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Johnson & Bell Attorneys Designated Best Lawyers® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America  

August 18, 2022

Johnson & Bell Shareholders John W. Bell, Garrett L. Boehm, Jr., Robert M. Burke, Edward W. Hearn, Matthew L. Johnson, William V. Johnson, Joseph R. Marconi, H. Patrick Morris, Charles P. Rantis, Gregory E. Schiller, Sharon L. Stanzione and Counsel, D. Patterson Gloor, have been recognized by Best Lawyers® in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. In addition, Monica Burkoth, Julie J. Busch, Margaret A. Connery, Matthew P. D’Avanzo, Ramses Jalalpour, David F. Jasinski, Adam J. Sedia, David J. Thompson, Jessica K. Velez and David A. Warnick have been included in the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America 2023 edition.

Best Lawyers® lists are assembled by conducting peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers evaluate their professional peers on a confidential basis. The lists are intended to achieve the consensus opinion of leading lawyers regarding the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same legal practice area and geographical area.

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ lists are assembled in the same way as the Best Lawyers® lists. Recipients typically have been practicing between 5-9 years, and in that time have showed professional excellence in private practice.

Best Lawyers®

John W. Bell is a Shareholder and co-founder of Johnson & Bell and concentrates his practice in product liability and defense of complex/catastrophic litigation, with a focus on defense of personal injury litigation. Mr. Bell has been included in The Best Lawyers in America© since 1995.  Mr. Bell has been honored with numerous awards for his litigation defense success, including receiving the Litigation Defense Achievement Award in 2016 at the Jury Verdict Reporter Trial Excellence Awards Ceremony. He is being recognized in the area of personal injury litigation.

Garrett L. Boehm, Jr., is a Shareholder, chair of the firm’s Class Action practice, co-chair of the firm’s Appellate practice, and co-chair of the firm’s Environmental practice.  He concentrates his practice in appellate law, business litigation, class action law, employment, environmental and toxic tort law. Mr. Boehm has prosecuted and defended appeals in a wide array of tort, contract, class action and administrative law matters before all Illinois courts of review and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in the area of appellate practice.

Robert M. Burke is the President of the firm, as well as the co-chair of Johnson & Bell’s Transportation group and works extensively in transportation litigation, including trucking and railroad. He also focuses on products liability, general negligence, premises liability and retail liability. Recognizing his success as a litigator, his peers have nominated him with an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in the area of personal injury litigation.

D. Patterson (Pat) Gloor is Of Counsel with Johnson & Bell and has represented some of the country’s biggest companies in their most important civil litigation. Mr. Gloor’s mass tort defense work involves defending companies across a wide spectrum of issues, and he has tried more than 200 cases to verdict, in state and federal courts across the country, winning a national reputation for his skill with juries. Mr. Gloor is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in the areas of commercial litigation and product liability litigation.

Edward W. Hearn is a Shareholder in Johnson & Bell's Crown Point, Indiana office. He focuses his practice in product liability, commercial litigation, transportation law and insurance coverage. He has tried cases to verdict in courts throughout Northern Indiana, handling all aspects of civil litigation, as well as coverage opinions and declaratory judgment actions.  Mr. Hearn is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in the area of personal injury litigation.

Matthew L. Johnson is a Shareholder and a Vice President of the firm.  During his career, he has been ranked and recognized in Leading Lawyers, Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America for his professional achievements. Matt has a litigation and trial practice involving representation of insureds including healthcare delivery systems, long-term care facilities, schools and universities, and hospitality chains.  He has been with Johnson & Bell since 1995, and has had an active trial practice in Chicago’s Cook County, and the suburban Chicago and downstate Illinois collar counties since 2006.  He has experience in representing health care providers in investigations and actions brought by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. He is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in the area of medical malpractice law.

Joseph R. Marconi is Chairman of the firm’s Board of Directors, as well as chair of Johnson & Bell’s Business Litigation group and Commercial Transactions group. He handles and supervises complex civil litigation, including real estate and commercial disputes, professional liability and employment law. Mr. Marconi is a member of the Lawyers Committee of the National Center for State Courts, which works with state chief justices and state court leaders on judicial reform issues.  He also is a member of the Lawyers for Civil Justice and participates on its Civil Justice Fellows Program, along with representatives of corporate America and other law firm leaders. He is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in professional malpractice law.

H. Patrick Morris is a Shareholder and chair of the Toxic Tort practice.  He concentrates his practice in First Amendment/Media litigation, business litigation, class actions, products liability, and toxic tort claims, as well as the investigation and trial of regulatory matters (including OSHA hearings and investigations).  He is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in the areas of mass tort litigation and class actions.

Charles P. Rantis is a Shareholder and concentrates his practice in product liability, construction litigation, premises liability, transportation litigation and defending public utilities. A seasoned litigator, Mr. Rantis has successfully defended manufacturers of ladders, construction equipment, fire trucks, power tools, coil processing equipment and electrical components. He is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in the area of personal injury litigation.

Gregory E. Schiller is a Shareholder and co-chair of the firm’s Health Care group.  He focuses on health care law and has tried numerous medical malpractice cases to verdict throughout the state of Illinois. He's handled matters involving a variety of medical specialties, including anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, trauma surgery, neurology, pediatric neurology, obstetrical nursing and surgical nursing.  He has also tried cases to verdict on behalf of long-term care facilities that involve the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act.  He is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in the area of medical malpractice law.

Sharon L. Stanzione is a Shareholder in our Crown Point, Indiana office. She focuses exclusively on medical malpractice litigation, representing hospitals, long-term care facilities, physicians, nurses and other health care organizations and professionals.  For 25 years, Ms. Stanzione has successfully navigated Indiana’s medical review panel system receiving favorable results at the panel stage and at trial. She has also helped shape Indiana medical malpractice law through her arguments to the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Court of Appeals, and the Seventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals. Ms. Stanzione has been recognized by her peers with an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell demonstrating that she has reached the highest level of professional excellence, skill, and integrity. Ms. Stanzione is being recognized by Best Lawyers® in health care law.

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America

Monica Burkoth is a Shareholder and focuses her practice on municipal liability, class actions, civil rights law and prison litigation. Her clients include municipalities, law enforcement officers, medical professionals and security personnel.  Ms. Burkoth has successfully defended cases in both state and federal court, and has an excellent record in obtaining favorable jury verdicts, dismissals and summary judgment rulings.  Ms. Burkoth has tried more than 45 jury trials to verdict.  She has been included in the 2021 and 2022 editions of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch and has been recognized as an "Emerging Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers in 2021 and 2022, and as a "Rising Star" by Illinois Super Lawyers every year since 2018.

Julie J. Busch is a Shareholder and concentrates her practice in general negligence, as well as transportation and retail litigation. She has assisted with all aspects of litigation, mediation, settlement, and jury trials for large, complex disputes in transportation litigation, complex brain injury, and retail litigation.  Her clients include transportation companies, refuse and recycling companies, food companies and retailers.  Julie is being recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in the areas of personal injury litigation and transportation law.

Margaret A. Connery is an Associate Attorney and concentrates her practice on the defense of hospitals and healthcare professionals against claims of medical malpractice. She practices in both state and federal court, and has represented clients in a wide variety of personal injury insurance defense matters. She has vast experience representing hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, and other health care professionals in all phases of personal injury litigation, including various appeals.  These cases have included high-exposure matters involving catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims.  She has participated in several trials throughout her career, and has successfully avoided trial by obtaining summary judgment on various occasions.  Maggie is being recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in the area of medical malpractice law.

Matthew P. D’Avanzo is a Shareholder and focuses on health care law, with a concentration in medical malpractice defense. He has defended numerous cases relating to medical malpractice and the Nursing Home Care Act. In addition to his health care law practice, Mr. D’Avanzo has successfully participated in jury trials, summary judgments and dismissals on cases involving false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation. He was selected as an Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star for the years 2015-2020. Rising Star, Illinois Super Lawyers 2015-2020. He is recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in the area of medical malpractice law.

Ramses Jalalpour (RJ) is a Shareholder and 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, breach of fiduciary duty, legal malpractice suits against attorneys from all areas of the law, securities arbitration, product liability, and personal injury matters.  RJ is recognized as a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in commercial litigation.

David F. Jasinski is an Associate Attorney with Johnson & Bell where he concentrates his practice in health care law, focusing on medical malpractice and long-term care defense. Mr. Jasinski represents physicians, nurses, medical practices and nursing homes in a wide variety of medical negligence matters throughout Illinois and at the federal level in civil rights and correctional healthcare litigation matters.  He has successfully prevailed on numerous dispositive motions while also participating in several jury trials during his career. Mr. Jasinski has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star each year since 2018. He is recognized as a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in health care law.

Adam J. Sedia is an Associate Attorney in our Crown Point, Indiana office. He focuses on complex litigation matters, with particular focus on medical malpractice litigation defense and appellate cases. He frequently litigates cases before the Indiana appellate courts and the Seventh Circuit, and decisions from his cases have addressed evidentiary, contract, employment, and even criminal issues. Additionally, he handles all aspects of complex civil, commercial, and probate litigation at the trial level in state and federal courts in Indiana and Illinois.  He is recognized as a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in the area of appellate practice.

David J. Thompson is a Shareholder in the firm’s Health Care practice.  He concentrates his practice on health care law, with a focus on medical malpractice and Illinois Nursing Home Care Act defense. His cases cover a wide range of claims brought against hospitals, physicians, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and supportive living facilities throughout Illinois. Since joining Johnson & Bell in 2015, Mr. Thompson has successfully defended over 150 medical malpractice and long-term care cases for his clients.  He is recognized as a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in medical malpractice law.

Jessica K. Velez is an Associate Attorney and concentrates her practice in construction law, focusing on premises liability and general negligence cases. In addition, Ms. Velez defends public utilities in a wide range of matters involving serious bodily injury. She has extensive experience in all stages of personal injury litigation, including voir dire, motions in limine, cross and direct examination of fact witnesses, open and closing statements, and jury instructions.  Ms. Velez is being recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in the areas of construction law and personal injury litigation.

David A. Warnick is a Shareholder and concentrates his practice in transportation, product liability and general liability. His cases have ranged from defending commercial transportation carriers, refuse and recycling companies, and private ambulance services, among others. Mr. Warnick’s practice also includes defending excess liability carriers in the most catastrophic types of losses. He also handles a variety of large exposure products liability cases that involve warnings and/or product defect issues in the context of both subrogation and/or personal injury. Mr. Warnick is being recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in the area of transportation law.

Lastly, the Best Lawyers® designation was awarded posthumously to former firm President, William (Bill) Johnson. Mr. Johnson was a nationally known trial lawyer who tried hundreds of cases to verdict all over the country over the course of five decades, dating back to the early 1970’s. He presided over the growth of Johnson & Bell from a small start-up firm specializing in insurance defense to one of over 100 attorneys with practice areas in medical malpractice defense, business litigation, toxic tort, and product liability. Over his career, he mentored dozens of future trial attorney, had leadership positions with several local and national bar associates and enjoyed the respect of the plaintiffs’ bar and judiciary. He had a love of trying cases and was a zealous advocate for his clients.

Johnson & Bell’s attorneys are recognized annually for their trial excellence.  This year, in addition to Best Lawyers, the Firm’s attorneys have been recognized by Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyers and Martindale-Hubbell for outstanding legal skill.

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