WCLA 2019 Officers



James B. Hardy - President
Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC
25 West Wacker Drive, Suite 1750
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Tel: (312) 586-1700
Fax: (312) 586-1701
jhardy@tpmblegal.com

Jim was born in Chicago and currently lives in the city with his wife, Joey Christine, and their two sons, James and Brooks. Jim graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. In addition, Jim attended Law School at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Jim has spent his entire legal career helping injured workers and their families. He has argued vigorously on behalf of his clients before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, Cook County Circuit Court, and the Illinois Appellate Court.

Jim is proud to be a part of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association (WCLA), where he has served on the Board of Directors since 2009 and was elected to the Officer position of Treasurer in January of 2016. In addition, Jim is honored to have served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois chapter of Kid’s Chance of America, since its inception in 2014. Kid’s Chance is a national organization that provides college scholarships for the children of workers that were seriously or fatally injured on the job. Jim is currently the managing partner of the Workers’ Compensation department at Taxman, Pollack, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC.



Laura Hrubec - Vice President 
Garofalo, Schreiber & Storm, Chtd.
55 W. Wacker Dr. , 10th Fl.
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Tel: (312) 670-2000
Fax: (312) 419-1336
lhrubec@gsslawoffice.com

Laura practices workers’ compensation defense throughout the states of Illinois and Indiana. Laura’s experience spans across the realm of workers’ compensation law in both states. She vigorously advocates for the defense of both employers and insurance companies in both states. Mindful of the expense of lengthy legal battles, Laura strives to resolve cases in the most economically efficient manner. She also provides preventive counseling to aid in mitigating employers’ exposure in potentially complex legal issues. Defense work with municipal clients, school districts and private entities alike, both insured and self-insured, has given Laura an in-depth understanding of many complex legal issues in workers’ compensation law in both Illinois and Indiana. Laura graduated from North Central College in 1998 with a Bachelor of Art’s degree in political science. She graduated from DePaul College of Law in 2002 with her Juris Doctorate.


Michelle L. LaFayette - Secretary 
Ganan & Shapiro, P.C.
120 N.LaSalle St., Ste. 1750
Chicago, IL 60602
Tel: (312) 822-0040
Fax: (312) 321-1114
michelle.lafayette@ganan-shapiro.com



Vitas J. Mockaitis - Treasurer
Peter D. Corti Law Group
180 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2910
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Tel: (312) 782-8372
Fax: (312) 782-7672
vjm.cac@gmail.com

Vitas J. Mockaitis has 32 years of experience handling Illinois workers’ compensation claims.  Respected as a leading trial lawyer, Vitas has briefed and successfully argued many cases before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission during the course of his distinguished career.

With his extensive knowledge and experience in workers’ compensation law and related fields of legal practice, Mr. Mockaitis has presented numerous seminars on the theme of injured workers’ rights and benefits, addressing unions and labor organizations throughout the state of Illinois.  In addition, he has authored and co-authored several guidebooks and information pamphlets concerning workers’ compensation issues as they relate to injured workers in Illinois.  Subjects of the publications have included repetitive trauma and overuse injuries and injured workers’ medical rights, among other topics.


James B. Hardy,  President | Laura Hrubec, Vice President | Michelle Lafayette, Secretary | Vitas Mockaitis, Treasurer

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