Michael E. Rusin

Board of Directors

Photo of Michael E. Rusin

President – CEO

Michael E. Rusin is the President of the Firm. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University in 1975, Mike earned his Juris Doctor from the Northwestern University School of Law in 1978. In law school, Mike was a member of the Order of the Coif, an honor given to the top ten percent of the class, and was selected to the Board of Editors for the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1976-1978. He published his first article in 1978 on Criminal Law analyzing the prosecutor’s duty to disclose exculpatory evidence to defendants.

Mike was admitted to the Illinois Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 1978. He is or has been a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the National Council of Self-Insurers, the Illinois Self-Insurers Association, the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association, the Workers’ Compensation Claims Association, the Greater Peoria Claims Association, and the Council on Litigation Management. Mike was Legal Counsel for the Workers’ Compensation Claims Association from 1997-2000 and 2004 -2005. He was named to the Board of Directors for the Leading Lawyers Network in 2002 to the present. Mike was included in the Heritage Registry of Who’s Who in 2004-2005. Mike was also named a top lawyer by Illinois Super Lawyers from when it was created in 2005 and every year since through 2017.

With extensive trial and appellate experience, Mike concentrates his practice in the defense of Workers’ Compensation litigation and Employer Liability cases. He also specializes in coverage issues involving Workers’ Compensation policies.

Mike was involved in the development of transitional return to work programs and their acceptance by the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Mike has developed and obtained approval for Panel of Physician programs and has a focus on transportation cases and developing issues. He has argued restrictions on the extent of Illinois jurisdiction to employees transferred out of state. Mike is a consultant on catastrophic and OD claims, and Panel of Physicians Programs in Illinois and Medicare Set-Aside Issues.
In addition, Mike has extensive experience representing municipalities, fire departments and police departments. He is very familiar with PEDA, Pension and PSEBA issues. He authored an article on House Bill 928 – Firefighter Claims.

Mike is an accomplished speaker and author on current Workers’ Compensation issues and Workers’ Compensation Commission developments.

Mike is an avid runner, triathlete, fitness instructor and scuba diver. He has run over 40 marathons as well as numerous half-marathons and shorter races.

He has completed thirteen full distance Ironman triathlon races since 2008. The Ironman World Championships in Hawaii (three times) and Ironman Coeur D’Alene, Ironman New Zealand, Ironman Wisconsin, Ironman Lake Placid (twice) , Ironman Louisville, Ironman Florida, Ironman Mt. Tremblant, Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Arizona .

He competed at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Australia in September 2016 and at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in October 2016. He has been awarded All World Athlete status in the Ironman rankings.

He teaches fitness classes at Fitness Formula Clubs and at Vision Quest Coaching including spinning, cycling and muscle definition. He is a certified personal trainer by the International Fitness Professionals Association.
Mike is a certified Rescue scuba diver. He has traveled throughout the Caribbean and Pacific, diving in both warm and cold water. He has explored marine life in Australia, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Bonaire, Curacao, Belize and multiple other islands. Mike has been diving with sea lions and dolphins in California, Manta Rays in Hawaii and sharks in the Coral Sea.


  • B.A. History, Northwestern University, 1975
  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, Order of the Coif, 1978
  • Board of Editors, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1976-78


  • Illinois, 1978
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1978


  • Leading Lawyers Network, Board of Directors, 2002-present
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2005-2017
  • The Heritage Registry of Who’s Who, 2004-2005
  • Legal Counsel, Workers’ Compensation Claims Association, 1997-2000, 2004 – 2005

Speaking Engagements

  • PPD evaluations – AMA Guidelines and IWCC Interpretations, 2012 – 2017
  • NBI – Advanced Workers Compensation Issues, 2012
  • IICLE Advanced Workers Compensation Issues – Defending against Odd Lot Permanent Total Disability Cases, 2010
  • SEAK National Conference on WC, Fraud, 2008
  • WCCA Winter Seminar, AWW and Compensability Issues, 2008
  • Lorman Educational Seminars, Advance WC Issues, 2007, 2008
  • Lorman “Workers’ Compensation Update in Illinois,” 2007
  • NSPII Illinois Chapter 10th Anniversary Seminar, 2006
  • Illinois Workers’ Comp Forum, 2006 – 2007
  • NHRMA Mutual Spring Regional Training Seminar, 2006
  • 13th Annual Conference, Northern Illinois Alliance of Fire Protection Districts, 2006
  • IICLE, Starting Points: Handling Your First WC Case, 2005
  • 8th Annual Conference on Occupational Health Issues, 2003
  • IICLE, Advanced Workers’ Compensation Program, 2003
  • IME Summit, SEAK, Inc., 2002
  • Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), Mastering Workers’ Compensation in Illinois, 1999
  • Casualty Adjusters Association, 1997
  • Illinois Workers’ Compensation for Self-Insureds, 1993
  • Workers’ Compensation Claims Association, 1992, 1994-1996, 1997-1999, 2001-2005
  • American Bar Association Annual Convention, Wage Differential or PPD, 1988
  • IMA Annual Seminar, 1987-1989
  • National Council of Self-Insurers Annual Meeting, 1984-1985
  • Wisconsin Council of Safety Annual Meeting, 1984
  • American Society of Safety Engineers Annual Meeting, 1983


  • “Employers’ Rights In Disciplining and Terminating Workers’ Compensation Claimants: New Developments in Building Your Case in the Event You Are Sued,” 2007
  • “Calculating Average Weekly Wage,” 2004, 2008, 2015
  • “The Caterpillar Case Revisited in 2002: The ‘Arising Out of’ Defense, Does it Still Exist?,” 2002
  • “Medicare and Workers’ Compensation: Who’s on First?,” 2002
  • “Panel of Physicians: An Introduction to Cost Savings,” 2001
  • “Wage Differential: From Statute to Cases to Big Awards,” 2001
  • “Wage Differential Planning Defenses,” 1993
  • “Determining Permanent Partial Disability in Illinois,” 1993, 1996, 2002
  • “Determining Permanent Partial Disability in Illinois,” 1993, 1996, 2002
  • “Caterpillar Turns Into a Butterfly: The Arising Out of Defense,” 1993, 1996, 2003
  • “The Industrial Commission of Illinois, Recent Decisions and Trends,” 1991
  • “The Industrial Commission of Illinois, Practice & Procedure,” 1992, 1995, 1999, 2001- 2008, 2017


  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Illinois Self-Insurers Association
  • Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association
  • Council on Litigation Management

Reported Decisions

  • Joliet Public Grade School District v. Carolyn Occhuizzo (2007)
  • D. Mayer Landscaping v. Industrial Commission, 767 N.E.2d 821 (2002)
  • Carroll v. Industrial Commission, 563 N.E.2d 890 (1990)
  • Waldschmidt v. Industrial Commission, 542 N.E.2d 726 (1989)
  • Trans World Airlines v. Industrial Commission, 548 N.E.2d 367 (1989)


  • Volunteer for Breast Cancer Research for Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation
  • Running Coach, Chicago Endurance Sports, 2007 –2011
  • Coach, Glenview Titans Soccer Team, 2001-2003
  • Member, University of Illinois Dads’ Association, 2000-2003
  • Member, Glenbrook South Booster Club, 1999-2003
  • Member and Treasurer, Glenbrook South Parent Association, 1997-1999
  • Coach, Glenview Jr. Titans Basketball, 1997-1999
  • Manager and Coach, Glenview Youth Baseball, 1993-1997
  • Head Coach and Trainer, Glenview Colts Soccer Team 1993-2005