We are sorry to announce that Arbitrator Jerry Jutila passed away today. Jerry joined the Commission as an arbitrator in 2004, served as acting chairman in 2008, then returned to his arbitrator position. He was widely respected as an intelligent, thoughtful, and fair person.
While he struggled with his illness, he worked on a document, "Lessons Learned on the Eighth Floor," intended to help train the new arbitrators. It was just distributed to arbitrators this past week.
Full of practical advice, writing tips, humor, and gentle guidance ("Listen to the other side." "We are public servants and have a duty to be helpful."), he told arbitrators, "At the end of the day, you are going to derive a great deal of satisfaction" from helping people resolve conflicts. The document is a fitting reflection of Jerry's character.
Before coming to the Commission, Jerry represented injured workers for decades, at the firms May, Decker and Associates; Collins, Jutila and Shovlain; and Gibson and Kopsick.
He was a Life Fellow of the Illinois State Bar Association since 1996 and was a member of numerous professional law associations.
Jerry was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force Security Service, where he served as Staff Sergeant and Intelligence Analyst.
Our sympathies go to Jerry's wife, Barb, and their extended circle. His passing is an enormous loss.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Arbitrator Jutila Passed Away
The IWCC announced the passing of Arbitrator Jerry Jutila on Thursday: