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Attorney John G. Locallo

John G. Locallo

John G. Locallo

This month we highlight the distinguished career of John G. Locallo, who in 2007 was the seventh Italian American since 1972 to be elected as third vice president of the 34,000-member Illinois State Bar Association. Like those before him, he worked his way up in automatic ascension and was sworn in as president in June 2011. He succeeds these prominent folks from our community over the last twenty-five years or so, including the late Lawrence X. Pusateri and Michael Coccia (both former Justices of the Illinois Appellate Court), and Ralph Gabric, along with this author, Cheryl Niro and Joseph Bisceglia. Except for Coccia and Niro, all served as president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, and Gabric of its DuPage Chapter.

John is a partner in the national real estate tax assessment firm of Amari & Locallo, with offices in Chicago and Bloomingdale, and a member of the prominent Locallo family, which has made a substantial impact on our legal community.

The Locallo family has its roots in Sicily, and its patriarch, Frank, immigrated in 1899 to the neighborhood commonly referred at the time as Little Sicily. Two of the four sons, Joseph and August, became members of the Chicago Police Department in the early 1950s and distinguished themselves in law enforcement, both rising to the rank of lieutenant, certainly the first-ever Italian American brothers to rise to that level. Both have children who entered the field of law.

Probably the better-known Locallo is Daniel Michael, son of Gus, who had, prior to his retirement in 2009, distinguished himself as a Circuit Court Judge in Cook County. Two of the children of Joe Locallo John, this month’s subject, and Joseph F Jr. and most recently, a grandson, Joseph III, all practice at Amari & Locallo. John and Joseph Jr. are partners and Joseph III is a senior associate.

John is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a degree in accounting in 1982, successfully completed the Certified Public Accountant examination in 1983 and graduated with a juris doctorate from the Chicago Kent College of Law in 1986. Like his older brother Joe Jr., he received an LL.M. in taxation in 1992.

Upon graduation from college, John joined the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand, where he concentrated in the area of the federal taxation of real estate. After having been a trial lawyer with the law offices of past Justinian president, the highly respected James L. Allegretti, where he learned his courtroom skills, John joined the firm that bears his name.

In 1999, like his brother and cousin before him, and his firm associate Katherine Amari O’Dell since, John was elected by the lawyers in Illinois to serve on the Assembly of the ISBA, its supreme governing body. He has also served as a member of the ISBA State and Local Taxation Section Council and the Real Estate Taxation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association. Another telling activity of this outstanding professional is his historical involvement with Cubs Care, the charitable arm of the Chicago Cubs.

In 2004, ISBA member lawyers in Cook County elected him to the ISBA Board of Governors.

Since 2004, John has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association. The Illinois Bar Foundation provides legal aid to those of limited means, as well as economic assistance to lawyers and their families who have fallen on hard times due to disability. John was also the foundation’s Fellows Chair from 2008-2010. The Fellows are responsible for raising funds through annual contributions.

John also served as President of the Chicago-Kent College of Law-IIT Alumni Board of Directors (2007-2009) where he also received the law school’s Distinguished Service Awards in 2002.

In 1995, John was appointed to the executive committee of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, where he also served on the newsletter staff. He was elected as an officer in the mid 1990s and was sworn in as its 83rd president in 2001, one of four of the A&L partners having served in this prestigious position, including his brother Joe, this writer, and partner Franco Coladipietro. Presently, a senior associate, Katherine (Amari) O’Dell, is serving this year as its 90th President.

Push technology as the theme of his presidency, Locallo is surprised that some law firms still have minimal or no presence on the internet.

“We have to make it easy because there’s always that apprehension barrier that I think lawyers sometimes have. If we make it easy for law firms and lawyers to do that in Illinois, it’ll go a long way,” he says.

While at the helm of the ISBA, John also helped assure that smaller law firms can acquire practice management software to help them run their offices more efficiently and establish systems that remind them of deadlines in various cases.

“It’s just reached the point where everybody’s got to practice that way,” Locallo said.

About Leonard F. Amari

Leonard F. Amari is a founding, co-managing partner of Amari & Locallo, a law firm that focuses exclusively on real estate tax assessment issues. He is a J.D. recipient from The John Marshall Law School, with honors. Amari has been a John Marshall trustee since 2000 and was elected president of the board in 2007. He is past president of the Illinois State Bar Association, a member of the Chicago Bar Association’s State and Local Taxation Committee, and a member and past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers. He has received numerous honors from many organizations recognizing his service.