About Steven Mikuzis
I believe litigation is the last option. If possible, I always first calmly seek affable compromise in any dispute. But when compromise fails, I strike and strike hard to achieve my client's goals.
I first chaired my first 12 person jury trial as a first year associate at a large Chicago law firm. As the trial approached, the senior partner on the case became ill and was unable to appear. With no trial experience and little legal experience, I obtained a successful verdict for my client. My lack of legal experience at the time was shored up by my ability to connect with 12 diverse citizens of Cook County.
Since that case I have tried multiple cases to verdict and appeal; sometimes representing the plaintiff and sometimes the defendant. I have tried cases involving personal injury, breach of contract, business disputes & fraud. I have tried cases against lawyers from one-man shops, national recognized law firms and legends of my profession. As my knowledge base has grown with these experiences, I have come to realize one thing: when trial comes you want me in that courtroom. You want me by your side. You want me to explain to the trier of fact why you were wronged and how they can make it right.
I have the luxury of choosing the cases I wish to take. If I take your case, it is because I believe in you and your cause. I cannot sit here and tell you I have won every case that has come to me. No lawyer can. But as your lawyer I pledge my loyalty and will relentlessly pursue your interests. We become partners in your case. Your problem becomes my problem. And I will see it through to the very end.
EDUCATION & LICENSES
Licensed Insurance Producer
Property, Casualty, Life & Health
J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law (Cum Laude), 2003
Honors: Dean's Honor List Each Semester, Merit Scholarship Recipient, CALI Award Winner for Legal Writing, Trial Advocacy and Criminal Procedure
Chicago Kent College of Law – 2001
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL
Juris Doctor (2003) Honors: Graduated cum laude, Dean’s Honor List Each Semester, Merit Scholarship Recipient,
CALI Award Winner for Trial Advocacy
Completed course work in 2 ½ years
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
Bachelor of Arts (1999)
Loyola Academy, Wilmette, IL
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS & AWARDS
Illinois State Bar Association – 2006 – Edwardsville, IL
"Judgment Enforcement Proceedings in Illinois"
The Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc.: October 25, 2016 – Chicago, IL
Keynote Speaker – "Insurance Policy Pitfalls in Property Claims"
Single Family Rental Investment Forum (West): December 6, 2016 – Scottsdale, AZ
"Integration/Operations for Acquired Portfolios"
Single Family Rental Investment Forum (East): May 3, 2017 – Miami Beach, Florida
"Acquisition Due Diligence: What are the Little Things you Look at to Avoid the Common Pitfalls & Unexpected Problems of SFR Investments?"
The Middle-Market Multifamily Forum (West): May 19, 2017 – Huntington Beach, CA
"Acquisition Strategy-As the Market Gets More Competitive Where are you Finding Product?"
Chicago Magazine's "Outstanding Young Lawyers" (2012)
Chicago Magazine's "Outstanding Young Lawyers" (2010)
Crawford v. Belhaven Realty, LLC – 2018 IL App (1st) 170731.
Tsai v. Picoulas – 2018 IL App (1st) 162531
Inter-Rail Systems Inc. v. Ravi Corporation – 387 Ill. App. 3d 510
Santorini Cab Corporation v. Cross Town Cab Company – 2012 IL App (1st) 110428
IN THE NEWS
What Exactly Can Be Taken From You In A Lawsuit. Forbes, July 2020. Read the full article here.
Commercial Insurance & Riot Damage. Expert Insurance Reviews, June 2020. Read the full article here.
Does Insurance Cover Damage From Civil Unrest & Looting. Theprepared.com, June 2020. Read the full article here.
What's my goal? To get deals done. Nothing more. Many lawyers are notorious for 'killing' deals due to their overzealous representation of their clients. They tend to bog down negotiations with unnecessary arguments and take stubborn positions. Not me.
As a Yale University graduate and accomplished soccer player, I was very accustomed to high pressure situations. So, when it came time to decide on a professional career, I did not shy away from the challenge of practicing law or the responsibilities of representing clientele all across the country.
I believe success starts and ends with knowing who I represent, why I am representing them, and what it is we are up against. To me, this means more than just the facts-it means understanding the person-top to bottom, inside and out.