Lynne M. Kizis is co-chair of the firm's Mass Tort/Class Action team and has been an attorney at Wilentz since 1989. Practicing at the forefront of complex, mass tort and class action litigation, for over 30 years Ms. Kizis has represented victims of occupational and environmental illness and defective products in trial and appellate courts in New Jersey and in federal courts.
In the courtroom, Ms. Kizis represents victims of personal injury, wrongful death, and economic loss caused by hazardous substances such as asbestos, silica, talc, lead, and toxic chemicals, as well as by unsafe drugs and medical devices, and by defective products. As the granddaughter of a coal miner and the daughter of a Johns Manville employee, Ms. Kizis takes the fight for the rights of sick and injured workers to heart, because no one should have to get sick or die while working to provide for his or her family.
At Wilentz, Ms. Kizis co-leads the Mass Tort/Class Action team, which has recovered in excess of $2 billion in aggregate settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients. Results achieved in prior matters are not meant to be a guarantee of success as the facts and legal circumstances vary from matter to matter. The team was among the first to seek justice against the asbestos industry and big tobacco, and in other pioneering litigation. Through trials and/or settlements, she reached numerous $1 million plus recoveries for her clients. It comes as no surprise that the firm has been consistently ranked top-tier nationally and in New Jersey for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in their annual “Best Law Firms” list.
In the legal community, Ms. Kizis has advocated for New Jersey workers, consumers and families through her recent service as president of the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ), a group of 2800+ attorneys who protect the rights of individuals in our courts. As NJAJ President from 2018-2019, she advocated in Trenton to preserve people’s rights under the Consumer Fraud Act, to protect their right to sue professionals for malpractice, and she fought for legislation to restore the rights of those injured in auto crashes to sue the responsible parties for their unpaid medical bills. She also advanced a strategic plan to enhance and encourage diversity, equity and inclusion within NJAJ. In addition, she led the organization though several widely lauded educational events, including the 2018 Meadowlands Seminar, which gathered nearly 1,000 participants, and the 2019 Boardwalk Seminar with nearly 2,000 participants. In recognition of her leadership and achievements as an innovator, in 2020 the NJAJ awarded Ms. Kizis its highest honor, the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service award.
Following her term as NJAJ president, Ms. Kizis continues to serve the organization on its Executive Committee (since 2011), and its Board of Governors (since 1999). She co-chairs the NJAJ Mass Tort Section, its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and serves as chair of its Political Action Committee.
In addition, Ms. Kizis serves on the Class Action Committee and Consumer Protection Law Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association and is a former chair of its Products Liability and Toxic Tort Section. For many years, Ms. Kizis served as a Bencher/Barrister Member of the Halpern – Furman Inn of Court. She serves on the Middlesex County Asbestos Advisory Committee of the Superior Court of New Jersey, and previously served on its Mass Tort Electronic Filing Committee and Mass Tort Advisory Committee.
Among her peers, Ms. Kizis has been distinguished with a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating. She has been consistently ranked in the Best Lawyers in America list since 2006, including as "Lawyer of the Year" in 2020, 2022 and 2024 for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Plaintiffs. She has also been selected for included in the New Jersey Super Lawyers list for Class Action and Mass Tort since 2008, and named to its Top 50: Women in New Jersey Super Lawyers list in 2015. In 2020, Ms. Kizis was named to the New Jersey Law Journal's 2020 lists of “Top Women in Law” for her influence in the legal profession and "New Jersey Trailblazers" for her contributions to the advancement of products liability law in New Jersey. The Middlesex County Bar Association honored her with its Civil Trial Practice Award, in recognition of her impact as a lawyer in New Jersey and her dedication to fight for the rights of those injured by toxic exposures and defective products. In addition, NJBIZ recognized her in its 2020 list of New Jersey’s "Best 50 Women in Business". In 2022, the New Jersey Association for Justice presented Ms. Kizis with the Meyer-Segal Award. The Trial Attorneys of New Jersey presented Ms. Kizis with the 2022 Trial Bar Award in “recognition of excellence, given by peers to trial attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the cause of justice.”
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In addition to her extensive mass tort, toxic tort, and class action litigation practice, Ms. Kizis is a frequent author and lecturer for the New Jersey Association for Justice, the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and Harris Martin on a variety of topics, including products liability, jurisdiction and other procedural issues, expert admissibility and other evidence issues, liens, ethics, professionalism, causation and other tort issues, consumer fraud and class action law, and issues of women in the profession. She is a contributing author of the New Jersey Mass Torts and Class Action Treatise, published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2015).
In her local community, Ms. Kizis actively supports numerous charities and community organizations. She devoted her time to provide free legal help to victims of Superstorm Sandy, even though she herself sustained damage. She also volunteered for Trial Lawyers Care, a non-profit organization launched by the American Association for Justice to offer pro bono assistance to people eligible for compensation for the harm they suffered in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.