New Opportunity in 2011 for All Symposium Attendees

2011 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma: Legal Panel for the Cure

Thursday, June 23rd 5:45 – 6:45 pm

Hampton Ballroom

“How long will it take for my case to resolve or settle?”

“What are the steps in the process for filing a suit?”

“What is the average settlement award?”

The 2011 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma presents a unique opportunity to meet with some of the top lawyers in the field of mesothelioma litigation in a very special question and answer session, open to all symposium attendees.

The Legal Panel participants will be representatives from firms participating at the Diamond Level in the Legal Partners for a Cure program:

John Bernard – Simmons Law Firm

Bruce C. Hill – Peter Angelos Law Firm

Robert Komitor – Levy Phillips & Konigsberg

The moderated Q&A session will feature both prepared “commonly asked questions,” and questions from the floor. This will cover all aspects of mesothelioma litigation, legal representation, and settlement and trial processes among others. The participating Legal panelists will not be promoting their firms or services but will be on hand in a collaborative environment to provide answers that can help patients and their families navigate through the often complicated process of mesothelioma litigation.

The Legal Partners for a Cure program was started in 2011 to recognize some of the top firms in theUnited Stateswho support the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and its mission to end the suffering of mesothelioma. No referrals are provided to these firms for their support.

Advocacy Tips

What does it take to be a good advocate? 

Advocating for mesothelioma is easier than you think!  The key is to utilize available resources, be clear in what it is you are seeking, and be polite and persistent in your efforts.  We are very excited that many of you will be making hill visits while you are inWashingtonfor the 2011 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma.  Here are a few do’s and don’t for your visits!



  • Effective lobbying is all about building a good relationship with your Senators, Representative and their staff.  To build that good relationship, always be as pleasant and professional as possible.  Take the high road in developing your messages and your requests.
  • Whether writing, e-mailing, calling or meeting personally with your Senator, Representative or a member of their staff, think through what you want to say so that you are prepared.  Keep your message concise and personal.  The power of your experience and the experiences of your loved ones regarding mesothelioma are immeasurable.
  • Conclude your message with a clear, concise request for support of whatever legislation you’re lobbying for.
  • Always express appreciation at the end of the message, conversation or meeting.  Even if you’ve not gotten the response you want, a thank you for the time and interest you’ve been given is important.


  • Senators and Representatives have very busy schedules – both in DC and back home.  Do not be put off if you are referred to a staff member.  The staff who work for US Senators and Representatives are their eyes and ears and play a significant role in their bosses’ decisions regarding positions on legislation.  Sometimes it’s even better to meet with the staff – they may have more time and more background in this unique and scientific area.
  • Threatening and/or arguing will not accomplish our goal of getting support.  Should you start to get messages that aren’t what you were hoping for, regroup and consider other strategies – finding others to join you in your lobbying, considering other messages that might be more compelling, etc.
  • Hesitancy to take a position is not uncommon and should not be viewed as a negative.  For those unfamiliar with mesothelioma and the lethal risks of asbestos exposure, this is all new.  Just keep involving others and generating messages of support!
  • A “no” may not be final!  With continued communication you may be able to change the mind(s) of those who just don’t get it – yet!  Be pleasantly, patiently persistent!
  • Jargon, especially medical jargon, can be very confusing and distracting.  Do what you can to avoid it or to make it understandable.
  • Don’t forget to say “thank you!”  You’d be amazed at how rarely thanks are expressed and how grateful and impacted Senators, Representatives and their staff are when they receive a hand-written thank you.