Marni R. Slavick
Description of your practice:
I am a female equity partner at Cunningham Meyer & Vedrine PC’s Chicago office who specializes in the defense of healthcare providers. I defend healthcare systems, hospitals, physicians, and all named healthcare providers in every type of civil litigation.
While my practice is focused on the defense of medical negligence actions, I also represent clients in various litigation proceedings including general liability, product and laboratory liability, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution, among other things.
On any given weekday you can find me in a discovery deposition or client meeting. Likely defending a defendant-physician or meeting with a medical witness who will be giving testimony (live on trial or in a deposition) within the next several days. I thoroughly enjoy meeting with my long-term clients or retained experts on cases that have been ongoing for several years. It is fun to develop themes and strategies for depositions and trial with skilled physicians and experts.. I enjoy getting deeply engaged with the nuanced medical concepts applicable to each physician’s defense.
Why are you a member of the WBAI?
I have only recently become a member of the WBAI. Admittedly and with some regret, I have spent much of my career so far focused on becoming a solid insurance defense attorney above all else. Combine that with being a working mom, and it was not until recently that I understood the importance of the organizations surrounding me with such amazing women and resources. I am not unique or atypical; I just had to lift my head up long enough to realize there are women all around me that have had to overcome the same obstacles that I have and who share the same goals and objectives. Joining forces and combining ideas and resources is a wonderful way to spread and share the wealth among women.
What do you think is the best way to empower women in law?
Allow women to try cases. As a woman trial lawyer, I believe it is important to make sure that other women are seen and heard in the courtroom. Despite being in a law school graduating class that boasted a female majority (51% in 2001), I find women are consistently under-represented in the courtroom setting, especially in medical litigation. Making sure that women are represented in the courtroom, especially in front of Cook County judges and juries, is important for the client’s success and the future of our system. I think we can all proactively encourage our existing clients – physicians, hospitals and insurance companies – to be adamant in their request for female representation on all levels and in all aspects of their litigation and this alone will change the future of jury trials and the entire industry.
What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally?
In 2020, I have several cases going to trial involving women’s issues and the defense of female healthcare providers. These types of cases provide my team with welcome challenges during both discovery and trial, because of the unique issues presented. Since I was a young attorney it has always been my great pleasure to represent female providers – my first solo verdict in Cook County was for my first female physician client and my biggest supporter – it was a victory in more ways than the obvious.
CMV Law also has several significant matters currently being heard at the appellate level and I look forward to seeing how those cases proceed and what new or revised Illinois law is ultimately created because our clients have the desire and means to appeal jury verdicts and advance appellate arguments.
Tell us something interesting about you.Despite being part of an industry that is designed to minimize risk, I am a risk taker at heart. I have already been paragliding, bungee jumping, and skydiving – and I am certain I am not done jumping out of things yet.
This type of risk-taking has benefited me in my work-life as I know it allows me to take leaps in the courtroom. I like to believe these are innovative and calculated leaps and risks, designed to benefit my clients and to engage a jury. And we could all use more of that in the courtroom – that and more women litigators.