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January 14, 2022
By: Riccardo A. DiMonte

I have been Managing Partner of DiMonte & Lizak, LLC from 2011 to 2021. My journey as an entrepreneur and leader started in my early teens. In 1974, well before practicing law, my brothers and I started a landscaping business in Barrington, Illinois. Although I left the landscaping world when I went to college, my brother still runs the business today. In between semesters in college, I tried my hand running a logging business in the north woods. The experience of managing labor, chainsaws, and tractors in the woods (and breaking even) ultimately convinced me to go to law school.

I got my start in 1983 when I worked as a law clerk during law school. I also worked as a self-employed collection agent for court reporters, which brought me into almost every law firm in Chicago. Despite having opportunities to work at larger firms, I found myself interested in how smaller firms offered more opportunities to gain hands-on client and trial court experience. An added bonus was that I got to work with my father, the founder of DiMonte & Lizak, LLC. Going to a smaller firm paid off for me. As a young lawyer practicing in a firm with senior lawyers who were happy to delegate court appearances, I enjoyed the responsibility of trying serious cases and learning the art of litigation. This led me to forming and leading a litigation department with a system that offered younger lawyers those same opportunities. I believe that this approach has been valued by the many hardworking, capable, and intelligent lawyers who I’ve had the benefit of mentoring.

I am grateful to all the mentors who guided and advised me when I was a young lawyer. The impact it had on me created my own passion to teach lawyers both litigation and the business of practicing law as a profession. Every case is different and the intellectual simulation is rewarding. There is also a lot to learn from the business of managing other lawyers as a leader. Working as a manager and a leader requires a completely different skill set than the ones we learn in the courtroom.

Since the early days of collection work and mortgage foreclosures, I graduated to sophisticated, multi-party litigation involving business divorces, corporate and partnership dissolutions, and complicated federal court business litigation. The array of clients we assist is vast. At any given time, I may be overseeing one hundred plus cases at the firm, but primarily my work is with regional and national banks, construction and related infrastructure companies, and privately held companies led by owners and family members.

The Robbins DiMonte, Ltd. merger will benefit our clients with a stronger and deeper transactional law department, litigation department, and trusts and estates department. I welcome the challenge of playing a leadership role for 60 lawyers and I look forward to earning the lawyers’ and clients’ respect as a leader.