Chris credits his interest in the practice of law to his father. “Growing up, my dad was in management of a Peoria architectural firm. His days were increasingly consumed by additional regulations and rules imposed on the business. I resolved early on that I’d devote my law practice to help others like my father so that their time, energy and concern could be focused more on building their businesses rather than what new regulation or claim would complicate their efforts.”
Chris started practicing law in Chicago in 1998, handling all types of personal injury cases for injured plaintiffs. He enjoyed his colleagues on that side of the bar, but soon realized he felt more comfortable on the defense. Now, as a workers’ compensation defense attorney, Chris uses the knowledge he gained during his early career regarding how plaintiffs build their cases to his advantage on the defense side.
In 2007, Chris joined Quinn Johnston’s Peoria office and has since devoted 100% of his practice to handling matters in both workers’ compensation and employment defense. He became a partner in the firm in 2014. He routinely tries workers’ compensation cases before the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission, handles appeals to the circuit courts and appellate courts, and appears in both state and federal courts throughout Illinois in related civil litigation. Recent examples:
- Obtained a defense verdict that petitioner’s recommended cervical disc replacement was not causally related to the accident. This saved the client thousands of dollars in both permanency and medical benefits.
- Obtained a defense verdict in defending a decision through the appellate court for a petitioner who fell down stairs claiming that his shoes were wet and he was not provided proper slip protection.
- Obtained a defense verdict when petitioner claimed a wage differential. The client was ready to pay a settlement equal to a wage differential. However, a recommended records check, following referral of assignment, showed the petitioner had pre-existing back problems immediately prior to the claimed accident.
- Obtained a defense verdict for a petitioner who had knelt on the ground to change a tire and ruptured his meniscus while rising from the ground.
Chris is also active in the community. He strives to be a positive reflection for both his profession and his firm. Chris served for five years on the school board for Peoria Public Schools holding both the positions of Vice President and President. Chris is also active in the Downtown Rotary Club of Peoria and his homeowner’s association. He is committed to providing pro bono legal services and reads monthly to children at one of Peoria local elementary schools. Chris mostly enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.
- J.D., Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa, 1998
- Honors: Mock Trial Team National Finalist
- B.S., Agriculture, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, 1995
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
- Illinois Supreme Court
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Peoria County Bar Association
- Martindale-Hubbell rating of AV® Preeminent
- Illinois Leading Lawyers List, 2016-2019
- Illinois Rising Stars List, 2010
- InterBusiness Issues, “40 Leaders Under Forty,” 2010
“AMA Guidelines, A Respondent’s Perspective,” Illinois Continuing Legal Education, May 2014
- Pediatric Resource Center, Board Member (2008 – present)
- Peoria Public Schools District 150 School Board, President (2013 – present); Vice President (2012); Elected Representative (2010-2011)
- First Federated Church Executive Board Member (2014 – present)
- Upsilon Alumni Corporation Board Member, Delta Chi, Illinois Chapter (2001 – present)
- Rotary Club of Peoria (2008 – present)
News & Events
Presentations: Quinn Johnston 2018 Labor & Employment Seminar
Quinn Johnston attorneys presented their annual Labor & Employment Seminar on Thursday, June in East Peoria. Feel free to view or download the presentations from the seminar.
Quinn Johnston’s Entire Partnership Named as 2018 Leading Lawyers in Their Respective Practice Areas
Leading Lawyers has announced that 18 attorneys from the Peoria law firm of Quinn, Johnston, Henderson, Pretorius & Cerulo were named by their peers to the list of the top lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois. Sixteen of the lawyers were named Leading Lawyers, a distinction earned by fewer than five percent of all lawyers registered to practice in Illinois and two were named Emerging Lawyers, a distinction earned by fewer than two percent. Significantly, every firm partner was named a leading lawyer in their designated areas of practice.
Presentations: Quinn Johnston 2017 Government & Liability Seminar
Quinn Johnston attorneys presented their annual Government & Liability Seminar on Wednesday, October 25 in East Peoria. The following are videos of each presentation within the seminar.
2017 Government & Liability Seminar
Please join Quinn Johnston on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 for our annual Government & Liability Seminar. Our attorneys will present current developments and new trends that affect municipalities, city managers, insurers, risk managers and adjusters.
Annual Labor & Employment Seminar 2017
Quinn Johnston will be hosting an informative labor and employment law update on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. This comprehensive seminar will include updates on the current employment law topics from the legislature, courts and executive agencies.
Quinn Johnston Attorneys Named as 2016 Leading Lawyers
Law Bulletin Publishing Company and its Leading Lawyers division has announced that 15 attorneys from the Peoria law firm of Quinn, Johnston, Henderson, Pretorius & Cerulo were named by their peers to the list of the top lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois.
Appellate Court Upholds Discharge of Physician Who Refused to Treat Patients with STDs
Is a female physician who is fired for her refusal to treat male patients with STDs able to sue her employer? Not according to the case of Lucas v. County of Cook. The plaintiff advanced two legal theories: wrongful termination under the Whistleblower's Act and retaliatory discharge.
An Adequate Job Search is a Prerequisite for Maintenance Benefits
In Alfaro v. Al Piemonte Ford, IWCC# 10 WC 10326, the Commission vacated an award of the arbitrator awarding maintenance benefits. Upon being released from work, Petitioner did not engage in a job search. He testified that he completed applications, but presented no physical evidence of the applications.
A Wage Differential Must be Supported by an Adequate Job Search
In Deckrow v. United Airlines, IWCC# 06 WC 33452, the Commission determined that the petitioner’s job search showed a lack of good faith. In this case, petitioner repeatedly applied for positions for which he was unqualified and sought salaries that were excessively high. Petitioner also did not sufficiently complete applications.
News From the Firm – Summer 2012
Four of Quinn Johnston's attorneys successfully defended a surgeon and a neurosurgeon in two separate medical malpractice jury trials. Jon Stump won a trial related to a motor vehicle accident involving a semi-truck and farm tractor. John Kamin obtained a defense verdict for an employer in a case involving a trip-and-fall in a parking lot.