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Justinians honors worthy pair, install officers

The Rev. Michael P. Caruso, Natalie Petric and Larry Wer

The Rev. Michael P. Caruso and Larry Wert were the guests of honor when the Justinian Society of Lawyers hosts its annual installation and awards dinner on Sept. 12 at the Palmer House Hilton. For details, call 708-338-0760.

The following officers were formally installed at the event: Natalie M. Petric (president), Judge Regina A. Scannicchio (first vice president), Dion U. Davi (second vice president), Bruno R. Massaro (third vice president), Michael D. Pisano (treasurer) and Brian T. Monico (secretary).

The following profiles were provided by the organization:

Fr. Michael P. Caruso, SJ — Award of Excellence

The Rev. Michael P. Caruso, SJ, is the president of Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. He is starting his 10th year at Saint Ignatius. Rev. Caruso is a distinguished scholar and educator. Prior to his arrival at Saint Ignatius, he served as the chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Additionally, he was an associate professor of education with an emphasis in Catholic administration; his areas of interest include Catholic school leadership, spirituality in education and the historic foundations of Catholic education. Rev. Caruso has worked extensively in forming Catholic elementary and high school teachers and administrators in the Diocese of Orange and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, one of the most diverse Catholic school systems in the U.S. Rev. Caruso earned his bachelor of arts degree from Conception Seminary College in Missouri and his master of divinity degree and S.T.B., from St. Mary of the Lake University in Mundelein, Illinois, thus his early priesthood studies took place in Chicago. Rev. Caruso was ordained for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri and then entered the Jesuits. Subsequently, he earned his Ed.D. from the Jesuits University of San Francisco in its highly respected Institute of Catholic Educational Leadership. Prior to his position in Los Angeles, Rev. Caruso taught at both DeSmet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, Missouri, and Regis Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado. He also has worked in college campus ministry at Rockhurst Jesuit University in Kansas City, Missouri.

Larry Wert — Communications Award

Larry Wert was appointed President/Broadcast Media for Tribune Media in February 2013. He is responsible for overseeing the strategy and day-to-day activities of the company’s 42 owned or operated television stations, their related websites, and the company’s Chicago radio station WGN-AM. Wert currently serves on the NAB TV Board of Directors and the CBS Board of Governors. In 2017, he was named Broadcaster of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters Association. Wert came to Tribune Media Company from WMAQ-TV, the NBC owned and operated station in Chicago where he was President/General Manager, while also serving since 2011 as executive vice president of station initiatives for all 10 NBC-owned stations. A Chicago-area native, Wert has spent nearly 40 years in broadcasting. He started at Leo Burnett Advertising in Chicago in 1978 and moved on to television sales with ABC, working in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, where he became local sales manager at WLS-Ch. 7. In 1989, Wert shifted to radio as president and general manager of WLUP-97.9 FM and AM 1000 in Chicago, better known as “The Loop.” In 1996, he was named president of Evergreen Media. When it merged with Chancellor Broadcasting, he became senior vice president of Chancellor, overseeing 13 radio properties. Wert is very involved in the community. He is the chairman of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago and serves on the Board of Directors for several charities, including the Children’s Brittle Bone Foundation, Catholic Charities, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the 100 Club.

Natalie Petric — President

Natalie M. Petric serves as the director of enforcement counsel in the Legal and Market Regulation Department of CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace. In this role, Natalie works to protect the integrity of the markets, to enforce rules and protect all market participants, and to proactively mitigate risks and prevent damage to the marketplace. She maintains her own docket of regulatory matters and is responsible for managing a team of attorneys and their cases. Moreover, in her role she litigates complex regulatory matters that involve trade practice violations and market abuses, such as manipulation and fraud, after a thorough analysis of regulatory guidance, case precedent, and evidence, including trade data and witness testimony. Her cases, on occasion, require engagement with federal regulators, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Department of Justice. Moreover, Natalie presents these matters, either for settlement, probable cause, or contested hearings (trials) before the exchange’s disciplinary committees.

Prior to joining CME Group in 2011, Natalie worked as a civil defense trial attorney. She concentrated her practice on defending individuals and large corporations in general, premises, and products liability matters, as well as various complex commercial litigation cases. She was responsible for every aspect of these matters, from intake through discovery and dispositive motions, and, after months of rigorous preparation, served on the trial teams of several high-exposure matters. Undoubtedly, the valuable trial experience she received while serving as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office prepared her for her role in private practice. While an assistant state’s attorney, Natalie handled both civil and criminal cases, including traffic, child support enforcement, and post-decree matters, and tried numerous bench and jury trials to verdict.

Natalie graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, with a concentration in Global Conflict, Cooperation, and Justice. While at Tufts, she captained the Women’s Lightweight Varsity Crew team, on which she was a member all four years. She is currently an active member of the Tufts Admissions Network, where she routinely interviews and screens prospective Tufts applicants throughout the year. She received her law degree from DePaul University College of Law, served as Notes & Comments Editor of DePaul’s Journal of Health Care Law, and remains active with DePaul College of Law alumni. She is happily married to fellow attorney and Justinian, James Whalen, and is constantly busy with her three young daughters, ages seven, five, and three. She is the proud granddaughter of past Justinian President Anthony J. Fornelli and credits him for instilling in her dedication to the community and love of the practice of law.

Regina A. Scannicchio — 1st Vice President

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Regina A. Scannicchio sits in the Domestic Relations Division. She was appointed in 2011 and elected in 2012. Prior to that, she was the principle in a private practice concentrating in the area of family law. A graduate of DePaul University and The John Marshall Law School, Regina served as President of The John Marshall Alumni Association, receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the school’s Alumni Association and the Spirit of John Marshall Award from the school’s Board of Trustees. She serves on the boards of the Illinois Judges Association and the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago and the executive boards of The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and the Little Italy Chicago Neighborhood Association. She received the da Vinci Award for Community Service from the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America.

Dion U. Davi — 2nd Vice President

Dion U. Davi is the founding attorney of Davi Law Group, LLC, which concentrates in the areas of family law, criminal law, estate planning, and motorsports law with offices in Wheaton, Naperville, Chicago, and Joliet. Dion received his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School after attending DePaul University, where he received his B.A. in psychology. He has served as an officer, including the President, of the DuPage Justinian Society of Lawyers. He has also served on the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Board of Directors of the DuPage County Bar Association. Dion has received recognitions as an Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star 2010-2013, Illinois Super Lawyer 2015-2019, and Law Bulletin Leading Lawyer 2015-2019.

Bruno R. Marasso — 3rd Vice President

Bruno R. Marasso is a Senior Associate Attorney at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, where he focuses his practice in the areas of automobile collisions, wrongful death, premises liability, police misconduct and institutional misconduct. Bruno has served on the Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association and is an active member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Chicago Bar Association and American Association of Justice. He was named as an Emerging Lawyer by Law Bulletin Publishing Company for 2017 and 2018, and a Rising Star by Super Lawyer in 2018. While a law student at Chicago-Kent, he was a four-time recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award.

Michael D. Pisano — Treasurer

Michael D. Pisano is an associate in Ice Miller’s Litigation Group where he prosecutes and defends civil litigation matters with an emphasis in representing owners and construction professionals in claims for breach of contract, defective construction, construction delay, personal injury and property damage. He received his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from The John Marshall Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review. Among his many scholarships and awards were the Lupel & Amari Scholarship and the Justinian Society of Lawyers Scholarship. He has been an active Justinian since law school, serving on the Executive, Newsletter, Membership, Website and other committees. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” from 2014 to 2019.

Brian T. Monico — Secretary

Brian T. Monico is a principal with the law firm of Hale & Monico, which focuses on wrongful death, professional malpractice, personal injury and civil rights cases. He previously served in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. A graduate of Fairfield University and the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, he earned a Philip H. Corboy Fellowship and Thomas F. and Patricia A. Bridgman Scholarship and was a member of the Corboy Trail Team while in law school. A member of the Executive Board of the Chicago Bar Association’s Lawyer’s Lend a Hand to Youth, he chaired the Young Lawyers section of the Center For Disability and Elder Law. Brian has been recognized as an Emerging Lawyer, Super Lawyer, Leading Lawyer and one of 40 under 40 Attorneys to Watch.

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