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The POWER 30: Kate Jaycox

Minnesota Lawyer//June 22, 2023

Kate Jaycox

Kate Jaycox, Robins Kaplan LLP

The POWER 30: Kate Jaycox

Minnesota Lawyer//June 22, 2023

Robins Kaplan LLP

About a year after brain surgery to remove a benign tumor, Kate Jaycox is back to work litigating mass torts and being the president-elect of the Minnesota Association for Justice.

Her rare condition is known as acoustic neuroma. Unsurprisingly, brain surgery at the Mayo Clinic and the resulting after-effects have changed her perspective on her own health and the traumatic experiences of her injury clients.

She was away for several months and slowly came back in with the support of her firm, colleagues, family and friends. She learned more about her clients’ trauma and the secondary trauma or compassion fatigue that can pass to an attorney.

It’s a reason why the theme for the MAJ convention in August is “Recharge to take charge.” Jaycox said attorneys need to do a better job as a profession to take care of their clients, themselves and each other. That includes attorney self-care, training in trauma to support clients, and learning how to build a trust relationship that makes you a better lawyer, she said. “If we are not well, we can’t understand other people very well,” she said.

Mass tort cases last a very long time. Two cases that may be coming to an end after more than 10 years include lawsuits over DePuy ASR and Pinnacle hip replacements that allege the devices caused serious complications that required revision surgery, Jaycox said. DePuy is owned by Johnson & Johnson.

Jaycox said that mass tort litigation is an integral part of Robins Kaplan and she hopes it continues. She’s been involved in 15 or more cases, representing thousands of clients. The firm is committed to cases that are “less flashy” in hopes of leveling the playing field. “It certainly feels like doing something for the greater good,” she said.

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