Our Firm

Published on March 17th, 2014

Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell, P.C., has roots in Joliet dating back to 1951, evolving into the present day law firm which focuses in complex personal injury and workers’ compensation matters. Since its inception over sixty years ago, the firm has been on the forefront of leadership in the field. For example, we were first law firm in the country to win a jury case proving a chemically induced immuno-deficiency. We were also the first law firm to introduce PET scans into evidence in a brain damage cases in both Cook and Will Counties. Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell, P.C., has successfully prosecuted all types of cases ranging from aviation crashes to maritime disasters to basic workers’ compensation claims.

To maintain that promise of integrity and commitment, we have assembled a team of experienced and aggressive trial attorneys and provided them with a vast network of continuing legal education and resources. This winning combination means you, our client, will receive complete and dedicated attention in making all remedies under the law fully available to you.

In over 60 years of existence, the firm has undergone changes to better serve our clients. The original firm, founded in 1951, continued until 1968. In 1970, the firm’s current senior partner, Michael Block, joined John Cirricione. Michael saw a void in the area of personal injury and workers’ compensation, and immediately began practicing in that field. Between 1971 and 1976, his brother, Winston Block, and several other lawyers joined the firm and expanded the partnership. Winston had been decorated with a Bronze Star after serving his country as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corp of the Army in Viet Nam. In 1993, Elizabeth Klukas, now a named partner in the firm, joined after handling complex asbestos litigation for a downstate law firm.

In October 2001, our firm reorganized in order to focus exclusively in the area of injury law, including workers’ compensation. Three years later, Thomas Manzella joined our firm. He came to us with a broad background of practice including injury and workers’ compensation. In October of 2007, Tom became a named partner. In April 2008, we opened a west side branch to better serve our clients. In May 2009, William Rock joined the firm as an Associate Attorney after having clerked with Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell, P.C., since his undergraduate days in 2004 and is one of the firm’s litigators. In October 2009, Bryan Shell joined the firm as a newly licensed Associate Attorney and is since that time has continued to make his mark in the community- successfully litigating workers’ compensation cases.

As a group, the lawyers at Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell, P.C., have over 125 years experience and, equally as important, have the dedication to do the hard work necessary to achieve top results for our clients. Our mission is to continue to be leaders in the fields of complex or catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and workers’ compensation.

Our philosophy is that our clients define who we are and what we can accomplish. In order to foster the interests of our clients, all our lawyers have been active in the American Association for Justice, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the Will County Bar Association. Michael Block has been on the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice for over 10 years, and has been a director of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association for a similar period of time. Elizabeth Klukas is the Immediate Past Chairperson of the Will County Bar Association Civil Practice Committee. Tom Manzella is a Diplomat of the American Association for Justice, and current faculty member.

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