There are many successful young attorneys practicing through- out Chicago. But how many of them earn successful verdicts and settlements for their clients and also provide them with comfort and security?
Muriel Collison’s peers say that this personal injury and work- ers’ compensation specialist with Chicago’s Collison Law Of- fices does just that.
“Many of Muriel’s clients are unfamiliar with the complexities of the legal system,” said Kathryn Ciesla, with Northbrook, Illinois-based Ciesla & Ciesla, P.C. “Muriel has a great loyalty to her clients. She is responsive and accessible, taking client calls on nights and weekends, holding hands and taking extra care and effort to explain and re-explain, answer questions and help clients understand their legal rights.”
Collison also achieves results for her clients, often earning settlements on the eve of a trial or in the early stages. For example, in 2015, Collison and her partner settled a compli- cated medical malpractice case involving the death of a fetus for $1.9 million just before jury selection. And another example of Collison lawyering ability she and her partner also settled a complicated aviation wrongful death case for $2.4 million on just the second day of trial.
For many years Collison worked as a special assistant to the Kane County State’s Attorney to advise in workers’ compensa- tion litigation. Joseph McMahon, the Kane County State’s At- torney, had this to say about Collison, “She has done an outstanding job, demonstrating a keen aware- ness of the issues and ability to effectively and professionally work with all parties for a just resolution.” McMahon contin- ued, ”Some of her best work is often the most difficult to iden- tify in that her excellent counseling has resulted the avoidance of claims notably for the taxpayers of Kane County.”
Judge Christine Downs with the 16th Judicial Court says that these early settlements can often be attributed to Collison’s detailed preparation and courtroom skill.
“What sets Ms. Collison apart from other trial lawyers is her insistence that she know her cases, her clients, the medical re- cords and evidence inside and out,” Downs said. “This requires hard work, organization, incredible energy and perseverance. Her preparation for a status date, contested hearing, deposition, trial or even a phone conversation is second to none.”
Kate Middleton with Chicago law firm Faegre Baker Daniels has worked with Collison in the past, while co-chairing a jury trial with her. Middleton said that the facts of the case were making it difficult to justify their clients’ claims when it came to damages. To make the case even more challenging, the defense refused to make any offer for settlement before the trial’s start.
This didn’t deter Collison, though. “Muriel never doubted that we would obtain a favorable verdict,” Middleton said. “She was confident, well-spoken and convincing in the courtroom. Her closing argument was nothing if not captivating. Muriel’s ap- proach to that trial is how she approaches her entire practice,” Middleton said. “She is passionate about her clients’ claims and livelihood.”
Collison is equally as passionate about serving her community. For example, she is the founder of Kazapalooza, an annual fund- raising event for families that have adopted children from Ka- zakhstan. Collison holds this event dear; she and her husband adopted their oldest daughter from this country several years ago. Her efforts to promote the benefits of adoption and her advocacy on behalf of parents who have adopted have, earned her an “Angels in Adoption” Congressional Award in 2009.
Collison is also an active member in the Village of Northbrook where she is a member of the Rotary Club and recently she was appointed as a commissioner on the Planning Commission.