Attorney Lawrence J. Ferolie
Lawrence J. Ferolie passed away on July 29, 2012 at age 90. He founded the law firm in 1967. Since 1976, the firm’s practice has been limited to injury and death cases.
Lawrence J. Ferolie practiced law for more than 50 years. He began his career as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Winnebago County and served as City Attorney for the City of Rockford. For more than 35 years, he handled only serious personal injury, wrongful death and work injury cases.
Mr. Ferolie had been recognized by the legal profession for his many achievements. He was considered an expert in the civil trial practice area of personal injury law. During his long and distinguished career, Mr. Ferolie had been involved in numerous jury trials, both civil and criminal, throughout northern Illinois. He authored legal articles and co-authored the Illinois Law Enforcement Manual and Tort Trends, an Illinois State Bar newsletter. For a decade, he lectured in his area of expertise at the Illinois Trial Lawyers College of Advocacy. He served on the faculty of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Basic Trial Advocacy seminars, an educational program for beginning civil trial lawyers, and its Regional College of Advocacy for experienced civil trial lawyers. He taught at seminars about all aspects of personal injury trials for lawyers around the nation.
Mr. Ferolie was involved in continuing legal education. He had served six years with distinction on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and had served as Planning Chairman for its Annual Trial Evidence Seminars.
Among his many recognitions was his election as Secretary and Treasurer of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, in which he was an active member for over three decades and served with distinction as a member of its Board of Managers for over a quarter of a century. For four years, he served as Planning Chairman of the Seminars Committee. He served two three-year terms as a member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. He was a former chairman of the Tort Law Section Council and the Civil Practice and Procedure Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association, for which he served three terms on the Board of Governors.
Mr. Ferolie was admitted to the practice of law in all courts of the state of Illinois, the United States District Court for Northern Illinois, the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He was a lifelong resident of Rockford, having graduated from the last Rockford High School class. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois and John Marshall Law School, which awarded him the “Citation of Merit as a Distinguished Alumni.”
Mr. Ferolie served during World War II as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry with the 12th Armored Division in the European Theater of Operations. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. While in the Army Reserves following World War II, he taught as an Assistant Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of Illinois. He was a member of the Army Reserves until he was transferred to the honorary inactive reserves in 1950 due to a residual injury.
Mr. Ferolie’s first glimpse of a courtroom was in a high school play, in which he portrayed a criminal defense lawyer in “Ladies of the Jury.” He represented a woman accused of killing her wealthy husband. Ferolie won the case. Little did he know that this was only a precursor to many more wins in the courtroom as a plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyer.
He played quarterback and linebacker on the last Rockford High School football team in the days when players played both ways, offense and defense, wearing leather helmets without face guards. He was a member of the University of Illinois varsity football team until a career-ending injury sidelined him.
LAWRENCE J. FEROLIE, admitted to bar, 1951, Illinois; 1959, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois; 1981, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.
Education: University of Illinois (Bachelor of Arts, 1947);
John Marshall Law School (Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1970, replaced LL.B. Conferred 1951).
Recipient, Distinguished Alumni Award, 1980.
Assistant State’s Attorney, Winnebago County, Illinois, 1951-1955.
City Attorney, Rockford, Illinois, 1959-1963.
Member, Board of Directors, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1974-1980.
Trustee, Illinois Bar Foundation, 1990-1994, 1995-1996.
Member: Winnebago County and Illinois State Bar Associations (Member, Tort Law Section Council, 1965-1971; Chairman, 1969-1970;
Member, Civil Practice and Procedure Council, 1978-1982; Chairman, 1980-1981;
Assembly Delegate, 1978-1982, 1988-1994; Board of Governors, 1988-1994);
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (Board of Managers, 1964-1990;
Treasurer, 1981-1982; Secretary, 1982-1983;
College Advocacy Board, 1980-1989;
American Association for Justice (Member, Board of Governors, 1978-1981, 1983-1986;
Regional College of Advocacy, 1981-1982).