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Yao O. Dinizulu, Esq.

Yao Dinizulu

Mr. Dinizulu was born in Washington D.C., and after graduating from high school in Queens, New York, Mr. Dinizulu attended Florida A& M University in Tallahassee, Florida, where he graduated magna cum laude.  While at Florida A&M University, Mr. Dinizulu was a member of Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities; the National Dean’s List, the Golden Key National Honor Society, Founder of the Collegiate Democratic Caucus of Florida, Student Government Association Student Senate, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, and campus spokesperson for the Television and Radio broadcast of the NAACP Speaks.

After graduating from Florida A&M University, Mr. Dinizulu attended the University of Illinois College of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1997. While at the University of Illinois, Mr. Dinizulu served on the University of Illinois Student Bar Association and the Executive Board for the National Black Law Student Association. During his tenure at the College of Law, Mr. Dinizulu was awarded the prestigious James Benton Parsons Scholarship from the Just Beginning Foundation and the National Bar Association’s Judicial Council for Public Service and Academic Achievement.

After graduating from law school, Mr. Dinizulu began his professional career, handling multi-billion dollar complex tax restructurings, with Price Waterhouse, LLP which later merged with Coopers & Lybrand to become PricewaterhouseCoopers. In May 2000, Mr. Dinizulu, acting as a founding partner, formed Harris, Mitchell & Dinizulu, LLC.  In January 2008, Mr. Dinizulu formed the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., focusing the practice primarily on injury/tort litigation and commercial litigation.

Attorney Dinizulu has been recognized both locally and nationally for his work in relation to advancing civil rights causes and championing social issues. His ardor and tenaciousness has resulted in him being spotlighted by his peers and the media. He was named a 2012 Rising Star in Super Lawyers’ national magazine, and the Law Bulletin Publishing Company's "40 under 40" in 2007. He was in the March 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine, highlighting his firm's use of cutting-edge technology to ensure optimal results for each of his clients. He appears in the media to educate the community on their civil and legal rights and host's seminars on recognizing nursing home abuse and negligence. He also is active in the local community, readily making time to speak to children about the importance of education and making the right choices.

Mr. Dinizulu has represented a diverse client base not limited to: wards of the state of Illinois, physicians and lawyers, to business owners and condominium associations. Mr. Dinizulu has also represented individuals and corporations in many tort actions ranging from sodomy and trucking/motor vehicle accidents, to wrongful deaths and nursing home negligence.  Although the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. serves clients located primarily within the Cook and neighboring counties, Mr. Dinizulu operates a regional practice.  As an attorney, Mr. Dinizulu’s motto is to, “never let an opponent out work me.”

Demonstrating his compassion for his community, Mr. Dinizulu is actively engaged in numerous community activities involving civic and faith-based organizations.  In addition, Mr. Dinizulu frequently makes several public appearances to address issues specifically affecting the African American community.

Additionally, Mr. Dinizulu often appears at Chicago-area schools as a motivational speaker. Also, Mr. Dinizulu enjoys traveling, the theatre, fine dining and spending time with his loved ones.

Areas of Practice:

Serious Injury/Tort Litigation, Nursing Home Negligence, and Commercial Litigation

Education:

J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, 1997
B.S., Florida A&M University, Magna cum Laude, 1994

Bar Admissions:

Supreme Court of Illinois
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Professional Activities and Recognition:

2012 “Rising Star” in Super Lawyers magazine

2007 Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s “40 Under 40”

Board of Directors, United Fire Protection Partners, LLC

Hearing Board Member, Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois

Member, American Bar Association

Member, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division
Member, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
Member, Law Practice Management Section
Member, Young Lawyers Division

Member, Cook County Bar Association

Former Vice-Chair, Judicial Evaluations Committee
Co-Chair, Tort Litigation Committee
Former Member, YLS Committee

Member, Chicago Bar Association

Member, Section on Tort Litigation
Member, Minorities in the Profession

Member, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

Member, Civil Practice & Rules Committee
Member, Civil Rights & Criminal Law Committee

Member, Illinois State Bar Association

Past President, Florida A&M University National Alumni Association, Chicago Chapter

Past Midwest Regional Officer, Florida A&M University National Alumni Association

Midwest Regional Vice President, Florida A&M University National Alumni Association

Board of Directors, Bethel New Life, Former Member

Universal Fire Protection, Board of Directors

Former Community Representative, Dr. Edward Alexander Bouchet Math & Science Academy, Local School Council Member

Former Member Representative, HBCU College Consortium

Honored Member, Strathmore’s Who’s Who, 2003-2004 edition

Panelist, Exhale Talk Show

Volunteer, Obama for Illinois

Citizens for a New Horizon, Board Member Former Member

Representative Verdicts & Settlements

Doe(s) v. Municipality Case Sealed

Settlement $3,000,000.00 Child Sexual Abuse

Marshay Johnson v. Advocate Health & Hospitals Corp. Case No. 06 l 1924

Settlement $2,350,000.00 Medical Malpractice – Wrongful Death

Lynnette Williams v. Bodine Electric Co. Case No. 02 L 008231

Verdict $1,779,349.00 – Wrongful Termination

Eugene Taylor et al v. Total Facility Maintenance Inc. Case No.05 L 4681

Settlement $1,000,000.00 – Premises Liability

The Estate of Doe v. ABC Agency Case No. 02 L 003106

Partial Settlement Trial Pending $725,000.00 -- Wrongful Death

The Estate of Williams Wilson v. Wilson Care Inc. Case No. 01 L 001162

Settlement $700,000.00 – Nursing Home Negligence

Patricia Wilson et al. vs. Chicago Housing Authority et al. Case No. 2008 L 000836

Settlement $675,000.00 - Gas Explosion Second Degree Burns

Notable Speeches, Articles & Presentations

“How to Start Your Own Practice” Yao Dinizulu, Esq. 2011, 2012. DePaul, Loyola, Chicago-Kent College of Law, JMLS

The Multi-Level Nursing Home Corporate Structure: Transparency, Accountability and Common Sense.  Yao O. Dinizulu, Esq., and Jennifer Matta, Esq. 2009

The Role of the ARDC Hearing Officer, John Marshall Law School

Protecting Your Loved Ones in Nursing Homes, ABJ Services August 19, 2006

Introduction to Nursing Home Abuse, Cook County Bar Association, April 24, 2007

Testimonials

“One of the impressive things about Mr. Dinizulu is his willingness and ability to utilize the latest technology in presenting the strongest cases for his clients.” -Honorable Judge Stuart Nudelman (Ret.)

“Mr. Dinizulu is very bright and energetic, and represents his clients with great zeal without losing sight of reasonableness. He is also a very aggressive litigator, but one who does not stray from the bounds of civility and decency.” -Honarable Judge Donald Devlin (Ret.)

“My experience working with the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. was terrific! The attorneys and staff treated me wonderfully and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend other clients to his firm.” -Benjamin C. Durueke, Cab Driver

“Attorney Dinizulu handled my lawsuit with professionalism and attention to detail. As a result, I was awarded the highest amount paid to a Chicago Board of Education employee in its history. So I am sure that it comes as no surprise that I recommend him highly.” -Eugene Taylor, Principal

“My experience working with DLG was great. I was ejected in an accident and sustained very serious injuries. Despite my condition, the Dinizulu Law Group was always in contact with me and maintained good communication regarding meetings, paperwork and next steps. I knew nothing about the legal process before my accident and learned a lot, thanks to Mr. Dinizulu.” -Tenyetta Ellis, Passenger

“Mr. Dinizulu was very responsive and professional while handling my case. He provided me with a detailed explanation of the process and kept me informed of what the numerous motions and filings meant. I found this to be most helpful because I had never been involved in a lawsuit. I was very satisfied with the outcome of my case and would highly recommend him to anyone in need of legal services.” -Lynette Williams, Union Worker