Background

Blake J. Kolesa is an Associate Attorney at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC.  In the firm’s Complex Litigation Group, he represents individuals, businesses, and classes of victims who have suffered from toxic exposure, product defects, commercial fraud, negligence and other catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful death.

Angered by the injustices that sparked the Great Recession and fueled political corruption, Blake found himself on the way to law school with the goal of advocating for working families.  While he was applying to law schools, three of Blake’s closest friends were stolen from him and their families in an automobile accident.  Like the attorneys that helped bring solace to those families, Blake knew that he wanted to help those from whom so much had been taken.

Since joining Romanucci & Blandin, Blake has jumped headfirst into several high-stakes cases.  He represents victims of the June 2021 Chemtool plant explosion in Rockton, Illinois, the April 2019 anhydrous ammonia release in Beach Park, Illinois and the March 2019 crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702. 

Blake also represents business across the United States whose business interruption insurance claims have been wrongfully denied and motorists who have been charged excessive premiums in violation of Illinois law during the pandemic. He maintains a caseload of wrongful death, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims.

Before joining Romanucci & Blandin, Blake externed for Judge Celia Gamrath of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division and Justice Michael Hyman of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. He was a legal assistant to a prominent criminal defense attorney and clerked at a law firm specializing in the defense of government entities.  In those roles, Blake aided the adjudication and litigation of criminal and civil matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts.

Blake graduated with cum laude honors from Loyola University Chicago School of Law with recognition for Leadership, Service and Public Interest.  He competed in the Chicago Bar Association and Appellate Lawyers Association moot court competitions, served as executive editor of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, and was a teaching assistant for Professors Sarah Waldeck (torts), Joellen Lind (contracts) and Dean Strang (criminal law).  Blake was a fellow of the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies and welcomed prospective students to Loyola as an admissions representative.

Before attending law school, Blake was a community organizer in the rural, downstate Illinois counties of Madison, Macoupin, and Montgomery.  He served as an advisor to Deputy Governor Andy Manar’s senate campaigns and former Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association president Mike Mathis’s house campaign.

Blake earned his Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University, where he enjoyed forays into broadcast journalism and was a proud member of the Wildcat Marching Band.

Blake is the executive vice president and incoming president of the Northwestern University Marching and Band Alumni association and enjoys membership in the American Association for Justice, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association.

Practice Areas

Education & Certifications

J.D., cum laude, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

B.S., Northwestern University

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • Illinois, Anticipated 2021
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Anticipated 2021

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Charitable Involvement

Northwestern University Marching and Band Alumni Association

  • Director-at-Large, 2018-2021
  • Executive Vice President, 2021-2023
  • President, 2023-2025

            

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