Bernard B. Rinella

Bernard B. Rinella

Bernard B. Rinella

Managing Partner
Location:
Chicago, Illinois
Phone:
312-236-5454
Fax:
312- 236-6975
Email:
Member of Ten Leaders

Bernie Rinella is known as one of the nation's leading divorce attorneys. Mr. Rinella upholds a family tradition of leadership in matrimonial law that dates back to the 1930s. His father was a founder of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. His mother, Kathryn Barasa Rinella, was a leader in Chicago divorce law before most women had the opportunity to practice law. In 1932, Mr. Rinella's parents established Rinella and Rinella, making it the first law firm in the state of Illinois devoted exclusively to matrimonial law. Bernie joined the practice in 1962 and took over the firm when his father passed away in 1982. Over the next 30 years, Mr. Rinella continued to grow the practice, cementing its positions as one of the preeminent boutique law firms in the Chicagoland area.

Bernie's commanding and charismatic presence, coupled with his mastery of family law make him both an effective negotiator and a captivating trial attorney. Mr. Rinella's clients includes captains of industry, celebrities, professional athletes, and their spouses. Mr. Rinella has a keen understanding that each case is unique and demands a unique solution. His results-driven approach instills in clients a sense of confidence and affords them peace of mind during an otherwise uncertain time in their lives. Mr. Rinella's wide ranging experience with complex domestic relations matters has made him a leader in his field and a nationwide expert. He has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America since 1982 and one of America's Top Ten Divorce Lawyers by Town and Country magazine.

Year Joined Firm

  • 1962

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 25% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Family Law, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1962

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1961
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2009

Education

  • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D. - 1961
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • B.A. - 1958
    • Honors: Vice President, Senior Class
    • Major: Pre Law

Published Works

  • Hidden Assets, American Bar Association Family Law Advocate, Summer, 1989
  • Antenuptial Agreements, American Journal of Family Law, Summer, 1988
  • Child Custody, An Overview, Illinois Bar Journal, Fall, 1987
  • Illinois Domestic Relations, (Co-Author: Richard Rinella), Butterworth Publication, 1989
  • Legal Checklists, "Matrimonial Matters", 1983
  • "Winning Cases Through Show and Tell", Family Advocate, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1983
  • "Illinois Child Custody Law: An Overview", (Co-Author), Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 76, No. 1, Sept., 1987
  • "Antenuptial Agreements and Malpractice: Is The Risk Worth the Reward?", American Journal of Family Law, Vol. 2, No. 2, Summer, 1988
  • Illinois Domestic Relations Forms, Aspen Publisher, 1989

Classes/Seminars

  • Family Law Topics, Chicago Bar Association, 1970, 1980, 1990
  • Lecturer, Domestic Relations, Illinois State Bar Association, 1965 - Present
  • Lecturer, Domestic Relations, Chicago Bar Association, 1965 - Present
  • Lecturer, Domestic Relations, Illinois, American Journal of Family Law, 1965 - Present
  • Lecturer, Domestic Relations, Continuing Legal Education
  • Lecturer, Butterworth Publication, Illinois Domestic Relations, 1989
  • Lecturer, Family Law in Illinois, Cambridge Institute, Chicago Bar Association, 1988 - 1989
  • Guest Lecturer, Panelist, Illinois State Bar Association, 1967 - Present
  • Guest Lecturer, Panelist, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1967 - Present

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, 1982 - Present
  • Best Lawyers in America by Town and Country Magazine, 1988
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, 2004
  • Leading Lawyers in Illinois, 1999 - Present
  • "America’s Top Ten Divorce Lawyers," Town and Country magazine, 1998
  • Chicago Sun Times: Chicago’s Top Divorce Attorneys, 2000
  • Super Lawyers, 2004 - Present
  • Outstanding Service to DePaul University

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Member, Family Law Section, 1962 – Present
  • American Bar Association, Member, Divorce Laws, and Procedures Sub-Committee, 1965 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Parliamentarian, 1988 – 1990
  • American Bar Association, Associate, Domestic Relations Section, Law Notes, 1967 – 1975
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Chairman, Family Law Section, 1968 – 1972
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Council Member, Family Law Section, 1971
  • Chicago Bar Association, Member, 1961 – Present
  • Chicago Bar Association, Member, Matrimonial Law Committee, 1963 – Present
  • Chicago Bar Association, Chairman, 1980 - 1981
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Member, Illinois Chapter, 1965 - Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, President, 1982 - 1984
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Member, Board of Governors, 1982 - 1983
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Council, 1986 – 1987
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation, Member, 1990 – Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation, Treasurer, 1996 - Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation, President, 1999-2001
  • Justinian Society of Lawyers, Member, 1968 - Present
  • Justinian Society of Lawyers, President, 1978
  • Union League Club of Chicago, Chairman, Younger Member Section, 1968 – 1970
  • Union League Boys Club, Trustee, 1969 – 1976
  • McGraw Foundation, Trustee, 1970 - Present
  • McGraw Foundation, President, 1992 – 1995
  • Child Welfare League of America, Inc., Member, Chicago Committee, 1994 – Present
  • American Journal of Family Law, Board Member, 1986 to present
  • International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers U.S. Chapter Counsel, 1998 – 2000
  • Divorce Magazine Advisory, Board Member, 1998 to 2012
  • Institute of Psychiatry Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Member, Advisory Board, 1983 - Present
  • Institute of Psychiatry Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Vice President, Advisory Board, 1975
  • Allendale Association, Chairman, Board of Trustees, 1984 - 1990
  • Allendale Association, Chairman, Development Committee, 1992 – Present
  • Children's Burn Awareness Program, Director, 1994 – Present
  • Miami University, Ohio, Member, Parents Council, 1991 to 1995
  • Sunset Ridge Country Club, Director, 1996 – Present

Pro Bono Activities

  • Allendale School for Boys and Girls, 1970 - Present

Fraternities/Sororities

  • Phi Delta Theta
  • Delta Theta Phi