Rosa M. Tumialán is a partner in Tressler's Chicago office. Rosa is a member of the firm’s Insurance Practice Group and focuses her practice on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. She is an accomplished defense attorney with nearly twenty years of insurance coverage experience. Rosa’s insurer-related services include coverage opinion analysis and representing insurers in complex coverage disputes relating to personal and commercial lines, third party claims, surplus lines as well as claims handling practices and extracontractual liability. Rosa also assists with drafting coverage documents for insurance pools and counsels clients in the administration of same. Her practice also includes serving as national coordinating coverage counsel for insurance clients who rely on her to develop and implement strategies nationwide in response to pattern litigation. Rosa is an accomplished class action defense lawyer and appellate practitioner, having appeared and argued in both state and federal courts nationwide.
Rosa received her J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.
Where are you from?
I am originally from St. Louis. Even though I have lived in Chicago longer than I did in St. Louis, I am still a St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan — and no, it is not hard to be a Cardinals fan in Chicago…
What was your first job?
My first job was a Deli/Seafood Clerk at Schnucks (a STL-based grocery chain). This was a very dangerous job as I almost lost my left thumb while cleaning the deli slicer. It was also a fun job as there were lots of us around the same age working there to save money for college.
Do you have any hidden talents and/or unique hobbies?
I love to cook and plan menus for what my husband calls extravagant dinner parties. Growing up, meals were events to be celebrated so it was not unusual for dinners to take a couple of hours. That’s not a reality in my household with three boys and everyone running in different directions but I still make the effort.
What is on your bucket list?
I would love to take a ride into space.
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
When I was ten years old, I was asked by a family friend what I wanted to be when I grew up. I immediately responded that I was going to be a lawyer. I did not say that I wanted to be a lawyer — but that I was going to be a lawyer. I did not know exactly what I was going to do as a lawyer (in fact, my plan in college was to use the law degree I would pursue in a completely different manner) but I just always knew I was going to be a lawyer.
If you ask my husband and kids, they would say its because I like to argue. Maybe- but I would correct them and say that I am good at arguing. But the true reason would be that the practice of law gives me a continuous opportunity to study a problem from several different perspectives to craft a position or strategy and then implement it to achieve an objective. The challenge of presenting a legal argument or position and advocate for its acceptance is irresistible to me.
What does a typic workday look like for you?
A typical workday either starts or ends with a yoga class or weight lifting session (no skipping leg day here). I review Law360 and check my Westlaw clips for case law developments. I then spend the rest of the day reviewing insurance policy forms and claim file materials to provide coverage opinions and managing a healthy docket of litigated coverage disputes which entails plenty of motion practice and brief writing.
Why did you choose your areas of practice?
My areas of practice actually chose me! I was a law clerk in the Chancery Division in the Circuit Court of Cook County for J. Thomas P. Durkin when I started out. It was a fantastic experience clerking for this spectacular judge. The very first opinion I drafted related to a coverage dispute about anti-stacking clauses. I was hooked and thoroughly enjoyed working on the steady stream of coverage disputes that were assigned to J. Durkin during my tenure as his law clerk.
What do you like most about Tressler?
Tressler is not just a collegial and welcoming firm — it is a community. There is a genuine sense of inclusiveness and support that goes beyond the professional side. This is the kind of environment that fosters collaboration and encourages excellence.
What are you most proud of, professionally and/or personally?
I am most proud of the pro bono cases I’ve handled. One involved a parental kidnapping under the Hague Convention. I represented the father whose estranged wife secreted the child from Mexico to the US, having told him she was going to visit family in Mexico. I volunteered for the case because I speak Spanish (the client did not speak English) and the attorney from the referring agency needed assistance. I also wanted to have experience litigating a Hague Convention matter. Plus, the facts were egregious — the kidnapping was for the purpose of evading a custody ruling in Mexico and the only reason the child was with the mother was based on false pretenses (the fake family visit). The case was very much like a roller coaster that had all the twists and turns of a telenovela.
After securing service on the mother (which took a bit of effort since her identical twin sister tried to trick the US Marshal), we had a hearing with the court at which the child was to be present. The father flew in from Mexico and I picked him up from ORD. I brought him to my house so he could shower, change and have breakfast. Then we were off to see his daughter for the first time in a several months. The father was awarded interim custody and ordered to stay in the US until the hearing on the petition was conducted. The case was very intense and the father and I ended up having an escort to court by the US Marshal and I then had to check the father into a private club as we were concerned the mother would find him at a hotel. The day of the hearing arrived and the mother agreed to allow the child to return to Mexico with her father where a Mexican court ultimately resolved the custody dispute. The father was incredibly grateful — not just for the result, but for the fact that he had legal assistance. As lawyers, it is easy to take our knowledge and abilities for granted. Pro bono work is a way of sharing our talents to assist someone who might otherwise not have access to those resources.
Do you have any fun hobbies?
I really enjoy traveling and golf. I love visiting different places (beach destinations are preferred) and immersing myself in the environment. I recently visited San Diego and picked up surfing! My only regret is not trying that out sooner. I am a regular golfer with a standing weekly tee time. I also don’t let the weather stop me — I am a regular participant in the Chilly Open held in Arlington Heights in January. Golfing in a blizzard is something everyone should try, at least once.
From left: Rosa, her youngest son, Aden, and her husband, Michael, in Scottsdale, AZ.
Rosa and Michael in Miami, FL.
Rosa can be reached at email@example.com. Learn more about our attorneys by visiting www.tresslerllp.com/attorneys.