Jonathan Bunge

Cues and Views

Accomplished trial lawyer Jonathan Bunge, in brief.

 Jonathan Bunge

Home: Winnetka, IL.  Age: 60.  Birthplace: Columbia, SC.  Profession: Lawyer.  Organization: Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.  Title: Managing Partner - Chicago; Co-Chair of National Trial Practice Group.  Pronouns: He/Him/His.  Significant other: My wife, Jennifer. Alma mater: Princeton University; University of Chicago Law School.

Current project: Actively supporting nonprofits, including The Legal Aid Society (Board of Overseers) and Metropolitan Planning Council (Executive Adviser).  Also, I co-founded a nonprofit called Living in Peace Successfully.  Latest accomplishment: Recently published article in Financier Worldwide magazine, “The SEC’s Enforcement Regime May Soon Undergo a Constitutional Revamp.”  Hobbies: Skiing, anything outdoors.  Recent travel or adventure: A ski trip to Utah.  Last book read: Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut.  Recently viewed and recommended: Homeland; Schitt’s Creek.  Recent unique acquisition: A second dog, a rescue named Juno.

What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Curious.  Moral compass: My maternal grandfather, who was an Episcopalian priest.  What is your greatest joy? My children. What is your greatest fear? Losing my faculties.  What is your guilty pleasure? Pizza and watching movies.  What word or phrase do you use far too often? Yes (as in, agreeing to do things).  What natural talent have you neglected? Writing.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Firefighters.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Going back to school; hiking the Pacific Crest Trail; cycling across the country.  How do you relieve stress? Exercise.  What is your go-to workout? Circuit training.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Becoming absorbed in an activity so that I can forget about work.  

What was your first paying job? Working in a fish warehouse.  What was your favorite college course? Evolutionary Biology; Modern Chinese History.  What was your favorite childhood toy or game? My bike.  What book have you repeatedly read? Short stories by Raymond Carver and Thom Jones; Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.  What movie have you repeatedly watched? Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid; The Godfather; GoodFellas; Raging Bull.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My children, my wife and my maternal grandfather.  What’s the best advice you received growing up?  Try your best and don’t worry about anything else.  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? Smartphones.  What is your go-to source of news and information? The Wall Street Journal. What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Reading fiction.  What company or organization do you most admire? National Park Service; American Red Cross; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? Watergate.  What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Having children.

What is your big idea?

Within every person there are mixtures of motives, good and bad.  Despite my own failings and those of others, I try not to give up on the good.

What change would you like to see in the world? The level of violence and mistreatment must be reduced. What widely held belief do you reject? “I have the answer to the way human beings are supposed to live.  I intend to enforce my viewpoint on others.”  What mega-trend most excites you? The focus on the environment.  What mega-trend most concerns you? The prevalence of anxiety in younger people.  Also, the level of violence in our society.

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Let’s Try Again.  Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? Abraham Lincoln.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A professional athlete.  After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? My maternal grandfather’s Book of Common Prayer with his handwritten notes in it.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Seeing and talking to people.  Making an effort to come to peace with those I care about.  What advice would you give your younger self? You can’t control everything, so don’t worry about it.  Just try to enjoy yourself day to day.

Personal motto: Try your best and don’t worry about anything else.  Favorite quote: “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you” (John Wooden).

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