Symone Shinton is a Partner at Stinar Gould Grieco & Hensley (SGGH). She practices within the firm’s Mass Tort practice group handling cases involving institutional sexual abuse, toxic exposures, and defective products. Raised by a single, immigrant mother, Symone was the first generation in her family to obtain an education. She graduated valedictorian of the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Prior to joining SGGH, Symone spent her career at premier defense firms, developing expertise in defending chemical manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies from complex mass torts and personal injury claims based on allegedly defective products. She now uses her expertise in defending institutions to represent individuals who have been harmed by them. 

A survivor of child sexual abuse herself, Symone has been advocating for the legal rights of survivors since she was in law school. There, she authored Pedophiles Don’t Retire: Why the Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes Against Children Must Be Abolished, which unpacks the many valid reasons that trauma may impact the time a survivor needs to be ready to disclose their abuse to a third party. 92 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 317, 335–36 (2017). Symone’s publication has been cited by state supreme courts, relied upon in legislative advocacy, and embraced by the child advocacy community at large, including organizations like Child USA and Shared Hope International. See, e.g., Mitchell v. Roberts, 469 P.3d 901 (Utah 2020).

Alongside Managing Partner Parker Stinar’s leadership, Symone represents the firm’s over 300 sexual abuse survivors of former Chicago OBGYN Fabio Ortega against the prominent healthcare systems who employed him: NorthShore, Swedish Covenant, and Endeavor Health. She is privileged to build relationships with these women and support them as they both heal privately and share their stories publicly with major media outlets. This litigation is ongoing.

In her prior career, Symone was most valued for her strength in defending and taking high-stakes depositions in complex products liability cases. As national counsel for a Fortune 500 company facing thousands of toxic tort lawsuits across the country, Symone was the only associate-level attorney authorized to take and defend both fact and expert witness depositions. In a Multi-District Litigation that resulted in a historic $12.5 billion settlement for drinking water contamination claims, Symone prepared witnesses and defended depositions against plaintiff attorneys who are members of the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. These witnesses include chief medical officers, corporate executives, toxicologists, environmental scientists, product stewards, environmental health and safety regulatory specialists, analytical chemists, and various engineers. Symone has also defended and taken dozens of expert witness depositions focused on complex subjects like analytical chemistry and global supply chains as well as medical doctors like oncologists and primary care physicians. Above all else, Symone’s advocacy is founded on principles of human connection and human dignity. She takes pride in the privilege to break down complicated subjects and make them understandable for those who do not have access to legal or medical training. 

In law school, Symone excelled in both written and oral advocacy. As a member of the Chicago-Kent Trial Team, Symone was awarded three separate Best Advocate awards—one for every round she competed in—at the Stetson Pretrial Competition in St. Petersburg, Florida. The following year, she pivoted to appellate advocacy, joined the Moot Court team, and won first place in the Ilana Diamond Rovner competition arguing before sitting judges on the Seventh Circuit. Symone received the highest grade in her class eleven times, including her products liability and trial advocacy courses. She graded on to the Law Review and her article was published. As a practicing attorney, Symone has received the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star award for the last four consecutive years she has practiced. Symone has also spearheaded various diversity and inclusion initiatives, including creating and leading an Antiracist Book Club at her prior firm.

PUBLICATIONS, SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS & LEGAL PRESENTATIONS

Symone Shinton, Pedophiles Don’t Retire, Why the Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes against Children Must Be Abolished, 92 Chi.-Kent. L. Rev. 317
Symone Shinton, Products Liability Expert Analysis: Illinois Has Raised Liability Risk for Nonmanufacturer Cos., Law360
Symone Shinton, Affirming the Joint Defense Privilege in Illinois, Law360
Symone Shinton, Married on Saturday, Fired on Monday: The Seventh Circuit Attempts to Navigate LGBT Rights after Obergefell, 12 Seventh Circuit Rev. 33
Symone Shinton, Careful Communications Training for All Employees, Corporate Disputes Magazine
Symone Shinton (co-author), Updates on E-Cigarette Litigation and Practitioner Takeaways Related to Social Media Marketing, Product Liability IADC Committee Newsletter

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

National Trial Lawyers (NTL), Member

Top 40 under 40

Chicago Bar Association’s Media and Civic Education Board, Lawyers in the Classroom Program

 Board Member (2023-2024)

Step Up Women’s Network

Board Member (2020-2021)

J.D., summa cum laude, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Valedictorian, Order of the Coif
Chicago Kent-Trial Team
Chicago-Kent Law Review, Executive Articles Editor
Author, Pedophiles Don’t Retire: Why the Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes Against Children Must Be Abolished, 92 -Kent L. Rev. 317, 335–36 (2017)
Chicago Kent Moot Court Team

B.S., summa cum laude, Florida State University

State of Illinois

 District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers®, 2020-2023

Speaker, Trial Lawyers of Mass Torts (Cabo, 2023)

Chicago Kent College of Law Outstanding Pro Bono Alumni Award, 2019

Best Advocate—Stetson Law National Pretrial Competition

Ilana Diamond Rovner Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy

CALI Awards for receiving the highest grade in the class

Torts, Products Liability, Trial Advocacy, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Appellate Advocacy, Legislation, Supreme Court Review, Law Literature & Feminism, International Trade Law