Gregory Vacala

Senior Counsel

Photo of Gregory Vacala

Gregory G. Vacala is the Managing Partner in our Civil Litigation Department and has been with the Firm since 1986.

After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from DePaul University in 1980, Greg continued on at DePaul University to earn his Juris Doctor in 1983. He also becamena Certified Public Accountant in Illinois in 1983.

Greg has a concentration in insurance defense, including complex and catastrophic civil tort litigation; and insurance coverage concentrating in contractual risk transfer. He has practiced extensively in the area of Section 5 of the Illinois Workers Compensation Act as to lien recovery & prosecution of subrogation recovery as a consultant for several major insurers. 

He also has experience in defense of personal injury claims including verdicts on auto, trucking, premises, product liability (vehicle, distributor, modification), federal motor carrier safety regulations, and toxic exposure claims. In addition, Greg has litigated commercial contractual, insurance, and transactional disputes involving insurance indemnity procurement, contractual risk transfer, coverage and indemnification in CGL, EL, auto, transportation and selective-targeted tenders as well as contractual and policy co-insurance sharing provisions.

Greg has been admitted to the Illinois Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 1983, the Southern District of Illinois in 1993, the Central District of Illinois in 1999, the Federal Trial Bar in 1985, the Missouri Bar in 1995, the U.S. Tax Court in 1984, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in 2001, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in 2001, and the United States Supreme Court in 2001. Greg is a member of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel. He also served as an Arbitrator through the Cook County Mandatory Arbitration Program. He has served as co-chairman of the Insurance Law Committee of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel. He has served as a moot court judge for DePaul University. Greg is a 4.0-4.5 tennis enthusiast and avid bicyclist.

Education

B.S., Accounting, DePaul University, 1980
J.D., DePaul University, 1983
Certified Public Accountant, Illinois, 1983

Admissions

  • Illinois, 1983
  • U.S. Supreme Court 2001
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1983
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, 1993
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, 1999
  • Northern District of Illinois Federal Trial Bar, 1985
  • Missouri, 1995
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (7 Cir.) 1998
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, 2001
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 2001

Honors

  • American Jurisprudence Award, 1983
  • U.S. Law Week Award, 1983

Speaking Engagements

  • AIG Global Recovery Illinois Law Seminar – Subrogation Strategy, 2016
  • IDC Seminar – Statewide CLE Series Insurance Law Update, 2013
  • Chartis Insurance Global Recovery Seminar, 2012
  • AmTrust Workers Compensation, Employers Liability & Subrogation Law, 2011
  • Fundamentals of Litigation Management (Council on Litigation Management), 2009
  • Illinois Law Seminar, Amherst, NY, 2009
  • Rusin Maciorowski & Friedman’s 25th Anniversary Seminar, 2009
  • Insurance Coverage, West Bend Mutual Insurance, 2008
  • Illinois Insurance Coverage, Utica Mutual Insurance, 2008
  • Defending Third-Party Employers, Rusin Maciorowski & Friedman, 2007
  • Illinois Defense Counsel Insurance Symposium, 2007
  • Utica Mutual Insurance Company Seminar, 2007
  • Greater Peoria Claims Association Annual Seminar, 2004
  • Safeco Annual Seminar, 2004
  • Chicago Bar Association, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, and The Insurance School of Chicago’s Seminar on Construction Litigation and Insurance Coverage, “Third Party Actions,” 2002
  • General Accident, Multi State Subrogation Training Seminar, 1997
  • The Pillsbury Company, Annual Seminar, 1991
  • Illinois Manufacturers Association Seminar, 1990

Publications

  • Illinois Law & Subrogation Strategy, 2016
  • The Keys to Kotecki and Employers’ Litigation Outside the Jurisdiction of the IWCC with Claims under the IWCA, 2013
  • Employers Liability & Subrogation Law, 2011
  • Utica National Illinois Law Primer, Amherst, NY, 2009
  • Utica National Annual Coverage Seminar, Columbus, Ohio, 2008
  • Employers Liability and Workers’ Compensation Coverage, 2008
  • Insurance Coverage Primer, 2008
  • Illinois Insurance Coverage, 2008
  • Defending Third-Party Employers, 2007
  • Post Virginia Surety v. Northern Insurance Risk Transfer and Insurance Coverage, 2007
  • Employers Liability Coverage Primer, 2007
  • Cumis/Peppers Conflict Counsel, 2007
  • Construction Defense, 2004
  • Targeted or Selected Tenders, 2007
  • Employers Liability Construction Litigation, 2004
  • Outline of Basic Tenets of Employment Practice, 2004
  • The Independent Medical Exam in Civil Litigation, 2004
  • Settlement: It’s All in the Timing, 2004
  • The Litigation of Truck Accidents: Coverage Issues, 2002
  • Litigation of Truck Accidents: Coverage Issues Between Trucking and Non-Trucking Use Policies, 2002
  • Placard Liability, 2002
  • Construction Defense: Post Structural Work Act, 2001
  • Additional Insureds, Multiple Coverage, Etc. / Basic Tenets of Practice, 2001
  • Defending Employees In Third Party Liability Litigation: The New Millennium, 2000

Memberships

  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • DRI – International Association for Defense, Insurance and Corporate Counsel

Reported Decisions

  • Sheppard v. Rabidas, 354 Ill. App 330, 620 N.E.2d 1089
  • Kemp v. Industrial Comm., 264 Ill. App 3d 1108 – 636 N.E.2d 1237
  • Upchurch v. Industrial Comm., 261 IL App 3d 104
  • Borrowman v. Prastein, 356 Ill. App 3d 546 – 826 N.E.2d 600
  • Harchut v. OCE / Bruning, 289 Ill. App 3d 790 – 682 N.E.2d 432
  • Elder v. Bryant, 324 Ill. App 3d 526 – 755 N.E.2d 515
  • A & R Janitorial v. Pepper Construction, 2017 IL App (1st) 170685
  • Hastings Mutual Ins. V. Ultimate Backyard LLC. 2012 IL App (1st) 101751
  • Bradley v. City of Marion, 2015 Ill. App (5th) 140267
  • K4 Enterprises v. Greater Inc. 394 Ill. App 3d. 307, 914 N.E.2d 617
  • Colvin v. Hobart Bros., 156 Ill.2d 166, 620 N.E.2d 375
  • Armis Construction Co. v. Cosmopolitan Natl. Bank, 134 Ill.App.3d 1717, 479 N.E.2d 1111
  • Spencer v. Wandolowski, 264 Ill.App.3d 611, 636 N.E.2d 854
  • Upchurch v. Industrial Commission, 261 Ill.App.3d 104, 636 N.E.2d 434
  • Hurt v. Industrial Commission, 191 Ill.App.3d 733, 548 N.E.2d 122
  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation v. Westchester Fire (Ill.App. 1-05-1703 Rule 23 – 3/1/06)
  • Virginia Surety v. Northern Insurance, 224 Ill.2d 550 866 N.E.2d 149
  • Bonner v. Brown (Ky.App. 2002-CA-000971-MR (not published)

Community

  • Marist High School, Chicago, IL 
  • Catholic Charities, Joliet, IL 
  • Rails to Trails
  • St. Scholastics, Woodridge, IL