MICHAEL I. PONTICELLI, Partner

Mike Ponticelli has been practicing law since 1975 and is licensed in the Illinois Courts and the Federal Courts. He is an experienced Attorney, Arbitrator, Mediator, and Educator.

Attorney:

Mike has a great deal of experience representing clients in the employment and labor law arena. He began his career working for Zenith Electronics Corporation and Northwest Industries, inc., both Corporations ranked as Fortune 500 companies, with the latter being ranked number 75. At Zenith he was a human resource executive gaining experience in ever increasing positions while attending law school at night to acquire his law degree. At Northwest industries his assignments were nationwide. In both corporations he directed strategy and functioned as chief spokesperson in labor negotiations; tried numerous arbitration cases; and represented the corporations in matters before various Federal, State and local agencies (e.g. National Labor Relations Board; EEOC, OFCCP, OSHA, DOL, etc.) as well as in the Sate and Federal Courts.

In 1985 Mike entered into private law practice where he continued to represent corporations and began representing individual clients as well. Mike is well versed in labor and employment law. Mike regularly counsels and represents clients on hiring, discipline, termination, sexual harassment, mergers and acquisitions, reductions in force, plant closures, separation/severance agreements, covenants not to compete, protection of confidential information and trade secrets, independent contractor agreements, arbitration agreements, designing employment and compensation/wage policies, and drafting employee handbooks. He also has substantial experience in real estate law, corporation law, estate planning and general law matters.

Arbitrator/Mediator:

Mike has acted as an independent arbitrator in numerous cases. He has acted as an arbitrator as a member of the American Arbitration Association's Labor Panel, a Hearing Officer for the Illinois State Board of Education, for the Illinois Labor Relations Board and for the U.S. Postal Service. Some of Mike's decisions have been published by Commerce Clearing House in its Labor Arbitration Awards series.

Mike has successfully completed the American Arbitration Association advanced arbitrator training course, entitled Labor Arbitrator II Training, He also attended a forty (40) hour training course at DePaul University's Center for Dispute Resolution and acquired a Mediation Training Certificate, which certificate qualified him to act as a Court appointed Mediator.

Educator:

Mike has taught graduate and undergraduate level courses at local colleges and universities (i.e. Illinois Benedictine College, Oakton Community College, Keller Graduate School of Business Management) covering such subjects as: Labor Relations/EEO and Human Resource Legislation, Human Resource Management, Business Law and Governmental Regulations. Additionally, Mike has conducted seminars for clients and various organizations/associations and has spoken before various organizations on Employment/Labor Law and Human Resource Management topics.

Education

J.D., Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago-Kent College of Law, 1974.
M.Ed., Administration & Supervision, Loyola University of Chicago, 1966.
B.S., English, Loyola University of Chicago, 1964.

JAMES C. VITO, Partner

Jim Vito has been practicing law since 1974 and is licensed in the Illinois Courts and the Federal Courts. He is an experienced Attorney, Arbitrator, Mediator, and Educator.

Attorney:

Jim is an accomplished attorney in general practice concentrating in Employment and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) law. Prior to entering into private practice, Jim was as a Human Resources executive skilled in labor relations, EEO and managing HR functions in corporate, manufacturing and foreign environments for Zenith Electronics Corporation. In this capacity he had a demonstrated hands-on track record of successfully being involved in contract negotiations, arbitration, grievance management, and employment planning while enhancing productivity of business units and individual contributors. He was responsible for resolving all discrimination complaints and charges and directing the Company's affirmative action plan (AAP).

In 1997, Jim joined Mike Ponticelli engaging in the general practice of law and concentrating in Employment and EEO law. Jim regularly counsels and represents clients on hiring, discipline, termination, sexual harassment, reductions in force, plant closures, separation/severance agreements, covenants not to compete, protection of confidential information and trade secrets, independent contractor agreements, arbitration agreements, designing employment and compensation policies, and drafting employee handbooks. He also has substantial experience in real estate law, corporation law, estate planning and general law matters

Arbitrator/Mediator:

Jim has been trained as and serves as an arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County. In this capacity, Jim acts as an impartial member of a panel that determines the merits and damages of cases that are scheduled to be heard by the Courts. Typically, these cases involve personal injury (regardless of whether a jury demand has been filed) and those actions for property damages or breach of contract in which a timely jury demand has been filed.

Jim attended a forty (40) hour training course at DePaul University's Center for Dispute Resolution and acquired a Mediation Training Certificate, which certificate qualified him to act as a Court appointed Mediator.

Educator:

Jim is presently an adjunct professor teaching graduate and undergraduate level courses at National Lewis University and has taught at Harper Community College, Illinois Benedictine University, Triton College and North Central University. Jim teaches: Equal Employment (EEO)/Employee Relations Law (covering all aspects of illegal discrimination and employment laws); Human Resources Planning and the Current Practices in Human Resources; Business Law; and Human Resources and Diversity. Jim taught Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining, which included an overview of labor relations including union history, labor law development and practice, collective bargaining, equal employment law, and modern labor/management theory and practice.

Education:

J.D., Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago-Kent College of Law, 1974.
M.S., Business, San Jose State University, 1968.
B.A., Business, St. Ambrose University, 1964.
Licensed Illinois Real Estate Broker, 1980.

FRANK J. PONTICELLI, Associate

Frank Ponticelli has been practicing law since 2004 and is licensed in the Illinois Courts and the Federal Courts. Since joining Ponticelli and Vito he has become experienced in all aspects of employment and labor law, in real estate law and in various areas of general practice and litigation.

Attorney:

Since joining Ponticelli and Vito in 2004, Frank has acquired extensive knowledge in the areas of employment and labor law representing clients in collective bargaining negotiations, pre-certification hearings in front of the National Labor Relations Board, arbitration, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, pay related issues (overtime, minimum wage, earned bonuses, commissions), real estate matters and other general law cases before the Federal Courts, the State Courts, and other various governmental agencies. He has an excellent knowledge of real estate law (residential, investment based flips/holds and commercial transactions), corporate law (incorporations, shareholder agreements, operating agreements and the like), estate planning, and general litigation.

Since 2014, Frank has provided pro bono hours as a Hearing Board Member for matters in front of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. The Hearing Board is a panel (2 lawyer members and 1 non-lawyer member) that presides over cases pertaining to disciplinary cases, disability, and reinstatement cases of lawyers in the State of Illinois. Since 2014, he has participated as an active member on the executive board of the Chicago Regional Alumni Council for Valparaiso University School of Law. He also was general counsel for the Association of Women in the Metal Industry (AWMI) from 2005 until 2014, which is an organization of high level female executives in the steel industry. Additionally, he is an active member of the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce and Greater O'Hare Association, a large association of numerous businesses, primarily located in the suburbs near and surrounding O'Hare International Airport.

While in law school, Frank interned for a steel manufacturer, Ispat Inland Steel Inc., gaining a wealth of experience in grievance processing, arbitration law and labor law. He worked for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin researching cases and drafting memoranda that resulted in assisting the Chief Justice to formulate her final opinion(s) for the Court. Frank also worked for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) where he researched issues, and prepared legal summary documents for use by the EEOC in its Federal litigation. Lastly, he also participated in the mediation clinic assisting people resolving their matters in small claims court.

Educator:

Frank has given presentations on behalf of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association, the Greater O'Hare Association, the Association of Women in the Metal Industry, clients and before various other organizations/associations on Employment/Labor Law and Human Resource Management topics.

Education:

J.D., Valparaiso University School of Law, 2004.
B.A., Business (Human Resources Management), Miami University, Ohio, 2000.