Today we proudly celebrate Jenner Law’s fifth year anniversary. It’s been quite a ride.
We opened our doors in Baltimore on May 4, 2018. Although I’d been practicing law by then for 33 years with three prior firms, I’ve always had a partnership with experienced lawyers. Now, joined by the best and brightest of my existing mass tort group, we ventured out to hang out a shingle of our own.
Five of us started Jenner Law.
An exceptionally hard-working associate then, Katie Kerner, was a natural fit. I asked her to become my law partner in March 2021. Not surprisingly, Katie has been recognized by her peers as a Best Lawyer, Super Lawyer, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Maryland Top 40, etc., etc. All the accolades are great, but what I know is that Katie is a massively talented advocate, a decent and ethical beacon, whom I am forever proud to call my law partner.
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Heather Butterfield (Director of Operations), and Marcie Anthony (Client Relations Manager), have been with me for 22 and 17 years, respectively, and to say that they are vital to our practice is an understatement. They have set the direction for the rest of the team. Heather, masterfully brilliant, efficient, and insightful, leads our internal operations. Marcie is the heart and soul of the group, dealing with the staff and clients with her special blend of empathy and humor. Frankly, we would not have been able to get off the ground without both of their skill sets. But beyond that, they are among my closest friends — as much family to me as anyone else.
Along with Katie, Heather, and Marcie, Taylor (O’Brien) Wiedermann – an exceptional paralegal – came along with us as well. Taylor had the vision to make her own dream a reality and has blossomed in the firm. All five of us are still together today.
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Our Core Values
We started “our” firm with core values – ones that we hold to this day.
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First, our mission was to give our clients the personalized attention they deserve, to put clients first, and never to treat anyone as a number, or God forbid, “inventory.” I think we’ve accomplished that – a testament to our most incredible team. We treat every person who calls our office with the same respect and dignity that we would give a personal family member.
Second, we wanted an environment where our team members want to work. No drama (or no drama, most of the time), always supportive, perpetually team-oriented. There’s no individual “job description” for anyone at our firm. In fact, everybody has the same job description: “Everything and anything that needs to be done to get the job done.” At this point, our work family is just that – a family. Everyone is respected equally, and if you can’t fit in that mindset, you won’t fit in with us. Full stop.
Third, we always wanted to be flexible, and dynamic, to better serve clients. Our practice changed considerably from being “mass tort centric” to representing individual clients – clients who are survivors of sexual abuse and other atrocities. We have created a niche practice in psychotherapy abuse, representing clients nationwide who have suffered at the hands of therapists and counselors (in therapy-speak, we address the ills of transference and counter-transference).
While the focus of our practice has changed over the years, our mission statement and the principles that guide us have remained consistent.
In fact, each of us has contributed to a Donor Fund, where we each select charities that are meaningful to us. We’re really proud of that. We also established a Make a Difference Scholarship program where we present two scholarship awards — one to an undergraduate student and one to a graduate student — who have demonstrated an exemplary academic performance and who are able to relate how their degrees will help make a difference in the world.
We’ve also spearheaded the clergy sexual abuse litigation in Maryland. We’ve been vocal and active supporters of the Child Victims Act of 2023. We were proud to support our clients, several survivors and advocates in Annapolis, throughout this effort. And not enough can be said for our paralegal, Mary Beth Diaz, a child of a clergy abuse survivor. Her empathy and commitment to these clients and our practice cannot be overstated.
Setting in place the foundation for success, we’ve obtained remarkable results for our clients. That’s a testament to our hard work and willingness to go to the mat, and admittedly, teaming up with remarkably talented co-counsel in several mass tort litigations. Thanks go to our colleagues at Grant & Eisenhofer, in particular, for their partnership in the Gilead HIV drug, Essure, and orthopedic hip implant litigations; and to my friend and colleague, Joel Bieber, and the mass tort department at The Joel Bieber firm, for its support and collaboration.
We did all this through COVID without missing a beat. Funny how much you can accomplish with solid internet, a good printer, and the support of your colleagues. And I’d be remiss not to give immense thanks to my wife, Beth Graham, for her undying support and encouragement. Indeed, the husbands, wives, and partners of all our team members have been tremendously encouraging, and we acknowledge them as well with our eternal thanks.
As we look ahead to the next five years, it’s difficult to predict what the future holds. However, our unwavering commitment to providing exceptional representation to our clients and fostering a work environment that values the dignity of every team member will remain our top priority. We want to express our sincere gratitude to our clients for entrusting us with their legal matters and allowing us to be a part of their lives. If we stay true to our principles and continue to work together, we know that good things will come.