by Jo Ann Serpico
the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans extends a warm invitation to the entire community to attend our annual gala. This year, we honor past president Antonio Romanucci with our Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Humanitarian Award and Joseph Gagliardo with our Robert G. Cimo Peacemaker Award. This glittering event will begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza in Chicago. Donations are $150 per person. To make your reservations, call 708-450-9050.
The immediate past president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, Antonio Romanucci is a founding partner, principal and trial lawyer in the Chicago-based tort litigation law firm of Romanucci & Blandin LLC.
He has been named a Top 100 Super Lawyer for 10 straight years in Illinois, a Leading Lawyer since 2004, and has a perfect Martindale Hubble AV rating and a perfect AVVO rating of 10/10, along with being named a “Best Lawyer” for 2013 by U.S. News and World Report. He has worked tirelessly in the community, having served as president of the Midwest Brain Injury Clubhouse, Knapp Burn Foundation and Justinian Society of Lawyers in addition to the JCCIA.
He serves on the boards of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice and Public Justice. He is past chair of the national section of the Motor Vehicle and Premises Litigation Group and currently serves as secretary of the Brain Injury Litigation Group. He is a frequent lecturer and moderator across the country on the topics of litigation and jury selection.
He is especially proud of founding the Children’s Endowment Fund, the charitable arm of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, whose sole mission is to grant dollars to underprivileged or disabled children regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. Since its inception, the CEF has granted in excess of $65,000 and has made a profound impact on the children it serves, even saving lives because of early interventional medical care that otherwise would not have been received.
He graduated from Fenwick High School in 1978, the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982 and the John Marshall Law School in 1985. He has run multiple Chicago Marathons and participated in numerous half marathons and duathlons across the country, and is also a competitive racquetball player.
A past president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, Joseph Gagliardo is the managing partner of Laner Muchin Ltd., and chair of its Litigation Department. He has been with the firm since 1988. Joe previously served as First Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, and served as lawyers for five Mayors.
In 2013, Intercontinental Finance Magazine recognized Joe as one of the Top 500 lawyers in the world, and in 2012, Joe was named as Best Lawyers’ 2012 Chicago-Litigation-Labor & Employment Lawyer of the Year. Joe also has been voted one of the Top 10 Attorneys in Illinois in 2012, and one of the Top 100 Attorneys in 2007-2011 and 2013, according to Super Lawyer polls appearing in Chicago Magazine.
Joe is active in many professional and social service organizations, and is a past president of the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and Justinian Society of Lawyers, and served for more than 10 years as a director of Windows of Opportunity, a nonprofit organization that creates partnerships to link all of Chicago’s public and assisted housing residents to resources that will improve their quality of life. He currently serves as a director of Age Options, an organization dedicated to connecting senior citizens with resources and options for care so that they can live their lives to the fullest.
Joe has received numerous awards, including a Distinguished Service Award from the John Marshall Law School; an Award of Excellence from the Justinian Society of Lawyers; A Guiding Star Award from Windows of Opportunity; leadership awards from the Illinois Legislature, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Cook County Board of Commissioners and City of Chicago; and Peacemaker and Humanitarian Awards from the JCCIA.