The Litigation Counsel of America is proud to announce the inaugural recipient of the J. Ric Gass Trial Presentation Award as Cecilie Loidolt, Of Counsel at Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, PA, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The award was presented to Ms. Loidolt at the 2022 LCA Fall Conference & Celebration of Fellows in San Diego, California on October 13, 2022. The J. Ric Gass Trial Presentation Award is an annual recognition of an individual lawyer, trial team, judge or law professor who exhibits excellence and proficiency in the art of advocacy in a courtroom setting. The award was named after J. Ric Gass (1943-2019), 2012 President of the Litigation Counsel of America, who was one of the five founding members of Gass Weber Mullins LLC, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ms. Loidolt is a trial lawyer with 30 years’ experience representing medical providers in high-exposure medical malpractice cases. She has tried sixty cases to juries, including many high profile birth injury cases involving life-care plans valued in the mid to high eight figures. She has also been consulted and has served as national counsel on birth injury matters. Ms. Loidolt has expertise in defending against the "Reptile Theory," which is frequently employed by plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers, and has done so with acclaimed success. She is a frequent speaker on jury selection topics.
Ms. Loidolt is a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, having been a member since 2007. She has earned the distinctions Barrister, Order of Juris and Advocate, Order of Certus. She maintains an AV Preeminent® rating Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ and is repeatedly selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America for medical malpractice. She has been listed as a Minnesota Law & Politics’ Super Lawyer® for over twenty years. She was named Minnesota Lawyer of the Year in 2012, for the successful defense of several notable cases. One of those cases included the defense of a hospital for its treatment of an infant’s high fever; which resulted from a vaccine-preventable disease, and the mother’s refusal to vaccinate. The infant died. The jury found the hospital not negligent, and the mother negligent.
Recent successes include a lawsuit alleging the anesthesia team was negligent during spine surgery, resulting in paralysis from the neck down; and a large life care plan. The jury returned a verdict for the defendants. Ms. Loidolt tried the first of its kind opioid addiction case in Minnesota in May 2022. The lawsuit against the pain specialist alleged that he got the patient addicted to high-dose opioids that far exceeded CDC recommended guidelines, and that he was addicted for 23 years. Despite his 23 year use of high-dose opioids, the evidence was that the patient was not addicted. The physician attended the trial and testified via zoom, as he was delayed in Hong Kong for two years as a result of COVID. The jury found in his favor. Defense verdicts are often not reported by the media, but this one was.
While Ms. Loidolt enjoys and appreciates these accolades, her greatest career accomplishment is the gratitude of her clients, who have bestowed upon her the nicknames, “gunslinger,” “pitbull,” and “bulldog,” as a result of her tireless fight for justice for her clients.
Outside of law, Ms. Loidolt and her family are devoted to public service. Her husband, Neal, served in the military for over 34 years, having deployed twice to Iraq. Their son, Sam, serves in the military as well, and is presently deployed in Romania. The family's mantra is “we will make it work.” As a result of her own dedication and humanitarian efforts, Ms. Loidolt proudly received the 2019 Superior Volunteer Service Award, the highest National Guard award to a civilian.
"Cecilie's record of success and commitment to excellence in the courtroom epitomizes the career-long goal of Ric Gass to create in the next generation of lawyers the abilities and knowledge necessary to take the art of advocacy to the highest echelon," said Litigation Counsel of America Executive Director and General Counsel G. Steven Henry. "Ric knew Cecilie well and greatly respected her body of work in the trial arena. Her accomplishments and results speak for themselves. We are delighted with Cecilie's selection for the first LCA award given bearing the name of J. Ric Gass."