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Member Directory

David Rapoport

Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims P.C.
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David Rapoport
Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims P.C.
Chicago,
 IL

David E. Rapoport is the founding and managing partner of Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims P.C. In his 40 years as a full time trial attorney, he has consistently won multimillion-dollar jury verdicts and settlements for people who have been wrongfully injured and the families of people who have been wrongfully killed. David has served as the lead or managing attorney in cases resulting in jury verdicts and settlements exceeding $500 million. Click here to read more about David’s record in court. 

David represents people harmed in air crashes, semi-truck and motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, product liability accidents, recreational and commercial boating accidents, premises liability accidents, work injury and construction accidents. He is known nationally for his work representing injured victims and the families of those killed in air disasters.

As an aviation attorney, David has served on several court appointed plaintiffs’ steering committees in major air disaster cases, where he has represented passengers, their families, crew members and their families. For example, he is currently a member of the court appointed Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in In re: Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 Crash, the consolidated federal product liability case against Boeing alleging defects in the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. For more information about David’s air disaster work, click here. David was the Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Aviation Law Committee from June of 2017 to June of 2018. Since 2019 he has been designated as a “Top 10 National Aviation Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers.

By helping people and holding the at fault parties accountable, David helps make the community safer. David provides customized services to every client he represents, offering the compassion and skill they need to get just results, while remaining as comfortable as possible with the process.

David is a member of the invitation only American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an association of premier trial attorneys who are dedicated to preserving the right to trial by jury. ABOTA’s general mission is “to foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy to the end that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public be benefited by more efficient administration of justice consistent with time-tested and traditional principles of litigation.”

Since 1990, David Rapoport has been Board Certified* in Civil Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (“NBTA”), the oldest and largest not-for-profit American Bar Association (“ABA”) accredited trial attorney certification program. Attorneys with NBTA certification have proven specialized abilities through written examinations and meeting rigorous criteria for trial experience and ethical ratings. David has proven his currency and substantial trial experience through NBTA recertification in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2020. He is also board certified* by the NBTA in Civil Practice Advocacy.

David is a leader of the movement to encourage board certification for trial lawyers. He has been on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the NBTA since 2009. From August of 2013 to August of 2016, David was the President of the NBTA and he is currently serving as the Founding President of the NBTA Foundation, the educational and charitable arm of the NBTA. David recently explained: “In this era of Wild West style lawyer advertising, it has never been more important for the public to have an easy to use and reliable means of identifying the small fraction of practicing attorneys who truly have substantial experience trying lawsuits. Board certification programs help consumers of legal services make more informed choices. Too many lawyers are out there claiming they have substantial trial experience, when the truth is they have never or hardly ever tried a case. Board certified trial lawyers have proven their substantial trial experience in ways the public can trust.”

David is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA). He is Board Certified* by the ABPLA in Medical Malpractice and is the only plaintiffs’ attorney in Illinois with dual board certification* in Civil Trial Advocacy and Medical Malpractice. Like the NBTA, the ABPLA is a non-profit organization accredited by the ABA to issue attorney board certifications.

Best Lawyers has named David as one of the Best Lawyers in America and Martindale Hubbell has rated David “AV Preeminent”, their highest professional rating. David has been an Illinois Super Lawyer every year since the inception of the Super Lawyer program; and Avvo rates David “10.0 Superb”, their highest attorney rating. The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers has awarded David the distinction of being one the top 100 trial lawyers in Illinois.

David is a member of the President’s Club and Leader’s Forum of the American Association for Justice. He is also a member of the state trial lawyer associations in Illinois and Wisconsin. David is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, and he is one of a handful of trial attorneys selected for membership in the Economic Club of Chicago.

* Board certification is not required to practice law in Illinois, and the Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize specialties in the practice of law.

Past Positions

Katz, Friedman, Schur & Eagle, Associate, 11/1981 to 09/1988

Katz, Friedman, Schur & Eagle, Income Partner, 09/1988 to 03/1990

Becker, Baizer & Rapoport, Partner, 03/1990 to 04/1995

Rapoport & Kupets, Managing Partner, 04/1995 to 05/1998

Education

Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois

J.D. – 1981

Honors: With High Honors

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois

B.S. – 1978

Honors: Dean’s List

Major: Finance

Classes/Seminars

Consortium on Trial: The Comair Case, Kentucky Justice Association, 04/22/2010 to 04/22/2010

Board Certification in Law, JUF Young Lawyers Division, 04/15/2010 to 04/15/2010

What Every Union Leader Needs to Know About Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases, UAW Local 2488, 11/09/2006 to 11/09/2006

Legal System Truths and Urban Legends, Professor Waterbrook, University of Illinois, 10/26/2006 to 10/26/2006

Trial and Evidentiary Considerations in Wrongful Death Actions, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 02/07/2008 to 02/07/2008

Third Party Actions (one class once per year most years), Professor Eagle, IIT-Kent College of Law, 1984 to 2006

Punitive Damages After State Farm v. Campbell: The First Year, American Bar Association Aviation and TIPS Sections, 2004 to 2004

The Effect of Tort Litigation on the Airline Industry, DePaul Business Law Journal Symposium on Terrorism, Security and Competition and The Future of the Airline Industry, 2002 to 2002

Use of Demonstrative Evidence in the US Air Flight 1016 Trial, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association Annual Meeting, 1997 to 1997

Sunrise Seminar Short Presentation, Association of Trial Lawyers of America Midwinter Convention, 1996 to 1996

Moderator for New Discovery Rules Program, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1995 to 1995

Professional Associations

National Board of Trial Advocacy Foundation, Founding President, 12/2020 to Present

American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Associate, 2009 to Present

National Board of Trial Advocacy, Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate , 09/1990 to Present

American College of Board Certified Attorneys, Fellow, Present

American Association for Justice, 1981 to Present

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, 1981 to Present

American Bar Association, 1981 to Present

Chicago Bar Association, 1981 to Present

Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, 1994 to Present

Wisconsin Association for Justice, 2009 to Present

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, 1994 to Present

Roscoe Pound Foundation, 1994 to Present

Economic Club of Chicago, 2010 to Present

Certified Legal Specialties

Civil Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocates (original certification), 1990

Civil Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocates (recertification), 1995

Civil Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocates (recertification), 2000

Civil Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocates (recertification), 2005

Civil Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocates (recertification), 2010

Civil Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy (recertification–current), 2015

Medical Malpractice, American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, 2015

Civil Practice Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 2018

Bar Admissions

Illinois, 1981

Wisconsin, 1995

U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1994

U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1981

U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 2002

U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar, 1983

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2000

U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 2006

U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1984

U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1996

Supreme Court of the United States of America, 2000

Honors

AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell

Illinois Super Lawyer rating by Thomson-Reuters’ Illinois Super Lawyers

Illinois Leading Lawyers by Law Bulletin Publishing

“10-Superb” rating by Avvo

Elected Associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (“ABOTA”)

Best Lawyers

Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Pro-Bono Activities

Board of Directors and Founding President, National Board of Trial Advocacy Foundation, 12/2020 to Present

Board of Directors, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 07/2009 to Present

Illinois State Coordinator, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 06/1996 to 07/2009

Board of Directors, Geneva Lake Association, 08/2009 to 09/2012

Board of Directors, Congregation Beth Judea, 09/1997 to 09/2000

Published Works

“Wrongful Death and Survival Actions in Illinois”, Trial and Evidentiary Considerations in Wrongful Death Actions, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Book, 2019

“Cockpit Voice Recorder Audio Evidence is Centrally Important in CIvil Litigation and Discoverable under 49 U.S.C. § 1154: The Flight 1702 Example”, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Spring 2019

“Babies Have a Right to a Safe Seat With Proper Restraints – The Infant Seat Exception Should be Abandoned”, DePaul University College of Law, International Aviation Law Institute; Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Volume 12, Autumn 2012

“Trial and Evidentiary Considerations in Wrongful Death Cases”, Wrongful Death and Survival Actions Chapter, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Spring 2011

“The Erosion of Secrecy in Air Disaster Litigation”, DePaul Law Review Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Spring 2011

“The Pre-Abdullah Consensus That Federal Law Does Not Preempt the Field of Aviation Safety in Tort Law Should Remain the Law”, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Spring 2009

“Wrongful Death and Survival Actions in Illinois”, Trial and Evidentiary Considerations in Wrongful Death Actions, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Book, 2007

“Small Talk in the Cockpit is a Big Problem Requiring More Than Just Lip Service”, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Spring 2007

“Cockpit Image Recorders: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Spring 2005

“Attention All International Airlines and Flight Crews: Choosing Inaction Over Action No Longer Flies”, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Spring 2004

“Punitive Damages After State Farm v. Campbell: The First Year”, American Bar Association Aviation Litigation Section Meeting, New York, N.Y., 2004

“Will Boeing’s Recent Move to Chicago Mean That More Commercial Airliner Crash Cases Will be Litigated There?”, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, 2003

“Trial and Evidentiary Issues in Wrongful Death Actions”, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Book “Wrongful Death and Survival Actions in Illinois”, 2003

“A 73-Year Odyssey: The Time Has Come For a New International Air Liability System”, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, 2002

“Wrongful Death and Survival Actions in Illinois”, Wrongful Death Trials, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Book, 1996

“Wrongful Death and Survival Actions in Illinois”, Wrongful Death Trials, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Book, 1993


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