Kevin G. Costello

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Former Partner Costello Reflects on Becoming a Judge

Kevin G. Costello departed Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle to join the bench on Nov. 30, 2011, becoming the third lawyer associated with ZRFM to serve as a McHenry County judge. Costello has practiced law for 24 years. Before joining ZRFM a decade ago, he was an insurance defense trial lawyer.

“I’ve had the chance to handle some pretty high-profile cases and a variety of cases [at ZRFM],” he said in an early November interview. “I’ve tried a wide variety of civil cases and even some divorce cases, and I think that helped my resume for becoming a judge.

“Once I gained enough trial experience, I thought the role of a judge would be a position I at least had the potential to be qualified for,” he explained, “and the temperament for.”

Costello says he sees serving as a judge as the pinnacle of the profession. He remembers how several judges helped him out when he was a new lawyer, and he remains grateful. Costello believes his new role will give him an excellent chance to give back to the legal community in Illinois.

During his legal career, Costello says many attorneys helped him professionally. Both they and some judges suggested to him from time to time that he would make a good judge.

Costello’s time at Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle accelerated the process of becoming an associate judge in the 22nd Judicial Circuit, he believes, because Costello was able to handle some large cases essentially on his own. Moving his practice to McHenry County also helped him become familiar with the local judges and with others in the community.

“Rich Flood especially has given me a lot of help and certainly some assistance in applying to be a judge,” Costello adds. He says he will miss the camaraderie of the office and the relationships he developed there.

“The biggest thing I’ll miss, at least as a trial lawyer, will probably be the competitive nature of trying a case with the hope of winning it for a client – sort of the thrill of victory,” Costello says. Over the course of his law career, he has tried more than 50 civil cases to a jury verdict and has reached a verdict more than 200 times in bench trials.

The Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter recognized Costello in 1995 for being among the top 10 attorneys in the county for achieving jury verdicts the previous year. Costello earned a B.A. in 1984 from Loras College and a J.D. in 1987 from the University of Notre Dame.

Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle is the largest law firm in McHenry County, Illinois. The firm focuses especially on appellate law, banking, business law and transactional matters, civil litigation, construction, divorce and family law, employment law, estate trust and tax, land use, local government, and personal injury.

Friday, October 21st, 2011

ZRFM Partner Kevin G. Costello Named McHenry County Judge

The lawyers and staff of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle congratulate our partner and friend, Kevin Costello, on his selection as one of the two new judges in McHenry County, Illinois.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

ZRFM Secures Injunction for Lake Zurich in Boundary Dispute

Circuit Court Judge Mitchell L. Hoffman recently sided with the village of Lake Zurich and ZRFM partners Kevin G. Costello and Carlos S. Arévalo in a boundary dispute involving land in unincorporated Lake County.

The 53 acres in question are contiguous to the villages of Lake Zurich and Hawthorn Woods. Each village had encouraged occupants of the land to seek voluntary annexation to their village.

Costello is the lead trial attorney for Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, the largest law firm in McHenry County, Illinois. Arévalo is the corporate counsel for Lake Zurich.

The controversy arose in mid-2010 when Hawthorn Woods forcibly annexed the property even though the villages reached a boundary agreement in 1998 that prohibited annexation and the use of the unincorporated property. The agreement had been amended in subsequent years. Hawthorn Woods reversed its annexation quickly when Lake Zurich sought the intervention of the state’s attorney and the Illinois attorney general by way of a quo warranto action.

Hawthorn Woods tried to get forced annexation of the area again in mid-2011, but Lake Zurich filed a temporary restraining order in early June. Hawthorn Woods then filed a cross motion also seeking injunctive relief preventing Lake Zurich from moving forward with annexation. After the villages exchanged 6,000 pages of documents in accelerated discovery, a hearing took place on July 13. Despite efforts by the parties, settlement talks prior to Judge Hoffman’s ruling were unsuccessful.

Judge Hoffman granted Lake Zurich’s request for a preliminary injunction on Aug. 5. A status hearing in the case is set for Sept. 1. The attorneys for Hawthorn Woods, however, have filed an appeal of Judge Hoffman’s order.

Costello has tried more than 250 cases to judgment, including over 50 trial verdicts. The Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter recognized him in 1995 for being among the top 10 attorneys for achieving jury verdicts in Cook County the previous year. In addition to Cook and McHenry counties, Costello has litigated local government, personal injury and civil matters in Lake, Kane and Will counties. Since 2002, he has practiced law in Crystal Lake at Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle.

In addition to Lake Zurich, Arévalo also represents the McHenry County cities of Marengo and Harvard. He has handled collective bargaining for the villages of Lake in the Hills and Johnsburg. He also serves as counsel for the Woodstock Plan Commission, which advises the city on growth and development matters. Arévalo’s local government law practice includes municipal code enforcement, licensing and other transactions, condemnation proceedings, local zoning and planning, and home rule authority. For more on these lawyers’ professional credentials, please link to the biographies of Kevin Costello and Carlos Arévalo.

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Laser Hair Removal Burns Can Be Tried as Negligence

A Cook County judge recently ruled that claims against laser hair removal facilities that allege burn injuries can be tried as simple negligence in Illinois and need not be filed as medical malpractice claims.

The judge released a five-page written memorandum and order in an ongoing case involving a laser hair removal facility. The opinion denied the laser hair removal facility’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Kevin G. Costello, a Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle partner, on behalf of a client.

Costello’s client suffered second degree burns while receiving cosmetic laser hair removal treatment in November 2010. The young woman’s laser burns caused a checkerboard pattern of red marks to appear on both of her legs. Although the scars have faded somewhat, they remain visible. She continues to receive treatment from a dermatologist with the hope that the scars will not be permanent.

In attempting to have the case dismissed, the laser hair removal facility’s attorneys claimed that the laser hair removal process is a medical procedure and therefore requires a medical malpractice filing with an accompanying affidavit from a doctor alleging a breach of the standard of care.

Costello, who filed the lawsuit on the theory of simple negligence, argued that no Illinois judge had ruled on the issue before and that other states had held that laser hair removal injuries typically are not considered medical malpractice claims. Thus a lawsuit can be brought for negligence without a doctor’s affidavit.

The judge agreed with Costello, denied the motion to dismiss, and ordered the laser hair removal facility to answer the complaint. The court said it was significant that a technician with no medical background had performed the laser hair removal treatment. The judge also cited case law on similar cosmetic laser hair removal situations from the states of Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri and Texas.

Costello has tried more than 250 cases to judgment, including over 50 jury verdicts. The Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter recognized him in 1995 as being among the top 10 attorneys for achieving verdicts in Cook County the previous year. Since 2002, Costello has practiced personal injury law and litigation in Crystal Lake at Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, the largest law firm in McHenry County, Illinois. For more information on his credentials, please link to Kevin Costello’s biography.

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

ZRFM Reaches $450,000 Settlement in ATV Accident

Kevin G. Costello recently obtained a $450,000 settlement on behalf of a client who was severely injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident. Costello’s client was a passenger in an ATV that overturned.

The client, a 21-year-old college student, suffered a fractured shoulder with complications. The client underwent two surgeries and missed the remainder of the college semester. Generally, the client has recovered well.

The client’s medical bills totaled approximately $126,600. The settlement included reimbursement of those medical expenses as well as a significant sum as compensation for pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement.

In addition to his long record of settlements, Costello has tried more than 250 cases to judgment, including more than 50 jury verdicts. The Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter recognized him in 1995 as being among the top 10 attorneys for achieving verdicts in Cook County the previous year. Since 2002, Costello has practiced law in Crystal Lake at Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, the largest law firm in McHenry County, Illinois. For more biographical information, please link to Kevin Costello’s biography.