Photo of Lew R.C. Bricker

Lew R.C. Bricker

Partner

Education

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

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

Admissions

Illinois

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 the Chair Emeritus of the USLAW Network and serves on 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.

Honors

  • 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, 2017, 2018
  • 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: Chair Emeritus, 2018 – present; Immediate Past Chair, 2017 – present; Chair, 2016 – 2017; Vice Chair, 2015 – 2016; Treasurer, 2013 – 2015; Transportation Practice Group Chair, 2007 – 2008, Vice Chairman, 2006 – 2007, Secretary 2006; Business Litigation Group: Sub Chair 2010 – 2011
  • TELFA: Board of Directors, ex officio representative, 2016 – present 
  • Technology Liaison: Defense Research Institute Diversity Committee
  • Section Council Member: Illinois State Bar Association Public Utilities and Transportation Council, 2004 – present; Illinois State Bar Association Tort Law Council 2004 – 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)

Experience

  • 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.

Alerts

Publications

  • USLAW National Compendium of Law, National Editor
    USLAW National Compendium, 2008; 2010; 2012; 2015; 2017; 2018
  • State of Illinois Transportation Compendium of Law
    USLAW, 2017, 2018
  • Chapter Author, Special Considerations in a Premises Liability Case
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017
  • Chapter Author, Special Considerations in Product Liability Cases
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017
  • It's a Matter of Control...or is it? Broker / Logistics Liability & The Coercion Rule
    American Trucking Association Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, July 19, 2016
  • USLAW DigiKnow, 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 Juries Reduced from 12 to 6 Jurors
    USLAW Digiknow, December 30, 2014
  • Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Wrongful Death Case Against Freight Broker
    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Bodily Injury, Wrongful Death, Survival, Compensatory and Punitive Damages – A State by State Summary
    Illinois Chapter, American Bar Association, Commercial Transportation Litigation Committee, 2014
  • A Confidentiality Conundrum: How Confidential Are Your Confidential Settlements?
    March 12, 2014
  • SmithAmundsen, 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

Presentations & Events

  • Program Co-Director and Presenter, USLAW Trucking Boot Camp for Lawyers
    USLAW Trucking Boot Camp for Lawyers; Omaha, NE, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018
  • Managing Internal Expectations – How General Counsel and Attorneys Manage Expectations, Litigation Strategies and Competing Interests
    USLAW Conference; Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 7, 2018
  • New Technology Issues from Availability to Trial
    USLAW Transportation Industry Summer Legal Forum; Half Moon Bay, CA, August 9, 2018
  • Women in Law Firm Management: A View from the Managing Partner's Chair
    USLAW Women's Conference; Charleston, SC, June 22, 2018
  • Avoiding the Crisis Created Long Before the Accident: Legal and Litigation Issues with Employee Handbooks and Training Manuals
    USLAW Conference, April 7, 2018
  • Legal and Litigation Issues with Employee Handbooks and Training Manuals
    Client Seminar; Las Vegas, Nevada, October 17, 2017
  • Best Litigation and Claims Practices
    Client Seminar; Dallas, Texas, October 12, 2017
  • Strategies and Considerations for Initial Accident and Case Handling: Collection and Protection, Early Resolutions Strategies, Preservation and Spoliation, and The Reptile and Case Preparation
    Client Seminar; Carmel, IN, September 28, 2017
  • Truck Accident Litigation 101 - Basics and Issues
    MyLawCLE and Wolters Kluwer; Webinar, September 22, 2017
  • Broker Liability
    USLAW Summer Legal Forum; Colorado Springs, CO, August 17, 2017
  • Stafford; Webinar, July 12, 2017
  • Defending the Reptile and Witness Preparation
    Client Presentation, January 31, 2017
  • Why Broker Liability Matters; Load and Unloading Cases
    Client Presentation, January 17, 2017
  • 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
  • Stafford; Webinar, June 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 Playbook
    USLAW Conference, Tucson, AZ, April 2013