“With a lot of mixed emotions, my mentor and friend Joe Camarra really retired on April 28. Joe was a founding member of the firm I left in 2015 to co-found Brennan Garvey, now Brennan Burtker LLC. Joe officially retired around 2013, and he agreed to come out of retirement in 2015 to serve as our Of Counsel and to carry on the mentorship and guidance he had provided to me to a new generation of lawyers. I’ll never forget the night I was having dinner at his house and trying to convince him to join me in this new venture called Brennan Garvey. After making my opening and closing statements to him in his kitchen, Joe agreed to come to our firm on one condition – that I understood: “You’re not my boss!” And we had a deal.
Bob Burtker, Cathy Garvey , and I were all, once upon a time, Joe’s Associates who rose through the ranks to partnership at our old firm. Being part of Joe’s team was always a privilege. Joe’s legacy is a long one, deeply rooted in Chicago legal history and Brennan Burtker, and that legacy will continue to be a part of our firm’s tradition in the future. Joe was trained under Perry Fuller, a once-named partner of Hinshaw & Culbertson, who was a protégé of Joseph Howard Hinshaw, who founded Hinshaw & Culbertson in 1934. Hinshaw passed on his cross-examination tips and trial techniques that he practiced in the 1940s to Perry in the 1950s. Perry, in turn, passed on his training to Joe in the 1970s, and I would later become the very fortunate protégé of Joe Camarra who taught me those same tips and techniques in the 1990s. Today, the training we provide our Associates is truly part of a tradition of lawyering that is now nearly 90 years old. Joe Camarra is the reason that rich tradition survives today and makes our firm one of the most prosperous firms of its size in the field of healthcare defense. Few firms can trace their law practice technique and philosophy to an unbroken line of trial attorneys beginning in the 1930s.
Joe has been very generous to this firm. He never really planned to work as much or as long as he did, but his work and guidance were always in high demand. Now that his wife has recently retired, Joe will finally spend some much-deserved time with his wife in their golden years and, hopefully, do something that neither he nor I ever really understood how to do in life – relax. Joe, thanks for all that you have done for our careers and our firm, and, most importantly, thank you for your friendship and mentorship that made us all exceptional attorneys!” -Mark M. Brennan