Evan J. Bonnett focuses his practice in representing employers in labor and employment matters. His practice includes advising on compliance with state and federal regulations, labor relations, workplace standards, and medical leave requirements. He also handles administrative agency investigations, including allegations of unfair labor practices and discrimination. In addition, Mr. Bonnett has substantial trial experience in all stages of litigation, including case investigation, interviewing of witnesses, discovery, negotiating plea agreements, researching and drafting motions, voir dire, arguments, and examination of witnesses.
Prior to joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in January 2015, Mr. Bonnett practiced law for six years as a judge advocate (JAG) in the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps, where he held multiple assignments in both Colorado Springs, CO and San Antonio, TX.
In addition to maintaining a steady practice in prosecuting criminal and disciplinary matters, as a JAG Mr. Bonnett served as a federal labor and employment law attorney, advising management on the discipline of federal civilian employees. He advised on more than 70 civilian employment law cases, including MSPB-appealable actions and EEOC discrimination complaints and investigations. He also served as the lead civil and administrative law attorney for the largest joint base in the Department of Defense, advising senior leadership on all non-criminal matters. In that capacity, Mr. Bonnett served as an Ethics Counselor, overseeing compliance with federal ethics regulations and financial disclosure reporting requirements.
In his last assignment, Mr. Bonnett was competitively selected to practice as a regional medical law attorney, providing subject matter expertise to nine Air Force medical facilities throughout Texas and New Mexico on the subjects of risk management, privacy, credentialing and privileging, malpractice, licensure, and regulatory compliance. Mr. Bonnett also negotiated training agreements for the joint Army-Air Force graduate medical education program at the San Antonio Military Medical Center and provided counsel to a number of hospital committees, including the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff, the Credentials Committee, and the Quality Assurance/Risk Management Committee. Mr. Bonnett was the legal counsel and voting member for two medical research committees: the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and the Institutional Review Board for human subject research. He has thorough knowledge of many federal regulations, including HIPAA, EMTALA, and AAAHC standards.
During law school, Mr. Bonnett clerked in the office of the general counsel for an international manufacturer of trucks, buses, engines and defense vehicles, where he assisted in matters including labor and employment, franchise law, and securities law. He was also a member of the Moot Court Society and Mock Trial.
- San Antonio Federal Bar Association, Air Force Liaison (2013–2014)
Honors & Awards
- Four-time recipient of the Air Force Commendation Medal awarded for meritorious achievement and service
Practicing as a Judge Advocate gave Mr. Bonnett the chance to dive right into representing clients and litigating cases at an early stage in his career. For instance, Mr. Bonnett was the lead counsel on his third litigated case, successfully advocating in contentious motions hearings and ultimately obtaining a jury conviction. He quickly gained a reputation for successfully litigating drug cases, and frequently mentored junior attorneys in their prosecution.
Mr. Bonnett's litigation skills were put to the test during a military training instructor scandal that received intense national media attention. He served as part of a prosecutorial team that successfully convicted or disciplined scores of trainers.
Mr. Bonnett was handpicked by the Air Force to serve as one of the military's first victim's counsel, representing sexual assault victims and advocating for them with decision makers and in court. He was the first to successfully fight to have a victim retrained in an entirely different career field, enabling her to escape routine interactions with her attacker and continue her fledgling career.
Mr. Bonnett's negotiation skills saved his client $800,000 in union personnel costs after contentious collective bargaining.
In his final assignment with the Air Force, Mr. Bonnett also gained experience representing hospitals in removing medical providers from patient care through adverse privileging actions.
While practicing law in the USAF, Mr. Bonnett was a frequent lecturer on many areas of the law, and he created presentations still in use by others.
Co-Presenter, "Labor & Employment Law Update the Year in Review 2017," AAIM Employer’s Association Group, Rockford, Illinois, October 11, 2017
- "Mastering Leaves of Absence and Accommodation Issues Under the FMLA,the ADA, and Workers' Compensation Law," Hinshaw's Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2015
- Numerous presentations on medical malpractice, the Federal Tort Claims Act, HIPAA, and risk management given to physicians, advanced practice nurses, nurses, technicians, and staff at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center at Lackland AFB, TX and throughout Texas and New Mexico, 2013–2014
- "Ethics for Federal Employees," Colorado Springs, CO, new Department of the Air Force civilian employee orientation, biweekly 2010–2011
- "Law of War," Colorado Springs, CO, training for deploying personnel, monthly 2009–2010
- "Stop the Clock: The Department of Labor Significantly Expands Overtime Eligibility," Illinois Banker, Vol. 101/No.4, July–August 2016.
- "Unloaded and Encased: Is 'Fanny Pack Carry' Illinois' De Facto Concealed Carry Permit?" Kane County Bar Brief, October 2007.
- September 20, 2016
- August 16, 2016
- The End of the Saga of DOL's Proposed Changes to FLSA Overtime Rules?
- Minimum Wage in Illinois Set to Nearly Double by 2025
- Attention All Employers! Illinois Revises its Military Leave Laws
- Department of Labor Removes 80-20 Tipped Work Rule
- President Trump's Executive Orders Affecting Federal Labor and Employment Law Signify Continued Employer-Friendly Shifts
- NLRB Agenda Includes Setting a Regulatory Joint Employer Standard
- Being Called a Racist Is Not Unlawful Harassment If Comments Are Not Racially Motivated
- 2017 EEO-1 Reporting is Open and Due by March 31
- The Unringing of the Bells, Part Two: The DOL
- A New Year, Another OSHA Update
- The NLRB Rings in the New Year by Unringing a Few Bells
- Illinois Law Requires Quick Action on Sexual Harassment Policies for Units of Local Government
- Appealed! Overtime Rule Saga Continues
- Uncle Sam Wants You . . . To Tell Him a Little About Overtime
- Hold the Mayo: Jimmy John's Workers' Disparaging Statements Not Protected by the NLRA Says 8th Circuit
- Overtime Expansion Over? Texas District Court issues Nationwide Injunction of Expanded Federal Overtime Rules
- Illinois Requires Child Bereavement Leave
- Overtime Exemptions Shrink
- Perception is Everything: Supreme Court Expands First Amendment Protections for Public Employees
- Is Labor Law Putting the Franchise Business Model at Risk?
Employment Law Observer
- May 10, 2019
- Overtime Expansion Over? Texas District Court Issues Nationwide Injunction of Expanded Federal Overtime RulesNovember 23, 2016Employment Practices Alert
- June 2, 2016
- May 19, 2016Employment Practices Alert
- May 3, 2016
- April 4, 2016
- February 2, 2016
- February 1, 2016Employment Practices Alert
- January 5, 2016
- December 4, 2015
- Labor Department's Expanded Overtime and Minimum Wage Coverage For Home Health Care Workers is RevisedSeptember 10, 2015Health Law Alert
- September 9, 2015Health Law Alert
- September 1, 2015
- August 3, 2015
- May 1, 2015
- April 22, 2015Health Law Alert
- April 6, 2015Health Law Alert
Mr. Bonnett, his wife, and family live in Rockford, Illinois.
Major Bonnett continues to serve as a judge advocate in the Illinois Air National Guard, where he practices military operational law for the 183rd Air Component Operations Squadron in Springfield, Illinois.
- Rockford Promise Board of Directors
- Volunteer mock trial and moot court judge, St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas
- Organizer of successful $80,000 charitable drive, Air Force Assistance Fund
- Coach, four and five-year-old t-ball
J.D., magna cum laude, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2008
- External Publications Editor, Law Review Board
B.A., summa cum laude, Political Science and German, Bradley University, 2005
- U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois