Michael J. Sorich is a partner at Cavanagh Law Group, father and former prosecutor. Learn about what drives him to fight for his clients, who inspired him to pursue law, and why he is dedicated to keeping the trucking and transportation industries accountable to the public.
His dad, a Chicago Police Officer, inspired his legal career.
Growing up, Sorich said his father’s experience as a Chicago Police officer gave him an insight into the world of law, accountability, justice and service to others. Listening to his father recount his day on the job inspired something within Sorich to want to use this own skills to help make the world a better, and safer, place.
“Growing up hearing my dad’s stories is what initially drew me into law, and why my law career began as a prosecutor,” Sorich said. “I wanted to stand up for others and help right the wrongs of society — to fight and advocate on behalf of the victim.”
Particularly in cases where the victim was deceased, Sorich said he knew he had a responsibility to ensure their voice was still heard.
Getting victims their day in court — and serving as their advocate — is what drove him to personal injury law.
A skilled advocate of representing victims and their interests, Sorich said the transition from serving as a prosecutor into the world of personal injury law was natural. Civil liability cases opened new doors and provided additional opportunities for Sorich to put his experience, expertise and drive to work for clients around the world who had suffered due to negligence.
“Representing someone from start to finish who’s been catastrophically harmed, or injured, or who has died — there is definitely a corollary between being a prosecutor and being a personal injury lawyer,” Sorich said. “Giving that person their day in court is huge. Giving that victim or that plaintiff their right to have their day in court is at the very foundation of what we’re doing.”
Truck crashes and injuries which occur at a construction site are among those most important to him.
The pursuit of public safety, accountability and justice for victims and their families has led Sorich to become a passionate expert in cases that involve the trucking and construction industries. He is an ardent defender of victims in cases involving the trucking industry — including wrecks, crashes and wrongful death cases stemming from truck crashes — as well as construction cases, in which an injury occurs in a construction zone.
From taking on the Chicago Police “Code of Silence” case, to fighting for victims of truck and train crashes, every settlement is “notable” because it brings to light serious safety issues.
Sorich said all of the settlements he has achieved for clients through Cavanagh Law Group have been notable and important because they shine a spotlight on everyday, usually preventable safety issues that could affect nearly anyone, at any time.
“Every settlement and verdict is notable because it represents the capstone of the case, and it hopefully brings a new and improved life for the family,” Sorich said.
A preventable safety issue was highlighted in a recent truck crash case Sorich handled, Kriete-Green v. Adan's Trucking, et. al. In that case, Sorich obtained a $5.9 million settlement for the family of a man who was struck and killed by a semi-truck that was leaving a construction site. Employees for the trucking company later admitted they failed to follow safety protocols that would have prevented the client’s death.
“The case demonstrated the inherent dangers in construction zones, and the importance of safety,” Sorich said. “Contractors failed to safely barricade our client, who ultimately was run over by a truck. It really put a spotlight on the dangers of the workplace and how vital workplace safety is when it comes to construction zones.”
In another case, Sorich obtained a $7.5 million settlement on behalf of a woman who suffered traumatic injuries after being struck by a passing Metra commuter train. With thousands of daily riders relying on Metra for safe service, holding them accountable for a failure to do so was key for overall public safety.
“Being involved in these types of cases is crucial to me because they bring to light very real safety issues,” Sorich said. “To be able to insert the importance of railroad safety and trucking safety into mainstream conversations is both critically important and very rewarding.”
In 2018, Sorich and Cavanagh Law Group partner Tim Cavanagh also helped to successfully obtained a landmark $20 million landmark settlement with the City of Chicago in the high profile “Code of Silence” wrongful death case. In that case, a drunk, off-duty Chicago Police Officer drove and fatally struck another vehicle with two passengers inside. Sorich helped uncover dramatic evidence showing the City of Chicago failed to disclose crucial and damaging information during discovery. Sorich and Cavanagh compelled the City and police department to acknowledge its long-entrenched “Code of Silence,” resulting in a $20,000,000 settlement split between the two victims’ families.
His first job was as a golf caddy.
Though today he’s a highly experienced attorney and law expert, Sorich’s first job was actually working as a caddy at Ridge Country Club on Chicago’s south side. He worked there over the next decade, through college, before going to law school. Shortly thereafter, he took on his role with the Cook County State’s Attorney's Office, where he stayed for 13 years before joining Cavanagh Law Group.
When he’s not working, he’s at his other full-time job: being dad.
Though he’s often found at court, at the office, meeting with his clients or giving presentations on legal matters before fellow attorneys and law students, Sorich said he enjoys spending time at home in the western suburbs with his wife and three children — ages 3, 6 and 7.