Michelle M. Kohut is a Chicago personal injury trial lawyer who joined Corboy & Demetrio in 2004 and was named Partner in 2019. She practices in the area of workers’ compensation as well as in all areas of personal injury law.
Tell us a bit about your practice/company.
Corboy & Demetrio is one of the nation’s premier law firms, with more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements. We represent individuals and their families in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our attorneys are renowned for their achievements in the courtroom and contributions to the community. Putting clients first has resulted in unparalleled and exceptional success.
Our firm was founded by nationally acclaimed personal injury trial attorneys, Philip H. Corboy and Thomas A. Demetrio, and is one of the nation’s leading plaintiff personal injury and civil trial practice law firms. We have represented victims and their families involved in nearly every aviation disaster, including currently in the Ethiopian and Lion Air lawsuits against Boeing. We also represent individuals and their families in construction negligence; drug liability; medical malpractice; motor vehicle negligence; premises liability; product liability; railroad negligence; sports liability and workers’ compensation. Our practice also includes commercial litigation.
What is your firm/company’s mission statement?
Our attorneys have an unwavering commitment, dedication, compassion and relentless drive to acquire fair and full compensation for our clients.
How has your business/practice changed during the pandemic?
Our practice has changed during the pandemic in that we have expanded our Workers’ Compensation practice to include COVID-19 claims for Illinois’ essential workers. We also expanded our Commercial Litigation practice to include COVID-19 Business Interruption claims.
What is one habit/practice that you’ve adopted during the pandemic that you plan on keeping?
I’ve carved out more time to exercise and cook, something that I just did not have time to do until the pandemic. I hope to carry over some of both after the pandemic.
Share with us a career highlight of yours.
Starting our firm’s Workers’ Compensation practice.
What is the most challenging part of your practice/business?
Answering the endless emails that fill my inbox. It definitely takes some juggling to timely respond to. emails and also get substantive work done.
What is the most rewarding part of your practice/business?
The most rewarding part of our practice is helping to make a victim’s life as close to whole as it can be. While we can never make it whole, we can obtain a settlement or verdict that is instrumental in helping families devastated by death or serious injury. Some clients need lifelong care, which is expensive. Some need help with burial costs. In each case, for each client, the need is different. Working with a family to get them what they deserve in order to ease their financial burden a little bit, that’s the rewarding part.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
We treat our clients like family and we help them long after the verdict or settlement, whether it’s helping them work on a new safety law or create a non-profit foundation. We support our clients in turning their tragedy into something positive in order to help save another person from suffering a similar tragedy.
How do you create opportunities for women and young attorneys in your practice/business/firm?
Corboy & Demetrio supports and encourages women lawyers at our firm to become active with organizations, including WBAI, and to take on leadership roles.
Why are you a supporter of the WBAI?
I’m a supporter of WBAI because of the networking opportunities with attorneys who practice in an array of practice areas. When I was President, my theme was “Empowerment Through Networking” and I truly believe that this organization provides that empowerment through its membership and the opportunity to grow our business.
Tell us something most people would not know about you?
Most people do not know that I can get a little carried away when a karaoke machine is around.
When this pandemic is behind us, where do you most want to travel?
I want to travel to Italy and enjoy its delicious food and explore it beautiful regions.
What do you/your firm/company/business hope to accomplish in the next 12 months?
We plan to further expand both our COVID-19 Business Interruption practice and Workers’ Compensation practice