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Attorney Susan A. Capra

Susan A. Capra

Susan A. Capra

This month we highlight the career of Susan A. Capra, a prominent catastrophic injury trial lawyer. While she may remain in the background while working on a plaintiff’s medical malpractice matter, she plays a vital role in successful outcomes of cases.

A partner with the prominent personal injury firm of Clifford Law Offices P.C. in Chicago headed by Robert A. Clifford, Capra has spent her entire 20-year legal career with the firm. She does not act as the lead trial lawyer but provides a support and advisory role, working with fellow partners on about 20 jury trials that resulted in verdicts.

“Susan Capra is undoubtedly one of the best medical malpractice lawyers who I have not only worked with but also seen in action,” founding partner Robert A. Clifford says. “She is not only an inexhaustible examiner of witnesses, but she never loses her grace, demeanor and engaging attitude.”

Capra, 50, had another career before becoming an attorney. After working at a nursing home while in high school, Capra decided to pursue a nursing career. She graduated with highest honors and received a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from DePaul University in 1982. She then took a nursing job with Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Initially, she worked on the neurology/neurosurgery floor and later worked in the operating room.

Capra was born and raised on Chicago’s Northwest Side. She is the oldest of Arthur and Dolores Capra’s two children. Their son, Richard A. Capra, is an attorney for Metra Railroad. Capra’s father worked for Western Electric in a factory. Now 84 and retired, he continues volunteering at the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. Her mother, now 87, worked as a cook at a nursing home.

While attending DePaul as an undergraduate, Capra worked at the cashier’s and dean’s offices while continuing to work weekends at the nursing home. After working as a nurse for several years, Capra viewed attending law school as a logical next step.

While Capra was attending DePaul, Clifford spoke at a career day and inspired her. Capra approached Clifford after his remarks and told him she wanted to work for him. Clifford called her two weeks later and offered her a job as a law clerk.

Capra graduated with honors from DePaul’s College of Law in 1990, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar on Nov. 8, 1990. She then became an associate with Clifford Law Offices and was made a partner in 2000.

Capra has worked on dozens of cases that resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, specifically growing antique roses. She calls cooking a passion and says her signature dish is lasagna based on a family recipe. “People tell me I make the best lasagna,” Capra says.

Capra has an adventurous spirit. In the past, she has taken flying lessons, karate lessons and screenwriting courses. She also loves the music of myriad artists from Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones. But Capra takes particular pride in her work. “I love what I do and I love doing it here,” she says.

In her own words, Susan tells us of her Italian ancestry:

“My paternal grandfather (Capra) and paternal grandmother (Rogati) both came from the town of San Polo Matese, Province Campobasso, Molise, Italy. The town of San Polo Matese is a medieval village dating back to the 12th century. It is a town in the mountainous region of central Italy, with its beautiful and still-standing Church of Saint Peter in Chains, built in 1241. Numerous generations of Capras and Rogatis have inhabited San Polo Matese since the 12th century, and still today many call the town their home. My grandmother’s birth home is still a famous attraction in the region, the Palazzo Rogati house, for the public display of an artistic manger built by Spanish artist Juan Mari Oliva, with figurines by artist Antonio Mazzeo.

“My grandfather first came to the United States and became established in business before sending back to San Polo Matese for his bride to join him so that they could build their life together. The couple, both university-educated, which was unusual at the time, raised a traditional Italian family focusing on love of family, church and country. My grandparents stressed to their children the importance of education and hard work. Like so many Italian-American immigrants, they had a deep love for the United States and were immensely proud that each of their four sons actively served in a separate branch of the armed forces simultaneously during World War II, including my father in the United States Navy.”

Another example of the finest our community has to offer.

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.