Photo of Lew R.C. Bricker

Lew R.C. Bricker


Practice Areas


University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1991, cum laude

University of Illinois, B.A., 1988, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa



In one of Lew Bricker’s most memorable cases he had the jury nodding along with his closing argument; a true testament to his litigation skills. He defends clients in the areas of commercial transportation, products liability and commercial litigation. He also counsels clients and attorneys on best practices for managing and litigating issues involving electronically stored information and e-discovery. Additionally, he leads the firm’s Rapid Response Team, coordinating responses to catastrophic losses for clients in the Midwest.

Lew’s clients include motor carriers, logistics providers, product manufacturers, retailers, distributors and their insurers. He represents many clients in commercial and contract disputes and counsels clients on best risk mitigation practices, business structure, management and marketing practices in the transportation, retail and manufacturing industries.

As chair of the firm’s commercial transportation group Lew oversees a team providing comprehensive litigation and transactional services to the transportation industry. As a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Lew works to ensure that SmithAmundsen provides the best possible service to clients across the globe.

Lew currently serves as treasurer of the USLAW Network and was elected to the Network’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. In 2008 he served as the chair of the USLAW Transportation Practice Group. He designed and coordinated the Transportation Motor Carrier Boot Camp, a training program for transportation lawyers held every two years.

Lew holds many titles, but husband and dad are among his most cherished. He is involved with his kids and active in the community where he raises his family. He coached his kids in youth sports and ran the community baseball and softball organizations for several years, overseeing more than 150 teams. During his tenure he rebuilt the softball program, restored the organization financially and saw teams to multiple championships. He currently serves as past commissioner. He also served on the local high school district facilities community, helping to identify the needs of the local high school and lobbying for the passage of a referendum.


  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated
  • Named a BTI Client Service All-Star, 2012
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers List: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in transportation defense law
  • USLAW O’Hagan Award Recipient, 2008

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member: SmithAmundsen Executive Committee
  • USLAW: Executive Committee 2013-present: Chair: 2016-present; Vice Chair: 2015-2016; Board of Directors 2009-present, Treasurer 2013-2015; Transportation Practice Group: Chair 2007-2008, Vice Chairman 2006-2007, Secretary 2006; Business Litigation Group: Sub Chair 2010-2011
  • Technology Liaison: DRI Diversity Committee
  • Section Council Member: lllinois State Bar Association Public Utilities and Transportation Council, 2004 – present; Illinois State Bar Association Tort Law Council 2004 – present
  • TELFA: Board of Directors, ex officio representative, 2016- present 
  • Member: Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA); Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA); Chicago Traffic Club; American Bar Association; Illinois State Bar Association; Intermodal Association of North America (IANA); Defense Research Institute (DRI)


  • Handled a broker liability lawsuit where an individual was left in vegetative state. More than $25 million dollar was demanded by the plaintiff, but the matter was ultimately settled in the low six figures.
  • Handled an admitted liability case where the plaintiff claimed seven figures in damages and sought mid seven figures at trial. We received a verdict for one third of claimed damages.
  • Represented a window manufacturer in a case where a minor fell out of a window to death. Summary judgment was won for the manufacturer.
  • Represented a hotel in a massive claim of alleged food poisoning. Over 150 claims were made, fewer than ten suits filed. Total payouts were in the five figures.



  • USLAW DigiKnow, July 19, 2016
  • It's a Matter of Control...or is it? Boker / Logistics Liability & The Coercion Rule
    American Trucking Association Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, July 19, 2016
  • USLAW DigiKnow, January 15, 2016
  • USLAW DigiKnow, December 14, 2015
  • Parameters of a Roadside Inspection
    American Trucking Association Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, July 2015
  • Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Wrongful Death Case Against Freight Broker
    USLAW Digiknow, December 30, 2014
  • Illinois Juries Reduced from 12 to 6 Jurors
    USLAW Digiknow, December 30, 2014
  • Illinois Surveillance Law
    USLAW Network Surveillance Compendium, September 10, 2014
  • Wisconsin Surveillance Law
    USLAW Network Surveillance Compendium, September 10, 2014
  • Illinois Spoliation of Evidence Law
    USLAW Network Spoliation of Law Compendium, August 26, 2014
  • Best Practices for Navigating Insurance Issues in large Loss Trucking Litigation
    American Trucking Association Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, July 2014
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes - How to Respond to the Reptile Theory and Other New Avenues of Attack from the Plaintiff - Alternative Liability Theories – Broker Liability and its Derivatives, State Anti-Indemnity Motor Transportation Statutes
    DRI Trucking Law Seminar Course Materials, June 2014
  • Driver Classification, The Logo Liability Doctrine a/k/a Placard Liability or The Doctrine of Statutory Employment, Recent Developments in Federal Preemption of State and Local Efforts to Regulate the Trucking Industry, and Payment Priority
    DRI Trucking Law Seminar Course Materials, June 2014
  • Bodily Injury, Wrongful Death, Survival, Compensatory and Punitive Damages – A State by State Summary
    Illinois Chapter, American Bar Association, Commercial Transportation Litigation Committee, 2014
  • SmithAmundsen, March 12, 2014
  • A Confidentiality Conundrum: How Confidential Are Your Confidential Settlements?
    March 12, 2014
  • USLAW, February 2014
  • USLAW Digiknow, January 2014
  • The Legal Definitions of "First Responder"
    Research Results Digest 385, November 13, 2013
  • USLAW, March 2013
  • SmithAmundsen
  • Public Video Cameras Play Larger role for Attorneys in Courtroom
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, January 5, 2012
  • In the Wake of Sperl: Best Practices Following an Eight Figure Judgement Against a Freight Broker
    IWLA, June 2011
  • Survey of Brokers Liability Cases
    Marsh-USLAW, 2011
  • Special Considerations in a Product Liability Case
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Illinois Civil Discovery Practice Supplement, 2011
  • The Power of Online Investigation- How to Survive and Maximize the Use of Technology and Web Sites in Litigation
    ABA MegaConference X Course Materials, March 2011
  • Legal Research Digest 33, Transportation Research Board, August 2010
  • Post Accident Investigation and Preventability Determinations Best Practices
    USLAW Seminar, April 2010
  • Being Prepared – Some Alternative Considerations for Minimizing Risk, Protecting Your Company and Doing Business Just a Little Bit Better
    International Warehouse Logistics Association, March 2010
  • Keeping Up with the Millennials-- The Use and Ramifications of Technology
    DRI Trucking Law Seminar, Defense Practice Seminar Course Materials, February 2010

Presentations & Events

  • Broker and Logistics Liability, Preservation and Spoilation, and DOT and OSHA Issues for Trucking Companies
    Client Presentation, November 9, 2016
  • The U.S. Election and its Effect on Business
    Seminar, Trans European Law Firm Alliance, Paris, France, November 5, 2016
  • Preservation and Spoliation
    Client Presentation, Pittsburgh, PA, September 12, 2016
  • American Trucking Associations; Seminar, Bellevue, Washington, July 19, 2016
  • Strafford, Webinar, July 8, 2016
  • Dissecting Written Policies: The Do's and Don'ts of Crafting Safety Policies
    USLAW Client Conference, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, April 8, 2016
  • The Parameters of a Roadside Inspection:  What They Can Ask for and What They Can’t
    American Trucking Association Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, July 21, 2015
  • Insurance Issues in Trucking Litigation
    Client Seminar, Brookfield, WI, July 7, 2015
  • How to Make a Negative into a Positive
    USLAW Client Conference, San Antonio, TX, April 9, 2015
  • Preservation and Best Practices for Motor Carriers
    Client In-house Training Meetings, Sunset Hills, MO, February 24, 2015
  • An Attorney's Ethical Responsibilities When Serving as Local Counsel
    USLAW Client Conference, San Francisco, CA, September 20, 2014
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events . . . Insurance Issues in Litigation
    American Trucking Association Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, July 16, 2014
  • Anti-Indemnity, Preventability Determinations and Jurisdiction
    Client Seminar, April 2014
  • Best Fleets to Drive For -- Broker Liability
    Marsh Educational Conference, Windsor, ON, Canada, June 11, 2013
  • Dissecting The Plaintiff's Playbooko
    USLAW Conference, Tucson, AZ, April 2013
  • Damages, Joint & Several Liability and Idemnity
    Client Seminar, Centennial, CO, December 5, 2012
  • Damages, Public Liability and Indemnity
    Client Seminar, Denver, CO, December 4, 2012
  • Alternative Theories of Broker Liability
    Marsh-USLAW Roundtable, Atlanta, GA, November 29, 2012
  • Strategies for Successfully Litigating Contract Cases
    USLAW Client Conference, Washington, DC, October 5, 2012
  • Social Media and Leveraging It for Litigation
    Insurance Internal Audit Group, Chicago, IL, October 3, 2012
  • The Motor Carrier and Some Things You Should Know
    USLAW Trucking Book Camp IV, Omaha, NE, August 2012
  • Non-Traditional Transportation Liability -- Best Business Practices
    Romulus, MI, August 2012
  • Escape for Alcatraz: Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls and Perils
    San Francisco, CA, July 2012
  • Theories of Liability Against Transportation Intermediaries and Shippers
    Marsh-USLAW Roundtable, New York, NY, May 10, 2012
  • Social Media and the Law
    Oak Brook, IL, April 19, 2012
  • Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA): Current Trends and Future Application
    USLAW Spring Conference, Dana Point, CA, April 14, 2012
  • CSA Industry Considerations and How They Are Adapting
    TIDA Advanced Seminar, Miami, FL, February 9, 2012
  • Social Networking Data, the Internet, Claims and Litigation
    CLE and CE Seminar, Peoria, IL, February 7, 2012
  • Top Ten Trends and Illinois Law Update
    Motor Carrier Seminar, Tampa, FL, December 7, 2011
  • Immediate Response to Jury Selection
    Orlando, FL, December 6, 2011
  • The Essentials Course: Transportation Law
    International Warehouse Logistics Association, Memphis, TN, October 24, 2011
  • Broker Liability
    March-USLAW Roundtable, Milwaukee, WI, June 21, 2011
  • Claims Investigations: It's Better to be Safe than Sorry
    United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit Claims Department Best Practice Series, May 2011
  • Client Roundtable
    USLAW Client Conference, Phoenix, AZ, April 2011
  • Broker Liability
    Marsh-USLAW Roundtable, Atlanta, GA, April 14, 2011
  • Transportation
    USLAW Client Conference, Phoenix, AZ, April 2011
  • The Power of Online Investigation
    ABA MegaConference X, New Orleans, LA, March 17, 2011
  • Broker Liability
    Marsh-USLAW Boot Camp, Dallas, TX, January 19, 2011
  • Expansion of Non-Traditional Liability in Commercial Transportation Industry
    January 18, 2011
  • Best Practices for Your Consideration
    Office Moving Alliance Conference, Atlanta, GA, October 2010
  • The Motor Carrier and Some Things You Should Know
    USLAW Trucking Boot Camp 11, Omaha, NE, August 2010
  • Any Which Way You Can: The Peril in Ignoring Ethics
    American Trucking Association Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, Monterey, CA, July 2010
  • Disclosure and Proof in Civil/Common Law Proceedings -- The United States
    TELFA Seminar, London, England, 2010
  • The Lesser of Two Evils? What to do with Preventability Determinations and In House Post Accident Investigations
    USLAW Seminar, Miami Beach, FL, April 2010
  • Transportation -- Broker  & Expanded Non-Traditional Liability in Commercial Transportation and Risk Mitigation, Indemnification and Additional Insured Status
    International Warehouse Logistics Association, March 2010
  • Economy and Efficiency: Strategies and Solutions - A Little Preparation Now Can Reduce Future Risks - Not So Common Tools
    International Warehouse Logistics Association, Annual Convention and Expo, San Diego, CA, March 8, 2010
  • Las Vegas, NV, February 5, 2010