Dennis VanDerGinst is the President/CEO of VanDerGinst Law, one of the most successful personal injury law firms in the country. He has been a tireless advocate for his clients and a stalwart ambassador for his profession. As a result, he has been recognized as one of the best in the country by clients, peers, and other professionals.
Dennis received his law degree from DePaul University in Chicago. He is licensed to practice in Illinois, Iowa, and the federal courts. During his career he has represented clients in almost every state of the country. The focus of his practice has been on helping injured people. The law firm which bears his name has represented over 50,000 injury victims during his career, in all areas of personal injury law including but not limited to: motor vehicle accidents, product liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, worker’s compensation, mass and class actions, and all types of negligence cases.
His dedication to his clients has earned Dennis and his firm the prestigious Torch Award for Ethics, awarded by the Better Business Bureau, marking the first time this honor was ever bestowed upon a lawyer or law firm in the region. Dennis has also been awarded the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO Lawyer Rating Service and Client Champion recognition from Martindale-Hubbell, the most established attorney rating service in the profession. In 2018 and 2020, Dennis was voted as the Best Attorney in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois in a survey conducted by the Quad-City Times. He was runner-up for that honor in 2019.
Dennis’s accomplishments and expertise within the profession have also won him accolades from his peers. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Attorney Rating Service (the highest available rating) and has been rated Superb with a 10/10 rating from AVVO Lawyer Rating Service. He has been designated a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters, a staple in the legal profession. Chicago Lawyer magazine has recognized Dennis as one of the Top Injury Lawyers in Illinois and the Iowa Association for Justice has featured him in an article in IAJ’s magazine, Iowa Trial Lawyer. He has likewise been selected as one of the top attorneys in the nation by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, the American Trial Lawyers Association, Premier Lawyers of America, the National Trial Lawyers, and the American Society of Legal Advocates, among others.
His success in the field of personal injury law is illustrated by his inclusion in the Multi-Million-Dollar Advocates Forum, whose membership is limited to those attorneys who have secured multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements, which he has done dozens of times in his career.
His expertise has made him a reliable source of law-related information for numerous media outlets. He is often called upon to speak about legal and consumer issues in the news. He has been featured on the National Public Radio program, America’s Premier Lawyers, as well as on numerous regional and national radio and television programs and podcasts. He has been profiled in Fortune magazine, and numerous news and/or law-related publications. Similarly, he has authored numerous legal articles in professional journals and magazines and has been an active speaker/lecturer at regional and national conferences, conventions, seminars, and webinars that focus on the importance of personal injury law. In addition, Dennis has taught Torts and Insurance law as an adjunct professor.
He has been an extremely active member of several professional organizations such as the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Illinois and Iowa State Bar Associations, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the Iowa Association for Justice. Dennis has served on the Board of Managers for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Board of Governors for the Iowa Association for Justice, The Board of Advocates for AAJ and on the Board of Trustees for the Pound Civil Justice Institute. He has also served as the State Delegate to AAJ for both Illinois and Iowa – the only person to ever serve in that capacity for both of those states. Additionally, he has served on the National Advisory Board for the National Crime Victims Bar Association and for the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.
His career accomplishments have earned him the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Who’s Who, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Premier Lawyers of America, and the Best Attorney-Lifetime Charter Membership from Rue Ratings’ Best Attorneys of America.
Through his stewardship VanDerGinst Law became one of the first law firms in the country to embrace the powerful potential of the internet. The firm’s award-winning website, www.VLaw.com, has become a legal resource for other law firms, law students and lay people across the country. The VanDerGinst Law Facebook page is one of the most “liked” attorney Facebook pages in the world. In addition to consumer and legal news, the firm often uses their online platforms to present cases and legal issues to focus groups and online mock juries.
Perhaps most important, Dennis has created a corporate culture at VanDerGinst Law which embraces the firm’s responsibilities as ambassadors of the profession and leaders in the community.
The Mission of VanDerGinst Law, as authored by Dennis, is to help people both in and out of the courtroom. In the courtroom the firm’s focus is on assisting those who have become injured or infirm due to the negligence or wrongdoing of others. Outside of the courtroom the firm’s focus is on helping those least able to help themselves, including the injured and infirm, the elderly and children. Additionally, the firm focuses on giving back to those to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude including first responders, veterans and active military, teachers, and front-line health care workers.
To that end, his law firm has donated millions of dollars and countless hours to the organizations that support these initiatives and advance growth and prosperity in their communities. In recognition of his character and philanthropic efforts, Dennis was recognized by GQ's "Better Men, Better World” campaign.
In addition to his management responsibilities to the firm, Dennis oversees all injury cases and maintains an active caseload himself. He divides his time between each office and conducts Zoom meetings with all attorneys and staff each morning.
State of Illinois 1989
State of Iowa 1994
State of Wisconsin 1996-2013
United States District Court for Northern District of Illinois 1989
United States District Court for Central District of Illinois 1992
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Federal Circuit 1990
United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa 2017
Professional Associations & Committees
American Bar Association 1989-present
American Association for Justice 1994-present
Illinois State Bar Association 1992-present
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association 1992-present
Iowa State Bar Association 1994-present
Iowa Association for Justice 1994-present
Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (National Advisory Board)
Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers 1996-1999
Chicago Bar Association 1989-1992, 1997-current
Cook County Bar Association 1989-1992
DuPage County Bar Association 1991-1993
Rock Island County Bar Association 1992-present
Scott County Bar Association 1994-present
Winnebago County Bar Association 1996-1998
Brain Injury Association 1996-present
Illinois Brain Injury Association 1996-present
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice 1998-present
Pound Civil Justice Institute 2004-present
Academy of Trial Professionals 2004-2005
National Crime Victim Bar Association (former National Board of Directors member)
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
Medicine & Law Committee 1996-present
Products, General Liability & Consumer Law Committee 1993-present
Automobile Law Committee 1993-present
Litigation Section 1993-present
Tort Law & Insurance Section 1993-present
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE
Current AAJ State Delegate-Iowa
Former AAJ State Delegate-Illinois
Former Chairman – Committee on Internet Marketing and Client Services
Eagle PAC member
Interstate Trucking Litigation Group 1994-present
Birth Trauma Litigation Group 2000-present
Nursing Home Litigation Group 2000-present
Birth Injuries Litigation Group 2000-present
Attorney Information Exchange Group 2000-present
Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway & Premises Liability Section 1994-present
Insurance Section 1994-present
Railroad Law Section 1999-present
Professional Negligence Section 1999-present
Product Liability Section 1999-present
Small Office Practice Section 1999-present
Toxic, Environmental & Pharmaceutical Torts Section 1999-present
Committee on Lawyer Marketing and Client Services 1999-present
ILLINOIS STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Civil Practice & Procedure Section 1993-present
Insurance Law Section 1993-present
Tort Law Section 1993-present
Elder Law Section 1996-present
ILLINOIS TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
Former Illinois State Delegate, Association of Trial Lawyers of America
Former Board of Managers
Board of Advocates 2000-2002
Medical Negligence Committee 1996-present
Legislative Committee 1995-present
Insurance Law Committee 1996-1999
Civil Practice & Rules Committee 1995-present
Membership Committee 1996-present
Product Liability Committee 1997-1999
Continuing Legal Education Committee 1997-1998
Publications Committee 1997-present
Young Lawyers Committee 1999-2002
Product Liability and Insurance Law Committee 1999-present
IOWA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Litigation Section 1994-present
Services to the Elderly Committee 1996-2000
Law Panels Committee 1994-1998
IOWA ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE
Board of Governors 2020-present
Iowa State Delegate to the American Association for Justice
ROCK ISLAND COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
Board of Managers 1998-2000
Bar Assn. Liaison to Young Lawyers Committee 1998-2000
WINNEBAGO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
Professional Responsibility Committee 1996-1998
Continuing Legal Education Committee 1996-1998
Legal/Medical Committee 1996-1998
Editorial Board 1996-1998
Trial Section 1996-1998
CHICAGO BAR ASSOCIATION
Class Litigation Committee 1998-2004
Insurance Law Committee 1998-2004
Tort Litigation Committee 1998-2004
POUND CIVIL JUSTICE INSTITUTE
Board of Trustees 2004-2006
DePaul University – College of Law
Juris Doctor, Spring, 1989.
Northern Illinois University
Bachelor of Arts, Fall, 1985
Black Hawk College
Fall, 1980 – Spring, 1982