Ivan Gustafson, the son of a 33 year U.S. Marine officer, grew up in an environment in which one’s word is sacred, and duty and honor were prized values. He carries those values into the courtroom. He is frequently complimented by opposing counsel for his ability to press a vigorous defense position while being faithful to his core values of candor and trustworthiness. He is an avid student of the science of decision making and juror persuasion. He values what can be learned by talking and listening to people from all walks of life.
Ivan is admitted to the bars of West Virginia (1984), Georgia (1988), Mississippi (2003) and Texas (2006). He graduated from Dickinson College Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia in 1984 and his professional focus has been on high stakes litigation.
Ivan has concentrated his practice in toxic torts, principally the defense of asbestos injury claims, since 1987. Ivan has successfully tried consolidated and individual asbestos cases in each of the last four decades. Before this specialization, he had a general practice in a small town in West Virginia where he was exposed to the many ways law impacts people’s lives. He credits this experience with giving him both the ability to tap into the core values of jurors at trial and an excellent feel for the presentation of complex issues to laypersons. While at Evert Weathersby Houff he has been able to use his experience on a national level, assisting in the development of national trial and discovery strategies to allow clients to examine, test, revise and adapt to evolving litigation realities.
Ivan has spent his legal career implementing and improving mass and repetitive tort litigation strategies for his clients. He has focused upon and has experience in the adaptation of national defense strategies to the circumstances and conditions of a case being litigated. Consistent with the firm philosophy of innovative adaptation, he understands that trial tactics must adapt to the unpredictable circumstances that every case presents, but that those adaptations must not compromise the strategic goals of the client.
Ivan has successfully defended clients as lead trial counsel in asbestos trials in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Texas and Washington, D.C. Ivan co-authored a chapter of the first edition of Dr. Victor Roggli’s definitive work on asbestos-related disease and maintains extensive contact and access to experts in all medical and scientific specialty fields related to the trial of asbestos cases. Ivan is frequently called upon by clients to provide specific attention to significant litigation matters.
Ivan is also responsible for the management of cases and acts in the lead counsel role in the jurisdictions of Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi.
- Juris Doctor, The University of Virginia School of Law, 1984
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Phi Delta Phi
- Bachelor of Science, Dickinson College, 1981, magna cum laude
- State Bar of West Virginia
- State Bar of Georgia
- State Bar of Mississippi
- State Bar of Texas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
- United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia