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Legal Life

For more than two decades Amato has been primarily a public interest lawyer.* After law school, she started her career as a federal law clerk in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) clerking for the Honorable Robert W. Sweet. She first litigated at Public Citizen Litigation Group, and then the Citizen Advocacy Center, and has worked with various nonprofits, and on two presidential campaigns as in-house counsel, general counsel and strategist on cases at all levels of state and federal courts, and in regulatory matters.

More than four dozen legal proceedings from the presidential campaigns of the 2000's are discussed in Grand Illusion (see citations on pages 316-317) and in excerpts on the Amato & Main, LLC website and not listed below. Amato also worked for a short time in private practice in Chicago to help design and implement strategic multi-generational governance and succession structures.

She currently serves as "Of Counsel" to Despres, Schwartz & Geoghegan. Amato is licensed to practice law in New York, DC, and Illinois.

Selected Legal Cases from the 90's

While at Public Citizen and the Citizen Advocacy Center, Amato served as counsel or co-counsel in several cases, including:

Harvard Crimson v. Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1991) Crimson Settles FOIA Suit

Howard Wyatt v. Bill Cole and John Robbins, II (U.S. Supreme Court, 1992)

United States Department of Justice, et al. v. Vincent James Landano (U.S. Supreme Court, 1992)

Katherine Anne Meyer v. George Bush, Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief, et al. (U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 1992)

United States Department of State v. Michael D. Ray (U.S. Supreme Court, 1991)

Food Chemical News v. Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1992)

Christopher Shelton Hunt v. FBI (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1991)

Cotton v. Adams (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1992)

Public Citizen v. Department of State (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1992)

Katz v. National Archives and Records Administration (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1993)

Hispanics United v. Village of Addison (U.S. District Court, Northern District IL, 1994)

Baldacchino v. Thompson (Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, 1995)

Hicks v. Birkett (Illinois Circuit Court, 18th Judicial District, 1998)

Ryan v. DuPage County Board of Election Commissioners (Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, 1995)

Oliver-Hoffman v. the Village of Wayne, The DuPage County Forest Preserve, and the Wayne Community Association (Illinois Circuit Court, 18th Judicial District, 1995)

Citizen Advocacy Center v. DuPage Airport Authority (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1998)

Maria de los Angeles Torres v. CIA (U.S. District Court, Northern District IL, 1998)

Rieff v. Evans (Supreme Court of Iowa, 1999)

*Legal Disclaimer: Attorney Advertising. This website, because it is about a lawyer, may be considered by some legal jurisdictions to contain attorney advertising even though the website is not intended to solicit clients. This website provides general information for individuals who are interested in Theresa Amato's work. Please read the following:

  • Even though Amato is a lawyer, she only practices law in jurisdictions in which she is licensed.
  • Visitors to this website should not consider it to be an invitation for an attorney-client relationship. You are not establishing an attorney-client relationship through email or any other communication.
  • Any email sent to Amato is not secure and she cannot guarantee the confidentiality of such communications. Please do not send any email that is confidential or sensitive.
  • Information contained on or through this site is never intended to and does not constitute legal advice. Visitors should not rely on the website or information contained therein as legal advice to solve individual problems.
  • Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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  • Amato elected to the American Law Institute in 2014.
  • A new book for The New Press in 2015.
  • Amato published in Italian Women in Chicago, Madonna mia! QUI debbo vivere?
  • Amato & Main, LLC host Bob Sullivan, co-author of The Plateau Effect, July 31, 2013.
  • Amato appears on The Stossel Show with John Stossel on Third Parties on Fox Business, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET, September 13, 2012.
  • Amato & Main, LLC host Joseph Costello, author of "Of, By For, The New Politics of Money Debt and Democracy," June 23, 2012.
  • Arab Spring in Oak Park! Amato & Main, LLC host Young Revolutionaries, Legislative Fellows, and Emerging Leaders from Egypt and Morocco visiting on a Heartland International Exchange Program, April 29, 2012.

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  • Italian Women in Chicago, Madonna mia! QUI debbo vivere?
  • Only One Thing Can Save Us by Thomas Geoghegan.
  • The Third Coast by Thomas Dyja.
  • Keynes's Way to Wealth: Timeless Investment Lessons from the Great Economist, by John Wasik.
  • The Plateau Effect, a book by Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson.
  • Electoral Dysfunction, a book by Victoria Bassetti and the award-winning movie by Bennett Singer and others.
  • The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, a book by Charles Duhigg.
  • Setting the Table, a book by Danny Meyer.
  • Elegy for Dead Languages, a book by poet, translator and new media artist, Francesco Levato.
  • World Wide Rebel Songs, by Tom Morello, The Night Watchman.