Photo of Lew R.C. Bricker

Lew R.C. Bricker



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 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.


  • 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, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in transportation defense law
  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© in Transportation Law: 2021, 2022
  • USLAW O’Hagan Award Recipient, 2008

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member: SmithAmundsen Executive Committee
  • USLAW Executive Committee: Conference Educational Coordinator, Fall Conference, 2019; 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)


  • 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.


  • National Editor and Illinois Author
    USLAW Network Joint and Several Liability Compendium of Law, 2018
  • Illinois Offer of Judgment Law
    USLAW Network Offer of Judgment Law Compendium, 2018
  • State of Illinois Transportation Compendium of Law
    USLAW, 2017, 2018
  • USLAW National Compendium of Law, National Editor
    USLAW National Compendium, 2008; 2010; 2012; 2015; 2017; 2018
  • Chapter Author, Special Considerations in Product Liability Cases
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017
  • Chapter Author, Special Considerations in a Premises Liability Case
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017
  • USLAW DigiKnow, July 19, 2016
  • 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, January 15, 2016
  • Parameters of a Roadside Inspection
    American Trucking Association Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, July 2015

Presentations & Events

  • Litigation Trends in a Post-COVID-19 World: Should Our Traditional Model of Conservative, Neutral and Liberal Jurisdictions be Reconsidered? How has Today’s Political Landscape Impacted the Composition
    USLAW Fall Conference, Seminar; Colorado Springs, CO, September 25, 2021
  • 2021 ATA Litigation Center Trucking Legal Forum, Seminar; Washington, DC, July 28, 2021
  • Litigation Financing and Letters of Protection
    USLAW Summer Legal Forum, Seminar; Jackson, WY, July 20, 2021
  • SmithAmundsen, Webcast, June 16, 2021
  • USLAW Network, Webcast, September 30, 2020 - October 9, 2020
  • USLAW, October 1, 2020
  • 2020 American Trucking Association Litigation Center Trucking Legal Forum, Webcast, July 23, 2020
  • Transportation Safety, Compliance and Drivers
    Client Roundtable Moderator, June 19, 2020
  • Resolution Strategies in the COVID-19 World
    Client Roundtable Moderator, June 16 - 18, 2020
  • Safety Precautions, Policies and Procedures for Re-opening Your Business and Your Stores
    Client Roundtable Moderator, June 8, 2020
  • USLAW Transportation Exchange
    Conference Chair and Program Co-Moderator; New Orleans, LA, February 27 - 28, 2020
  • Some Illinois Legal Issues for Your Consideration . . .
    Client Seminar; Richfield, OH, January 2020
  • New Technology in Vehicle Collisions, Psychological and Communication Factors that Influence Negotiations, and Best Practices for Both
    Client Seminar; St. Louis, MO, November 2019
  • Just Saying No: The Successes, Perils and Pitfalls of Believing in Your Product and How It Can Affect Litigation
    USLAW Fall Conference; Washington, D.C., September 27, 2019
  • USLAW Fall Conference
    Conference Educational Coordinator; Washington, D.C., September 2019
  • Going on the Offensive - "Proving Up" A Company is Being Safety Conscious
    USLAW Summer Legal Forum; Quebec City, QC, CA, July 31, 2019
  • Corporate Representatives and FROCP 30(b)(6)
    Client Seminar; Phoenix, AZ, May 2019
  • Data Preservation Post-Accident
    USLAW Transportation Exchange; Las Vegas, NV, February 20, 2019
  • Nuclear Verdicts and Defense/Claim Strategies Panel Discussion and Q&A
    Client Presentation; Kansas City, KS, October 17, 2018
  • Avoiding the Big Mistake: Protocols, Procedures and Preservation
    TrueNorth-USLAW Network Webinar, October 17, 2018
  • Training Programs Are Not Created Equal
    Client Workshop; Las Vegas, NV, October 16, 2018
  • Legal Developments In Transportation Litigation
    Client Seminar; Dubuque, IA, October 11, 2018
  • Auto Risk Management Seminar: Legal Implications and Risk Management of Telematics, Distracted Driving and Hired Non Owned Autos
    Client Seminar; Chicago, IL, October 10, 2018
  • Avoiding the Crisis Created Long Before the Accident: Legal and Litigation Issues with Employee Handbooks and Training Manuals
    Arkansas Trucking Conference; Rogers, AR, September 20, 2018
  • 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