The Law Firm of Goldberg Weisman Cairo
The History of a Top Illinois Injury Law Firm
Michael Goldberg grew up the son of working class parents, who at times struggled due to the inequities of the corporate world. The need for an education and the importance of protecting the working class, was stressed by his parents throughout his childhood. His parents were especially proud to be related to Supreme Court justice Arthur J. Goldberg, who also served as the Secretary of Labor under President John F. Kennedy. Arthur Goldberg, while general counsel for the United Steelworkers of America, has been credited with being the architect who engineered the combining of the AFL with the CIO, thus strengthening organized labor in America. With such a strong role model, the law firms co-founder decided to become an attorney who would devote his career to helping the working class citizens of this country in their struggle against corporate America.
Shortly after graduating from DePaul law school in 1974, Michael began working for the Illinois Attorney Generals office in the Industrial Commission division. It was there that he developed an expertise in the area of workers compensation. While representing the State of Illinois for work related injuries, he recognized the need for the injured union worker to have a law firm that understood the type of work that union workers routinely performed. He also recognized that many small law firms representing injured workers were ill equipped to fight the large insurance companies and their vast financial resources. Wanting to begin his career representing injured workers, he left the Attorney Generals office for private practice.
While in law school, Michael met Larry E. Weisman a fellow student with a similar background. Weisman was also born into a working class family with deep union roots. His grandmother, one of the first organizers for the Ladies Garment Workers union, was proud of her struggles in obtaining a fair wage and safe working conditions for her fellow workers, and Weisman grew up listening to her stories of struggle and triumph on behalf of the many oppressed workers she organized. Weisman’s first job, after completing law school, was with one of the premier defense law firms where he represented large insurance companies against the injured worker. Weisman developed an expertise in third party injury litigation, while working against a myriad of plaintiff personal injury lawyers. While he found this side of the practice to be distasteful, it was a great place to hone the skills that has made him one of the premier third party injury lawyers in the state of Illinois.
Being friends before partners, they often discussed their observations about the practice of workers compensation law and personal injury law. It was obvious from their perspective, that most Workers Compensation firms did not handle civil cases, and the same was true of civil firms that did not handle Workers Compensation claims. They concluded that it would be a tremendous benefit for the employee who was injured while working, to be represented by a law firm that could handle both types of cases. They also both believed that there were no law firms that truly understood the unique problems that the injured union worker and their families faced after suffering a serious injury. In 1978 they began a partnership that continues to this day.
In 1980, a young 21 year old law student appeared in their lobby looking for a job at their law firm. Louis C. Cairo was a bright and talented 2nd year student at Loyola Law School in Chicago and he had heard about their young and aggressive law firm and its commitment to injured workers. He was aware of this firm’s emerging reputation and he wanted an opportunity to learn how to practice law from the lawyers at this firm. Louis was not only a bright student who had excelled in trial competitions throughout the United States, but more importantly to Goldberg and Weisman, Cairo was the son of an immigrant union carpenter, who had worked in the construction trades throughout high school and college, Cairo had a thorough understanding of what the construction trades were all about and he had a deep and profound respect for his union upbringing. He not only understood all facets of construction, but understood that it was the wages earned by the hard work of his union member father that enabled him to attend college and law school. Cairo was hired as the firms’ first law clerk, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.” Cairo has developed into one of the most revered trial attorneys in the practice of personal injury law.
All three principles have been honored by their peers with their selection of being named to the “Leading Lawyers Network of top lawyers” in Illinois, as well as being named “Super Lawyers” as featured in Chicago magazine. Their firm also has been given many official union designations and recommendations.
Goldberg Weisman and Cairo continues to grow and now boasts of 36 dedicated trial attorneys making it one of the largest Workers Compensation and Personal Injury “boutique” law firms in the country. Their attorneys all share common backgrounds. They are the sons and daughters of working class families who understand and appreciate the struggles of the worker. Many have seen their parents injured at work and have lived through the difficult times following an accidental injury. They all have a commitment to helping protect the injured worker and are willing to do “whatever it takes” to insure that their clients are not only well protected, but also satisfied. At Goldberg Weisman and Cairo the lawyers believe in the motto “We Work for You” We really care about you. You are not a number here. It is our goal to satisfy every client and in the end make them proud that Goldberg Weisman and Cairo were their attorneys. We know that our success depends on happy clients. It is the thousands of satisfied clients, who are proud to recommend their friends, families, and fellow union workers, that have enabled our firm to become the number one Workers Compensation and Personal Injury law firm in Illinois.