William N. Krucks

Partner

[email protected]

Phone: (312) 360-6504

Fax: (312) 360-6520

As a professional, I do not like surprises - and I know that my clients like them even less. Our value of 'commitment' means we do not give our clients surprises – except for the pleasant ones." Beyond that, Bill finds that today's legal problems require 21st century solutions. In the age of big data and process automation, a siloed approach to the delivery of legal services misses opportunities to use data and technology to inform a range of strategies and decisions enabling smarter litigation and transactions, more accurate forecasting and budgeting, and more efficient distribution of resources across work flows. This too reflects our commitment value.

About

About

William "Bill" Krucks is a Freeborn founding Partner and member of the Litigation and Corporate Practice Groups.

Experience built on long-term client relationships matters. Bill has been working with many of his clients for more than 30 years because they know they can leave the worrying - and the winning - to him. His reputation for winning is due, in no small part, to his devotion to spending at least 2 hours each day reading the latest case opinions and legal publications in order to  stay current on the  range of business and regulatory challenges  his clients regularly face. Serving as an efficient and knowledgeable advisor, Bill makes sure his clients are aware of the big issues of the day and are well-prepared for what's to come, from understanding the latest cases and legislative and regulatory activity, to employment litigation and pending healthcare reform requirements. Whether they are hiring or firing employees, negotiating business contracts, dealing with employment claims and litigation, or facing various other contentious issues, clients know that Bill will achieve justice for them, and that he'll do so quickly.

Bill focuses on advising and representing management in the full-range of legal issues that impact operating a business in the United States.. More specifically, his areas of focus include: Complex Disputes; Employment Litigation; Environmental, Health and Safety; Insurance Coverage and Regulation; Land Use and Zoning; Occupational Diseases and Work Injuries; and Products Liability. 

Bill has tried cases in state and federal courts, before federal and state agencies, and in arbitration proceedings. He regularly publishes legal articles on labor and employment law for journals and newsletters. While in law school, he authored two articles that were published in the Mississippi Law Journal.

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Helped multiple clients compel insurance providers to cover the cost of defense and even offer indemnity in an array of situations where companies have been sued, ranging from IP infringement to interfering with contract rights. Often this has occurred in situations where the client may not have even considered checking their insurance policies to determine if coverage would be provided.

  • Successfully represented a father in Mississippi pro bono case where a mother had died tragically following an elective medical procedure, helping the father regain custody of his three small children in the face of antiquated state laws.

  • Won a discrimination case for the employer that is often cited as a fundamental statement of the law in the 7th Circuit concerning the issue of "pretext" under the McDonnell Douglas burden shifting analysis. In the case of Forrester v. Rauland-Borg Corp., 453 F.3d 416, (7th Cir. 2006), the 7th Circuit declared that a “pretext” is a deliberate falsehood, but “[a]n honest mistake, however dumb, is not, and there is no doubt that it is the real reason it blocks the case at the summary-judgment stage.” The opinion written by the celebrated Hon. Richard A. Posner, and joined by two more of 7th Circuit’s most acclaimed judges Frank H. Easterbrook and Diane P. Wood, concludes that under the burden shifting analysis of McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green. 411 U.S. 792 (1973), “the question is never whether the employer was mistaken, cruel, unethical, out of his head, or downright irrational in taking the action for the stated reason, but simply whether the stated reason was his reason, not a good reason, but the true reason.”

  • Helped establish a public employer insurance fund, comprised of about 600 public entities in the State of Illinois, and served as the fund's General Counsel for more than 25 years.

  • Served as General Counsel to a high-tech manufacturer, providing full service support, handling every legal need spanning intellectual property, business litigation, employment, business contracts and corporate governance.

Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

  • Leading Lawyers - Labor, Employment and Insurance Defense Law
  • Illinois Super Lawyers - 2006 (cited in multiple years)
  • Fellow, American Bar Association Foundation - 2011-present
  • Fellow, College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell legal ability/ethical standards rating (“A-V”) - Highest possible rating
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers - 2018 (cited in multiple years)

Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Mississippi State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association (Judge, 2009-10 National Appellate Advocacy Competition)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • Lawyers Club of Chicago
  • Arbitrator, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
  • Fellow, College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers
  • Member, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) Advisory Board (2017 to present)

Speaking Engagements

  • Panel participant, "Careers in the Tort Trial and Insurance Industry," presented by the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), 2014 ABA Midyear Meeting (February 6 – 9, 2014).

Perspectives

Perspectives

News

Insights

Events