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Telly C. Nakos, Partner, Chicago Illinois

Illinois Leading Lawyer and
Illinois Super Lawyer

Oxford-educated and Eli Lilly Scholar Telly C. Nakos has been practicing law in Chicago since 1990. Telly has won record settlements and jury awards for his clients. He procured the largest settlement in Illinois history for a triplegic. Telly was selected by the publisher of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer magazine as one of the Forty Under Forty Illinois Attorneys to Watch, a designation accorded to less than 1% of the state’s participating attorneys. He is also a two-time recipient of the American College of Trial Lawyers’ Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. Telly has served on the Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee. Telly has been a frequent lecturer at various seminars for the Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association and other legal organizations. He takes great pride in co-authoring the Opening Statements Chapter for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Publication “Preparing for Trial.” The publication received a national award from the American Continuing Education Association. Telly has been honored by his law school for performing hundreds of hours of community service and pro bono work as well.

Telly has developed a reputation among his colleagues, adversaries, and the judiciary as a hard fighting attorney who will not allow anyone to withhold justice from any of his clients.

Telly has been married to his wife, Tamara, for 15 years; together they have three children: Athena, Aristotle and Sophia.

The following are examples of some of the verdicts or settlements Telly has won during his career:

• $11,700,000 landmark settlement for a client who lost the use of both legs and one arm in a fall while walking down a flight of stairs at McCormick Place. The firm’s unique strategy on damages involved providing a fully handicapped accessible home for the client.

• $9,250,000 for an ironworker who suffered mild brain damage and a neck injury which required a cervical fusion from a fall while setting structural steel.

• $5,200,000 settlement for the wife and daughter of a union painter who died when his scaffold collapsed.

• $4,700,000 settlement for the wrongful death of a construction worker injured when his scaffold tipped over.

• $4,500,000 settlement for an apprentice ironworker who died as a result of a fall while setting decking during construction of a distribution center.

• $2,780,000 verdict for a pipefitter who suffered back and knee injuries when he fell off a faulty ladder.

• $2,275,000 settlement for the wrongful death of an 11 year old passenger on a motorcycle. The case settled against the operators of two vehicles that approached the roadway the motorcycle was on, despite the fact the vehicles did not strike the motorcycle.

• $2,250,000 for an elderly woman who received an epidural injection from an anesthesiologist and later suffered weakness in her extremities

• $2,250,000 for an ironworker who developed necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease) after obtaining a minor cut and bruise to his thigh after a work-related incident.

• $1,500,000 settlement for the family of a Polish immigrant who died after a neighborhood medical clinic failed to provide the proper care when he complained of chest pains.

• $1,500,000 verdict for a woman injured by a falling paper plate display at Kmart.

• $1,491,000 settlement for an ironworker who had to manually lift steel bar joists due to the general contractor’s failure to provide a crane for the lifting of materials.

“Telly’s nature is to put forth the best of his ability in whatever he does. If he believes someone has been wronged, he will tenaciously pursue the truth until justice is served.”

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
Chicago Lawyer Magazine
40 Under 40

Areas of Practice:
• Personal Injury – including construction; product liability; premises liability; medical malpractice and transportation negligence

Bar Admissions:
• Illinois, 1990
• U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1990

• Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland Ohio, 1990, J.D.

• Wabash College, 1987
Honors: Eli Lilly Scholar

• Oxford University – Keble College C.M.R.S.
(Hillary Term, 1986) Oxford, England

Published Works:

• “Trying the Case, Opening Statement” (Chapter 3), IICLE
• “Proving and Disproving Damages in Personal Injury Cases” (1 Chapter), IICLE

Classes/Seminars Taught:
• Lecturer, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
• Lecturer, Chicago Bar Association

Honors and Awards:
• Illinois Leading Lawyers – recommended by peer attorneys
• Illinois Super Lawyer – top 5% of attorneys in state
• 40 under 40 in Illinois
• American College of Trial Lawyers Award, Two-Time Recipient
• International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award Recipient
• American Jurisprudence Award – Trail Advocacy

Professional Associations and Memberships:
• Illinois Trial Lawyers Association – Board of Managers
• Illinois State Bar Association
• Helenic Bar Association
• Chicago Bar Association



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