BY ANN MAHER
Swansea attorney Thomas Q. Keefe, Jr. will be awarded the Leonard M. Ring Lifetime Achievement Award at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) convention on June 5 in Oak Brook.
Ring was a Chicago personal injury attorney who had advocated for victims’ legal rights. He died at age 70 in 1994.
The recipient of the Ring award is “someone who has devoted, as Leonard did, a substantial part of their life and their practice to ITLA, someone who has done more than is called for,” according to a release from ITLA. “Someone who had the standards of Leonard, the work ethics of Leonard and the commitment to ITLA that Leonard had. At the same time, it keeps alive the memory of Leonard Ring.”
Keefe, 62, has handled medical negligence, products liability, construction and workplace injuries, and more, throughout his 37-year legal career.
“Over the years I have been privileged to represent victims of medical and corporate wrongdoing,” Keefe said of the Ring award. “I sincerely believe many of my successes have largely been due to the quality of the cases, which is why I am so humbled and surprised to receive such a prestigious award.”
He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College and his law degree from St. Louis University in 1978.
Keefe has been a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association since 1996 and currently sits on ITLA’s Board of Managers.
He is also a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), and served for six months as Dean of St. Louis University Law School.
Awards and Honors
According to ITLA, Keefe is “consistently named as one of America’s top lawyers” and has been a Super Lawyer since 2007.
“Every year since 2011, his peers voted him as the ‘Best Downstate Consumer Lawyer,’ one of the top 10 personal injury plaintiffs’ lawyers, top 10 consumer lawyers and top 10 of all lawyers in the state of Illinois,” the ITLA release states.
He has received Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating for more than 30 years. He also received the Mary Alyce Beardslee Award from Madison County Catholic Charities in 2010.
He has been the recipient of numerous honors including the Madison County Record Person of the Year in 2008. The Record recognized Keefe for his dedication in pursuing justice.
He also received the Richard Hudlin Memorial Award and the Bartylak Award.
Keefe has been married for 36 years and has four children. In his spare time he enjoys exercise and politics, the release states.
Indeed, Keefe is one of the most prolific downstate donors in Illinois politics, regularly contributing to Democratic candidates and causes.
Past Leonard M. Ring Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include Jon G. Carlson, Rex Carr, Robert J. Cooney, Philip H. Corboy, George J. Cullen, Joseph R. Curcio, David A. Decker, James Thomas Demos, Geoffrey L. Gifford, William J. Harte, Thomas F. Londrigan, Philip F. Maher, Nicholas J. Motherway, Nat P. Ozmon, Eugene I. Pavalon, John G. Phillips, Kim E. Presbrey, Anthony C. Raccuglia, Curt N. Rodin, Larry R. Rogers, Sr. and Michael P. Schostok.