Leonard M. Ring
1949 - 1994
A Sage, Noble,
Champion of Justice
Prominent Chicago personal injury lawyer and strong, vocal advocate for victims' rights. He practiced law with a high degree of honesty, integrity and trustworthiness from 1949 until his sudden death in 1994. he engendered respect for the law, the profession and himself. He was known as a “Lawyer’s lawyer;” and in fact when the Illinois Judicial Association brought suit against the State of Illinois over judicial salaries in 1992, they called upon Ring to represent them.
Ring, who practiced law for forty-five years, had a remarkable career as a trial lawyer; he was co-lead counsel in the 1980's Tylenol poisoning cases and co-chair of the Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee for the Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel Fire litigation. He worked tirelessly for Chicago’s water district in its fight against polluters in Lake Michigan and for the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System to recover $300 million lost to fraud.
Leonard Ring headed almost every major plaintiffs’ bar association; he served as President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now AAJ); President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chairman of the Tort Section of the American Bar Association and served on many other influential committees and association boards. At the time of his sudden death in 1994, he was slated to become President of the Chicago Bar Association. Ring also served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Civil Pattern Jury Instructions.
The American Association of Justice gives the Leonard Ring Champion of Justice Award to a member of more than ten years standing who exemplifies outstanding integrity, overall character and has demonstrated Leonard Ring’s devotion to human and civil rights. The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association gives the Leonard M. Ring Lifetime Achievement Award to a member who has devoted a substantial party of his or her life and practice to the Association, and who has the same standards, morals and work ethic that Ring did.
Ring was not only a trial lawyer; he appeared as Of Counsel in over one hundred eighty three Illinois Appellate and Supreme Court cases and served as President of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association.
Prior to World War II, Ring attended medical school and the University of New Mexico School of Mines; during the war, he served as an Army tank commander in the 12th Armored Division, better known as “The Hellcats.” Ring was a graduate of DePaul University Law School.
"The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena."Theodore Roosevelt