About William Wagner

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William Wagner Articles written 33

William Wagner is an award-winning writer and editor who’s been at it for thirty-plus years. He has written for everything from Sports Illustrated to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and also is the author of a book about the Chicago Cubs titled Wrigley Blues. Wagner has contributed to Super Lawyers since 2005 and has thoroughly enjoyed interviewing and profiling an array of fascinating attorneys.

Articles written by William Wagner

The Reasons Why Mediation is Preferred for Business Disputes

It's fast, cheap and in your control

Mediation is a relatively simple and straightforward process for resolving business disputes—and that’s precisely the point. More often than not, according to attorneys who practice this type of law, it’s the best option. “A successful mediation is one where the parties select a mediator, the parties follow the mediation rules, the counsels show up and do their part, and the representatives of the disputing parties show up and do what they’re supposed to do,” says Mary Patricia …

In-Laws in Law

Dan O’Connell and Lindsey O’Connell bridge the generational divide

For two of the lawyers at Maplewood-based Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O’Connell, family law is literal. When Lindsey O’Connell joined the firm in 2015, she went into practice with her father-in-law, family law mainstay Dan O’Connell. “I am married to Dan’s youngest son, Kevin,” Lindsey says. “He and I went to UMD together. The very first time I met Dan, they came up to visit us in Duluth. I got to go out to dinner with Dan and Lynne. I had known I wanted to go to law school, and I …

How to Fight Discrimination or Retaliation

What you need for a lawsuit, according to Illinois employment attorneys

There are many laws designed to protect employees from discrimination and retaliation, ranging from the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967) to state laws such as the Illinois Human Rights Act (1979). Together, they serve a valuable purpose. “A discrimination- and harassment-free working environment is one of the key features of our country. It’s a fundamental civil right that all Americans enjoy,” says Randall B. Gold, an employment attorney with Fox & Fox S.C. in …

Starting a Nonprofit Isn't as Simple As It May Seem

Getting into the legal details of a nonprofit startup in Illinois

Illinois nonprofit fundraising comes in all shapes and sizes—from raffles to membership dues—but there are certain practices that apply across the board. For starters, as Park Ridge attorney Jessica M. Wojtowicz Heston succinctly puts it: “Call an attorney.” It’s better to make that call sooner rather than later, she says. As for why, look no further than the Illinois General Not For Profit Corporation Act. It is filled with potential pitfalls for the uninitiated. “It has all sorts …

Cutting Through the Darkness

How education attorney Darcy Kriha helped a blind immigrant gain citizenship

Darcy Kriha didn’t choose the law as much as she was called to it—literally, by Jean Dolores Schmidt. Basketball fans in Chicago and beyond know “Sister Jean” as the much-loved chaplain of the Loyola University men’s team. Kriha, however, knew her long before that—as her academic adviser at Mundelein College (which later merged with Loyola) in the late 1980s, who provided hands-on guidance. “Sister Jean knew I needed a little help because I was the first generation in my family to …

The Simple Story of Raj Shah

The litigator masters the facts, then focuses on the critical issue

Raj Shah’s story doesn’t begin anywhere near the plush Chicago offices of global firm DLA Piper, where Shah, 46, is a partner and chair of the Chicago litigation group. To get to square one, you have to travel five-plus decades back in time and nearly 8,000 miles to the city of Rajkot in Western India to find Raj’s father, Niranjan M. Shah. It is, Niranjan says, “a simple story.” In 1964, with little money in his pocket, Niranjan embarked on the long, uncertain journey to America, …

Keeping Pace

The IP litigator’s engine always runs at full speed

Good luck trying to keep up with Olivia Luk Bedi. She rises while it’s still dark and goes for a run through her Bucktown neighborhood. Not a casual jog—it’s training. The 41-year-old Bedi competed in the Chicago Marathon in 2018. That warmup is followed by the routine of a working mom: waking up her two kids (ages 3 and 7), dressing and feeding them, and getting them out the door and to school. Then she dashes off to the Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg offices in the Loop or maybe to the …


Kathleen Zellner lives for impossible cases, including Steven Avery's

To the media from around the world and the crime buffs packed into the gallery, the shackled man sitting before the judge—a convicted murderer sentenced to death—is clearly doomed; the clock is simply ticking down to his execution. But his lawyer, a dressed-to-the-nines dynamo, knows better. And when she convinces the real murderer to confess on the witness stand, the courtroom erupts. Amid a chorus of gasps, the man’s chains are undone and clank to the floor, and he and his lawyer walk …

Mr. Bursch Goes Back to Washington

John Bursch has had 14 U.S. Supreme Court cases, and won 10 of them

The first thing you need to know about John Bursch, the 44-year-old owner of Bursch Law in Caledonia, is that no detail is too small to obsess over when preparing a case. Type A barely begins to describe him. Take the consideration he gave to acoustics before arguing his first case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011: “You stand very close to the bench, but then it spreads out to the point where, even with your peripheral vision, you can’t see the justices on the ends,” he says. …

Batting Cleanup

Personal injury lawyer Patrick A. Salvi is a powerhouse in the courtroom and as a ballclub owner

The Salvi name pops up in a lot of places. At concession stands. In the University of Notre Dame’s football record book. At baseball stadiums. On harps. And, of course, you’ll see it on the door of one of the most successful personal injury law firms in Chicago. Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, the brainchild of Patrick A. Salvi, has been in business since 1982, accruing millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients along the way.  “I feel like we make a difference,” …

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