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Central Illinois

Anthony Novak
Anthony Novak
Anthony "Tony" Novak of Urbana passed away Saturday (Feb. 8, 2014) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago after losing his battle with cancer. He was 63.

Tony is survived by his wife, Amy Fuller; his son, Henry; his mother, Anna Novak-Heller; his brother, Rick; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A devoted criminal defense attorney, Tony worked to ensure the justice system delivered on its promise of a fair trial.

He was active in the Jewish community, and was a past president of Sinai Temple and the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation.

He was passionate about tennis, skiing, bowling, boating, water-skiing and his friends.

He picked up friends across the spectrum and around the country; he collected people, art, funky furniture, toys and experiences.

He loved a good meal at a dive; pie; his mother's cooking; a good ski trip; a long story.

If an argument broke out, or someone voiced a harsh opinion of someone else, Tony's booming voice would interrupt with the solution that pleased the most parties, or made the most sense. He was a mediator of conflicts large and small, and he relied on a strong sense of justice to mete out his decisions.

His house represents him to his friends and family. It's independent, like Tony - outside of town, out of the way. It's colorful, filled with the quirky furniture and art that he collected over the years. It's filled with the memories that show his life was full, even if it ended too soon.

The house, and the woods behind it - the neighbors and family and friends who frequently visited both can go there to remember him.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for a Circuit Court vacancy in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.

The Woodford County resident circuit vacancy is created by the retirement of Judge John B. Huschen on March 31, 2014. Judge Huschen has been a resident Circuit Judge since 1998.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is accepting applications from all qualified applicants for the position of Federal Defender for the Central District of Illinois headquartered in Peoria. The Federal Defender provides federal criminal defense services to individuals unable to afford counsel. The courts are an equal opportunity employer.

An applicant should have the following qualifications: (1) a member in good standing in the bar of each state in which admitted to practice; (2) a minimum of five years criminal practice experience, preferably with significant experience in federal criminal defense at the trial and appellate levels, which demonstrates an ability to provide zealous representation of consistently high quality to criminal defendants; (3) the ability to effectively administer the office; (4) a reputation for integrity; (5) a commitment to the representation of those unable to afford counsel; and (6) have demonstrated a commitment to equal justice under the law. Applications can be obtained by accessing the website of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Completed applications are due before the close of business on February 24, 2014, and are to be sent to:

  • Collins T. Fitzpatrick
  • Circuit Executive
  • United States Court of Appeals
  • for the Seventh Circuit
  • 219 S. Dearborn Street, Rm 2780
  • Chicago, Illinois 60604

Jerry Wolfson
Jerry Wolfson
Jerome F. "Jerry" Wolfson, 94, passed away Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at the Regency.

He was born July 24, 1919 in Springfield the son of Henry and Bessie Rich Wolfson. He married Muriel Levy in Chicago in 1943. He and his bride had been married almost 70 years at the time of her death in 2012, despite her mother saying it would never last. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, a sister; Dorothy Wolfson and two brothers; Milton and Lee Wolfson.

Upon graduating from University of Illinois law school, the country entered into World War II and so did he. After being discharged at the end of the war, he entered the family-owned Wolfson Furniture Company He practiced law in the office of Senator George Drach until he went into his own private practice.

Jerome was a life member of Temple B'rith Sholom. A member of B'nai Brith, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Sangamon county Bar Association, and the Saturday Night Dance club. Jerome and Muriel had been dancing together since college and they were great fun to watch. They danced like Fred and Ginger. He also painted, welded small metal statues and if something needed fixing, he was the guy you called.

Jerome had a wonderful sense of humor. Up until the end, Muriel thought he was funny.

Are you familiar with the updated Illinois and federal estate and income tax laws? Do you know how to best represent your client before the ICC when a utility files a petition to construct a new transmission line? Do you understand the importance eminent domain has on negotiating compensation during a pipeline easement acquisition? Join us in Bloomington-Normal on February 7th for a fuller understanding of the law and practice affecting these issues, including: whether a credit trust is still viable under the new tax bill; income tax issues, including IRS regulations and court cases as they relate to agricultural pursuits; rapidly deploying high-voltage overhead transmission line easement projects, pipeline easements, and the best ways to negotiate for farm owners’ interests; fracking issues that can arise with long-reach horizontal drilling and modern hydraulic fracturing; changes to the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act; food safety law and food labeling; and new law office technology, social media, and ethical issues to avoid when using social media as an advertising and communication tool.

The program is presented by the ISBA Agricultural Law Section and qualifies for 6.5 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Chief Judge Diane P. Wood announced that the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has reappointed Central Illinois Bankruptcy Judge Thomas L. Perkins to another 14-year term when his current term expires next summer.  Chief Judge Wood commented that the bar and the public were extensively surveyed and the results were that Judge Perkins is rated an excellent judge. Bankruptcy Judge Perkins’s office is located in the Federal Courthouse in Peoria, Illinois. 

Judge Perkins was initially sworn in as a bankruptcy judge in 2000. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Prior to his appointment as a bankruptcy judge, he was a partner in the law firms of Vonachen, Lawless, Trager & Slevin; Quinn, Johnston, Henderson & Pretorius; and Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White & Frederick, all located in Peoria, Illinois. 

Keith Emmons
Keith Emmons
Keith E. Emmons, a principal at Meyer Capel, in Champaign, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).

Emmons concentrates his practice in health care law and litigation services, with an emphasis on health care provider employment agreements, health care transactions, health care regulatory compliance, government investigation defense, hospital medical staff and governmental medical disciplinary issues, risk management and both HIPAA and state medical privacy law-related matters.

Long active in the ISBA, he is a past chairman and current member of its Health Care Law Section Council, and served as an associate editor of the section’s newsletter, and is a member of the ISBA Standing Committee on Legislation. He is a member of the American Bar Association, American Society of Medical Association Counsel, the American Health Lawyers Association, and the Illinois Senate Task Force on Comfort Care for the Terminally Ill. A past president and member of the board of directors of the Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys, he has authored numerous articles and is a frequent speaker on health care related legal issues.

Emmons received his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1974.

The mission of the Illinois Bar Foundationis to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, especially for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity.

Carroll W. Dukes passed away on Nov. 13, 2013, after his courageous 14-month battle with cancer.

Carroll was born on Sept. 9, 1930, near Collison, the son of William J. and Lily (Hess) Dukes.

Carroll is survived by his wife, Mary (Denzer), whom he married on Jan. 1, 1982. He is also survived by his sons, Steven W. Dukes (Irma) of San Antonio, Texas, and William B. Dukes of Orlando, Fla.; as well as his stepchildren, Daryn Denzer (Julie) of Champaign, Daryl Denzer (Tonia) of LaPorte, Texas, and Shannon Schneider (Nick) of Mahomet. In addition, he is survived by nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Martha; his brother, William J. Dukes, who was killed in World War II; and sisters, Norma Miller, Mabre Seymour and Laverna (June) LaMar.

Carroll graduated from Rossville High School in 1948 and entered the Air Force, where he spent 30 months stationed in Japan prior to his discharge in 1952. Upon discharge, he attended and graduated from Eastern Illinois University and continued on to Dickson School of Law, an adjunct of Penn State University, where he graduated in 1958.

He became an associate with the law firm of Sebat, Swanson, Banks and Jones in Danville and shortly thereafter became a partner. In 1967, he opened CW Dukes law offices with an associate William Frivogel. In 1969, he was joined by John O'Rourke, and the firm of Dukes, O'Rourke, Stewart, Martin, and Ryan grew another eight attorneys. He retired in 2000 at age 70 from the firm currently known as Dukes, Ryan, Meyer & Freed.

By Emily Vock and Eric Bulman, Land of Lincoln Assistance Foundation, Champaign

As our nation takes time to reflect on the sacrifices of veterans and celebrate their heroism, the legal community would be remiss if they did not stop to consider what we can do to give back to the men and women who have selflessly served our country. For many veterans, access to the legal system proves to be a difficult challenge once they have returned from service. According to an annual survey by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, access to legal services is one of the top ten unmet needs for veterans. Thankfully, the challenges faced by veterans in the legal system are not going unnoticed, and a partnership between Equal Justice Works and AmeriCorps has created the Veterans Legal Corps. This group of thirty-six attorneys across the country is serving the legal needs of low-income and homeless veterans. Veterans Legal Corps members are working to reduce homelessness, improve economic security, and enhance quality of life among veterans through access to legal services.

Two of these Veterans Legal Corps attorneys are working in Illinois at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation's Eastern Regional Office in Champaign and can be reached at 217-356-1351 (ext. 119 and 122) or and Land of Lincoln serves low-income and elderly clients throughout central and southern Illinois. The Veterans Legal Corps lawyers are working with the VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, the VA outpatient clinic in Decatur, and local Salvation Army offices to reach out to veterans throughout central Illinois. 

Judge Michael P. McCuskey
Judge Michael P. McCuskey
The Illinois Bar Foundation will host a Champaign County Fellows Reception honoring U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey on Wednesday, Nov. 20 from 5-6:30 p.m. This event will be held at Crane Alley Restaurant, 115 W. Main Street, Urbana.

Tickets to this reception are $35 and include appetizers and drinks. To register, please click here or call the IBF directly at 312.726.6072.

The Illinois Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the ISBA and is dedicated to improving access to justice to those most vulnerable, helping attorneys and their families in need, and to providing year-long legal Fellowships to new attorneys working in legal aid clinics.

The Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation are a unique group of attorneys and judges, who have committed, by direct payment or pledge over 10 years, sums of money ranging from $1,000 to $25,000.

Fellows pledge payments are retained in a special fund of the Foundation, and are used for making grants, helping lawyers and their families in need, and providing legal fellowships to new attorneys in their alma mater’s legal aid clinic.

Fellows Officers of the Illinois Bar Foundation: