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The Illinois State Bar Association’s Academy of Illinois Lawyers inducted William V. Johnson into its 11th class of Laureates during a luncheon on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, at The Standard Club in Chicago.

The 2011 Class of Laureates was recognized during a ceremony conducted by John G. O’Brien of Arlington Heights, chancellor of the Academy Board of Regents.  Seven attorneys were chosen this year, bringing the total to 102 distinguished Illinois attorneys.

Mr. Johnson, co-founder and president of Johnson & Bell, Ltd. was recognized for his many accomplishments in the legal community. He is an acclaimed litigator who has tried many high-profile catastrophic injury and mass tort cases in Chicago and across the United States. During his tenure as president since 1979, the highly-regarded firm has grown to 120 attorneys. Over the years, Mr. Johnson has tried virtually every type of civil injury case. He has also defended many commercial liability, professional liability and trade secrets cases during his career.

Mr. Johnson has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1989, Who’s Who in American Law since 1987 and The International Who’s Who of Product liability Defense Lawyers. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers and the American College of Trial Lawyers, among other groups, and is a past president of the Chicago Society of Trial Lawyers.

“Since 1999, the Academy has honored lawyers who have established and maintained the highest principles of the profession as demonstrated by their pervasive record of service to the law and the public,” said Mark D. Hassakis, ISBA president.

The Laureates are selected by the Board of Regents from submitted nominations.  To be eligible, candidates must have practiced law primarily in Illinois for at least 25 years, must be a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, and must have demonstrated a commitment to the highest principles of the legal profession and to serving the public.