John M. Spesia
John Spesia is a lifelong resident of Will County. He graduated from the University of Denver Law School with high academic honors as a member of the Order of St. Ives. Upon graduation, Spesia was selected to serve as a Law Clerk to a Federal District Judge in Chicago, where he had hands-on training in Federal Court procedures and trial matters.
Since joining Spesia & Ayers in 1991, he has focused his practice on negligence cases, including automobile, trucking and motorcycle collisions; medical and dental malpractice; and nursing home abuse, recovering millions of dollars on behalf of victims of negligence. He has tried injury cases in Cook, Will, and Grundy Counties, as well as in California. A few of his accomplishments include a $4.5 million settlement, a judgment for more than $3.1 million on behalf of the widow of a businessman killed in a trucking collision, and an $800,000 settlement for a 68 year old automobile crash victim. Spesia also recovered over $1.1 million for a motorcycle passenger severely injured in a collision. In addition, he recently recovered over $1 million for a 40-year-old victim of medical malpractice and won a $700,000 jury verdict in another medical negligence case.
Spesia has briefed and argued cases in the Second and Third District Appellate Courts and twice argued landmark cases in the Illinois Supreme Court, including a recent case in 2009 that resulted in a recovery of over $900,000. Along with Kent Slater, a retired Justice of the Third District Appellate Court, Spesia has won appeals in the Illinois Supreme Court and the Third District Appellate Court.
Watch this video featuring John Spesia arguing a case in front of the Illinois Supreme Court:
Over the years, Spesia has also been involved in litigation to acquire property using eminent domain authority for multi-billion dollar pipeline projects and has tried pipeline eminent domain cases in circuit courts across Illinois, including in Will, Kankakee, Livingston, McLean and DeWitt Counties. Mr. Spesia has represented numerous pipeline companies, including Enbridge Energy, Alliance Pipeline, Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Kinder Morgan, Enterprise Products and Explorer. He is well versed in property rights issues and the prosecution of eminent domain matters.
Along with the Spesia & Ayers litigation team, Spesia recently filed seventy-six pipeline eminent domain cases across Illinois. As a result of an efficient and effective discovery and trial strategy, access for purposes of construction was achieved on all of the pending cases within fourteen months. All of the cases filed across seven counties were resolved by summary judgment or trial within nine and fifteen months from the date they were filed. In the cases resulting in final judgment orders, Spesia and his team limited the judgments to only $1.2 million where landowners and their counsel had demanded more than $59 million in damages. During the same project, Spesia was involved in a landmark appellate case that resulted in the pipeline company acquiring access to construct its pipeline prior to a resolution on just compensation – the first time in the history of Illinois that this has ever been done.
During his career, John has been named one of “40 Under 40” Illinois Attorneys to Watch and elected one of Illinois’ SuperLawyers®. He has received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell American Law Directory, the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards.