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J. Michael West

Attorney Bio

Mike West has been in the general practice of law for over forty years. Mr. West has first-chaired jury trials in multi-million dollar injury cases including construction, medical malpractice, product liability, catastrophic injury, brain damage and wrongful death cases with a career favorable verdict ratio of 92 percent.

After receiving his Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1983, Mr. West took employment as a First Assistant State's Attorney. Mr. West prosecuted a criminal fraud and perjury case which received national media attention including the CBS weekly news commentary, 60 Minutes. In 1986, Mr. West was appointed Senior Trial Counsel with the Illinois Attorney General's Office, prosecuting and defending high-profile cases. Since 1989, Mr. West has focused exclusively on the prosecution and defense of civil injury litigation, with 67 verdicts to date.

Prior to joining Rathbun Cservenyak & Kozol, Mr. West was employed by Travelers as a Senior Staff Counsel with the Chicago Major Case Unit and Complex Case Unit. Mr. West first-chaired high risk trials in Cook County and Will County, routinely representing cases with medical bills exceeding $1,000,000.00.

Practice Areas:

Publications & Presentations:

  • Does Your Case Need An Expert: Six Essential Areas. IICLE, Springfield, Illinois – 2001
  • Product Liability. IICLE Live Presentation, Springfield, Illinois – 2003
  • Medical Legal Aspects of Pain and Suffering, Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc., J. Michael West and Thomas C. Broderick – A Defense Attorneys Perspective – 2003
  • Joint and Several Liability and 735 ILCS 5/2-1117 Live Presentation – 2006
  • Understanding Illinois Indemnity and Kotecki Waivers. Live Claims Seminar – 2015

Notable Verdicts:

For Plaintiffs:

  • Product Liability and Brain Injury – Busch v. Cottrell Inc., $2.53 million. National Law Journal 'Notable Verdict' Dowd and Dowd, Purcell & Wardrope – 1998
  • Product Liability – Finger Amputation – Klak v. Makita Corp. of Japan - $648,000.00. Highest Verdict for a finger amputation. Donald Segal of McCambridge and Segal – 1999

For Defendants:

  • Brain Damage with Neck Fusion – Cindy Lee v. Urban Retail Properties. Offer of $400,000; Asked $3,000,000.00; Verdict $232,000.00 Law Office of Paul Episcope LLC. – 2009
  • Construction – Lyles v. Harbour Contractors, Inc. – Will County – Judge O'Leary – Not Guilty. Nick Motherway of Motherway & Napleton – 2011
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