Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC: Trailblazers Fighting for Justice
“We excel at protecting the rights of injured claimants because of our focused approach to each case. We are ready and prepared from day one to go to trial. Our opposing counsel and the firms they represent know this about us and respect our commitment,” says Jeffrey B. Simon, founding shareholder of Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC.
Founding and managing shareholder David C. Greenstone agrees. “When Jeffrey and I started the firm, we wanted to handle righteous lawsuits in courtrooms all over the country. We wanted to become the top trial firm handling that type of work and we realized the need for a fierce commitment to go the distance for every client. We wanted to be trailblazers. And we wanted to build a firm to fight for justice in the most serious cases. From the beginning, even before forming the firm, we saw eye-to-eye on the law, the business of law, and on personal relationships. We were and are truly kindred spirits.”
“In any partnership when you work as closely and intensely as we work together you can expect disagreements on strategy, tactics, or business concerns,” Simon says. “But in David I have a partner who is resolutely honest. He is as committed as I am to doing things the right way – period. We’ve never had a single serious or troublesome disagreement in our entire career together. On all important matters, we are on the same wavelength. You can’t have a better law partner.”
Founded in 2006, Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC is as aggressive as it is passionate about representing victims in complex legal disputes. The “righteous cases” they seek have a very simple explanation. They are cases in which someone has been seriously harmed by the wrongdoing of another, usually a large corporation.
The two trailblazers and their team, including 30 plaintiff attorneys, have achieved remarkable success in their drive to get justice for their clients.
For example, Greenstone and named partner Chris Panatier obtained groundbreaking verdicts of $13 million and $25 million in cosmetic talc mesothelioma cases in California. Then Greenstone and partner Stu Purdy obtained a $40 million verdict in another California cosmetic talc mesothelioma case, which was recognized as one of the highest and most impactful verdicts in the U.S. that year. Shortly thereafter, Panatier played a key role in obtaining a $750 million talc mesothelioma verdict in New Jersey, which is still the largest recorded verdict in any asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit. Purdy, who also runs the firm’s California office, recently obtained a $4.8 million verdict against a supplier of cosmetic talc.
The firm is also taking a huge lead in seeking justice for victims of pharmaceutical companies that have made, marketed and sold opioid drugs that have created an epidemic throughout the nation. The firm represents more than 40 counties in Texas opioid litigation and Simon was instrumental in negotiating and securing more than $2.75 billion in settlements to be used for harm reduction statewide.
In addition, partner Charles Soechting recently obtained a large verdict and several substantial settlements for a highway worker who was injured on the side of the road during a rainstorm during which the jobsite should have been shut down. Another recent case earned a $1.75 million settlement on behalf of clients who alleged workplace misconduct in the Collin County District Attorney’s office.
“I am extremely proud of the team that Jeffrey and I have put together over the years,” says Greenstone. “Our partner Chris Panatier has been one of the top trial lawyers in the country for many years. Our partner Leah Kagan has been a true pioneer of cosmetic talc litigation nationwide and is one of the foremost authorities on the subject. Brendan Tully, our partner who runs our New York City office, is a leading authority on international products liability cases and is an outstanding and accomplished trial attorney. Stu Purdy is also an outstanding trial attorney, who has played a vital role in the success of our California office. Charles Soechting runs our catastrophic injury department, while also obtaining excellent trial results across the country. And our newest partners, Jacey Hornecker, Debbie Bryant and Tiffany Dickenson are brilliant lawyers who run our law and motions and intake departments, respectively. And our associate attorneys, professionals and support staff are simply unparalleled. We would be nothing without this remarkable team of dedicated individuals, who are all committed to providing exceptional representation to our clients.”
When Jeffrey and I started the firm, we wanted to handle righteous lawsuits in courtrooms all over the country. … We wanted to be trailblazers.
Moving Out to Move Up
Simon and Greenstone formed a bond while working at a large DFW law firm handling primarily mesothelioma cases. Each was passionate about the cases, but more than that, about the people and the families of the victims.
“From the beginning, David and I worked a lot and traveled a lot on similar cases for deserving people. Working closely together on complex cases just became natural to us. We enjoyed working together,” Simon says.
He had reached a point in his career where he was ready to go out and be his own boss. “I shared that with David, and he said, ‘You know, I’m going with you.’ And that’s what happened. I think it’s the best business move either one of us ever made, though we are still friends with and have great respect for the lawyers at our previous firm.”
Their philosophy was to put together an effective and aggressive team of legal professionals who were willing to work hard, understand that there are no shortcuts, and that the long-term needs of the clients must be paramount.
“I say this all the time to our attorneys – there is only one right way to practice law,” Greenstone says. “And that’s to work harder than everybody else. To be the most prepared, the most organized, to know more about your case than the other side, and to put in more effort. It’s never easy, but it’s not supposed to be easy.”
The firm started with offices in both Dallas and Los Angeles. More recently they opened an office in New York City that continues to grow. They also recently opened a smaller office in Houston.
“Soon after we opened our doors, we found that other attorneys were as excited about our move as we were. They immediately wanted to send us cases. Today, a large percentage of our cases come from other firms. We value our co-counsel and appreciate their trust in us to be on the front lines. We’ll be the ones primarily handling the case. One reason referrals are such a substantial part of our work is that these individual attorneys and these firms know we will be as open, honest and reliable with them as we are with our mutual clients,” Simon says.
Letting the Work Speak
The firm often faces off against large corporations and organizations, including Fortune 500 Companies with battalions of attorneys and legal resources trained to grind-down the other side. “Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC is a medium-sized firm making a big difference for the little guy. Even in the most protracted and complex cases, we do not back down. We never back down. Our lawyers can try any serious case in any courtroom in the country. The work, the trials and the verdicts speak for themselves,” Greenstone says.
The firm has multiple practice areas, but currently focuses its efforts within three departments. The asbestos mesothelioma department handles mesothelioma cases literally all over the country, including traditional industrial asbestos exposure cases as well as cases involving cosmetic talcum powder products that are contaminated with asbestos. The catastrophic injury department handles everything from run of the mill auto accidents to more serious truck accidents, workplace injury cases, sexual assault and harassment cases, any type of premises liability cases, and medical malpractice. The mass tort department handles large scale litigation such as pharmaceutical and medical device cases and public entity litigation.
“We have lawyers with enormous amounts of trial experience and success,” Simon says. “We understand who we are—a law firm with attorneys who treat each case, no matter how many we have, as its own case. In all respects, every case deserves and gets its own development and our full attention no matter how hard it is or how long it takes.”
“We serve a lot of clients all over the country, but being a big law firm has never been our goal,” Greenstone says. “We want to be only as big as we need to be to move quickly and effectively when we’re called to the front lines to support injured victims and their families. We may be smaller than the huge corporate firms we oppose, but we can move faster, think on our feet, and make sure we’re better prepared.”
Commitment to Community
Jeffrey Simon, David Greenstone and Chris Panatier
Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC extends its commitment to helping others beyond dramatic action in the courtroom. In addition to spending their careers representing cancer victims, many of the shareholders have personally experienced family members suffering from cancer. They fully understand from first-hand experience the impact cancer has on family income, stability, mental and emotional health.
To help alleviate this serious issue in their community, each year the firm provides scholarships for students whose lives have been impacted by cancer. The Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC Scholarship, administered through the Communities Foundation of Texas, has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to many deserving students who have been impacted by cancer, to help defray the costs of a college education.
In addition, the firm supports a number of other important causes including the North Texas Food Bank, the Dallas Volunteer Attorney’s Program, and various mesothelioma and cancer charities.
“It has always been important to Jeffrey and me to give back to the community,” Greenstone says. “We can’t always help people in court. But we can still make an impact on people’s lives, and we should never forget our obligation to do so.”
Staying on the Move
One of the keys to the firm’s success is the ability of Simon and Greenstone, and their team, to communicate well with juries regardless of the location of the case. Greenstone says, “We can go into any jurisdiction and become experts on the law in that jurisdiction, master the facts of our case, and be able to effectively handle a case anywhere. And what we have learned is that juries are juries, people are people. It doesn’t matter where the case is located. When we do our job, bring a good case, tell our story in our way, we can get great results, regardless of where the case is tried.”
Mobility in service to client needs is a cornerstone of the firm’s business model. To survive and grow a firm needs not only a large docket of cases, but the ability to try cases in many venues. “Sometimes you get a defendant who says, ‘We’re going try cases in four different places all over the country all at the same time.’ David and I say, ‘Great! Let’s do it.’ because we’ve got many exceptional trial teams ready at a moment’s notice. We’ve done that countless times in the last 17 years of our existence – countless.”
“This journey that Jeffrey and I started 17 years ago has lofty goals and I cannot say that we have fully obtained all of them,” Greenstone says. “But I can say that we are constantly striving to become a better firm that can fight for justice for any client anywhere. And I think we’ve come a long way toward achieving that goal.”
“From the very beginning David and I have a shared passion for our clients, for doing the work we do, and for knowing that the best way to represent our clients is to do it through trial work,” Simon says. “We really do have a passion for righteous cases and to create a firm that provides service and justice for clients anywhere in the country.”
At a Glance
Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC
901 Main St Ste 5900
Dallas, TX 75202
(As of December 2023)
New York Office
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