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Michael A. Strom

Michael A. Strom

Of Counsel
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Litigation & Risk Management
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Commercial Litigation
Product Liability

  1. AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating (Martindale Hubbell)
  2. 2018 “Light of Righteousness Award” for pro bono service to the community (Decalogue Society of Lawyers)
  3. 2015 “Intra-Society Award” for mentoring Chicago students (Decalogue Society of Lawyers)
  4. 2015-2019: Certificates of Appreciation for dedication to JUF Legal Clinic pro bono programs (Jewish United Fund)

Michael A. Strom is a prominent litigator with a powerful blend of experience from both sides of the courtroom bench – as a civil trial attorney and as a Circuit Court Judge. From his work as a practitioner and in the judicial branch, Michael gained valuable insight and perspective on how judges and juries react to various arguments and legal strategies.  This insight helps him better connect with clients, jurors and witnesses, anticipating and adapting to trial developments.

Michael has successfully defended businesses and individuals in commercial liability, professional liability and civil litigation cases. Michael has handled a broad range of client matters involving construction, building components (e.g. elevators, windows), industrial fabrication and production equipment (e.g. punch presses, paper balers), transportation, and product liability. Much of Michael’s practice has involved complex multiple-party cases with fault allocation cross-claims, counter-clams and third-party actions based on contribution, indemnity, contracts and insurance. In defending trucking companies, he has been successful at overcoming jury bias against truck drivers and trucks on highways. His innovative legal strategies have allowed peripheral defendants to resolve their claims early, rather than remain “hostages” to one disagreeable defendant. Michael has also developed targeted risk management practices to benefit clients looking to reduce future liability exposure.

As an attorney for the Office of Chief Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County, Michael worked on criminal justice reform and restorative justice programs to address harm to the community. In December 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Michael as a Circuit Court Judge by unanimous vote, filling a vacancy resulting from the retirement of Judge Marvin Luckman. As a Housing Court Judge, Michael adjudicated competing community interests in rehabilitation, demolition, preservation or redevelopment of seriously distressed vacant buildings. He welcomed input from community organizations, residents of affected communities, preservation groups, and neighbors requesting the chance to demonstrate resources to rehabilitate buildings worth saving.

Michael is devoted to serving the Chicago South Side community where he grew up, through active involvement in a broad range of outreach programs, community groups and bar associations. He and his loving wife, Sherry, have two children. Eric is a photographer and entrepreneur; Shayna is a Pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Hospital, specializing in Neonatology. His two grandchildren are beyond adorable.

Bar Admissions

  • State of Illinois

Court Admissions

  • United States District Courts
    • Northern District of Illinois, including Trial Bar

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Decalogue Society of Lawyers
  • Board of Managers, 2007-present
  • President, 2012-2013
  • LAGBAC
  • Arab-American Bar Association
  • Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
  • Black Women Lawyers’ Association
  • Advocates Society
  • Illinois Judges Association
  • Alliance of Illinois Judges

Professional Experience

  • Lawrence Kamin LLC,
    • Of Counsel, 2021
  • Cook County Circuit Court
    • Circuit Court Judge, 2019-2020
  • Office of the Chief Judge of Cook County
    • Legal Research Division, 2014-2019
  • Strom & Associates
    • Of Counsel, 2011-2014
  • CNA
    • Senior Trial Attorney
  • Schaffenegger Watson
    • Partner, Litigation Attorney

Education

  • Boston University College of Law, J.D., 1977
  • University of Illinois (Urbana), B.A. Political Science, 1974

Community Service

  • Chicago Bar Association Interfaith Committee
  • Restorative Justice Instructor Mentor at several inner-city Chicago schools
  • Chicago Coalition for Law-Related Education: Co-Founder and Instructor, 1983-2012
  • South Shore High School (Chicago): Mock trial instructor/coach, 1983-2012
  • Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism: Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentor

News & Media

  • Heller’s Choice: Which Weapons & Uses Are Protected by the Second Amendment? The Tablets, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Fall 2017.
  • Curbing Violence in Chicago – Creating a Path Towards Solutions; Chicago Bar Association, CBA Record, July-August 2017.
  • Restorative Justice Community Court is Coming to Cook County; The Tablets, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Fall 2016.
  • Saving Children Through Restorative Justice; The Tablets, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Fall 2015.
  • Federal Preemption of Product Liability Suit Denied Despite FDA Approval; The Tablets, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Summer 2009.
  • Recent Trends in Admissibility of Accident Reconstruction Testimony; IDC Monograph, Spring 1990.
  • Settlements Under the Illinois Contribution Act; 76 Illinois Bar Journal 660 (1998).

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