Conrad C. Nowak is an attorney with a diverse national practice. He frequently represents clients in high profile, sensitive litigation, but at the same time, is committed to counseling clients in their day-to-day affairs and transactional matters.
An experienced litigator, Conrad has successfully represented clients in a variety of practice areas and industries, including health care, construction, commercial litigation, labor and employment, products liability, commercial transactions, alarm and security services, catastrophic occurrences, and general litigation. He serves as lead litigation counsel for several large construction companies in their project related claims.
Conrad also has experience in white collar criminal and related civil matters, such as representing individuals in Department of Justice and other federal investigations, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and other congressional inquiries, and was part of a legal team involved in the 2016 Presidential Election Interference Investigation.
In a Chicago Lawyer feature, one judge commented that Conrad:
"Has a manner that is usually reserved for lawyers far past his years and a likeability that is a powerful tool with witnesses and juries. Most importantly, he is a lawyer that strikes that elusive balance of being a fierce litigator, but at the same time, a gentleman."
One national client describes why he chooses Conrad to represent the company in litigation:
"Most of these matters are complex and involved, which is precisely why we ask Conrad … he has always worked to obtain the best result possible by providing exceptional advice that assists us with making well-reasoned decisions."
Crain's Chicago Business recognized Conrad, who previously served in the military, as one of its Notable Veteran Executives for his commitment to clients and the veteran community:
"When the pandemic closed courts and law offices, Nowak was among early adopters of technology necessary to continue with depositions and other proceedings … recognized as a leader in virtual law practice."
He has represented clients from the U.S., European Union, and Australia in matters pending throughout the country, including California, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Washington D.C., and others.
Conrad joined Hinshaw after completing judicial clerkships for the Honorable William D. Maddux, Presiding Judge of the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and the Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman. As part of his responsibilities—which included the preparation for review, argument and ruling on significant motions before the court—Conrad also assisted with the management of the Cook County Asbestos Litigation Docket, which maintained approximately 6,000 cases exclusively assigned to the presiding judge.
While in law school, Conrad was selected to serve in two prestigious internship positions, one with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois, and the other with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chicago District Office.
In addition to his other law school accomplishments, Conrad was the Featured Articles Editor of The Loyola University Chicago Forum of International Law and Assistant Features Editor of The Public Interest Law Reporter. He was a member of the Dean's List and was a Student Representative for the Loyola Business Law Advisory Board.
While at DePaul University, Conrad was a starter on the Division I Men's Varsity Tennis Team. Afterwards, he also competed on the ATP Professional Tour, where he obtained a world ranking. During his undergraduate studies, Conrad was member of the Dean's List and the Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Alpha Theta fraternities.
Conrad also served as a non-commissioned officer in the United States Army, beginning his service with the 13th Infantry Regiment and subsequently being assigned to the 3rd BN, MID, 12th Special Forces Group (ABN). He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions.
He speaks Polish fluently and is familiar with Serbo-Croatian.
- Chicago Bar Association
- Judicial Evaluation Committee
- Mentoring Program
- Trial Practice Seminar, Instructor
Honors & Awards
- Recognized as a "Notable Veteran Executive," by Crain's Chicago Business, 2020
- Chicago Sister Cities International, World Business Chicago, Advisory Board
- Invited to participate in World Heritage Event at the White House, 2016
- Named to the "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch," list by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer Magazine 2012
- Recognized on the Rising Stars list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2009 – 2010
- Recognized by his peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in the areas or Personal Injury Defense Law: General and Products Liability Defense Law
- Successfully obtained an extremely favorable settlement at trial in litigation involving the Museum Park Campus condominium project’s design defect, breach of warranty and product liability claims.
- Successfully represented a party involving the Foreign Agents Registrations Act
- Involved in representing a client related to Congressional Committee & Investigations
- Represented a corporate defendant in the world’s second largest property loss for the year 2001, a catastrophic fire in Iowa, with initial losses estimated at $290 million. Through aggressive discovery and motion practice, helped obtain a favorable settlement months before trial, amounting to less than the cost of defense. The remaining similarly situated defendant suffered a $40 million verdict, the largest in Iowa history.
- Obtained a defense verdict at trial representing a major health club in a negligence/products liability action. Plaintiff sought $15.6 million from the jury.
- Represent numerous security companies in catastrophic losses throughout the United States with multimillion dollar exposure.
- Obtained a directed finding in favor of a corporate client in a gender and religious discrimination matter before the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of numerous clients in the construction and property settings.
- Successfully represented national youth programs in high profile litigation, including wrongful death.
- Successfully represented large metropolitan board of education and transportation companies in sexual abuse cases.
Conrad previously served as a discussion facilitator for the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professionalism's new law student program at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
His additional presentations include:
- "Legal Proceedings in a Virtual World: Hearings, Depositions and Trials in the Age of COVID-19," Illinois Human Rights Commission's Lunch & Learn CLE, Virtual Event, July 21, 2020
- "Closing Arguments," CBA's Trial Practice Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, October 11, 2018
- "Into the Hornet's Nest: Election Interference, Foreign Agents Registration Act, and the Special Counsel's Indictments," Cook County Lunch & Learn CLE, Chicago, Illinois, August 29, 2018
- "Is Your Law Practice Battle Ready? Applying Military Lessons in Leadership, Task Management, and Performance to the Practice of Law," Cook County Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, February 20, 2018
- "Cross Examination," CBA's Trial Practice Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, 2017
- "Direct Examinations," CBA's Trial Practice Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, 2016
- "Legal Issues in the Security Services Arena," Honeywell Connect International Security Conference, Hollywood, Florida, November 12, 2016
- "A Penny for Your Thoughts When Millions Matter: The Use of Focus Groups and Mock Trials," Lunch & Learn CLE, Chicago, Illinois, 2015
- "Let the Questioning Begin: New Illinois Supreme Court Rule 243 Permits Jurors to Question Trial Witnesses," Lunch & Learn CLE, Chicago, Illinois, 2012
- "Electronic Discovery," National Council on Investigation & Security Services (NCISS) Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois
Conrad is also a faculty member for Hinshaw University, the firm's nationwide attorney training and education program where he teaches continuing legal education courses in local rules, practice and procedure, and a deposition workshop. He has presented the following programs for Hinshaw U:
- "Conducting Remote Depositions"
- "Deposition Workshop"
Quoted or mentioned in a variety of media for both his legal and non-legal accomplishments, including Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Lawyer, The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and Polvision.
- November 11, 2020
- March 22, 2017
- June 14, 2016
- June 8, 2015
- December 12, 2014Security InfoWatch
- July 2, 2012
- March 26, 2014Alarm & Security Services Industry Alert
- Catholic Charities Maternity & Adoption Guild, Past Coordinator of the Annual Golf and Tennis Outing
- Chicago Sister Cities International, World Business Chicago, Advisory Board
- Organizer of a support network that gathers new and used tennis equipment that is given to underprivileged children
- Polish American Association, former Chairman, Board of Directors
- RedR U.S., Board of Directors
J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 2002
B.A., with honors, History, DePaul University, 1998
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois