Frank Pasternak Selected to The Best Lawyers in America


The Best Lawyers in America Letter - Asbestos Wisconsin

Wisconsin personal injury lawyer Frank Pasternak was recently selected to The Best Lawyers in America.

 How large is the problem of motor vehicle-related deaths among children?
  • Injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 1-14 years old. In 1998, they accounted for 46% of all unintentional injury-related deaths in this age group.
  • Since 1975, the motor vehicle-related death rate for children between 0-12 years has decreased 49%. Death rates for pedestrians and bicyclists declined about 70%, while death rates among child passengers in motor vehicles decreased 13%.
  • In 1998, 2,027 children 12 years old and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those who died, 65% were passengers in vehicles, 23% were pedestrians, and 7% were pedalcyclists.

What is the role of alcohol in child passenger injuries and fatalities?

  • Nearly 24% of children 0-14 years old who died in motor vehicle crashes in 1985-1996 were killed in alcohol-related crashes.
  • Results from the same study showed that 64% of all child passengers who died in motor vehicle crashes involving a drinking driver with a BAC > 0.10 g/dL were riding in the impaired driver’s car.

What can be done to improve child passenger safety?

  • When properly installed in passenger cars, child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 71% for infants (younger than one year old), and by 54% for toddlers (between 1 and 4 years of age).
  • 57% of motor vehicle occupants 0-15 years old who were killed in fatal crashes were unrestrained.

What percent of children wear occupant restraints in the United States?

  • A 1996 survey found that 85% of infants, 60% of children aged 1-4 years, and 65% of youths aged 5-15 years were restrained.
  • Restraint use by young children varies by driver restraint use. Only one of four children between 1-4 years old who rides with an unrestrained driver is restrained.
  • Many children ride in child safety seats that are not properly secured. A survey of nearly 6,000 children found that only 21% of children in safety seats were properly restrained.

When should rear-facing child safety seats be used?

    • The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants ride in rear-facing safety seats until they are at least 20 pounds and 1 year old. When used properly, these seats reduce the risk of neck injury to infants.
    • Infants riding in rear-facing child safety seats should never be placed in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side air bag.

When should children switch from rear to forward-facing child safety seats?

  • Generally, children who have outgrown their rear facing seats and are at least 1 year of age and 20 pounds, up to 40 pounds, should ride in forward facing safety seats as long as they fit (i.e., ears should be below the top of the back of the seat, with shoulders below the seat strap slots).

How should children be restrained when they have outgrown their child safety seat?

  • Regardless of age, children who have outgrown their child safety seat (e.g., weigh more than 40 pounds or stand taller than 40 inches) should use a belt-positioning booster seat. Lap/shoulder belts usually do not fit properly until a child is 4″10″ tall and weighs 80 lbs. Most children under 10 should use a booster seat to ride safely.

Are air bags dangerous for children?

  • Yes. Currently air bags inflate at speeds of up to 200 mph. This blast of energy can severely hurt or kill passengers who are too close to the air bag. Children are more likely than adults to be too close to an air bag when it deploys.
  • Until passenger vehicles are equipped with air bags that are safe and effective for children, those who are 12 years old and younger should not ride in a front passenger seat that is equipped with an air bag.

Recommendations for preventing injuries to infants and children

  • All children 12 years old or younger should be properly secured in the back seat whenever possible this reduces their risk of fatal injury by 36%. Air bag-related injuries that have occurred to children would have been prevented if the children had been riding in the back seat. Regardless of whether the vehicle has an air bag, the rear seat is the safest seating position.
  • Infants in rear-facing child safety seats should never ride in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with a passenger air bag. Infants in rear-facing child safety seats must always ride in the back seat facing the rear of the car.
  • All children should be placed in the restraint device that offers the maximum protection for their size and age.
  • Children who have outgrown child safety seats and booster seats must wear seat belts. Shoulder belts should never be placed behind the passenger’s back or under an arm.


Wisconsin mesothelioma lung cancer cases

Over the past 15 years, our firm has helped recover over $25,000,000 for asbestos related Wisconsin mesothelioma lung cancer cases.  Mesothelioma is a horrid disease that results from chronic inhalation and exposure to asbestos.  Mesothelioma is a lung cancer of the thin membranes lining the abdomen and internal organs (cancer of the mesothelium).  Cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order.

Asbestos is a known human carcinogen or cancer-causing agent.  In Wisconsin, asbestos has been used in building materials, paper products and plastics.   Asbestos is also found in Wisconsin in asbestos-cements, friction products, textiles, packings and gaskets and asbestos-reinforced plastics.  As a result, we have participated in many Wisconsin mesothelioma lung cancer cases.

Mesothelioma has caused the death of many Wisconsin residents.  Nationwide, more than 250,000 individuals are known to have died from mesothelioma.  Wisconsin asbestos sites include breweries, mills, power plants, utility operations, nuclear energy plants, utility construction facilities, WE a/k/a WEPCO a/k/a Wisconsin Energies plants, hospitals, universities (University of Wisconsin) and other colleges, and locations.  Mesothelioma is typically caused at indoor facilities where asbestos was released into the air.

Mesothelioma symptoms may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.  Shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleura are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.  Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease and patient’s age and general health.  Standard options include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

If a you or a loved one need assistance with a Wisconsin mesothelioma lung cancer case, please call.

Wisconsin personal injury attorney Frank Pasternak has worked 18 years with highly regarded personal injury and wrongful death attorneys. His experience includes working in Chicago, Illinois with nationally renowned personal injury lawyers Robert Clifford, Philip Corboy and Thomas Demetrio. He next practiced as a Wisconsin personal injury attorney in Milwaukee working at two of Milwaukee’s old guard personal injury law firms litigating wrongful death trials and personal injury lawsuits with and against Wisconsin personal injury attorneys for the plaintiff and defense recognized in Milwaukee Magazine and Best Lawyers in America.

Attorney Pasternak was honored as one of the Top 50 “Super Lawyers” in the December 2009 issue of Milwaukee Magazine, as chosen by his peers and through independent research of Law & Politics.  Only the Top 8 plaintiff’s personal injury law firms in Wisconsin have any such personal injury attorneys.   Attorney Pasternak was also voted “Best Attorney” by CNI Newspapers in its “Best of the Burbs” survey and is an AV® Preeminet rated attorney.

Throughout his career as a Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Frank Pasternak has focused only on personal injury and wrongful death cases. Such litigation has been primarily in Wisconsin, but has involved cases in Arkansas, California, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah. Several of these personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements, including a falling merchandise trial against Wal-Mart, which in 2001, resulted in a final judgment of $8,956,879.00 that including interest resulted in a recovery exceeding $11,400,000.00.


  • American Association for Justice: Charter Member, President’s Club; Past Wisconsin State Delegate; Board of Governors, New Lawyers Division; Member, Section on Toxic, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Torts; and Member, Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Liability Section
  • Wisconsin Association for Justice: Board of Directors; Sustaining Member; and Past-Chair New Lawyers Section
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation
  • Roscoe Pound Foundation
  • Civil Justice Foundation
  • Waukesha County Bar Association
  • St. Thomas More Society
  • Brookfield Chamber of Commerce

Selected Speeches & Lectures

  • “A Crash Course in Trial Preparation & Trial Notebooks,” Wisconsin Association for Justice, December 2008, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • “Preparation and Commencement of Litigation,” Milwaukee Bar Association, April 2008, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • “Litigation Skills for Legal Staff”, Lorman, Inc., June 2007, Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • “Litigation Skills for Legal Staff”, Lorman, Inc., June 2006, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • “A Practical Refresher on Litigating the Wisconsin Auto Injury Case,” National Business Institute, November 2004, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • “Paralegal’s Role with Minor Settlements,” Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers Spring Seminar, February, 2004, Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • “Perfecting Minor Settlements,” Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers Tort & Technique Seminar, October, 2003, Madison, Wisconsin
  • “Wisconsin Injury & Hospitality Law,” Milwaukee Area Technical College, March, 2003, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • “Adjusting Motor Vehicle Accident/Premises Liability Personal Injury Claims in Wisconsin,” National Business Institute, November 2002, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • “Motions in Limine in the Connective Tissue Case,” Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers Tort & Technique Seminar, October, 1999, Madison, Wisconsin
  • “An Internet Primer for Lawyers: On-Line Marketing, Research and Ethics,” Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers Convention, December, 1997, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • “What do you wish someone had told you about being a litigator?”, University of Wisconsin Law School, November 1997, Madison, Wisconsin

Selected Publications

  • “Rebutting Anti-Civil Justice Propaganda,” The Verdict, Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers, 23:2, Summer 2000
  • “Permitting Pretrial Discovery of Surveillance Material is Long Overdue,” The Verdict, Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers, 23:1, Spring 2000
  • “Tortfeasors Try to Profit from Managed Care,” The Verdict, Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers, 22:3, Summer 1999
  • “Important Steps in Discovery Against Wal-Mart,” ATLA Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway & Premises Liability Section Newsletter, Fall 1998

Editor & Instructor

  • James Publishing Company, Editorial Advisory Board, 2008
  • Marquette University Mock Trial Team, 1995-1998, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Community Service

  • Brookfield Soccer Association
  • Elmbrook Education Foundation
  • Elmbrook School District, D.A.R.E. Program Sponsor
  • St. John Vianney Parish, Parish Council and Christian Formation Board
  • The Guest House of Milwaukee
  • Archdiocese of Milwaukee: Campanile Society and Saint Francis Seminary Pallium Scholarship
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Catholic Charities, Good Samaritan Society
  • Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts
  • Brookfield Central High School
  • Brookfield Junior Lancers, Board Member
  • City of Brookfield, Wisconsin, Police & Fire Commission, Commissioner

Wisconsin personal injury attorney Jeff Zirgibel has worked 15 years to help people injured or killed in accidents. His experience includes being mentored by preeminent Iowa personal injury attorney Nicholas Critelli. Jeff also worked at the Iowa Protection and Advocacy Agency helping individuals with disabilities that were injured due to someone else’s negligence. Jeff returned to Wisconsin in 1996 and has dedicated his entire practice to personal injury law litigating personal injury and wrongful death cases with and against Wisconsin personal injury attorneys for the plaintiff and defense that are recognized in Milwaukee Magazine and the Best Lawyers In America.

Attorney Zirgibel was honored as a “Super Lawyer” in the December 2009 issue of Milwaukee Magazine, as chosen by his peers and through independent research of Law & Politics. With all of Jeff’s trial experience he became Board Certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy on July 21, 2003.  He was one of the youngest lawyers in the country to ever receive that honor.

Throughout his career as a Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Jeff Zirgibel has focused only on personal injury and wrongful death cases. Such litigation has been primarily in Wisconsin, but has involved cases in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. His work for plaintiffs in personal injury matters has resulted in millions of dollars in settlements for his clients.


  • American Association for Justice
  • Wisconsin Association for Justice: Member Speakers Bureau; Medical Records Task Force; and Litigation Committee.
  • State Bar of Wisconsin: Board of Governors
  • Waukesha County Bar Association
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy

Selected Speeches & Lectures

  • “Ethical Considerations in Personal Injury Litigation,” NBI, Inc., December 2007, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • “Intro to Law,” April 2, 2008, Marquette University
  • “Reality Day.” Greendale High School 2006 to Present


  • Wisconsin Lutheran High School Mock Trial Team, 2000-2002, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, B.A., 1993
  • Drake University Law School, J.D., 1996
  • Member, Drake Law Journal Staff
  • Member, Blackstone Inn of Court
  • Member, Drake Law School Development Committee
  • Member, Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity
  • Student Attorney Drake Legal Clinic

Community Service

  • Merton Athletic Association: Board of Directors, Coach K-1 Soccer, Coach Pitch Baseball 5-6yr old League Director
  • Menomonee Falls Community Chamber: Board of Directors, Chair Membership services committee
  • YMCA coach: 4-5 year old Soccer, 5-6 year old basketball
  • Oakwood Church, Delafield, WI
  • Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts, Lead Sponsor for Wilson Center Golf Classic
  • Lake Country Rotary
  • Upwards Basketball K-1 Coach
  • Brookfield Chamber of Commerce