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WJA 2020: Jacqueline Redmond, Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard

Jacqueline Redmond defends companies large and small, from the Fortune 500 to mom-and-pop operations.

As a shareholder at Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, Redmond specializes in civil litigation defenses in toxic torts, chemical litigation and product liability matters. In the past two years, she’s won the dismissals of several cases and negotiated major settlements.

Jacqueline Redmond

Redmond

Her job is high-volume and high-stress, she said, but she manages her responsibilities and team by remaining in the moment and giving her all to the client at hand.

“I think people are stressed so thin by just giving pieces of themselves to a thousand different places, but I focus and get good results and client service,” she said. “Ultimately it is about relationships, and I love having that close client contact because I can provide good service and advocate for my client.”

Redmond grew up on a small farm in impoverished Girard, Illinois — an experience that honed her sense of fairness.

“You see a lot of injustice when you are around people who have no voice,” she said.

Intending to make a difference in the world, she initially considered joining the Peace Corps or the Foreign Service with the U.S. Department of State. Instead, she graduated from George Washington University in 1999 and enrolled at Saint Louis University School of Law, where she was managing editor of the Public Law Review and an intern with Land of Lincoln Legal Services in Alton, Illinois.

“The same sort of people who came into [Legal Services] were like the people I grew up with,” she said. “They were victims of domestic violence, people who had been wrongfully evicted from their homes, people who had been taken advantage of by others, people who had no voice. I was moved by that and thought this was a little part of making a difference.”

Redmond remained involved with the legal aid organization after graduating from SLU Law and later became president of the Young Friends of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. She is now on the board of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, and she encourages other attorneys to get involved with Legal Services and help the underrepresented in society.

“We have to take care of those who have no voice. Otherwise, what are we doing anything for?” she said. “We have our jobs, but our job also is to help others.”

Redmond predicts the need for volunteer attorneys will be even greater after the COVID-19 crisis, with so many people out of work while the economy recovers. She expects Legal Services will be called on to address much of that need.

She also served as the pro bono coordinator for Sandberg Phoenix — “An amazing experience” — encouraging young attorneys to volunteer and helping them to find routes to give back to those less fortunate. Missouri Lawyers Media also honored her for her pro bono work in its Up & Coming Awards in 2017.

Among her greatest challenges: balancing motherhood and her professional career while mentoring another young woman attorney in a male-dominated industry, Redmond said. But she said she takes pride in defying the odds as a farm girl from a poor town who now negotiates huge deals with major companies.

“If I can encourage one person, one young lady, to be able to accomplish their goals, my job is done,” she said.

2020 Women's Justice Awards