Palatine lawyer learned some strategy as rugby player for Blaze

  • James Doerr, an avid rugby player, is also a lawyer who recently joined the Lavelle Law firm in Palatine.

    James Doerr, an avid rugby player, is also a lawyer who recently joined the Lavelle Law firm in Palatine. COURTESY OF NORM SMYTH/STORM PRODUCTIONS

  • James Doerr, an avid rugby player, is also a lawyer who recently joined the Lavelle Law firm in Palatine. This group photo was taken at the Blaze clubhouse. Doerr is seated on the left side, third row, next to the man in the striped red-and-white jersey.

    James Doerr, an avid rugby player, is also a lawyer who recently joined the Lavelle Law firm in Palatine. This group photo was taken at the Blaze clubhouse. Doerr is seated on the left side, third row, next to the man in the striped red-and-white jersey. COURTESY OF NORM SMYTH/STORM PRODUCTIONS

  • Douglas Pfeiffer

    Douglas Pfeiffer

  • Jessica Sheehan

    Jessica Sheehan

  • Amy Derick

    Amy Derick

  • Tracey Campbell

    Tracey Campbell

  • Mike Powers

    Mike Powers

 
 
Updated 1/2/2017 8:29 AM

James R. Doerr of Winfield is a defense attorney with Palatine-based Lavelle Law Ltd. and does a monthly podcast called "Liberty and the Law."

And while he's competitive in the courtroom, he was also competitive on the rugby field.

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His middle initial stands for Rhino. He's a former rugby player who also was a former president and vice-president of the Chicago Blaze Rugby Club.

"I have met some of my greatest friends, the best guys I ever cared to meet anywhere in the world by playing rugby," said Doerr, 50.

Doerr earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 1990 from Benedictine University and then his law degree from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School by 1994. In those early days, a friend was playing rugby and Doerr watched some of the practices. The friend encouraged him to play and he did. Doerr had "the most fun" he's ever had, he said.

He played the prop position, or in the front row of the rugby team, and enjoyed the camaraderie on the field and the after-party hosted by the home team.

After graduation, Doerr returned to his hometown of Lisle at that time and read everything he could about the sport.

One day he was out with a girlfriend and ran into someone who recognized his school team jacket and invited him to try out for the Chicago Blaze. He signed up in 1995 and continued playing through 2011 with the Blaze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I'm still a dues-paying 'fossil,' on the old boys team for those over 35," he said.

He also became vice president and president of the club in 2002 and 2003 and helped the group erect new grandstands.

He and his wife of four years, Laura, continue to support the rugby club through their membership and watching games. After all, he enjoys the strategy, teamwork and competitive nature of the game. Those are all lessons he's learned from the game that he also applies to his profession as a lawyer.

"It's all about the willingness to step in and compete and do what you need to do to win," he said. "It's also about the willingness to step forward and help your teammates."

FastTracks

•Douglas Pfeiffer has been promoted to principal and business manager of the Illinois operations at Dewberry's Elgin office. It is a privately held professional services firm. Pfeiffer has more than 23 years of architecture experience and has overseen the design of numerous civic buildings, including many libraries in the region.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

•Doctors Amy Derick, Tracy Campbell and Jessica Sheehan were selected by their peers as being best in their specialty at Derick Dermatology in Arlington Heights. They are included in the annual list of Top Cancer doctors in Chicago Magazine.

•Michael Powers is the new senior principal and chief investment officer at Molto Properties in Oakbrook Terrace.

•There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people who make business work. Send news about people in business to akukec@dailyherald.com. Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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