Meet Michael—Dedicated to Family, Passionate About Service
Michael Bonamarte IV is a skilled and passionate attorney who has achieved outstanding results in a number of high-profile nursing home, wrongful death, medical malpractice and personal injury cases. His commitment to his clients is rooted in a family legacy of love of the law and meaningful service to those in need, with a special respect and admiration for the elders that our society so often fails to honor.
Michael enjoys golf, basketball, running, yoga and spending time with his wife, Julia, and their daughter Gabriella Grace, “GG,” who is seven years old. He was raised in Highland Park, a community his family has been dedicated to serving for generations. His great grandfather was a fingerprint expert with the Highland Park Police, and his grandfather served as the police chief for 38 years. Michael’s father was a Lake County attorney who represented elders in probate transactions. With a legacy like that, it is only natural that Michael IV would thrive in leadership roles and pursue work that made a difference in people’s lives. After a successful high school football career as captain and starting varsity quarterback at Highland Park High School, Michael earned his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with academic distinction. In 2005, he graduated from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where he earned a place on the dean’s list during his second and third years. He joined Levin & Perconti as an associate attorney in August 2005 and in March 2014 was named Partner.
Michael is an effective and diligent attorney. In 2017 Michael and associate A.J. Thut obtained a $2.7 million jury verdict for the estate of a 67-year-old man who died from complications related to a fall at Southpoint Nursing Home on Chicago’s southside.
Michael also played a crucial role in a $7.5 million Illinois Record Jones Act Settlement recovered on behalf of a boat worker who was injured in an explosion. He has also recovered a $4.75 million medical malpractice settlement, a $2.325 million settlement of a pressure ulcer case against a Chicago assisted-living facility, a $1.8 million medical malpractice verdict, a $1.4 million settlement in a nursing home pressure sore lawsuit and a $1.25 million medical malpractice settlement against a dialysis center for its staff’s failure to monitor a resident’s dialysis catheter.
Even in his first jury trial, Michael, who sat second-chair to Steven Levin, achieved a $2.9 million verdict for the family of a deceased 57-year-old nursing home resident who suffocated due to the home’s negligent care of her tracheostomy tube. This was a record verdict in a Cook County nursing home case.
In addition to these settlements, Mike settled a construction accident case for $1.5 million, a $1 million nursing home pressure ulcer settlement and a premises liability/wrongful death case for $975,000 for the family of a young man who fell from a Chicago porch railing. He also achieved a record settlement of $700,000 in a case against a Coles County, IL, nursing home. Mike has also recovered a jury verdict of $552,000 for his client for a fall and ankle fracture suffered during physical therapy at a nursing home.
Along with his casework, Mike enthusiastically shares his knowledge and experience by speaking regularly to colleagues and community organizations, including the American Association for Justice, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Mike has given speeches on nursing home litigation as well as deposition strategies. He has also made presentations on nursing home abuse to Chicago-area senior organizations and Illinois aging professionals.
Mike is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, American Bar Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Former President of the American Association for Justice Nursing Home Litigation Group, and the Justinian Society of Lawyers. He is also a past President of the Justinian Society and writes the verdicts and settlements section in the organization’s newsletter. Additionally, Mike is a member of the ISBA’s Young Lawyers Division Council and also served on the board of directors for the River North Business Association.
In September 2010, Michael was honored as one of the “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch,” and he has also been named an Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers in every year since 2011. Mike was honored with an award for Trial Lawyer Excellence for the Highest Reported Illinois Verdict in a Nursing Home Malpractice case.
Michael is president and founder of the Michael F. Bonamarte III Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding research on the treatment and prevention of strokes. Michael founded the organization in memory of his late father, Michael F. Bonamarte III, who passed away in 2006. The Foundation has raised over $60,000 since its inception.
Michael was named as one of the Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” in 2010. This honor is awarded to forty of the most talented young lawyers in the state for their outstanding work on behalf of clients, their efforts to advance the legal profession and their community service. Click on the link to view Mike’s “40 Under Forty” profile.
Partner Michael Bonamarte of Levin & Perconti recently shared his insights on a podcast regarding a $7 million verdict awarded on behalf of a military veteran with a history of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a highly debilitating mental condition. The challenging case raised questions about whether the man’s untimely death was self-inflicted or due to the improper care he received during medical transport. In EPISODE #33, presented by Preferred Capital Funding on its podcast titled The Result, Bonamarte delves into the case details and how he achieved victory for this veteran’s grieving family.
Selected to serve on the Illinois State Bar Association Steering Committee on Racial Inequality
J.D., John Marshall Law School, 2005
B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- Illinois, 2005
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2006
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
- American Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
Member, Council Member, Steering Committee for Racial Inequality
- Chicago Bar Association
- Justinian Society
Member, Past President 2017-2018, Founder and Chair of COE Committee
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Member, Board of Managers
- American Association for Justice
Chair of COVID Committee, Member of COE committee
- River North Business Association
Member, Former Member of Board of Directors
- AAJ Nursing Home Litigation Group
Member, Past Chair
- Chicago Bar Association, “Covid 19: Impact on Long Term Care Litigation” May 2021
- The Justinian Society, “A Guide for Young Lawyers Starting Your Career, CLE” May 2021
- AAJ Nursing Home Litigation Group, “Cross Examination Techniques in Nursing HomeCases” May 2020
- New Jersey Association for Justice Boardwalk Seminar, “Case Selection to Winning Your Trial” May 2019
- AAJ Nursing Home Litigation Group: Washington D.C., “Trial Preparation and Closing Argument” April 2019
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Ethics & Professionalism Seminar “Social Media Protecting Yourself and Your Client” March 2019
- New Jersey Association for Justice Boardwalk Seminar, “Deposition Technique in Nursing Home Cases” May 2018
- Strafford Nursing Home Depos Webinar, “Deposing Nursing Home Staff and Corporate Representatives in Nursing Home Injury Cases.” April 20, 2017. CLE Webinar.
- Evergreen Park Public Library, “Arbitration in Nursing Homes & Signs and Symptoms of Abuse and Neglect.” October 22, 2016. Evergreen Park, IL.
- American Association for Justice Nursing Home Litigation Group, “Don’t Forget the Deposition,” CLE Program: Issues Often Missed in Nursing Home Cases, July 11, 2015, Montreal, Canada.
- Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, “Expert Witnesses-When and How to Depose Them and How to Take a Good Deposition,” Nursing Home & Assisted Living Facility Litigation Seminar, February 6, 2015, Chicago, IL.
- The John Marshall Law School, Cultural Considerations in Nursing Homes. March 25, 2014, Chicago, IL.
- “Nursing Home Neglect –Medical Malpractice – Personal Injury,” LULAC of Lake County* Legal & Insurance Workshop. March 12, 2014, Waukegan, IL.
- Indiana Trial Lawyers Association 49th Annual Institute, Nursing Home Litigation – How to Take Key Depositions in a Nursing Home Lawsuit. November 2013, Indianapolis, IN.
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Update and Review Seminar, Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Litigation Review. October 14, 2013, Chicago, IL.
- Kentucky Justice Association Nursing Home Seminar, Taking Depositions to Win The Case. May 31, 2013. Lexington, KY.
- American Association for Justice, Nursing Home College: Depositions. May 10, 2012. Washington, DC.
- The John Marshall Law School, Personal injury in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. April 2, 2012, Chicago, IL.
- Illinois Department on Aging 2011 Elder Rights Conference, The Role of the Private Attorney in Enforcing Elder Rights through Litigation. July 7, 2011. Chicago, IL.
- Lake County Bar Association Meeting The Importance of Serving Vulnerable Populations September 22, 2010, Waukegan, IL.
- National Association of Elder Law Attorneys National Telephonic Seminar Personal Injury Actions on Behalf of Elderly Populations July 7, 2010.
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Rights and Remedies Seminar Nursing Home Litigation. April 10, 2010, Oak Brook, IL.
- Chicago Bar Association Tort Litigation Committee Meeting Complex Issues and Pitfalls in Discovery for the Tort Trial Lawyer. March 4, 2010, Chicago, IL.
- Vernon Park Church of God’s Senior Council Meeting. Advocating for Your Loved One in a Nursing Home Setting. January 16, 2010, Chicago, IL, with Steven M. Levin.
- Sons of Norway Torske Club’s Fall Dinner Meeting. Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect. October 11, 2008, Des Plaines, IL.
- National Association of Elder Law Attorneys National Teleseminar Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions in Elderly Populations June 2008.
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Top Topics Seminar Deposition Strategies. June 8, 2007, Chicago, IL.
- Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Personal Injury Practice Update Wrongful Death – Nursing Home Negligence. June 15, 2007, Chicago, IL and June 29, 2007, Springfield, IL.
- Deposing Nursing Home Employees and Owners in Neglect and Abuse Cases, Strafford Publications Webinar, April 11, 2018
- New Jersey Association for Justice Annual Board Walk Seminar, “Nursing Home: Proving the Case,” Depositions: Using the Witnesses’ Words, May 10, 2018, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
*LULAC of Lake County works in advancing the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, and civil rights of the Hispanic population in Lake County Illinois and across the United States
- “States Move to Shield LTC Facilities from Civil Liability,” American Bar Association, July 23, 2020
- “Attorney’s Fees and Costs Under the Nursing Home Care Act after Grauer vs. Clare Oaks,” ITLA Trial Journal, Volume 22, Number 1, Winter 2020.
- “Nursing Home Legal Group Looks for Ways to Improve Profession,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December 11, 2019.
- “Two Partners Talk About Going from Student to Teacher,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 1, 2019.
- “Plaintiff’s Perspectives,” Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Long-Term Care Litigation 2013 Edition with Steven M. Levin.
- “Advising Elder Clients and Their Families – Chapter 7 – Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions Under the Nursing Home Care Act,” Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2008 Handbook and 2012 Supplement. IICLE (2012) with Steven M. Levin.
- Steve Levin and Mike Bonamarte, selected by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, recently wrote a brief and submitted it to the Illinois Supreme Court arguing that punitive damages, a form of punishment and deterrence, should be allowed in nursing home death cases when the conduct of the nursing home is egregious.
- “Plaintiff’s Perspectives on Long-Term Care Litigation,” Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and 2010 supplement. IICLE (2008) with Steven M. Levin.
- “Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions in the Elderly Population,”The Advocacy & Litigation SIG Advocate: National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (Spring 2008) with Steven M. Levin.
- “Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions Under the Nursing Home Care Act,” Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2006 Handbook, 2008 and 2011 supplement. IICLE (2006) with Steven M. Levin.
Awards and Honors
Top 10 Lawyer, Leading Lawyers
Nursing Home Negligence, 2021, 2022
- Crain’s 2021 Notable Gen X Leaders in Accounting, Consulting and Law, Crain Communications, Inc., 2021
- Leading Lawyer, Leading Lawyers, 2021
- Top 50 Medical Malpractice Settlements in the United States, 2020
- Top 100 “Wrongful Death” Settlement, 2020
- Top 20 Illinois Settlement, 2020
- Illinois Leading Lawyers, 2017
- Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s list of “40 Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” in Illinois for 2010
- Illinois Super Lawyers, 2022
- Illinois Rising Stars 2011 – 2019
- William J. Harte Amicus Reward for his work on the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s Amicus Curiae Committee 2011
- Trial Lawyers Excellence Award: Highest Reported Illinois Verdict in a Nursing Home Malpractice case
- Emerging Leaders by Leading Lawyers 2015, 2016
- Trial Excellence Award – Highest reported Jones Act settlement in Illinois, Jury Verdict Reporter, 2015
During that time, my family and I suffered the loss of my mother. Mr. Levin and Mr. Peconti were more than just our lawyers. Words can’t really express our gratitude. My family and I will always be grateful for the compassion that they showed us. I want to thank you for what you did for my family, and for always being there for us.
Margaret’s representation, guidance, and professionalism gave us the sense that we could put our trust in Levin & Perconti and the final outcome proved that to be true.
Not only were they so professional but also so caring and thoughtful. It was very difficult going over the facts in our mother's case but they were so compassionate and understanding and allowed us to be with them every step of the way. We were able to sit in on the depositions and we were really able to see how hard they worked on our behalf.
During that time, my family and I suffered the loss of my mother. Mr. Levin and Mr. Perconti were more than just our lawyers. Words can’t really express our gratitude.
They were most patient and responded timely to many questions throughout the entire process. All demonstrated professionalism and extensive knowledge of case and state laws. Their in-depth investigative work uncovered details which were unknown to us and yet sadly confirmed our suspicions. We would recommend the Levin and Perconti Law firm and especially this team.