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Justinians honor 2, install officers at gala

 

Romanucci, Gerasole and Sommario

Romanucci, Gerasole and Sommario

 

Prominent attorney Antonio M. Romanucci and esteemed television reporter Vince Gerasole shared the spotlight when the Justinian Society of Lawyers hosted its annual installation and awards dinner on Sept. 15 at the Palmer House Hilton. The following officers were formally installed at the event: Frank A. Sommario (president), Michael F. Bonamarte (first vice president), Vincent R. Vidmer (second vice president), Natalie M. Petric (third vice president), Judge Regina A. Scannicchio (treasurer) and Dion U. Davi (secretary).

 

Antonio M. Romanucci — Award of Excellence

Antonio M. Romanucci is a principal and partner in the Chicago-based law firm of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, where he focuses his practice on catastrophic personal injuries arising from medical malpractice, construction and other workplace accidents, nursing home negligence, aviation disasters and police misconduct cases, including civil rights actions. Since its inception, the firm has secured more than $400 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients.

For his work, Antonio has been named a Top 100 Super Lawyer for 10 straight years in Illinois, a Leading Lawyer since 2004, and a Best Lawyer for 2013 through 2016 by U.S. News and World Report. He was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America ©.

Antonio’s vast experience has earned him the admiration of his colleagues, who have supported his rise to leadership positions, such as his recent appointment as the Chair of the Police Misconduct Litigation Group, Chair of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group for the American Association for Justice and Third Vice President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, which he will become President of in 2019.

Outside the courtroom, Antonio participates in many professional and charitable organizations, including the Midwest Brain Injury Clubhouse, the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee, the the National Italian American Foundation, the National Italian American Bar Association, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans and others.

 

Vince Gerasole — Communications Award

Vince Gerasole serves as the feature reporter for CBS 2 Chicago covering arts, culture and entertainment. He joined the station in April 2001, and since that time he has anchored and reported for various station newscasts.

Vince has been honored for excellence in broadcast journalism throughout his career. He was named the Best Broadcast Reporter in the state by the Associated Press of Illinois in 2002 and Best Newswriter in 2006 and 2007. He has received 14 Emmy Awards for his work at CBS 2 Chicago, including three for outstanding individual (2003, 2004, 2005), two for outstanding writing (2006 and 2007) and one for “Illinois Getaway Guide (2007).” In 2012, he received an Emmy for Best Spot News Coverage.

Vince was honored by the Associated Press of Pennsylvania for Best Spot News Coverage. He received the Leonardo da Vinci Award for Excellence in Communications from Order Sons of Italy in American Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin, and a David Award from the Italo American National Union. Both awards honored his commitment to the community. Gerasole is also the 2006 recipient of the Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. He is a three-time James Beard Award nominee for Excellence in Broadcast Reporting.

Gerasole, who is fluent in Italian, began his broadcasting career as a New York-based field producer for the Italian Network RAI.

 

Frank A. Sommario — President

Frank is a Partner at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, in Chicago, where he practices as a petitioner’s workers’ compensation lawyer. He has obtained several large settlements and favorable trial awards for his clients over the years.

Frank was admitted to the Bar in Illinois (2000), Minnesota (2001), and District of Columbia (2001). He received his Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law in 2000. He is a Certified Public Accountant (1998), who received his bachelor’s degree in Commerce/Accounting from DePaul University in 1997. He became a Registered Investment Advisor in 2003.

In addition to practicing law, Frank is active in several professional organizations. He has served two three-year terms on the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA). He acted as the Board Liaison to the Workers’ Compensation Law Section Council, the Federal Taxation Section Council, and the Standing Committee on Law Office Management & Economics. He is a Silver Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the ISBA.

Frank began his membership with the Justinian Society in 1997 as a first-year law student. Frank’s academic achievements in law school earned him several Justinian scholarships. He has served on the Executive Committee since 2009, and was elected Secretary in 2011. In addition, he has served as the Treasurer of the Justinian Society Endowment Fund since 2012.

Frank is a past President of the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association (WCLA), where he currently acts as the Comptroller. He is also a member of the national and state trial lawyers’ associations (AAJ and ITLA, respectively). He is a member of the alumni associations of DePaul University, DePaul University College of Law, and Fenwick High School.

For his successes representing injury victims, Frank was named an Illinois’ Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers ® for the year 2016. He was previously named an Illinois’ Rising Star by Super Lawyers ® for the years 2010-2015. He also was also named an Emerging Lawyer by Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s Leading Lawyers Division for the years 2015-2016.

In addition, in 2012, Frank was named one of 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch by Law Bulletin Publishing Company. In 2015, Frank was appointed to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) Rules Committee by Chairman Joann Fratianni.

Frank also sits on the Board of Directors of the Synapse House, which works with individuals who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries and strokes.

Born in Melrose Park, Illinois, Frank was raised by his parents, Frank and Mary Jo (nee Abruzzini). He has two younger sisters, Deanna and Lisa. Frank currently resides in Elmhurst with his wife, Gina, and children, Angelina, Isabella, Sophia, and Frank, Jr.

 

Michael F. Bonamarte — 1st Vice President

Michael Bonamarte is a Partner and trial attorney at Levin & Perconti in Chicago. A 2005 graduate of The John Marshall Law School, at age 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. Michael has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2011 through 2016. His areas of practice include plaintiff’s personal injury, nursing home neglect and abuse, and medical malpractice.

 

Vincent R. Vidmer — 2nd Vice President

Vincent R. Vidmer practices in Chicago, handling various legal matters, including general civil litigation, real estate transactions, estate planning and general legal drafting. A major component of Vincent’s practice resides with the Liquor and Allied Worker’s Union, assisting in collective bargaining, fringe benefits, pension and 401(K) plan administration, grievances and arbitrations, and general administration. Vincent has been recognized multiple times by Illinois Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star,” and voted as an Emerging Lawyer, a distinction earned by fewer than 2 percent of all Illinois attorneys. He is an active member of the ISBA and West Loop Community Organization among other groups.

 

Natalie M. Petric — 3rd Vice President

Natalie M. Petric serves as Manager, Enforcement Counsel in the Legal and Market Regulation Department of CME Group. She is responsible for litigating cases involving market participants before the exchange’s disciplinary committees. Prior to joining CME Group, Natalie worked as a civil defense trial attorney and prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Natalie graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in international relations. She received her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law. She is married, has two young daughters, and is the proud granddaughter of past Justinian President Anthony J. Fornelli.

 

Hon. Regina A. Scannicchio — Treasurer

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Regina A. Scannicchio sits in the Domestic Relations Division. Prior to taking the bench in 2011, her practice focused in on the area of family law. She is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School and DePaul University. Regina served as the President of The John Marshall Alumni Association in 2013-14 and is currently the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii. Regina received the Distinguished Service Award from The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association, the Spirit of John Marshall Award from the Board of Trustees and the DaVinci Award for Community Service from the Order Sons of Italy.

 

Dion U. Davi — Secretary

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, Joliet, Chicago, and Warrenville. Dion received his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School after attending DePaul University to receive 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 Statement Bar Association and the Board of Directors of the DuPage County Bar Association.

 

 

 

 

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