John Barnerd is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy. He joined the firm in 2002 as mesothelioma and asbestos attorney, and today is a member of the firm’s management committee. He previously served for two years as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Madison County, Ill.
John earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Illinois College and graduated with his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law. In 2010, Chicago Lawyers Magazine recognized him as a top 40 Under 40 Illinois Attorney. For the past four years, he has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.
John grew up in East Alton, Ill., a manufacturing community in which many people he knew became sick from asbestos exposure
“That’s probably one of the reasons why I am an asbestos trial attorney. There’s a personal connection,” he said.
John negotiates with asbestos defendants on behalf of the firm’s clients. His work has helped secure millions of dollars on behalf of asbestos exposure victims and families.
Leveling the Playing Field
John has worked with hundreds of people diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, who decided to hold the companies that harmed them accountable.
“As an everyday blue collar worker, going up against a multinational billion dollar company can seem a daunting prospect,” said John. “But with Simmons Hanly Conroy, they get a team of experienced mesothelioma litigators who give them compassionate personalized service, and they get access to resources that have leveled the playing field against these big companies time and time again.”
Over the past 10 years, John has cultivated a keen understanding of asbestos cases. Most importantly, he knows each case is different because no person is alike, and neither are their lives
“No two people have lived the exact same life and been exposed to the same products,” he said. “Recognizing that helps me build a better case for my clients, instead of just a cookie cutter approach.”
John has been invited to speak on several legal panels as an asbestos expert. Notable appearances include the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s first ever Legal Panel during the 2011 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, co-chair of the Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference in St. Louis and presentations during the Plaintiffs’ Asbestos Litigation Conference in Los Angeles.