Meet Our Attorneys and Staff
Learn about our talented and accomplished attorneys in Chicago.
At The Deratany Firm, we stand by our reputation. Our experienced legal team brings more than 100 years of collective experience to the table on behalf of those injured or died as a result of car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice and nursing home abuse. Our firm has been voted among top Illinois law firms for 13 years, and founding attorney Jay Paul Deratany has been voted among top lawyers nationwide since 2007.
We understand hiring a lawyer can be a difficult decision. There’s so much to consider. It’s important to hire an attorney who has the resources and experience necessary to obtain the compensation and closure you deserve. We stand by our clients. We strive to provide each client with the best legal representation in court. We make ourselves accessible. Learn about our passionate legal team below. To learn more, contact us today.
- Jay Paul Deratany
- Greg Olmstead
- Michael Kosner
- Megan O’Connor
- Kirstin Jerzy
- Deirdre Willis
- Lisa Demma
Jay Paul Deratany is the founder of The Deratany Firm. Receiving his law degree from DePaul University, he has been voted one of the top 100 lawyers nationwide, and one of the top Illinois lawyers, since 2007. Mr. Deratany has a proven track record of helping clients get the results they need. His success in the courtroom includes winning the largest jury verdict in Lake County history ($23,000,000).
Jay Paul Deratany has published numerous articles featured in the Illinois Bar Journal, Daily Law Bulletin, Adoption Magazine, and Foster Families Today. He has been a guest on Fox & Friends, CNN and the O’Reilly Factor. He has been featured in Foster Families Magazine for his continuing fight on behalf of foster children.
He has served on numerous boards including: Howard Brown, Chicago House, Perspectives Charter Schools, and Community Support Services. He won the Ekroth Award for his Federal Lawsuit advocating on behalf of disabled women who were being discriminated against in housing.
Mr. Deratany is also a playwright; his hit play, Haram Iran, was nominated for a GLAAD theater award and has played in Chicago, Los Angeles, and soon London. He also has recently finished production of his first feature film titled Saugatuck Cures.
Mr. Deratany continues to advocate for global LGBT youth rights, as well as serves on the board of directors of Ekta Transglobal, a nonprofit organization that advocates for LGBT equality.
Greg Olmstead has been practicing law for 27 years, beginning with personal injury insurance defense for approximately 3 years, and, for the past 23 plus years, his concentration has been in civil litigation with an emphasis on representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases. Greg has substantial experience representing claimants with severe injuries in workers’ compensation cases.
Greg attended Boston College, Chestnut Hill, graduating with a bachelor’s of science in Biology/Pre-medicine, attaining the high honor of magna cum laude; and University of Notre Dame Law School, South Bend, IN (J.D.).
A Chicagoland native, Greg has lived his entire life here, with the exception of his college and law school years. Greg and his wife recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and they have two children. He enjoys sports, both as a spectator and competitor.
Michael Kosner, a graduate of the University of Miami Law School and the University of Kansas, lives in Chicago, where he has been practicing law since 1998. After graduating from Miami, he practiced in southern Florida before returning to Chicago; he was raised in the northern suburbs.
In 2005, at the age of 35, Mr. Kosner effectuated one of the largest stillbirth settlements in Illinois history. The case was settled in fewer than 90 days from the time he started working on it.
In 2009, Mr. Kosner settled the second largest wrongful death/medical malpractice case ever against Cook County Hospital. The settlement of $9.8 million was achieved just over two years after the filing of the lawsuit. The average medical malpractice case in Cook County takes more than three years to resolve.
Mr. Kosner is a member of the Illinois and Florida Bar Associations. A devoted family man, he is married and has two children.
Megan O’Connor is a passionate advocate for injured people, especially foster and adoptive youth and their families. Megan’s experience in handling complex issues of law along with her passion for advocacy, has laid the foundation for her to help obtain millions of dollars of settlements and awards for Deratany Firm clients. Notably, Megan was second chair in a foster care abuse case that resulted in a $19.55 million settlement.
Megan O’Connor graduated cum laude with a degree in philosophy from North Central College in Naperville, IL where she was a four-year varsity volleyball player. Megan then attended Loyola University Chicago School of Law, earning her Juris Doctor and a certificate in Advocacy.
During law school, Megan was a Dean’s List student and received a CALI Excellence for the Future Award (recognizing the top scoring student) in Transnational Dispute Resolution. Megan was also twice recognized as a top oral advocate at the National Moot Court Competition for Child Welfare and Adoption Law. This is where Megan found her passion to help foster and adoptive children and families.
Megan’s passion for helping foster youth extends beyond the courtroom. Most recently, Megan has been named to the inaugural board of First Star at Loyola, a charity dedicated to challenging the 3% nationwide foster youth college graduation rate through innovative programs at Loyola University Chicago. Megan has also supported and volunteered with various charities to support cancer patients and their families. As a ten-plus-year survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, she understands the emotional plight of cancer patients and their families.
Megan’s practice focuses on cases involving foster care abuse, adoption negligence and personal injury.
Kirstin Jerzy joined the Deratany Firm in 2015 as an associate after spending several years as a valuable asset clerking during law school. Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Kirstin went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Bradley University with Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Economics.
After college, Kirstin attended Chicago-Kent Law School, graduating Magna Cum Laude and earning her Juris Doctor and a certificate in Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. While at Chicago-Kent, Kirstin was a Dean’s List student and a Kent Legal Scholar. She earned CALI Excellence for the Future Award Awards (recognizing the top scoring student) in Torts, Legal Writing II, Pretrial Litigation, Advanced Torts and Litigation Technology. Kirstin was also inducted into the Order of the Coif, a distinction reserved for top legal academic performance. Kirstin served as an extern before the Honorable Samuel Der-Yeghiayan in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.
Kirstin’s practice focuses on the litigation support for a wide variety of personal injury and medical malpractice cases.
Deirdre Willis is a Chicago native who received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Loyola University in Chicago, majoring in criminal justice. Deirdre has 15 years of experience in the legal field, focusing in the areas of medical malpractice, adoption negligence and personal injury. Deirdre began working for The Deratany Firm in 2002 and has provided exceptional paralegal work on many major cases, seeing them all the way through victory at trial. Deirdre thrives on new challenges, which are abundant in the legal field. In addition, Deirdre volunteers with several local organizations that work to level the playing fields of justice, including the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic. Deirdre is also a member of the American Association for Justice Organization.
Lisa Demma has been working in the legal field for over 25 years in personal injury and employment law. In fact, Lisa was Jay Paul Deratany’s first paralegal and has returned to work for the Deratany Firm again because she wanted to be at a place where she was working to serve others and advocate for justice. Lisa believes that the Deratany Firm is passionate and truly cares about their clients. She finds her work at the Deratany Firm so much more rewarding because she gets to know the clients and feels that helping another human being is so more fulfilling than working for an “entity.”
Lisa was born, raised and still living in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. She has been happily married to her husband Phil for 26 years and has three sons. Lisa graduated from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, where she received her bachelor of science in business. Throughout Lisa’s legal career she has assisted in numerous trials in both State and Federal Court.
Lisa seeks to serve in her personal life as well. She has served on her local school board for District 127.5 for ten years, and was president/vice-president for eight years. Lisa has volunteered for the Women’s Crisis Center for Southwest Suburbs; PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter), a mission dedicated to provide shelter, food and services to people in need; and Share Your Soles, a not for profit that has distributed over 2 million shoes to people all over the world.