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Illinois State Bar Association honors Gina A. DeBoni with Human Rights Award

Posted on: August 17th, 2020 by Romanucci & Blandin

CHICAGO (August 17, 2020) – Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, a national personal injury firm primarily based in Chicago, is pleased to announce that Managing Partner Gina A. DeBoni has been honored by the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) with the Elmer Gertz Human Rights Award. This is a meaningful honor that recognizes Gina’s work on legal cases and legislative advocacy that advance human rights on a state-wide and national level.  The award honors the legacy of Chicago attorney Elmer Gertz, who had a lengthy and successful career on landmark civil rights cases and was also a professor at John Marshall Law School and author. He died in 2000 at the age of 93.

Gina creates an extremely high standard with her willingness to create change on behalf of her clients. One such case involved Desiree Robinson, a 16-year-old girl, who was murdered in a garage in a south Chicago suburb on Christmas Eve 2016. A 32-year-old man later was charged with her death and reportedly confessed to police that he had sex with the teenage girl before killing her. Desiree had fallen victim to a salacious online sex-trafficking ring and had been featured in prostitution ads on the notorious website Backpage.com. 

Gina played an active role in an aggressive national public affairs campaign that ignited pressure on big tech companies like Google and Facebook, that had previously opposed new legislation that would regulate content of online platforms. Gina sent a personal letter to both Illinois Senators, Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, seeking their partnership and support of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act which resulted in Congress inviting Desiree’s mother to deliver heart-wrenching testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. It was after that testimony that the bill gained bi-partisan support and major tech companies reversed their stance and signed on to support the bill. On April 11, 2018, Gina and others were invited to the White House with Desiree’s mother, who stood next to the President in the Oval Office and witnessed the monumental signing of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex-Trafficking Act. The FBI indicted key owners of Backpage.com and a federal trial will soon be held in Arizona.

Gina, who is a mother of two young children, is also a leader in the efforts the firm is making legislatively on a key environmental issue. Romanucci & Blandin is lead counsel in the case against Sterigenics in Willowbrook, Illinois, a medical sterilization company that emitted carcinogenic ethylene oxide for decades, causing cancers and miscarriages in the community. The fight in this ongoing case, thus far, has resulted in the closing of that business and a public affairs campaign that has raised awareness on the national level. A Congressional task force has been created to examine this issue, and lobby and educational efforts will continue on this essential environmental, public health and human rights matter in the months to come.

“Romanucci and Blandin is proud of the work Gina has done to bring justice to so many, and for the leadership, dedication and energy she brings to the practice of law,” said Antonio M. Romanucci founding partner of Romanucci & Blandin.

Gina’s complete bio can be found at: https://rblaw.net/attorneys/deboni/.

To read the ISBA’s complete list of award recipients for 2019-2020 please visit: 

https://www.isba.org/barnews/2020/08/20192020isbaawardwinnersannounced.

About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC

Romanucci & Blandin is a national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death arising from police misconduct, corporate negligence, civil rights actions, medical malpractice, mass torts and class actions. The attorneys’ steadfast commitment to fighting for those seeking justice around the country has helped the firm obtain multiple verdicts and settlements in the millions of dollars. The Chicago-based personal injury lawyers are dedicated to providing victims who suffered injury as a result of another’s wrongdoing full and fair compensation in a diligent, professional, skilled and caring manner. The lawyers actively support their communities and provide advocacy at the national, state and local levels on issues that support the U.S. tort system. Founded in 1998, Romanucci & Blandin is widely recognized for representing plaintiffs in numerous practice areas including: personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, pharmaceutical, mass torts, civil rights, police misconduct, excessive force, aviation, product liability and premises liability.  For more information about Romanucci & Blandin, please visit www.rblaw.net or call (312) 458-1000. 

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