Italian Senatore Renato Turano will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez will receive the Award of Excellence when the the Justinian Society of Lawyers hosts its annual installation and awards dinner.
The following officers will be formally installed at the event: Judge Robert W. Bertucci (president), Anita M. DeCarlo (first vice president), Jessica DePinto (second vice president), Frank A. Sommario (third vice president), Michael Bonamarte (treasurer) and Vincent Vidmer (secretary).
The event will take place on Sept. 11 at the Palmer House in Chicago. Tickets are $150 per person for the black-tie-optional event. For more information, call 708-338-0760 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the true luminaries of the Chicago-area Italian-American community, business and community leader Renato Turano does triple duty as the senatore representing North and Central America in the Italian Parliament. Best known locally as the President of the Turano Baking Co., one of the largest manufacturers of artisan breads in North America, Turano was elected to the Italian Senate this spring, having previously occupied the post from 2006 to 2008.
Turano has been actively involved in the Chicago-area Italian-American community for decades. He has presided over the Columbian Club of Chicago, Calabresi in America Organization, Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest and Casa Italia, and he has been honored by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, the Italian Cultural Center and the Italian American Civic Organization of Berwyn, among others.
A co-founder of Casa Italia, he helped the Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest win official recognition from the Italian government, and leveraged funds from the Italian government to support economic exchanges between Italy and the Midwest.
In recent years, Turano has become involved on the national and international levels as well. He represented the Midwest chamber on the Assocamerestero, an association of 76 Italian chambers of commerce around the world, and he has served for the last 16 years as consultore/adviser to the Region of Calabria, representing the interests of Calabresi in North America at annual conferences in Italy.
Anita Alvarez made history when she was chosen by voters in 2008 to serve as the Cook County State’s Attorney. The first female and first Latina elected to this position, she is also the first career prosecutor to hold this post, having spent her entire legal career serving the victims of violent crime.
In her capacity as State’s Attorney, Ms. Alvarez leads the second largest prosecutor’s office in the nation, supervising more than 1,600 employees whose primary responsibilities involve prosecuting violent crime and seeking justice on behalf of crime victims and their families.
Under her leadership, the State’s Attorney’s Office has been the principal force in drafting and enacting many important public safety initiatives that have been signed into law. This includes a tough law that increases criminal penalties for street gang members arrested by police in possession of loaded weapons.
Ms. Alvarez also has formed specialized units within the State’s Attorney’s Office to enhance the prosecution of cases involving crimes such as mortgage fraud, consumer fraud, public corruption and human trafficking. She also authored the Illinois Safe Children Act, a sweeping law that enhances protections for juveniles caught up in the sex trade and provides additional legal tools for police and prosecutors to target those who prostitute children.
Ms. Alvarez was soundly re-elected to her position this past November, garnering the largest vote total of all countywide candidates.
On May 15, 2013, Judge Robert W. Bertucci was sworn in as the 92nd president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers. Founded in 1921 for social and professional support of Italian-American attorneys, this ethnic bar association is one of the oldest and largest organizations of licensed attorneys of the 144 or so in the state of Illinois.
Bertucci follows in the footsteps as president of some of the most respected, admired and successful practitioners in the state, including elected members of the executive and judicial branches of government, as well as presidents and leaders of the Illinois State and Chicago Bar associations.
Highly respected on and off the bench, Judge Bertucci graduated from Lake Forest College in 1979, and received his law degree with high honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1983. Judge Bertucci then joined the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he ultimately served as a first chair in a felony trial courtroom at the Criminal Courts Building, no small accomplishment. He later transferred to the Medical Malpractice Division in the Civil Actions Bureau. In 1992, he joined the firm now known as Serpico, Petrosino, DiPiero and O’Shea, where he mainly handled criminal defense matters.
Judge Bertucci was elected to the bench in 1992. He was initially assigned to the First Municipal District and handled both criminal and civil cases. He later served as the Supervising Judge of the Evening Narcotics Division at the Criminal Courts Building and then as a felony trial judge in the day division. Since 2000, he has served in the County Division, where he is the Assignment Judge for tax deed cases and handles election, property tax and mental health cases.
Of his ancestry, Bob says: “My mother and father, Annetta and Adorno, both are from the same small town of Ghivizzano, in the Province of Lucca, in Tuscany. Ghivizzano is in the beautiful Serchio River valley that lies between the Apuan Alps and the Apennine Mountains.”
Bob credits his parents as his role models and responsible for his successes in the law: “My parents met as teenagers during World War II while hiding in the mountains after their town and surrounding area became occupied by Nazi troops. They, like many Italians before and since, emigrated from Italy in the mid-1950s in search of better economic opportunity. My father left Italy first and worked as a laborer for an oil company in Venezuela.”
Judge Bertucci is a member of the Illinois Judges Association and has served for many years on its Board of Directors. He also serves on the Election Law Committee of the CBA and is active in the ISBA.
Before joining the bench, Judge Bertucci served as the president of a Chicago Park District Advisory Council. He is also a past president of the Elmwood Park Planning Commission.
Bob has been married to Terese, a nurse practitioner and diabetic educator, since 1979. They live in Chicago, and have two sons: Christopher, First Lieutenant, USMC; and Michael, Illinois (’14).
His agenda as president is to carry on the vouchsafed traditions of this Italian lawyers’ group, including the continued support, professionally and socially, of its membership. Uppermost on his agenda is the promotion of its members, especially younger, newer lawyers, to prominent positions in the community, the profession and the bench. He will work to continue to promote our mentoring program, integrating younger lawyer members into the profession, with job opportunities and placement, integration into the legal society and role modeling. He recognizes the eleemosynary agenda of the society, raising considerable dollars for its charities, including brain-damaged children, and scholarship dollars for needy Italian-American law students.
Anita M. DeCarlo is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and received her Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School. She began practicing with her father, Vito DeCarlo (Past President, 1970-71), and is currently practicing at Vasilatos Law. She represents injured workers in workers’ compensation cases. She served on the Board for Governors of the Illinois State Bar Assoc. from 2006-08 2009. In 2008, she was named an Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers and received a Distinguished Service Award from the John Marshall law School. She has lectured and published articles.
Jessica DePinto is a manager with Deloitte Tax LLP national Customs and Global Trade practice group where she advises clients on customs and international trade regulatory issues. Jessica graduated from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She served as chair of practice committees for the Chicago and Illinois State Bar Associations. She currently serves on the Women in Leadership Advisory Board, The School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Loyola University of Chicago. In 2012 Jessica was named one of the “100 Women to Watch” by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine.
Frank A. Sommario is a senior associate at Romanucci & Blandin in Chicago, where he practices as a petitioner’s workers’ compensation lawyer. Admitted to the Bar in Illinois, Minnesota and District of Columbia, he received his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law. He is a Certified Public Accountant who received his Bachelor’s Degree from DePaul University. A Silver Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation, he is a President of the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association and a member of the ISBA Board of Governors. Frank has been named an Illinois’ Rising Star by Super Lawyers annually since 2010.
Michael Bonamarte is a trial attorney at Levin & Perconti in Chicago. A 2005 graduate of the John Marshall Law School, at 31, he was the youngest recipient in 2010 of The Law Bulletin’s 40 Under 40 Award. In 2011 he received the William F. Harte Amicus Volunteer Award presented by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. In 2011 and 2012 Michael was named a SuperLawyer Rising Star. Michael’s areas of practice include plaintiff’s personal injury, nursing home neglect and abuse, and medical malpractice. He is a former member of the ISBA YLD Council and new member of the ISBA Assembly.
Attorney Vincent R. Vidmer practices in Chicago, handling various legal matters, including general civil litigation, real estate transactions, real property zoning, contract disputes and general legal drafting. Additionally, a major component to Vincent’s practice resides with the Liquor and Allied Worker’s Union, assisting in collective bargaining, fringe benefits, plan administration, grievances and arbitrations, and general administration. Vincent also provides pro bono legal service to veterans through the Veterans Legal Support Clinic. He is an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, and volunteers on various political campaigns.