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Chessick to speak at Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism

April 2, 2014
Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick

Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick

NIU Law will host its 21st annual Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism – “Professionalism and Ethics in Medicine, Business, and the Law: Are They Different?” – at 3 p.m. Friday, April 4, in the Riley Courtroom of Swen Parson Hall.

This year’s lecture will be given by Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick, M.D and J.D.

Dr. Chessick wears three distinct hats: 1) trial lawyer and entrepreneur; 2) CEO and owner of; and 3) board-certified general surgeon.

Well-respected in each of these roles, they seem to require different expressions of professionalism.

Dr. Chessick earned his juris doctor degree cum laude from the NIU College of Law in 1984, and his Doctor of Medicine and B.S. degrees from the University of Illinois. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Consistent with his specialized medical training and broad experience, his main focus is medical and hospital negligence that has caused catastrophic injuries to innocent patients. In particular, he has made his mark in the area of fighting for patients’ rights in medical malpractice cases and has obtained numerous record multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

Dr. Chessick has taught and moderated a number of law seminars and has published numerous articles in both medical and legal literature. For nearly 30 years, Dr. Chessick was the principal partner of the Law Office of Kenneth C. Chessick, M.D. In 2013, he merged his firm with Clifford Law Offices and is “of counsel” to that firm.

He also is the CEO and chairman of the board of directors of In 1999, he helped to create this highly successful, national restaurant Internet corporation which features more than 14,500 restaurants in all 50 states.

Dr. Chessick maintains a close affiliation with Northern Illinois University. He was honored with the prestigious NIU Alumnus of the Year Award in 2001. In 2012, he was named the NIU Law Distinguished Alumnus of the Year and received the NIU Foundation Award for High Impact Philanthropy.

Kenneth Chessick and Doug Baker at the ribbon-cutting and open house for the $9.5 million Kenneth & Ellen Chessick Practice Center Saturday, Oct. 26.

Kenneth Chessick and Doug Baker at the ribbon-cutting and open house for the $9.5 million Kenneth & Ellen Chessick Practice Center Saturday, Oct. 26.

Generous donations from Dr. Chessick and his wife, Ellen, helped create the Kenneth C. Chessick Legal Skills Training Center at the College of Law and establish a series of endowed academic scholarships for law students named in honor of his clients as part of the Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program. His legacy also includes the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Center, a state-of-the-art indoor practice facility for student athletes, which opened in 2013.

Dr. Chessick is a member of the NIU Foundation Board of Directors, NIU Alumni Association Board of Directors and the NIU Law Board of Visitors.

The lecture will be followed by a reception and the 19th annual Public Interest Law Society Auction.

The Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism was established in 1994 to honor the late Professor Emeritus Riley, who devoted his life to the law and legal education. The lecture series brings distinguished speakers to the Northern Illinois University College of Law to discuss current issues relating to the legal profession.

RSVPs are available online. For more information, call (815) 753-9655.