(1924 - 1994)
Prior to World War II, Leonard Ring attended the University of Louisiana Medical School and the University of New Mexico School of Mines. During the war, he was an Army tank commander in the 12th Armored Division, better known as "The Hellcats." He graduated in 1949 from De Paul University Law School.
Leonard became a prominent Chicago lawyer and strong, vocal advocate for victims' rights. He practiced law with a high degree of honesty, integrity and trustworthiness and was known as "a lawyer's lawyer." In 1992 when the Illinois Judicial Association brought suit against the State of Illinois over judicial salaries, they called upon Leonard to represent them.
in the mid-1980s, Leonard was co-lead counsel in the much-publicized Extra-Strength Tylenol poisoning cases which led to triple-sealed pill containers, now a pharmaceutical industry standard. He was also co-chair of the Plaintiffs Legal Committee for the MGM Grand Hotel Fire Litigation. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was the special trial lawyer for the Metropolitan Sanitary District (now, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago) in its 10-year battle against the polluters of Lake Michigan. His battle with the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System led to the recovery of $300 million for employees who saw their pensions lost to fraud and mismanagement. He testified before numerous legislative committees on issues such as 'no fault' insurance.
Leonard wore the mantle of his success with humility. He never boasted. He never embellished. He was truly self-deprecating. He was not concerned with impressing other people. He never flaunted his accomplishments. He was never envious. He was never jealous of other lawyers accomplishments. When a peer would attain a terrific verdict, Leonard was the first to pick up the phone to offer a sincere congratulations. Judges and defense lawyers not only respected him, they loved and trusted him.
In his memory, The Leonard M. Ring Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually by ITLA to an attorney "who is someone who has devoted, as Leonard did, a substantial part of their life and their practice to ITLA, has done more than is called for, has the standards of Leonard, the work ethics of Leonard, and the commitment to ITLA that Leonard Ring had.