two young children, Ms. Cronen is an active participant in their school and church activities. She earned her JD with honors from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, and remains active in the legal community as a member of several state and local bar associations, including the Kentucky, Indiana State and Louisville Bar Associations. She is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Kentucky Justice Association and the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association.