- Ted has spent nearly ten years on the Land of Lincoln Legal Aid Board of Directors.
- Land of Lincoln Legal Aid provides low-income and senior residents of central and southern Illinois with high quality civil legal services in order to obtain and maintain their basic needs.
Spirit Of Justice Award
In 2016 Ted was recognized by winning the St. Louis Bar Foundation “The Spirit of Justice Award”. The purpose of the Spirit of Justice Awards (SOJ) is to recognize lawyers, who have demonstrated accomplishment, leadership, and integrity in fostering and maintaining the rule of law and in facilitating and promoting improvement of the administration of justice.
PRO BONO Community Service Award
In 2018, Ted was recognized by the Public Interest Law Initiative with the Pro Bono Community Service Award for his contributions to increasing equal access to justice in Madison County, Illinois.
“Every year, tens of thousands of Illinoisans struggle to navigate the legal system due to a lack of financial resources. Through its programs, PILI is advancing equal access to justice by connecting members of the legal community with those in need of legal assistance.”
Fire-Safety Video MEMORIALIZING 2012 SIUE Fire Victims Viewed by More Than 30,000 Students Nationwide
The Video was Created and Distributed Through A Partnership Between The Lawyers and The Victims’ Families.
Five years after an off-campus apartment fire killed Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) students Lauren Petersen and Lacy Siddall, a first-of-its-kind fire safety video was created to honor the students and help prevent similar tragedies.
The lawyers who represented the families in a lawsuit against an insurance company helped produce and fund the video. The Petersen and Siddall families also used a portion of their settlements with the insurance company to help fund the project.
“The deaths of Lauren and Lacy were tragedies, and this video has in a way provided a form of healing by hopefully warning other college students, their parents and landlords about the risks of fire in both on-and off-campus housing,” said Ted N. Gianaris, the Simmons Hanly Conroy shareholder who oversaw the wrongful death lawsuit.
From 2000 to 2014, approximately 126 students have perished from fires that occurred on a college campus, in Greek housing or in off-campus housing within three miles of campus, according to the Center for Campus Fire Safety (The Center), a non-profit organization devoted to reducing the loss of life from fire at college campuses. More than 85 percent of the fatal fires during that time occurred in off-campus housing.
The video features the girls’ mutual friend Taylor Scott talking about how much she misses them. It underscores the dangers of campus fires through state-of-the-art,slow-motion footage that illustrates how quickly a fire can spread. The video also includes footage from the aftermath of the fire that claimed the girls’ lives.
The lawsuit on behalf of the deceased SIUE students’ families focused on improperly placed smoke and fire alarms. The families and their attorneys believe hard-fought lawsuits can result in making children and families safer by educating them about fire safety and encouraging schools and off-campus student housing facilities to upgrade and maintain their fire protection systems.
“It is extremely gratifying that our law firm, along with Thomas Long and the families of Lauren and Lacy could come together on this important project that is making a significant impact by helping to save lives,” Gianaris said.
Colleges and affiliated organizations such as fraternities and sororities interested in using the video as part of their programming for students can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information.