Mr. Rettberg has spent his entire legal career at Querrey & Harrow as a major case litigator and trial lawyer. Over the course of his career he has tried approximately 115 cases to a jury verdict.
Mr. Rettberg concentrates his practice in the handling of high exposure lawsuits involving municipalities and municipal common carriers, digital broadcast satellite television companies, major food retailers, construction companies, and manufacturers. The cases which he has successfully tried or favorably settled include catastrophic injury cases defending common carriers, products liability cases for manufacturers, 1983 civil rights cases representing municipalities, will contests, and prosecution of civil anti-piracy cases under the Federal Cable Communications Policy Act, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for satellite television broadcasters.
Mr. Rettberg was involved in the coordination of major case litigation involving asbestos cases and environmental losses having served as regional liaison counsel for an environmental task force unit of a major national insurance carrier. His work involved the coordination of asbestos and environmental litigation in a 12 state area.
Mr. Rettberg has extensive experience representing municipal governments in a wide variety of cases including false arrest and excessive force cases brought under Section 1983, retaliatory discharge actions, class actions, municipalities, and sexual abuse lawsuits brought against school districts and their employees. His extensive experience in handling municipal cases has been enhanced by his service on the Elk Grove Village, Illinois Board of Trustees. While serving on the Board for the Village, he was Chairman of the Judicial Planning and Zoning Committee and the Industrial/Commercial Revitalization Commission. This background has enabled him to accurately comprehend the dilemmas facing municipal governments, both from a legal and practical viewpoint.
Mr. Rettberg also has extensive experience in preparing wills and trusts and in probate litigation.
In addition to his service as a Village Trustee, Mr. Rettberg has been extensively involved in his community having served as President of the Library Board, President and Founder of the Kenneth Young Mental Health Center, and the United Way Board and was a volunteer Deputy Attorney General, Consumer Fraud Division for Elk Grove Village. He has also served on the DePaul University Law Alumni Board.
Mr. Rettberg is distinguished as AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named as a "Leading Lawyer" by peers for the Leading Lawyers Network.
DePaul University College of Law, JD, 1970
DePaul University, BA, 1966
US District Court, Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois
Federal Trial Bar
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Supreme Court of the United States, 1977
Chicago Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (Chair, Municipal Law Committee 2011-2012)
Defense Research Institute
Trial Lawyers Club of Chicago, President, 1979-1980
Commercial Law League of America
A representative sampling of matters successfully handled by Mr. Rettberg follows:
Defense verdict in favor of electrical contractor involving the wrongful death of a 39-year-old woman who was involved in a traffic accident after a traffic signal malfunctioned shortly after the contractor had sent a serviceman to repair the traffic light.
Defense verdict in favor of major food retailer in a case involving a customer who was severely beaten in the supermarket’s parking lot.
Defense verdict in favor of the John Hancock Center in Chicago where a building tenant was injured when an elevator suddenly dropped 10 feet.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major national convenience food franchisor in a case involving the beheading of a co-employee in a franchisee’s store.
Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a metropolitan school district involving a sexual abuse claim brought by a 13-year-old student against teachers and aides.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a suburban municipal police department brought by the estate of a murdered woman claiming that the police department failed to properly respond after complaints were made about domestic violence.
Successfully represented satellite television broadcast carrier in recovering substantial sums of money against more than 500 defendants in lawsuits brought for violation of federal anti-piracy statutes.
Verdict in favor of defendant food appliance manufacturer in case brought by a kitchen worker who was severely injured while using an electrical meat slicer.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of suburban police officers accused of falsely detaining a Chicago Police Officer for alleged weapons violation. The decision was recently upheld by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of municipal bus common carrier involving a brain damaged quadriplegic. The summary judgment was initially denied but after going to trial, the court granted summary judgment immediately prior to jury selection. Case upheld by the Illinois Court of Appeals.
Elk Grove Village Zoning Board of Appeals, Commissioner, 2012-present
DePaul Law Alumni Association, Director 1993-1995
Elk Grove Village Board, Trustee 1993-1997
Elk Grove Village Public Library Board, President 1986-1993
Kenneth Young Center, President and a Founder
Spoliation of Evidence, Perils of the Shredder
DePaul Law Review