J.D., DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, IL

B.S.N., College of St. Teresa, Winona, MN



Mary Jo Connelly has a bachelor’s degree in nursing and an attorney with more than 30 years experience as a litigator. She has effectively used her clinical background to defend hospitals and healthcare providers of all types in medical negligence actions. Her practice includes representing practitioners of FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Centers) facilities, advising on how clinicians can structure the most advantageous corporate relationships for their practices. She also presides in arbitrations and has served as a conciliator in numerous hearings for the Circuit Court of Cook County.

In addition, Ms. Connelly has served  as a risk management consultant to hospitals, where she monitored active litigation matters, manages exposure to the hospital, reviews and follows potential claims, educates and trains staff and oversees insurance programs for the hospital. Further, Ms. Connelly has had an active real estate broker license. She has handled foreclosure actions, from initial filing through the pre-trial stages to final disposition. She has also advised numerous real estate developers in a variety of construction projects.

After receiving her law degree, she joined the firm of Sweeney & Riman, Ltd., as an associate. As a partner in the firm, she concentrated in the defense of medical malpractice lawsuits. She has successfully defended malpractice cases and argued numerous cases before the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts. In addition, she has represented self-insured physicians in disciplinary administrative hearings before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and handled insurance coverage disputes. Her practice at Sweeney & Riman also included defense of product liability, construction and premises lawsuits. At the Law Offices of Aaron Spivack, Ms. Connelly assisted in the management of foreclosure actions and served as a consultant to real estate developers in the area.


Ms. Connelly began her professional career as a registered nurse. Shortly after receiving her nursing license, she was appointed Director of a 34-bed neurosurgical unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, affiliated with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her responsibilities included direct patient care, teaching students and registered nurses and supervision of the care of all patients on the unit. She then relocated to San Francisco, where she was Director of 12 specialty medical clinics at the University of California, San Francisco, including Cardiac, Pulmonary, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Metabolic and Endocrine. 


Ms. Connelly has frequently lectured to nursing groups on legal issues pertinent to the nursing profession.

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