Jan Simonsen is a trial attorney focused on mass tort and toxic tort litigation, retail litigation, and professional liability. She represents retailers, manufacturers, home builders, and other clients in mass tort litigation in state courts, federal courts, and multi-district litigation (MDL).
Jan has represented clients in many product liability cases involving large machinery, including cement mixers, boilers, conveyer belts, yachts, and cranes. She advises several large retailers in risk management issues on a national level as well as in litigation, including a multi-claim case involving tainted food from a large gourmet retailer in the Washington metropolitan area.
Her approach is marked by looking at the “big picture” in each case, and by trying to resolve disputes in a manner that is in her clients’ best interests, not only from a legal perspective, but from a business perspective as well.
Jan has been lead counsel in numerous jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations. These have resulted in reported appellate decisions, with several setting important legal precedent, including:
- Jaffe v. Pallotta TeamWorks, 362 U.S. App. D.C. 398, 374 F.3d 1223 (2004)
- Velasquez v. Essex Condo. Ass’n, 759 A.2d 676 (D.C. 2000)
- Patricia Blackwell v. CVS of DC & VA, Inc. (DC), decided in October 2000
- Hogue v. Hopper, 728 A.2d 611 (D.C. 1999)
- Evelyn Everette v. CVS of DC & VA, Inc. (VA)
In addition to her practice at the firm, Jan joined George Washington University Law School’s faculty as an adjunct professor for the fall 2015 semester. Jan instructs the Fall Trial Advocacy Class, examining topics related to all aspects of the trial process, including openings, direct examinations, cross examinations, expert witnesses, and summations. Jan has also mediated dozens of cases successfully as a certified court mediator in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
- Represented a building owner in a carbon monoxide case where two people died and a young child was badly injured. Resolved the case without putting the client’s reputation or good name in the press.
- Represented a high-end home builder in several contract disputes with prospective homeowners, and arbitrated all of them with results that the client found highly favorable.
- Represented a national pharmacy retailer in all of its pharmacy and premise claims in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Vermont Law School
- Martindale-Hubbell® has given Jan its AV Preeminent® rating, earned by attorneys at the highest level of professional excellence.
- Jan was named Best Lawyers® 2023 Personal Injury Litigation- Defendants “Lawyer of the Year” in Washington, D.C.
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America in the area of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions- Defendants, 2010-2024
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America in the area of Personal Injury Litigation- Defendants, 2011-2024
- Recognized on Super Lawyers List, 2012-2022 for Professional Liability- Defense, Personal Injury(Products) Litigation- Defense, Personal Injury(General)-Defense
- On December 2, 2013, Jan was named among Business Insurance magazine’s 2013 “Women to Watch.”
- On September 20, 2013, Jan was named Lawyer of the Year by the DC Defense Lawyers.
- Jan Simonsen has been appointed by the DC Court of Appeals as Trustee to the DC Client Security Trust Fund through 2018.
- “Trends in Food Liability Litigation,” Perrin Conference, June 12, 2013
- “Recent Developments in Asbestos Litigation- Maryland, D.C., and Virginia,” Perrin Conference, March 19, 2013
- “Violence in the Workplace,” National Council of Chain Restaurants, November 15, 2012
District of Columbia
U.S. District Courts
District of Columbia
District of Maryland
District of Virginia
U.S. Court of Appeals
District of Columbia Circuit
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- Bar Association of the District of Columbia
- District of Columbia Bar, Litigation Section, chair of the Steering Committee, 1993–1995
- Virginia Bar Association
- Fairfax Bar Association
- The Counselors (Washington, DC)
- The Barristers (Washington, DC)
- DC Defense Lawyers’ Association, president, 2001–2002
- Women’s Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- National Retail Federation
- Litigation Counsel of America Fellow