Fritz began working immediately after college for an insurer (and a related managing general agent) that underwrote and reinsured professional lines/surplus lines insurance. The CEO of both companies–himself a lawyer by training–recommended that Fritz obtain a law degree. On that recommendation, while working full-time (and eventually rising to V.P. and chief claims officer), Fritz attended evening law school at Chicago-Kent College of Law. He was licensed as a lawyer in November, 1981, and at that time left the insurance business to undertake the practice of law, where he focused primarily on commercial insurance matters. For 33 years he represented insurance companies, policyholders, insurance producers and reinsurers in courthouses around the country. He also represented parties in arbitrations, and frequently served as an arbitrator on both one-person and three-person arbitration panels.
After practicing law as a partner at several large firms (500+ lawyers), Fritz decided in 2014 that he had reached the point in his career where he no longer wanted to be a part of the gestalt of a large law practice. He set up his own firm, free of the distractions associated with the policies, procedures, political correctness and economics of a large law firm.
During his 39+ years as a lawyer, he has given speeches and made presentations to various professional groups (state and local bar associations and private trade organizations). He has also written various papers in connection with these presentations. In addition, he authored a chapter (“Applying for Legal Malpractice Insurance”) in Legal Malpractice: Law Office Guide to Purchasing Legal Malpractice Insurance, authored over a dozen chapters in handbooks published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and has served as an officer of the Insurance Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association.
My philosophy about practicing law
Fritz typically handles matters on an hourly-based fee, though in some instances other arrangements are available, such as flat fee, contingent fee, and outcome-based amendations to hourly and/or flat fee arrangements. He delights in providing “big law” partner-level skills to businesses and individuals who prefer the level of contact and personal attention that many large firm lawyers–due to economic and practical reasons–are unable to provide to their clients.
Clients who engage Fritz get his undivided attention–he answers his phone, prepares emails and letters, investigates, analyses, reviews documents, researches, writes and, most important, does the thinking required in a law practice. If necessary and appropriate by reason of the scope of a particular engagement, Fritz may co-counsel with other law firms or contract attorneys, and may outsource staff help (such as typing/collating), after consultation with and approval by a client.
Fritz tends to be informal in his communications with clients, counsel and the courts, rather than stiff and formulaic. Also, while many lawyers beat-to-death each and every issue in their writings, Fritz is economical of word and argument in the belief that clients and judges appreciate brevity and, like all people, tend to see the big picture when evaluating the merits of a matter. In addition, while many lawyers tend to be antagonistic towards opposing counsel, Fritz has come to believe that being pleasant–even in the face of hostility–usually serves his clients’ best interests, particularly where a judge or panel of arbitrators is observing counsel and the parties and drawing conclusions based in part on how counsel comport themselves.