Rarely do we live the life we originally intended. We make up our minds and charge down the path we’ve chosen, only to find ourselves arriving at an unexpected destination. We don’t know how it happens, but after enough time has passed, we’re able to look back and assemble the puzzle pieces to make sense of it all.This is the business of Joseph A. Garofalo’s autobiography, except his life’s puzzle pieces are not made up only of choices and events. They also predominately take the form of people. His story introduces the many relationships that make up who he is today—those who influenced him, the woman he married, the friends he made, his coworkers and bosses, his clients, and eventually, the partners he selected for his law firm.His story that begins in a working-class Chicago neighborhood and ends with cofounding his own firm, as well as owning a California vineyard, is an inspirational journey of self-discovery that will draw out readers’ introspection and appreciation. Because it is more than a story. It is a series of life lessons that can only be expressed in this way by one who’s learned them himself.
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Joseph A. Garofalo is a dedicated husband, brother, partner, mentor, friend, trial lawyer, writer, and vintner.He is a graduate of North Park College (magna cum laude, 1974) and DePaul University School of Law (1977). He was admitted to practice law in Illinois before the US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, in 1977 (subsequently including the Federal Trial Bar). He was admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, in 1989. After working as an associate in a firm for seven years, in 1984 he cofounded his own law firm, now called Garofalo, Schreiber & Storm, Chartered.Throughout his career, he concentrated his practice in the area of workers’ compensation and employers’ liability, defending employers and insurance companies. He has extensive litigation experience before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the circuit court, the appellate court, and the Illinois Supreme Court. He has lectured on the topic of workers’ compensation defense before the Chicago Bar Association and a variety of business groups and has presented seminars for insurance professionals and self-insured professionals. He also served as an arbitrator in the Circuit Court of Cook County mandatory arbitration program (1990–present).He is “AV Preeminent” as rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and his firm’s biography is presented in Best’s Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys. He has been selected as one of Illinois’s Leading Lawyers, where he is an advisory board member (2006–14) and one of Illinois’s Super Lawyers (2008–14). He was inducted into the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in 2011. Old Republic Construction Program Group named him as the 2014 Midwest Region’s Workers’ Compensation Attorney of the Year. In 2014 Leading Lawyers selected him as one of the top three business workers’ compensation lawyers in Illinois. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association, and the Justinian Society of Lawyers. He is also a member of the Dry Creek Valley Association and the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley.Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, he lives with his wife, Toni, residing primarily in Park Ridge, Illinois, and part-time at Garofalo Family Vineyards in Healdsburg, California.