Sean K. Kerley


Years after my grandfather passed, I learned he died from mesothelioma. He worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and was likely exposed to asbestos every day. He was a hardworking blue-collar guy, like our clients. This stays with me. We need firms like Weitz & Luxenberg with the power, resources, and reputation to stand up to big monied interests and hold them accountable for their negligent actions. Our clients deserve justice, and we are their last line of defense.

Sean Kerley is a member of our dedicated team of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure trial litigators. He is an experienced trial attorney and many of his clients received significant compensation for their injuries.

“It is a supreme privilege to be here,” Mr. Kerley says. “I’ve known for a long time I wanted to be an attorney. With me, I always knew I wanted to do plaintiffs’ work. Joining a national, highly reputable firm such as Weitz & Luxenberg is an honor,” he adds.

Passion for Trial Work

“Pretty early on, I realized I love doing trial work. Putting cases together, devising legal strategies, and speaking in front of a jury. Being a part of a team sharing similar goals and ideals. There’s this shared energy. We want to put together the best case for our client possible,” Mr. Kerley emphasizes.

“In my career so far, I’ve prepared for numerous trials. One of the cases I worked on resulted in a $12.2 million verdict for my clients,” he points out.

“As far as settlements go, I’ve been involved in a lot of those. I am proud to have helped recover close to $50 million dollars for my clients.”

Winning Asbestos in Talc Cases

“Nearly all my asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cases involved exposure to talcum powder contaminated with asbestos. So Weitz & Luxenberg is a perfect match for me,” Mr. Kerley believes.

“I try to understand my clients and give a lot of thought to how mesothelioma is affecting their lives. It’s one thing when someone has a terminal illness. That, alone, is a tremendous challenge,” Mr. Kerley reflects.

“But add to that a lawsuit and all of the legal proceedings — it makes things even harder for our clients. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be,” he continues.

“I want to do whatever I can to help make the legal process easier for them. Walk them through it. Be there every step of the way. They’re already going through so much,” Mr. Kerley states.

Sink or Swim Got Me Here

“Thanks to the first firm I worked for, I’ve gained a lot of experience in a short amount of time. Their strategy was basically to throw new attorneys into the deep end of legal preparation and trial work and see if they would sink or swim.”

“I learned to swim pretty quickly because I loved what I was doing. And the work is incredibly rewarding,” Mr. Kerley remembers.

“One of my very first experiences as a lawyer was being asked to carry a senior trial attorney’s bag. It was for a complex medical negligence trial, on behalf of the family of a deceased plaintiff. I was thrilled to be able to watch this amazing attorney in court. That experience continues to inspire me,” Mr. Kerley recalls.

Legal Experience Before W&L

Before joining W&L, Mr. Kerley worked for four years as a senior associate in a law firm handling asbestos exposure and talcum powder cases. He managed a large caseload, which took him all over the country. He litigated cases in state courts around the U.S., including: New York, New Jersey, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Connecticut, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Shortly after earning his J.D., Mr. Kerley worked for four years as an associate attorney for a firm specializing in personal injury lawsuits. Mr. Kerley was responsible for handling a variety of cases. These included construction accidents, motor vehicle accidents, property damage, premises liability, railroad accidents, and mass torts and multidistrict litigation.

He oversaw this litigation from inception to resolution, and gained extensive — near daily — courtroom experience.

Recognized for Legal Skills

Mr. Kerley is licensed to practice law in New York and South Carolina, as well as the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. He earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago John Marshall Law School in Chicago. His B.A is from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

Since receiving his J.D., Mr. Kerley has earned multiple accolades. He has been selected as an Irish 100 Rising Stars for 2016, a Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2018 – 2022, a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for 2023, and a 2023 Manhattan Civil Court Judicial Selection Committee Member.

On the Personal Side

Outside the office, Mr. Kerley enjoys spending time with his wife and son. He also loves reading, golfing, and watching baseball games.

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