Levin & Perconti Partner Michael Bonamarte Shares Highland Park Connection with Pioneer Press
Although Levin & Perconti partner Michael Bonamarte IV calls Winnetka home for his family including wife Julia and young daughter, the accomplished attorney is proud of his Highland Park roots with a strong family history in public service. Michael recently talked to the Pioneer Press, a division of Tribune Publishing which runs 32 local newspapers in the Chicago area, about his career and family. The weekly feature called Shout Out is a short Q & A session aimed to connect suburban Chicago readers to their fellow community members and local visitors. Here is an extended recap of his conversation with reporter Daniel Dorfman.
Q: What are your favorite memories of growing up in Highland Park?
A: Playing sports at Highland Park High School sparks many great memories for me. I played football, basketball and baseball all four years. Being the quarterback of my football team – I was the starter my senior year – it was a lot of fun and I have a ton of memorable moments doing that.
Q: What are your recollections of your grandfather being the Highland Park police chief and how that drew you into law?
A: I do remember spending some time with him at the station and even driving with him in his squad car a couple of times, but I don’t necessarily know if that is what drew me into practicing law. My dad was a lawyer in Lake County. I decided to go into law school because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, and I felt a law degree could help me. My dad hooked me up with Steve Levin and I started clerking at Levin & Perconti during my second year of law school. He did that because he started showing some interest in doing trial work. I got lucky in that regard because this is the only place I have worked at. I started here as a law clerk and I am now one of the partners in the firm. Sadly, my dad passed away in 2006 before that happened.
Q: What drew you into law, specifically the type of law you are now practicing?
A: When I started working here, Levin & Perconti had started to have a presence doing nursing home litigation. The growth and need in that focus kept my interest, and today a large majority of our work is devoted to nursing home cases. This is a vulnerable population and they need people like me (and others) to stand up for them and it is my pleasure to do so. Although it is tough, it is necessary work. In a lot of these situations, the resident has passed away because of the preventable injuries or illnesses sustained during their stay, in which we are called to represent the resident’s family. The hope is that my work will bring about much needed changes to a challenged industry.
Q: Why did you decide to start a foundation honoring your father?
A: I started the Michael F. Bonamarte III Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding research on the treatment and prevention of strokes, as a way to celebrate his life as he left us too soon. Through the foundation, we have been able to do some good and donate a significant amount of money to Northwestern and the research they are doing within the neurosurgical program.
This Q & A session was published on January 2, 2020, in the Pioneer Press.
A Team Approach to Managing Cases
Levin & Perconti attorneys secured more settlements over $500,000 than any other law firm in Illinois over the last year. Partners John Perconti and Michael Bonamarte secured the firm’s top overall settlement, a $10.5 million win for the family of an elderly woman after her untimely death following a health system’s failure to diagnose and treat her lung cancer.
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