Sharon Stanzione grew up in Crown Point, Indiana and says that she always thought she would either become an actress or a lawyer in life, so she decided to combine the two and become a trial lawyer. “I get to use some of my thespian skills in my law work, during opening arguments and closing arguments,” says Stanzione.
Today she is a partner and shareholder with Johnson & Bell, Ltd., with offices in Chicago and Merrillville, Indiana and is licensed to practice in both Indiana and Illinois.
Stanzione attended Purdue University and majored in English and philosophy, graduating in 1993. She obtained her law degree from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1996. She was brought by her firm to the Northwest Indiana location to open a medical law branch in the region. “I concentrate my practice in civil trial and appellate litigation. I have dedicated my entire legal career to representing the medical community including hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers, doing so exclusively for the past 14 years. I was brought in to spearhead Johnson & Bell’s medical malpractice and health care law section in Indiana. Since then, the office has grown exponentially,” says Stanzione.
Her work has helped to establish law in the state of Indiana. She says, “I have successfully tried many difficult cases, and have argued on appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court, resulting in published opinions that have helped shape Indiana health care law. Just recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in my client’s favor on a case of first impression in Indiana. This case has been published and has created favorable law for health care providers by protecting them from liability for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.” It is this work, helping to defend the medical community, setting precedent to establish law to continue to protect good doctors and nurses, which is satisfying for Stanzione:
Partner and Shareholder
Johnson & Bell, Ltd.
1435 E. 85th Ave, Merrillville, Ind.
“I feel good about my profession because I help doctors, nurses and others in the health care industry who help the community by taking care of our health. The legal system can be a scary arena for those not familiar with it,” she says.
“The key to my success has been just being myself, whether I am dealing with a colleague or the CEO of a hospital. I was an only child and so I am very close to my parents. My mother and father have helped me every step of the way. My father is a self-made man and has always taught me that I can be whatever I want to be,” says Stanzione.
While completing her undergraduate work, Stanzione also studied theater and still has a great love of the arts and the stage. “I recently competed as a local celebrity in Dancing with the Stars, winning a mirror ball trophy at the Radisson in Merrillville,” she says. In addition to her theater work, Stanzione is also a Registered Civil Mediator; a member of the Chicago, Illinois, Indiana, and Lake County Bar Associations; and she currently serves on the board of directors of the Lake County Bar Association. “I am a also a member and prior officer of the Calumet American Inns of Court, have served on the Board of Directors of the Merrillville Chamber of Commerce, and have served as an adjunct faculty member at Purdue Calumet. I have served on the Indiana State Bar Association’s Ethics Committee to help revise the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct and have served as a judge pro tem in civil courts. I speak at continuing legal education seminars to attorneys about health care law and frequently speak to hospitals and doctors on health care law,” she says.
Stanzione also runs half marathons and races for breast cancer, heart disease, and diabetes and attends charity events to help raise money to fight these diseases.