The Trusted Adviser
October 2015 | Volume 8 · Number 9


ATG's Peter Birnbaum Honored with Justice John Paul Stevens Award

Peter J. Birnbaum photo

Peter J. Birnbaum, president and CEO of Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG®), received the Justice John Paul Stevens Award from the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) at its 16th annual awards luncheon on Tuesday, October 13.

Named for the retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice, the Justice John Paul Stevens Award recognizes lawyers and judges who have demonstrated outstanding character and commitment to community throughout their careers. Justice Stevens, a Chicago native, served on the U.S. Supreme Court from December 1975 until his retirement in June 2010 at the age of 90. Justice Stevens and the CBA honored eight outstanding attorneys at The Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago.

Prior to the event, CBA President Hon. Patricia Brown Holmes said, "These honorees share with Justice Stevens standards of the highest personal integrity and devotion to public service. We are thrilled that he will join us as we honor them with this award given in his honor."

"Justice Stevens serves as the ultimate model of courage, character and commitment to public service," Birnbaum said. "To receive this award is humbling and I am honored to be among such esteemed award recipients." Hear more from Peter about this award.

In addition to Birnbaum, this year's honorees include: James R. Figliulo, founding partner, Figliulo & Silvermen P.C.; Edward I. Grossman, co-founder and executive director of the Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc.; Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, Illinois Appellate Court; Paula H. Holderman, chief attorney development officer, Winston & Strawn; Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director of Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center; Daniel E. Reidy, partner, Jones Day; and William A. Von Hoene, Jr., senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Exelon Corporation.

Birnbaum, who has served as president and CEO of ATG since 1991, has led the company through its development into a leading lawyer service organization with annual revenues in excess of $100 million.

In 2014, he received the Illinois Bar Foundation Distinguished Award for Excellence – the same year that ATG celebrated its 50th. In 2013, Birnbaum received the CBA's Vanguard Award for promoting diversity in the profession. In 2011, he was inducted as a Laureate in the Academy of Illinois Lawyers, the highest honor bestowed by the Illinois State Bar Association. He was also the recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Lend A Hand Foundation "Making a Difference" award in 2005.

Birnbaum has played leadership roles in several corporate and philanthropic boards, including as past president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. He and his wife, Juliet, have been a Big Brother and Big Sister for the past 18 years. He is currently president of the Jesse White Foundation.

A past president of the Alumni Board and a current member of the Board of Overseers of Chicago-Kent College of Law, Birnbaum was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the College in 2004 and was named one of Chicago-Kent's 125 Alumni of Distinction for his professional and community service achievements in 2013. He was elected to the Board of the American Land Title Association in 2009 and currently serves as treasurer.

Birnbaum is a frequent author and interviewee in dozens of regional and national newspapers and trade publications, including: The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois Bar Journal, Crain's Chicago Business, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and many other real estate and legal trade publications. He is frequently interviewed as an expert on news broadcasts, and he has testified in the U.S. Congress, the Illinois Senate, and the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee. He also speaks to audiences from legal or real estate trade associations across the country.

In January 2004, Birnbaum was appointed a judge to the seven-member Illinois Court of Claims, which hears cases en banc and rules on claims against the state. In 2015, Governor Bruce Rauner appointed Birnbaum chief justice of the court. Read Peter's full bio.

[Last update: 10-19-15; originally posted 10-9-15]

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