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Laraia & Whitty, P.C.

Joseph M. Laraia

Of Counsel

Joseph M Laraia
Avvo Super Lawyers ISBA Laureate

A trusted and highly experienced attorney, Joseph M. Laraia is a representative in the courts of DuPage, Kane, and Will Counties in Illinois. Mr. Laraia has been a trial attorney for more than 48 years and takes pride in serving clients in both criminal and civil cases. When Mr. Laraia first started our law firm back in 1966, attorneys had to be versatile enough to represent clients in all types of legal cases. Because of this experience, he has been successful in cases ranging from traffic violations to capital murder, as well as in family law and business litigation.

Experience Makes a Difference

Joseph M. Laraia has practiced in the Illinois State Courts in DuPage, Cook, Kane, and Will Counties, as well as the Federal District Court in Chicago for over 48 years. He is one of the most recognized and honored attorneys in DuPage County, having been recognized by his peers on the local, state, and national levels. He has been successful in cases that include both criminal litigation and civil litigation that range from capital murder cases to civil, family law, and business and public issue litigation.

Prior to starting our firm in 1966, Mr. Laraia was a prosecutor with the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office and became chief of the felony division, which prosecuted everything from felony theft to capital murder. After leaving the State's Attorney's Office, Mr. Laraia has taken pride in defending individuals charged with criminal offenses and has represented individuals and corporations in a wide variety of civil litigation that ranges from divorce and family law matters to business and other litigation. His experience and background is extensive and varied.

Recognized By His Peers

Joseph M. Laraia was chosen by the Illinois Supreme Court as chairman of the Capital Litigation Trial Bar Committee for the Second District Appellate Court, which screens applications of attorneys who wish to be certified to try capital cases. He has been the chairman from the committee's inception in 2002.

Mr. Laraia was also chosen as one of 92 Laureate Attorneys by the Academy of Illinois Lawyers as representing the highest principals of the profession demonstrated by his persuasive record, and he is the recipient of the 2010 Ralph A. Gabric Award for Professional Excellence awarded by the DuPage County Bar Association.

On a national level, Mr. Laraia is one of very few Fellows of the highly prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, which includes lawyers from the United States and Canada.

Mr. Laraia was named as an "Illinois Super Lawyer" and holds a perfect 5.0 peer rating on Lawyers.com.

Mr. Laraia has achieved the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and has held that rating for over 30 years.

Other Notable Achievements and Memberships:

  • DuPage County Bar Association
    • Past President 1979-1980
    • "Man of the Year Award" 1979-1980
    • Past Chairman of the Criminal Law, Judiciary, Entertainment Court Facilities Committees
  • Illinois State Bar Association
    • Academy of Illinois Lawyers, Laureate Award
    • Past Member of the Criminal Law Committee
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
    • Past President
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
  • DuPage County Justinian Society of Lawyers
    • Founding Member
    • Past President
  • DuPage County Inns of Court
  • Lecturer at:
    • The United States Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C.
    • The DuPage County Bar Association on criminal subjects and forensic matters
    • The Kane County Bar Association on criminal law subjects


Mr. Laraia was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1962 and the Federal District Court of the Northern District of Illinois in 1963.

Mr. Laraia is a graduate of DePauw University and Northwestern University and graduated from the Northwestern University Law School in 1962.

Mr. Laraia served as an officer in the Illinois Air National Guard from 1962-1967.

Mr. Laraia has been active in community and church related activities, having served on his church's finance committee for many years and promoting charitable functions to fight cancer.

AV Rating avvo Justia Super Lawyers dupage county Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association KCBA American Inns of Court NCDD
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