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Volunteer of the Year Award
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IDC Volunteer of the Year Award

Donald Patrick Eckler

2016
Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient


Donald Patrick Eckler, a partner with the Chicago law firm of Pretzel & Stouffer, Chartered has been named the 2016 IDC Volunteer of the Year. Mr. Eckler was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the IDC, specifically as they relate to the advocacy efforts of the association.

“I am honored to be able to serve the IDC in its efforts to promote fairness and justice for all civil litigants in Illinois” said Mr. Eckler.

IDC President Troy Bozarth commented that “Pat’s service to the IDC and help to its leadership was invaluable. Pat spearheaded multiple front line advocacy issues of great importance to the IDC, its membership and the civil justice system. His work on behalf of the IDC has set him apart from his peers. The IDC and its membership are grateful for selfless members such as Pat. His efforts this year have truly made an impact.”

IDC Executive Director Sandra Wulf said “Pat’s involvement in the association is second to none. He tackled numerous projects this year alone – from writing for the IDC Quarterly and IDC Survey of Law to presenting a CLE seminar for our members to advocating on our behalf with the Illinois General Assembly. Because of the commitment of members like Pat, we are making great strides in furthering our mission and improving the practice of law.”

Mr. Eckler is a partner at Pretzel & Stouffer, Chartered, handling a wide variety of civil disputes in state and federal courts across Illinois and Indiana. His practice has evolved from primarily representing insurers in coverage disputes to managing complex litigation in which he represents a wide range of professionals, businesses, and tort defendants. His record of success includes numerous summary judgments, several successful trial results, and multiple favorable appellate results.

In addition to representing doctors and lawyers, Mr. Eckler represents architects, engineers, appraisers, accountants, mortgage brokers, insurance brokers, surveyors, and many other professionals in malpractice claims. His commercial litigation experience involves complex contract disputes and defense of class-action lawsuits. Mr. Eckler’s coverage practice for insurers and the insured involves commercial general liability and personal lines policies, issues involving the duties to defend and indemnify, bad faith, and the application of exclusions. His tort defense work involves representing nursing homes and long-term-care facilities, product manufacturers and distributors, trucking concerns, and premises owners. Drawing on his experience as a college basketball coach, Pat has also represented coaches before the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

Mr. Eckler grew up in Coral Springs, Florida before moving to Chicago to attend the University of Chicago, where he earned his degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations with a focus on ancient Egyptian language. Returning to Florida, Mr. Eckler taught history and coached high school and college basketball for three years before attending law school at the University of Florida. In his final semester of law school, Pat served as a certified legal intern with the Public Defenders’ Office of the 8th Judicial Circuit, where he represented defendants in misdemeanor criminal cases from first appearance through trial and successfully tried two jury cases.

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