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Thomas Sukowicz has devoted his career to issues involving lawyers’ professional liability and responsibility. His practice emphasizes professional liability, legal ethics, risk management, loss prevention and the defense of lawyers in disciplinary proceedings.

Professional Background

Mr. Sukowicz serves the firm’s attorney and law firm clients primarily as risk management counsel.

Before he joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in September 2000, he was Senior Counsel for the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. In his role as an investigating and prosecuting attorney, he handled numerous cases before the Commission’s Inquiry, Hearing and Review Boards, and argued disciplinary cases before the Supreme Court of Illinois.

Mr. Sukowicz served as a faculty member of the Illinois Institute of Professional Responsibility at the request of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and also is a former adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, where he taught a professional responsibility course.

Professional Affiliations

  • The Florida Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers

Honors & Awards

  • Member of the Leading Lawyers Network

Presentations

Mr. Sukowicz is a frequent speaker at seminars on topics of attorney ethics and risk management. His presentations include:

  • "What You Need to Tell Your Client When You Make a Mistake," West LegalEdCenter live webcast, July 2015.
  • "Common Malpractice Claims and How to Avoid Them" webcast, West LegalEdcenter, October, 2014.
  • "Practice in the Cloud Without Crashing and Burning: Ethical Considerations of Cloud Computing," West LegalEdcenter live webcast, June, 2014.
  • "Watching Your Step: Uncovering and Working Through Client Lies," Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 2014.
  • "Common Errors that Lead to Malpractice Claims," West LegalEdcenter live webcast, August 2012.
  • "Suits for Fees / Mandatory Fee Arbitration," Hinshaw’s annual Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 2010.
  • "Risk Management Issues in Hard Economic Times: Temptation to Take on Risky Clients; Temptation to Dabble in Matters Outside Your Practice Area," and "Risk Management in a Transactional Law Practice: Innocently Aiding in the Unauthorized Practice of Law and Fraud; Know Who You Represent and the Limits of Your Representation; Avoid Making Errors and Mission; Cover Your Tracks; The Joy of Acting as Escrowee," and "Causes of Any Disciplinary Problem – Impairment," St. Petersburg Bar Association Business Law, Bankruptcy Law and Solo, Small Firm and Practice Management Sections seminar "Legal Malpractice in Hard Economic Times: Risk Management Tools to Avoid Dangerous Pitfalls," St. Petersburg, Florida, May 2009.
  • "Fee Disputes: New Solutions to an Old Problem," Hinshaw’s annual Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, February 2008.
  • "Sexual Relations with Clients—Civil and Disciplinary Exposures," West LegalEdcenter live webcast, November 2007.
  • "Disaster Preparation and Recovery," West LegalEdcenter live webcast, July 2007.
  • "When the Client’s Representation Involves Defending the Firm’s Work Product—Identifying and Managing the Risks," Hinshaw’s annual Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 2007.
  • "Risk Management," Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Practitioner’s Committee program, "Legal Malpractice, Ethics and Risk Management Update," West Palm Beach, Florida, February 2007; and again in Miami, Florida, March 2007.
  • "Screening Out Risky Clients and Declining Representation," West LegalEdcenter live webcast, September 2006.
  • "Office Sharing and Apparent Partnership,” West LegalEdcenter live webcast, August 2006.
  • "Legal Malpractice, Ethics & Risk Management," Hillsborough Bar Association’s seminar, Tampa, Florida, May 2006.
  • "Using Advanced Technology to Control Risk and Improve Practice Management," Hinshaw’s annual Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 2006.
  • "Equity Interests in Clients and Serving on Client Boards," West LegalEdcenter live webcast, June 2005.
  • "Legal Malpractice & Risk Management," The Florida Bar’s 2005 Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, June 2005.
  • "Risk Management—Declining and Accepting Engagements," and "Risk Management—Screening Clients and Cases," Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Legal Malpractice seminar, Tampa, Florida, May 2005.
  • "Ethics Issues and Law Office Risk Management—Avoiding Claims," Lorman Education Services Seminar: Legal Ethics in Florida, West Palm Beach, Florida, February 2005.
  • "Advanced Technology for Risk Management," Hinshaw’s annual Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, February 2005.
  • "Legal Malpractice, Ethics and Risk Management," Dade County and Broward County Bar Associations, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, May 2004.
  • "Duties to the Courts and the Profession," Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chicago, Illinois, March 2004.
  • "Solo and Small Firm Practice: From Cradle to Grave," Nebraska State Bar Association, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 2003.
  • "Being an Effective and Ethical Advocate," Illinois Professional Responsibility Institute, Chicago, Illinois, September 2003.
  • "Fees/Billing/Collection Issues," Illinois Professional Responsibility Institute, Chicago, Illinois, March 2003.
  • "Client Communications and Collecting Fees," Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, March 2003.

Publications

Mr. Sukowicz has an extensive background as an author, instructor and speaker on attorney professional responsibility.

In the area of publications, Mr. Sukowicz has written dozens of articles on professional responsibility and professional liability issues. Since 2001, he has been co-author of a monthly ethics column in Chicago Lawyer magazine that covers many professional responsibility and professional liability topics, including:

  • Co-author of "Attorney Disciplinary Proceedings: Illinois Practice and Procedure," Law Bulletin Publishing Company (2002)
  • Co-author of "Illinois Code of Paralegal Ethics" for the Paralegal Association (1997).

Education

J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1985

M.A., University of Notre Dame, 1979

B.A., Loyola University of Chicago, 1977

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