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Johnson & Bell Shareholder, Victor J. Pioli, and Associate, Ramses (RJ) Jalalpour, received an award for the Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Legal Malpractice Case at the 2019 Trial Lawyer Excellence Awards.  The Jury Verdict Reporter, a division of Law Bulletin Media, hosted its annual reception and awards program for Trial Lawyer Excellence on October 24, 2019 at the Hilton Regency Chicago.

This case involved a legal malpractice claim in which Mr. Pioli and Mr. Jalalpour secured a defense verdict in favor of deceased attorney, J. Richard Hisaw, and his law firm in a legal negligence case involving a foreclosed commercial property. The plaintiff asked for $500,000 in damages.  Attorneys Pioli and Jalalpour achieved the jury verdict despite the fact that two of their three key witnesses, including their client, were deceased at the time of the trial. Mr. Hisaw passed away unexpectedly on December 5, 2017. In addition, George Collins, who served as Mr. Hisaw’s attorney and witnessed certain underlying events relevant to the dispute, passed away in October 2016. After eight days of trial, the jury reached a verdict in favor of Johnson & Bell’s client.  For more information about the trial, please click here.

Mr. Pioli handles a variety of commercial matters, including trial and appellate work on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts. His client list ranges from large corporations and government entities to individuals. He’s litigated simple contract disputes, complex securities disputes and antitrust matters, to name just a few representative cases. He also concentrates his practice defending professionals in malpractice matters and has successfully tried several such cases to verdict.

Mr. Jalalpour concentrates his practice in the areas of professional liability and business litigation. He also focuses on appellate law. Mr. Jalalpour's experience includes cases involving breach of contract, legal malpractice representing divorce and personal injury attorneys, securities arbitration, and product liability and personal injury matters.

In the past four years, Johnson & Bell attorneys have been recognized for JVR Trial Excellence Awards three times.  In addition to this year’s award, in 2018, William V. Johnson, Shareholder and Chairman, received the Defense Attorney Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016, John W. Bell, Shareholder and Vice Chairman, received the Litigation Defense Attorney Achievement Award.