135 S. LaSalle St., Ste. 2200 Chicago, IL 60603 3550 Hobson Rd., Ste. 403 Woodridge, IL 60517
312-578-9501 | www.shannonlawgroup.com JANUARY 2020
THE INTEGRITY OF OUR CLIENTS
As most of you know, I am the ninth child of Tom and JoAnne Shannon. I was raised in an extremely rich household by two very rich people. To me, one is “rich” if they have integrity. The word integrity connotes folks who are integrated in soul, mind and body. In my book, “rich” folks are comfortable in their own skin. They know they make mistakes, and they seek forgiveness when they inevitably make them. For the most part, they practice what they preach. They are humble servants of others. You know it when you see it. For example, my mother and father treated everyone the same, not caring about the person’s economic status. In fact, they became more sensitive when they knew someone needed more from them. When I look at the great folks we represent at our law firm, I am overcome with the high integrity of the people we represent. I remember some years ago when we represented a young widow with two young children. She had lost her husband in a tragic agricultural incident. She faced a grim future of zero income, running a farm on her own and raising her two kids alone without the love of her life. How was this fiercely independent young woman going to pay for her food, her kids’ education and health care? When I first met her, I didn’t see desperation. I witnessed pure integrity. It was one of the most challenging cases of my career, but because of her humility and grace, we wanted to come through for her family more than anything. I remember meeting a young father of two at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital who was struggling to survive after a semitrailer
drove 70 miles per hour into the back of his stopped sedan on the Stevenson Expressway. I remember being stunned that this young father not only survived and went through excruciating rehab for three months, but that he also showed up to work in a wheelchair three months after the crash to provide for his family. His young wife worked the midnight shift so one of them could be with the kids at all times. Neither of these parents complained about their situation to me. They just faced their tragedy with grace. Even though the case went through a full jury trial and all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court, this young couple remained classy and composed throughout. What a privilege it was to represent them. We represented a mechanic who had spent his 50-year career keeping fleets of vehicles on the roadway. He knew more about vehicles than anyone on the planet. He was on call 24/7. This man of integrity lived to serve his large family and those in his community. People constantly depended on him. During the prime of his retirement, he was diagnosed with
mesothelioma and robbed of spending his golden years with his grandkids. As the mesothelioma took over his life, he never complained once to me. Not once. If ever there was a face of integrity, this was it. I will never forget the humility and grace of this family as long as I live. These are just a few of the stories of the folks we have been blessed to represent over the years. For me, it’s like being home again with the rich folks who raised me. Thank you, God, for allowing me to represent such good people. I speak for everyone here at Shannon Law Group when I say that it is an honor and a privilege to represent these people of integrity and grace. We also feel blessed to have the constitutional right to a jury trial in this country, which allows our clients to share their stories with juries who want to make sure justice is done. We have a number of jury trials coming in 2020. We will be sure to share their stories with you in the coming months. – Joe Shannon
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MEET JACK CANNON! SHANNON LAW GROUP’S NEWEST MEMBER
I am delighted to introduce myself as the newest member of the Shannon Law Group team as Of Counsel. As some of you may know, I was born in the United States and raised in Dublin, Ireland. I returned to the U.S. to attend Loyola University in Chicago, where I played Division I soccer. I spent the next several years as a high-rise concrete laborer with Laborers Local 4. I began attending John Marshall Law School in 1990 and graduated in 1993. I have been practicing personal injury and workers’ compensation law for the past 26 years. I believe my experience in the construction field has helped me better understand and more zealously represent injured workers. In addition to practicing, I also have a passion for educating; I frequently teach on the topic of personal injury, wrongful death and the Illinois
Workers’ Compensation Act, as well as authoring numerous articles for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. I was fortunate to be elected by my peers as President of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association in 2016. My wife Stacey and I have three grown children and reside in north suburban Chicago. When I’m not in the office, I enjoy cooking with my wife, reading, listening to music, exercising and watching soccer. I am also a color commentator on ESPN for Loyola University soccer games. I am grateful to be joining such a tremendous team. I hope to meet a lot of you in the coming year. Please do not hesitate to contact me with a question or legal issue. – Jack Cannon
3 CHANGES TO NOTE 2020 TRUCKING REGULATIONS AIMED AT SAFER ROADS
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, sometimes referred to as DOT regulations, govern just about every interstate trucking company in the country. A new wave of changes to those regulations goes into effect in early 2020. These changes aim to create safer driving environments for all of us who share the roads with large trucks. Here are three positive safety changes coming to the trucking regulations in 2020. 1. UPDATED ENTRY-LEVEL DRIVER TRAINING For the last several decades, DOT regulations have been largely quiet about any training required for commercial drivers — even new drivers. That’s about to change. Starting in February 2020, training requirements for new truck drivers will increase dramatically. Previously, drivers had to pass tests in five categories of truck driving operations. Under the new regulations, drivers must show competence in 31 categories of driving operations. These new regulations also increase the minimum standards for USDOT-certified driver safety training instructors. Starting next month, these instructors must have at least two years of behind- the-wheel experience and a clean motor vehicle record, as well as enhanced “train the trainer” education courses. 2. ALCOHOL AND DRUG CLEARINGHOUSE As of Jan. 6, 2020, all USDOT motor carriers must comply with the DOT Alcohol and Drug Clearinghouse system. The clearinghouse was established to prevent truck drivers who have a history of driving under the influence from lying to new employers about
their history and receiving keys to a new semi-tractor trailer. In order for trucking companies to comply with the clearinghouse rules, they must report all drug and alcohol violations by any of their drivers to the DOT database. 3. ELECTRONIC MONITORING FULL COMPLIANCE In 2012, Congress enacted a bill requiring trucking companies to implement Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their trucks. ELDs replace drivers’ paper logs they were required to fill out to ensure compliance with “hours of service” requirements of the DOT regulations. Prior to the ELD mandate, Shannon Law Group saw firsthand the devastating effects of fatigued drivers who drove more than their allotted hours because they falsified their paper logs. The ELD mandate attempted to remedy that common problem by taking the honor system out of logging hours. Though most companies had to comply with the mandate by 2017, some trucking companies were given an extended
deadline for compliance until December 2019. By the time you’re reading this, every trucking company subject to DOT regulations must be in full compliance of the ELD mandate. – Pat Cummings
REFLECTING ON GRATITUDE THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR
The new year allows for a moment for self-reflection. Most of us will come up with resolutions that we promise to keep or achieve in 2020. Regardless of whether those resolutions become reality, sometimes it’s more about the process. What can we do better? How can we achieve it? What are our goals and why? These questions are important to ask in both our personal lives and professional lives. For me, the new year provides an opportunity to remember why I am thankful to be an attorney at the Shannon Law Group. First, working at SLG has connected me to so many wonderful people. For our clients, it starts with mutual respect. Our relationships with our clients are very important to us. We want to build lifelong relationships. With each new case, I am reminded of our responsibility: to treat our clients the way we would like to be treated. It goes beyond clients too. I’ve met
countless attorneys and other professionals who we’ve helped and who’ve helped us, and I value those relationships, as well.
Second, we are zealous advocates at SLG. We believe in our clients and our cases. We are relentless in getting the results our clients deserve. Being an attorney here gives me an outlet to use that determination in order to achieve our goals. Finally, I am grateful that I get to work with such an intelligent and driven team of people. Everyone at SLG cares about what we do and how we do it. I feel blessed to work with people who are invested in each other and the work we do. I look forward to seeing how we can continue to grow and get better.
As I look at the year ahead, I am reminded of why I personally appreciate what my job allows me to do and that I am able to do it with a team of great people. I am reminded of what we promise to our clients, and I look forward to helping our clients and meeting new people in 2020. – Jon Svitak
JANUARY 2020 DATES OF CONSEQUENCE
Directions 1. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (including sugar if you like a sweeter pancake). In a separate bowl, beat eggs into milk. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. Mix only until flour is moistened. Clumps are fine. 3. Add some butter or oil to the skillet. If the butter foams or oil shimmers, the temperature is correct. Pour in a pancake of any size, cooking until bubbles form, about 2–4 minutes. 4. Flip and cook other side for 2–4 minutes. Serve warm. SIMPLE PANCAKES FROM SCRATCH Ingredients • 2 cups all-purpose flour • 2 tsp baking powder • 1/4 tsp salt • 1 tbsp sugar, optional • 2 eggs • 1 3/4 cups milk • Unsalted butter or canola oil, to grease skillet Inspired by The New York Times
Jan. 3 Jan. 6 Jan. 6
St. Francis girls basketball @ Resurrection High Feast of the Epiphany St. Joan of Arc classes resume Marquette University classes resume Johnny SJA vs. All Saints @ SJA Catholic Schools Week Mass 9:30 a.m. @ SJA Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas
Jan. 13 Jan. 17 Jan. 26 Jan. 28
Every Saturday morning throughout the year, St. Joan of Arc Men’s Group meets from 7–8 a.m. in the St. Joan of Arc Parish Center. Please join us.
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Phone: 312-578-9501 www.shannonlawgroup.com
135 S. LASALLE ST., STE. 2200 CHICAGO, IL 60603
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
The Integrity of Our Clients
page 2 page 2
Meet Jack Cannon!
3 New Trucking Regulations for 2020 Thoughts on the New Year From Jon Svitak
Simple Pancakes From Scratch
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Merry Christmas and Happy 2020 from the Shannons!
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