Lizak Recognized As “Top 100” Trial Lawyer in Illinois by Trial Lawyers Association
Chester Lizak has been recognized as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the State of Illinois” by the American Trial Lawyers Association. The American Trial Lawyers Association is a professional organization of America’s Top Trial Lawyers.
In the past few years, Chet has received numerous other awards including an Award of Merit from the Advocates Society of Polish American Lawyers, the Distinguished Service Award from DePaul College of Law, and in 2006 he was recognized by Chicago Magazine as one of the Top Illinois Super Lawyers.
For the first 10 years of his practice, Chet practiced primarily criminal law. During that time, while Chairman of the Chicago Bar Association Defense of Prisoners Committee, he obtained not-guilty dispositions for indigent defendants in eight consecutive non-capital murder cases.
In the last capital murder case he tried, the jury convicted the defendant but declined to impose the death penalty. Chet and his partner, Warren Swanson, spent three weeks trying the case and almost two years prior to the trial, investigating and preparing the case for trial. The trial court awarded $250.00 in fees for a case that involved more than 463 billable hours. The Illinois Supreme Court decided that the trial court’s award of fees to Chet was inadequate. They doubled the fee to $500.00. There are not too many lawyers in the State of Illinois that can say that there is an Illinois Supreme Court Decision finding that his legal services are worth $1.10 per hour. The trial was also memorable because Chet and his wife, Noreen, got married two weeks after the trial began and one week before the trial concluded.
After the foregoing trial, Chet decided that he should become a civil litigator. As a civil litigator, Chet has tried cases involving personal injury, condemnation, construction claims, wrongful demolition, commercial disputes and insurance coverage cases.
It has been more than 35 years since he tried that last capital murder case. He still misses the excitement of criminal jury trials.
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