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Judge Robert W. Bertucci

Bertucci Bertucci Fagiano Fagiano Somone SomoneThis month we introduce our readers to one of the more highly respected Italian-American judges in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge Robert W. Bertucci.

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. After passing the bar, he 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. He later transferred to the Medical Malpractice Division in the Civil Actions Bureau. In 1992, he joined the firm now known as Serpico, Petrosino and DiPiero, where he mainly handled criminal defense matters.

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 Appuana Alps and the Appenine mountains. Scenes from the film Miracle at St. Anna were filmed along the Serchio in Ghivizzano.”

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.

Bob considers his parents as his role models, and credits them with 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 other Italians, emigrated from Italy in the mid ’50s 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 Chicago Bar Association and on the Executive Committee of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, where he serves as its third vice president, ascending through the offices to president in 2011-2012.

“I was the first in my family born in the United States. When I was 6 years old, my father died after a manhole he was excavating collapsed and buried him. My mother was left to raise four children on her own. However, years later, she felt that she had at least tasted the American dream when she was hired as a microfilm clerk, for very modest pay, at a local bank. This humble beginning for my family in America is what eventually inspired me to work hard in college (if not high school) so that I could get into law school and become part of a wonderful profession.”

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 is in his third year at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, and Michael is a senior at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago and will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“My wife, who too is Italian American, has similar humble beginnings. She came from a family of nine children and also grew up on the West Side of Chicago. After attending Triton Community College where we met, she earned merit scholarships to Rush University where she received a bachelor of science in nursing, and to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned her masters,” Bob explains. “She and I have encouraged our two sons to honor their family history of struggle by excelling in their lives. Terese and I have obviously been blessed. Her grandparents and my parents came to America with few material possessions, but with great Italian hearts. Fortunately, we and our children are part of a rich legacy of Italians in America.”

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.