We have four new Arbitrators and we lost one as Arbitrator Brandon Zanotti resigned in order to become a State’s Attorney. Below are the biographies of the new Arbitrators per the IWCC. Somewhat odd in that three of the four are more insurance company oriented per their background. But until we see them in action as Arbitrators, we of course can have no real opinion on them. Best of luck to them all.
Governor Pat Quinn appointed four new arbitrators to the Commission:
• Maria Bocanegra is an attorney at Katz Friedman, specializing in workers’ compensation. She previously worked as a judicial assistant to the Honorable David Furman and as a case administrator for the United States Bankruptcy Court in the District of Colorado. Ms.Bocanegra was also appointed to the Illinois Department of Labor’s Labor Advisory Board in 2013. She holds a J.D. from DePaul University and a B.A. from Quincy College.
•Stephen Friedman is currently a Managing Partner of Rusin, Maciorowski & Friedman, Ltd., specializing in workers’ compensation defense. Previously, he was an associate and a partner at Rooks, Pitts and Poust practicing workers’ compensation and personal injury defense. He earned both a J.D. and a B.A. from the University of Illinois.
•Steven Fruth is currently a trial attorney at the Chicago Transit Authority. Previously, he served as a Circuit Judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County and as the Staff Counsel at Allstate Insurance Company. He holds a J.D. from the John Marshall Law School and a B.A. from Southern Illinois University.
•Michael Nowak is an attorney at Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson, P.C., focusing primarily on workers’ compensation law. Previously, he was a partner in his own firm, representing injured workers. Mr. Nowak has served as an arbitrator for the St. Clair County Arbitration Center as well as a member of the Judicial Nominating Committee for the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois. He holds a J.D. from Northern Illinois University and a B.A. from Eastern Illinois University.
Please join us in welcoming these new arbitrators to the Commission.