Team Member

Joe Gagliardo


Meet Joe Gagliardo

Board Member

  Joe Gagliardo served as the Managing Partner of Laner, Muchin, Ltd., from 2005-2017, after joining the Firm as a Partner in 1988, and serving as the Chair of the Litigation Department from 1988-2017.  Joe is currently Of Counsel with the Firm.

As to music, I started playing in Chicago bands in 1966, and have been playing with Dirty Dan Buck of The Boyzz for going on 20 years. As part of Dan’s various bands, we have played with local acts, like Cheap Trick, and national acts from A (Eric Burdon/Animals)-Z (ZZ Top). I am a huge fan of Chicago music spanning from the late 50s to the present, and that passion is reflected in my extensive music collection, as well as my many musician friends from all eras. In addition to playing with Dan, I have played bass with Chuck Berry, and in November 2021, with Max Weinberg’s Juke Box, subbing for Glen Burtnik (former Styx), who came down with covid. I have also played other gigs with local musicians, including Cliff Johnson, The Soul Shakers ( a tribute to Al Lathan and the great soul band, For Days and a Night), The Redmonds ,The Redstones, and others.

In addition to playing music, I head up the Chicago contingent of Know Your Bass Player, and have written numerous interview-based profiles on many National and Local bass players, which you can check out at The list of profiles on Chicago bassists includes:

In a career that has spanned 40 years, Joe has counseled and represented private and public employers in a broad range of employment and labor matters. His experience includes litigating complex individual and class action claims in the state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, labor boards and arbitrators.  Joe also serves as an arbitrator in employment and commercial disputes.

Joe previously served as First Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago. During his ten years in the Office of the Corporation Counsel, serving five Mayors, he counseled the City’s forty departments in all aspects of municipal law, including labor and employment relations and represented the City and its officers and employees in litigation matters pending in the state and federal courts.

Joe has been recognized numerous times, including being listed multiple times as one of the Top 10 Illinois Super Lawyers, and he was selected as Best Lawyers’ 2012 Chicago-Litigation-Labor & Employment Lawyer of the Year.  Joe frequently speaks and writes regarding current employment issues, including a monthly article for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and he has taught numerous arbitrators on behalf of the American Arbitration Association.


  1. Voted one of the Top 10 Attorneys in Illinois, Super Lawyers poll – Chicago Magazine, 2011, 2012 and 2015
  2. Voted one of the Top 100 Attorneys in Illinois Super Lawyers poll – Chicago Magazine, 2007-17
  3. Named as Chicago-Litigation-Labor & Employment Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers’ 2012
  4. Recognized by the American Academy of Trial Attorneys (AATA) as one of 100 premier trial attorneys in the State of Illinois
  5. Recognized by Intercontinental Finance Magazine in 2013, as one of the Top 500 lawyers in the world
  6. Selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America
  7. Repeatedly named one of the Leading Lawyers in Illinois in the area of labor and employment law
  8. Selected as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business by the Chambers USA in its Guide to America’s Leading Business Lawyers and therein described as “bright,” “thorough” and “hard-driving”
  9. Elected Fellow/Member of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  10. Included in Who’s Who Legal USA — Management, Labor and Employment, and International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
  11. Maintains highest Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating for ethical standards and legal ability
  12. Listed in “Who’s Who in American Law,” “Emerging Leaders in America” and “Who’s Who Among Rising Young Americans”
  13. Distinguished Service Award from The John Marshall Law School
  14. Award of Excellence from the Justinian Society of Lawyers
  15. A Guiding Star Award from Windows of Opportunity
  16. Leadership Awards from the Illinois Legislature, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Cook County Board of Commissioners and City of Chicago
  17. Peacemaker and Humanitarian Awards from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. The Peacemaker Award was based on Joe’s skills in resolving disputes.  The Humanitarian Award was based on his commitment and efforts to promote diversity and human relations initiatives.
  18. Recognized in 2017, as an Illinois State Bar Association Laureate.  The Laureate Award honors lawyers who have established and maintained the highest principles of the legal profession as demonstrated by their pervasive record of service to the law and the public.
  19. American Bar Association
  20. Illinois State Bar Association, Past Chair of the ISBA Labor Law Section Council
  21. Chicago Bar Association
  22. Federal Bar Association, Past President, Chicago Chapter
  23. Justinian Society of Lawyers, Past President
  24. Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
  25. Chicago Council of Lawyers
  26. Defense Research Institute
  27. International Association of Defense Counsel
  28. Litigation Counsel of America
  29. Trustee, The John Marshall Law School
  30. Magistrate Judge Merit Review Panel, Northern District of Illinois, by appointment of the Chief Judge of the U. S. District Court
  31. Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, Past President
  32. Served for over ten (10) years as a Director of Windows of Opportunity. Windows is a non-profit organization that creates partnerships to link all of Chicago’s public and assisted housing residents to resources that will improve their quality of life
  33. Served as a Director of Age Options (2009-2015), an organization dedicated to connecting senior citizens with resources and options for care to allow them to live their lives to the fullest
  34. Board of Directors of the Better Business Bureau, Chicago, Illinois
  35. Has been active with Chicago United, Just the Beginning Foundation, and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, organizations that support and promote sustainable diversity in law and business