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Michael S. Krzak

Michael S. Krzak

Phone: 312.736.1111
Address: 30 N. LaSalle Street Suite 1402, Chicago, IL 60602
Email: mike@krlawgroup.com
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Michael S. Krzak has tackled highly complex aviation, trucking, automobile, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury cases in Chicago and throughout the country for over 20 years. Michael is a well-recognized member of the legal community in Chicago and has also developed an excellent reputation nationally, having successfully represented victims of personal injury and wrongful death cases in recent years from: New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Florida to name a few. He has also successfully represented individuals from as far away as Turkey and Amsterdam who were catastrophically injured. Many of the mass injury cases Michael has handled involve multi-state, multi-national, multi-jurisdictional issues involving people from different places and all walks of life. Michael’s sense of zeroing in on the issues and his attention to detail has led to success in these cases. A founding partner of the Krzak Rundio Law Group, LLC, he has secured for his clients multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements over the years.

Equally important to Michael are the long-term relationships he has developed with his clients. He regularly communicates with his clients, making himself available day or night to be sure they are informed of developments in their case and to make sure he is continually aware of their progress and any developments in their lives or needs as their cases progress. This has led to him having long-lasting relationships and friendships with his clients even after their case is completed. Michael’s philosophy is a simple one – personal service leads to better results.

Throughout his legal career, Michael has tackled several highly complex aviation crashes. His work has been instrumental in handling major commercial air crash cases and is covered in this article. He was heavily involved in the air crash involving Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 which crashed short of the runway at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2009. There, he handled cases for 17 families who were victims of that air crash. He also handled the highly publicized air crash cases of Comair Flight 5191, which crashed while attempting to take-off of the wrong runway in Lexington, Kentucky, representing the interests of 5 families there. He was a member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee relating to that crash and also a designated member of the Plaintiff’s trial team. Michael also handled the air crash case involving Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Buffalo, New York, representing a number of families and was on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee.

Most recently, Michael represented the interests of a family who lost a loved one in the crash of an Execuflight aircraft in Akron, Ohio on November 11, 2015. He also represented the surviving heirs of two individuals who were on Malaysia Air Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8, 2014. He also represents the interests of numerous individuals injured on American Airlines Flight 383, which aborted take-off, caught fire and had to be evacuated at O’Hare Airport on October 28, 2016 when the aircraft’s right engine suffered an uncontained disk failure. He was also involved in the cases of families who were victims of crashes of American Eagle Flight 4184, Alaska Air Flight 261, American Airlines Flight 587, TWA Flight 800, and the Southwest Airlines crash at Midway Airport in December, 2005. Michael has also been involved in numerous cases involving crashes of small aircraft and helicopters, including crashes at the OshKosh, Wisconsin Air Show and other crashes in remote areas.

Michael has been nationally recognized by his peers. At the age of 30, he was named among the Illinois “40 Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. He was later named to its inaugural 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame in 2014. He has been named a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in the area of aviation law and personal injury law from 2011-2017. He was also named a “top rated aviation and aerospace attorney” by Super Lawyers, an organization that prides itself on seeking out the best and brightest from peer reviews as well as the attorneys’ results. Only 5% of attorneys in Illinois receive this distinction. He has also been named a member of the Million Dollar Advocates and The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers.

Michael has given back to the profession and community. He served as the Chair and Vice Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Law Committee in 2006-07 and again from 2011-12. He also served as the News Letter Editor for the American Association For Justice Aviation Section and received the Outstanding Section News Letter Award in 2013. He served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the AAJ Aviation Section from 2015-2017. Michael has spoken around the world to numerous legal organizations, including: the American Bar Association; American Association for Justice; Chicago Bar Association; and Tennessee Trial Lawyers to name a few. He has also lectured and given presentations in cross-border personal injury seminars in London. Michael also co-authored the chapter on Aviation for the Fourth Edition of Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts in 2017.

Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his family and friends and engaging in endurance sports. He is an avid cyclist and runner and has completed “Century” 100 mile rides, the Chicago Marathon, and a number of half marathons throughout the country. He is also an avid outdoorsman and enjoys fishing with his children, nephews and nieces, and his extended family.

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted to Illinois Bar, 1997
  • Admitted to U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1997
  • Admitted to U.S. District Court
  • Western District of Michigan, 2000

Education

  • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • Juris Doctor – 1997
  • Northeastern Illinois University
    • A., Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude– 1992
    • Major: Environmental Science

Published Works

  • The Impact on Daimler on Already Complex Jurisdictional Issues in Aviation Crash Cases, June, 2018 paper for ABA 24th Annual National Institution on Aviation Litigation
  • Discovery in Aviation Cases : A Potpourri of Issues and their Practical Implications, June, 2017 paper for ABA 23rd Annual National Institution on Aviation Litigation
  • Co-Author: Focusing Your Case through Jury Research: Mock Trials and Other Tools, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, The Brief, Volume 46, No. 3, Spring, 2017
  • Co-Author – Aviation Chapter in Thompson Reuters Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Court treatise, 2016
  • Who Controls You? Handling Air Traffic Control Issues and Aviation Mishaps in Air Crash Cases, ABA Panel, June 1, 2016
  • Discoverability of Airline Voluntary Safety Programs in Civil Litigation, ABA Mass Torts, February 5, 2016
  • Show It, Don’t Tell It—Twenty-First-Century Animation in Air Crash Litigation, ABA Mass Torts, November 10, 2015
  • Major Issues in Regional Air Crash Cases, Comair Flight 5191 and Colgan Flight 3407 ABA Aviation Litigation, June, 2015
  • Ethical Considerations Regarding Social Media, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA), May 8, 2015
  • Major Issues in Major Cases: Recent Aviation Disaster cases Lexington to Malaysia, International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association (IATSBA) Conference, November 14, 2014
  • Focusing Your Case Through Jury Research, Mock Trials & Other Tools, American Bar Association, October 24, 2014
  • Where is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?: How Deployable Recorders and Asset Trackers Can Prevent Another Ghost Flight, Fall 2014 AAJ Aviation Section Newsletter
  • Time to Act on Aviation Safety Technologies – Chicago Daily Law Day Bulletin Law Day Article – 2014
  • Negotiating a Settlement of an Aviation Accident Case, ABA Tort and Insurance Practice Section, The Brief, Volume 43, November 1, 2013
  • Class Action Fairness Act Strikes Again, American Association for Justice Aviation Section, Spring, 2013
  • Electronic Discovery/ Social Media Considerations, February 23, 2012, Tennessee Association For Justice, 2012 Midwinter Conference, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Defendants’ Use of the Class Action Fairness Act’s “Mass Action” Provision to Remove Aviation Disasters to Federal Court, American Association for Justice Aviation Section, November, 2012
  • Litigating Tort Cases in the United States, Cross Border Personal Injury Seminar, London, England, September 5, 2012
  • Using Focus Groups to Focus Your Case, June 2, 2012, American Association for Justice Churchill Downs CLE Seminar
  • Handling Catastrophic Injury Cases in the United States/Litigating Cases in the United States, November 4, 2011. Manchester, England Cross Border Personal Injury Seminar
  • Litigating Cases in the United Sates, November 4, 2011, Manchester, England Cross Border Personal Injury Seminar – Handling Claims for Those Injured Abroad
  • Navigating Through Electronic Discovery, June 2, 2011, American Bar Association 2011 Aviation Litigation CLE Seminar, New York, New York. Electronic Discovery
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association “Update & Review” (Utilizing Technology in Transportation Tort Cases) October 12, 2009
  • Electronic Discovery and the Aviation Attorney: A Plaintiff’s Perspective” (Co-Authored with Stacy O’Neil Jackson, Corporate Counsel, IE Discovery, Inc. October, 2008)
  • “Recent Developments in Removal and Remand of Air Crash Litigation” (May, 2007)
  • “What You Should Know About High/Low Agreements and Structured Settlement”, IICLE Winning Personal Injury Settlement Strategies, 1999
  • “Wrapping Up and Structured Settlements”, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Negotiating and Setting Personal Injury Cases Seminar, February 16, 1998
  • “Medical Malpractice Notebook,” Illinois Trial Lawyers Association,1997, 1998 & 1999

Classes/Seminars

  • Panel Discussion on Real World Effects of Personal Jurisdiction Decisions on Filing and Defending Aviation Cases, ABA 24th Annual National Institute on Aviation Litigation, June 14, 2018
  • Panel Discussion on Federal Preemption in Aviation Cases, IATSBA Air & Transport Law Conference, May 17, 2018
  • Panel Discussion on Discovery in Aviation Cases: A Potpourri of Issues and Their Practical Implications, ABA 23rd Annual National Institute on Aviation Litigation, June 8, 2017
  • Panel discussion on “Recent Developments in Personal Jurisdiction Post Daimler/and Progeny”, November 3, 2016
  • Who Controls You? Handling ATC Issues and Aviation Mishaps in Air Crash Cases, American Bar Association, June 8, 2015
  • Major Issues in Regional Air Crash Cases, Comair Flight 5191 and Colgan Flight 3407 ABA Aviation Litigation, June, 2015
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) Ethical Considerations Regarding Social Media, at the Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort, May 8, 2015
  • Major Issues in Major Cases: Recent Aviation Disaster Cases Lexington to Malaysia, International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association (IATSBA) Conference, November 14, 2014
  • Focusing Your Case Through Jury Research, Mock Trials & Other Tools, American Bar Association, October 24, 2014
  • ABA Tips Mock Settlement Negotiation Panel, October 18, 2012
  • How Much is Enough? A Medico-legal Programme on the Relationship Between Different National Compensation Systems and their Relation with Clinical Needs and Outcomes – Litigating Tort Cases in the United States, London, England, September 5, 2012
  • AAJ Churchill Downs CLE Seminar – Using Focus Groups to Focus Your Case, June 2, 2012
  • Tennessee Association For Justice, 2012 Midwinter Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. Discovering Social Media – The Do’s and Don’ts, February 23, 2012
  • Discovering Social Media – The Do’s and Don’ts, February 23, 2012, Tennessee Association For Justice, 2012 Midwinter Conference, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Cross Border Personal Injury Seminar, November 4, 2011, Manchester, England. Handling Catastrophic Cases in the United States of America
  • Handling Catastrophic Cases in the United States of America, Cross Border Personal Injury Seminar, November 4, 2011, Manchester, England
  • American Bar Association 2011 Aviation Litigation CLE Seminar, New York, New York. Electronic Discovery: Tips From the Bar and Bench, June 2, 2011
  • Electronic Discovery: Tips From the Bar and Bench, June 2, 2011, American Bar Association 2011 Aviation Litigation CLE Seminar, New York, New York
  • Washington Post, Live Q&A – Regan national Airport Air Traffic Controller Silence Chat with Michael S. Krzak, Aviation Attorney, March 24, 2011
  • Washington Post, Live Q&A – Reagan National Airport Air Traffic Controller Silence Chat with Michael S. Krzak, Aviation Attorney, March 24, 2011
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association “Update & Review” (Utilizing Technology in Transportation Tort Cases) October 12, 2009
  • American Bar Association Tort & Insurance Practice Section Aviation and Space Law Litigation National Program (Electronic Data Discovery – – What Can I Expect to Happen in My Case) (October 16, 2008)
  • “American Bar Association Tort & Insurance Practice Section Aviation and Space Law Litigation National Program (Electronic Data Discovery – – What Can I Expect to Happen in My Case.) (October 16, 2008)
  • Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, “What You Should Know About High/Low Agreements and Structured Settlements,” (Winning Personal Injury Settlement Strategies Program, October 8, 1999, and October 15, 1999
  • “What You Should Know About High/Low Agreements and Structured Settlements,” (Winning Personal Injury Settlement Strategies Program, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, October 8, 1999, and October 15, 1999

Honors and Awards

  • S. News/Best Lawyers, Top Tier Lawyer in Aviation Law, Personal Injury Law, 2016-17
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers 2015
  • Super Lawyers, Aviation and Aerospace Lawyer, 2014-18
  • Chicago Law Bulletin Publishing Company Illinois 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame (Inaugural publication – 2014)
  • Outstanding Section Newsletter Award (AAJ Aviation Section), 2013.
  • Leading Lawyer 2011-18
  • Chicago Law Bulletin Publishing Company Illinois 40 Attorneys Under 40 to Watch, 2001
  • Life Member of The National Registry of Who’s Who
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2008 – 2009

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
  • DuPage County Bar Association (DCBA)
  • Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)
  • American Bar Association (ABA), Section of Litigation
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA)
  • American Association for Justice (AAJ), Aviation Law Section
  • Past Chair and Vice-Chair of Chicago Bar Association, Aviation Law Committee, 2006, 2007; 2010, 2011
  • Past Vice-Chair of AAJ Aviation Law Committee, 2015-2016
  • Current Chair of AAJ, Aviation Law Committee
  • International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association (IATSBA)

 

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