Bret Rappaport works as a trusted advisor for dozens of family-owned and other owner-operated businesses. For more than 20 years, Bret has represented these companies, and their principals, in litigation, contracts drafting and negotiation, employment matters, and a host of other legal matters faced by these companies. In working with these family companies, Bret has established an expertise in estate planning, corporate succession planning, and family law. Bret is an accomplished litigator with over 50 published cases, including cases in the federal appeals court, and Illinois Supreme Court .
Bret began his career as an Illinois Assistant Attorney General, representing the state before state and federal appellate court and the Illinois Supreme Court. After leaving the Attorney General’s office, Bret was a partner at the Chicago law firm, Schwartz Cooper, bringing his talents to Hardt, Stern & Kayne in 2007.
Since 2009, Bret has held an appointment as an Adjunct English Professor at Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, teaching composition, and seminars on sociology and philosophy. Bret previously taught Advanced Legal Writing at DePaul College of Law.
Rappaport, Bret, “As Natural Landscaping Takes Root We Must Weed Out Bad Laws – How Natural Landscaping and Leopold’s Land Ethic Collide With Unenlightened Weed Laws and What Must Be Done About It,” 26 J. Marshall L. Rev. 865 (1993). (This publication has been reprinted on the USEPA website).
Rappaport, Bret, “Time for the Wooden Shoe: Legal Research in the Computer Age, 13 CBA Record,” 50 (1999)
Rappaport, Bret, “Unlocking Corporate Horns When Litigants are the Corporation and its Officers or Directors,” 12 CBA 20 (1998).
Rappaport, Bret & Green, Joanie, “Calvinball Cannot be played on this Court: The Sanctity of Auction Procedures in Bankruptcy,” 11 J. Bankr. L. & Prac. 189 (2002). (this publication has been in numerous court opinions).
Rappaport, Bret & Reibman, Rick, “Limited Liability Companies and the Bankruptcy Code, Taxes,” Taxes, October 1996, pp. 617-620.
Rappaport, Bret, “Shot Across the Bow: the Art and Science of a Demand Letter,” 5 J. ALWD. 32 (Fall 2008). (this is an oft-cited article on the topic)
Rappaport, Bret, “Tapping the Human Adaptive Origins of Storytelling by Requiring Legal Writing Students to Read a Novel In Order to Appreciate How Character, Setting, Plot, Theme and Tone (CSPTT) are as Important as IRAC,” 25 Thomas Cooley L. Rev. 267 (2009).
Rappaport, Bret, “Using the Ancient Intrinsic Musilanguage Elements of Rhythm, Flow and Tone To Create a More Effective and Persuasive Acoustic Experience in Legal Writing,” Journal of Legal Writing Institute, Vol. 16, p. 65, 2010. (portions reprinted in Edward, Readings in Persuation; Briefs that Changed the World, Aspen, 2012).
Rappaport, Bret, “Darwinian Ceremonies: Is the Rhetoric of Praise and Blame Adaptive?,” 2(1) The Evolutionary Review (SUNY, 2011).
Memberships & Involvement
Rhetoric Society of America
Scribes, Legal Writing Society
Community & Civic Activities
Commissioner, Union Drainage District
Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Past President and current Board member
Awards & Recognition
Lawyer of the Year, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Chicago, Illinois, 1992
Conservationist of the Year, Canadian Wildflower Society, 2001.