Joseph Kolar, Founding Partner, Baizlaw Catastrophic Injury Law Firm
Joseph Kolar has been practicing law since 1985. For 2005, Joe was named an Illinois Super Lawyer for Plaintiff Personal Injury (Malpractice) (Chicago Magazine, May 2005). For 2007, Joe was named an Illinois Super Lawyer for Plaintiff Personal Injury (General). Recently, Joe was named an Illinois Super Lawyer for 2009 as well. Joe also has an AV peer-review rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating an attorney or lawyer can receive for general ethical standards and legal ability. Joe concentrates his practice in handling serious personal injury cases, including medical malpractice, aviation crashes, train crashes and truck/car crashes. In 1997, Joe was co-counsel with Bob Baizer when they obtained the then -argest medical malpractice verdict in Illinois history. That $18.6 million verdict was more than $14 million higher than the next largest verdict in Lake County history. Joe was also co-counsel with Bob when they obtained in 2002 a $19.4 malpractice settlement, then the second largest pre-verdict medical malpractice settlement In Illinois. In 2003, Bob and Joe obtained an $11 million verdict in Chicago federal court in a case involving a truck/car collision. In May 2008, Joe and Bob obtained a $2.35 million verdict in Lake County for a boy who suffered a shoulder injury at birth. In that case, the insurance company offered no money to settle the case. In 1993, Joe was 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 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. Joe has successfully handled numerous appeals in his career, including the following reported decisions: Salvation Army v. Department of Revenue, 170 Ill.App.3d 336, 524 N.E.2d 628 (1988); Lake County Board of Review v. Property Tax Appeal Board, 172 Ill. App.3d 851, 527 N.E.2d 84 (1988)(co-counsel); County of Lake v. Zenko, 174 Ill.App.3d 54, 528 NE.2d 414 (1988); Commonwealth Edison Company v. County of Lake, 183 Ill.App.3d 1060, 540 N.E.2d 6 (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); Poeta v. Sheridan Point Shopping Plaza Partnership, 195 Ill.App.3d 852, 552 N.E.2d 1248 (1990)(co-counsel); Pace Realty Group Inc. v. Property Tax Appeal Board, 306 Ill.App.3d 718, 713 N.E.2d 1249 (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. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Public Justice, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Lake County Bar Association and the Bohemian Lawyers Association of Chicago. With AAJ, Joe has been recognized as an "Advocate of Trial Advocacy" by its National College of Advocacy.