Joe Kolar is a civil trial lawyer with 29 years of experience in Illinois state and federal courts. Joe concentrates his practice in handling serious personal injury cases, including medical malpractice, aviation crashes, train crashes and truck/car crashes. In four cases alone, Joe Kolar and Bob Baizer obtained $78.8 million for their clients. Those cases involved:
- A 2013 trial against the United States of America resulting in a $29.8 million award to a child who suffered a brain injury from an unnecessary delay in his delivery.
- A $19.4 million Cook County settlement for a brain injury to an adult (following a three week medical negligence trial).
- An $18.6 million Lake County jury verdict for a boy who suffered a brain injury at birth (an Illinois record at the time).
- An $11 million federal jury verdict for the death of an 18-year-old in a truck-car crash.
In December 2014, Joe and partner Brian Lewis obtained a $4.8 million jury verdict in Chicago for a woman who nearly died from a post-surgery infection. The insurance company made no settlement offer until one week into the trial (and then only offered $1 million).
Joe has partnered with Bob Baizer to obtain many other multi-million dollar settlements for injured clients, including a $4.5 million settlement approved in February 2014. Joe was also co-counsel with Bob Baizer in a six-week-long civil trial in Lake County involving computer consulting services. Joe and Bob won the trial against Kirkland & Ellis, one of the largest law firms in the country.
Joe has an AV Preeminent® peer-review rating by Martindale-Hubbell. “The AV Preeminent® Rating is the pinnacle of professional excellence earned through a strenuous Peer Review Rating process that is managed and monitored by the world’s most trusted legal resource, Martindale-Hubbell.®” Joe also has been regularly named an “Illinois Super Lawyer” for plaintiff personal Injury (medical malpractice and general personal injury).
Joe graduated from Illinois State University in 1982. In 1985, he graduated cum laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law. While at NIU, Joe was an editor of the law review and had an article published in the law review titled: “Adoption of a Flexible Standard for Analyzing Informant’s Tips in Illinois v. Gates,” 4 Northern Illinois University Law Review 179-202, 1983. After graduation from law school, Joe took a job with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office in Waukegan. While in the State’s Attorney’s Office, Joe handled complex civil matters at the trial and appellate court level. As an Assistant State’s Attorney, Joe successfully handled the following appeals: Salvation Army v. Department of Revenue, 170 Ill.App.3d 336, 524 N.E.2d 628 (2nd Dist. 1988); Lake County Board of Review v. Property Tax Appeal Board, 172 Ill. App.3d 851, 527 N.E.2d 84 (2nd Dist. 1988)(co-counsel); County of Lake v. Zenko, 174 Ill.App.3d 54, 528 NE.2d 414 (2nd Dist. 1988); Commonwealth Edison Company v. County of Lake, 183 Ill.App.3d 1060, 540 N.E.2d 6 (2nd Dist. 1989)(co-counsel); Kankakee County Board of Review v. Property Tax Appeal Board, 131 Ill.2d 1, 544 N.E.2d 762 (1989)(amicus curiae brief)(co-counsel). In private practice, Joe has successfully handled the following appeals: Poeta v. Sheridan Point Shopping Plaza Partnership, 195 Ill.App.3d 852, 552 N.E.2d 1248 (2nd Dist. 1990)(co-counsel); Pace Realty Group Inc. v. Property Tax Appeal Board, 306 Ill.App.3d 718, 713 N.E.2d 1249 (2nd Dist. 1999) and Hackl v. Advocate Health and Hospitals Corp., 382 Ill.App.3d 442, 887 N.E.2d 726 (1st Dist. 2008).
Joe is admitted to the Illinois bar (1985) and United States District Court for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois. Joe has also been admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Joe is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). With AAJ, Joe has been recognized as an “Advocate of Trial Advocacy” by its National College of Advocacy. Joe is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Lake County Bar Association and the Bohemian Lawyers Association of Chicago.
600 Central Avenue, Suite 325
Highland Park, IL 60035
T (847) 433-6677