Trial Lawyer Excellence Award Winners for 2017 Announced

(Chicago, IL) — Nearly 300 trial attorneys and Illinois judges were in attendance on the evening of October 26th as the Jury Verdict Reporter, a division of Law Bulletin Media, hosted its 8th annual awards for Trial Lawyer Excellence. The by-invitation-only event at the Peninsula Chicago recognized the outstanding achievements of 30 professionals from both sides of the trial bar in civil litigation.

Additionally, judges Hon. Lorna E. Propes and Hon. Dorothy French Mallen were recognized with Lifetime Achievement awards for their body of work, leadership, mentoring and contributions to the legal community.

“We’ve been publishing civil jury verdicts for nearly 60 years, and this is the 8th year that we have recognized the state’s top civil litigation attorneys,” said John Kirkton, Editor, Jury Verdict Reporter. “I congratulate this year’s Trial Lawyer Excellence award winners, as well as our two lifetime achievement awardees.”

The 2017 Trial Lawyer Excellence award winners are:

Plaintiff Attorney Achievement Award
Clifford W. Horwitz, Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates
Todd A. Smith, Power Rogers & Smith LLP

Defense Attorney Achievement Award
Alton C. Haynes, Haynes Studnicka Kahan & Poulakidas LLC
Bill Porter, Chilton Yambert Porter LLP
Mary Kay Scott, Brenner Monroe Scott & Anderson Ltd

Highest Reported Illinois Verdict or Settlement Since the 2016 TLE Award Event
Michael J. Dowd, Robbins, Geller, Rudman & Dowd

Highest Reported Illinois Verdict for a Knee Injury
James P. Costello, Costello McMahon Burke & Murphy Ltd
Thomas O. Plouff, Costello McMahon Burke & Murphy Ltd

Highest Reported Illinois Verdict or Settlement for Legionnaires’ Disease
Melanie K. Fairman, Seidman Margulis & Fairman
Matthew B. Heinlen, Capron & Avgerinos
Steven J. Seidman, Seidman Margulis & Fairman

Highest Reported Illinois Verdict for Defamation
Joanne Hannaway Sweeney, Sweeney & Scharkey LLC
Robert D. Sweeney, Sweeney & Scharkey LLC

Highest Reported Stephenson County Wrongful Death Verdict or Settlement
Tara R. Devine, Salvi Schostok & Pritchard PC
John A. Mennie, Salvi Schostok & Pritchard PC
Elizabeth R. Olszewski, Salvi Schostok & Pritchard PC

Highest Reported Verdict or Settlement in Jackson County
William T. Gibbs, Corboy & Demetrio PC
Mark D. Prince, Prince Law Firm

Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Tracked Vehicle Case
Elizabeth A. Graham, Union Pacific Railroad Law Dept.
Thomas E. Jones, Thompson Coburn LLP

Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Civil Rights Case
Michael R. Hartigan, Hartigan & O’Connor
Patrick H. O’Connor, Hartigan & O’Connor

Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Product Liability Case
John M. Kelly, Adler Murphy & McQuillen
Michael G. McQuillen, Adler Murphy & McQuillen

Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Street Hazard Case
Erika G. Baldonado, Schain Banks Kenny & Schwartz Ltd
Michael E. Kujawa, Schain Banks Kenny & Schwartz Ltd

Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Pedestrian Case
Kimberly A. Davis, SpyratosDavis LLC
Dimitrios E. Spyratos, SpyratosDavis LLC

Outstanding Defense Verdict in an Auto Collision Case
Melanie K. Nelson, Chicago Corporation Counsel
James F. Ormond, Chicago Corporation Counsel

Top Firm in the Chicago Lawyer Settlement Report
Power Rogers & Smith LLP

Lifetime Achievement Award
Hon. Dorothy French Mallen, Circuit Court, 18th Judicial Circuit
Hon. Lorna E. Propes, Circuit Court of Cook County

The Jury Verdict Reporter editorial staff reviewed the hundreds of significant Illinois jury verdicts and negotiated settlements that they had investigated, summarized and published. Only those that resulted in record-setting awards for the plaintiffs or notable defense outcomes in cases with a high verdict potential were honored with a Trial Lawyer Excellence award.

The Jury Verdict Reporter conducts objective research on Illinois matters and provides in-depth case reports including a detailed fact analysis, type of case, jurisdiction, a list of attorneys, judges and experts involved, and itemized award breakdown. JVR’s extensive information has been included in Lawyerport as part of Law Bulletin Media’s mission to integrate and link all of our content.

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