Joseph A. Panatera
Cassiday Schade LLP
Transportation and medical malpractice

Sharp analytical skills. Sees beyond the obvious. Determined, but never foolishly so. And always boasting a superb instinct for the key facts in a case.

Those are just some of the traits that his fellow attorneys say set Joseph Panatera apart from other transportation and medical-malpractice specialists in the Chicago area.

Panatera, with the Chicago law firm of Cassiday Schade, has used these traits to build a thriving career. He has also earned the loyalty of a long line of satisfied clients, clients who know that Panatera will do whatever it takes to provide them with the best representation.

Joseph Sorce, with GWC Injury Lawyers in Chicago, points to one particular case that showcased Panatera’s legal instincts. Panatera maneuvered the case in a way that minimized liability for his client at the expense of a difficult defendant. His effort was met by skepticism, Sorce said. But then, Panatera’s lawyering pulled off his strategy successfully, Sorce said.

“Joseph has a superb instinct for key case facts and how they will fit into a legal analysis or jury presentation,” Sorce said. “He is confident without arrogance. He is a smart guy with special listening skills and is formidable as an adversary.”

Panatera has notched several impressive legal victories during his career. He was lead counsel in a trucking accident trial that involved past and future medical expenses of approximately $2.3 million. The plaintiff sought a verdict in excess of $7.2 million at trial. The jury, persuaded in part by Panatera’s courtroom skills, returned a verdict of $400,000.

Panatera was also lead counsel on a case that was appealed to the 5th District Appellate Court in a bus-versus-motor vehicle accident. Panatera received the case after a bus company’s motion to dismiss based on a statute of limitation defense was denied due to an alleged conflicting statute of limitation. Panatera presented a certified question to the 5th Circuit pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 308 on the statute of limitations issues. The 5th Circuit granted the Rule 308 application for leave to appeal. The 5th Circuit then answered the certified question in favor of the defendants and remanded the case to the trial court with direction to dismiss the complaint based on the statute of limitation defense.

“Joe has achieved exceptional results for his clients for many years,” said Gerald Bekkerman, partner with Chicago’s Taxman Pollock Murray & Bekkerman LLC. “He is a skillful negotiator and advocate for his insurance defense, medical and transportation clients.”

When not working for his clients, Panatera volunteers to make his profession a better one. He is chairman of the Cassiday Schade Hiring Committee. During his tenure as chairman, the firm has hired more than 25 attorneys. He is also a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, Chicago Healthcare Risk Management Society, Justinian Society of Lawyers and the Defense Research Institute.