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Central Illinois

Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court administered the attorney’s oath to 1,605 new attorneys on Thursday at five separate locations across the state.

The largest group —1,306—were admitted in the First Judicial District during two ceremonies at the Arie Crown Theater, 2301 Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago.

All of the candidates have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 96,000.

Justice Anne M. Burke presided over the 9:45 a.m. ceremony in the First District and Justice Mary Jane Theis presided over the 12:45 p.m. ceremony.

At the 9:45 a.m. ceremony, Will County Circuit Judge Richard C. Schoenstedt made the move for admission of the class. Cook County Circuit Judge Sharon M. Sullivan and Chicago attorney Stephen Stern seconded the motion. They all have children who took the attorney's oath during the ceremony.

Other guests of the morning ceremony included: Patricia Brown Holmes, president of the Chicago Bar Association; and Cook County Circuit Judge Jessica A. O'Brien, ISBA Board member and president of the Women's Bar Association.

Robert Frank Vespa, 91, died on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, in Chicago.

Robert was born on February 10, 1924, in Springfield, the son of Nicola and Teresa Frasco Vespa. He married Irma Pillischafske on April 2, 1965, in Springfield.

Robert received his law degree from St. Louis University and worked as an attorney in Springfield. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy. Robert was a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Elk's Lodge and a past president of the Eagles Club. He was an avid Cubs fan and enjoyed playing cards with friends, and spending time with his grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Marie and Viola; and three brothers, John, Roger and Joseph.

He is survived by his wife, Irma Vespa of Springfield; one son, Craig (wife, Melanie); two grandchildren, Mason and Mackenzie, all of Chicago; two sisters, Edith McCarty and Angela Elder, both of Springfield; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Cremation care was accorded prior to ceremonies.


ISBA leaders attended the 12th Annual Peoria County Bar Association Diversity Luncheon on Oct. 21 at the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette. Bradley University Athletic Director Chris Reynolds (left) served as the keynote speaker. ISBA leaders in attendance included (from left after Reynolds) ISBA President Umberto S. Davi, ISBA Board member Sonni Choi Williams, ISBA President-elect Vincent F. Cornelius and ISBA 3rd Vice President James F. McCluskey.

Mark Palmer
Mark Palmer
Starting in November, Champaign attorney Mark C. Palmer will join the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism as its full-time Professionalism Counsel. While he will maintain an office at the Commission’s Chicago office, he primarily will be based in Champaign and serve the entire State.

Palmer will lead the development and delivery of programs state-wide on promoting integrity, professionalism and civility among Illinois lawyers and judges on behalf of the Illinois Supreme Court. His role will include collaborating with law schools, bar associations, courts, civic and lay organizations in addressing matters of professionalism, ethics, and public understanding of the legal profession.

Prior to joining the Commission, Palmer was in private practice at the Champaign law firm Evans, Froehlich, Beth & Chamley where his law practice focused on areas including commercial litigation, municipal law, banking law, and creditor’s rights, among others. He represented private and appointed clients in both civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts.

Palmer will continue his work as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law in its trial advocacy program and as a Trial Teams’ Coach since 2009. Additionally, he will stay on as an Instructor for the University of Illinois Police Training Institute where he has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers in Illinois on topics such as use of force and police liability.

John Daly
John Daly
John Patrick Daly, 66, of Champaign passed away at 2:39 p.m. Friday (Oct. 16, 2015) at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

A memorial Mass will be at 11 a. m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, at St. Mary's Church, 612 E. Park St, Champaign. A luncheon will be held after the service. Visitation will be from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Renner-Wikoff Chapel, 1900 S. Philo Road, Urbana. A private burial will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery.

John was born in Evergreen Park on Dec. 17, 1948, to parents William James and Jean Elizabeth (Carlson) Daly. On Aug. 24, 1973, John married Barbara Jones in Champaign. She survives. Also surviving is his mother, Jean of Champaign; son, Christopher Daly (Charlene Wahl) of Carbondale; brothers, William J. Daly Jr. (Diane) of Savoy and Timothy C. Daly (Kay) of Champaign; his sister, Carla M. Zych (Rob) of Champaign; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

His father, William, preceded him in death.

John was a graduate of Thornridge High School in Cook County. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, he attended Illinois State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. John was a Champaign police officer for 10 years. He returned to school in 1983 receiving a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in 1985. He served as an assistant state's attorney for Champaign County for 15 years, retiring in 2001. John was a member of the Champaign County Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association.

James Cummings
James Cummings
James Allen Cummings, age 84, of Peoria passed away at 10:22 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, surrounded by his family.

Born April 22, 1931, in LaSalle-Peru, Ill., he was the son of Florence Herberger-Lindner. On Sept. 6, 1952, James married the love of his life, Gail Mary Michael, at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Peoria.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management, as well as his Juris Doctorate, from the University of Illinois.

James served on the Peoria Park District board for more than 40 years was an active member and past president of the Peoria Republican Party and was head of the Peoria Diocese Council of Catholic Men. James also was a member of the Knights of Columbus St. Jude Council 4333, past president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Downtown Kiwanis Club. He was head of the U of I Newman Club, head of the U of I Ethics Committee and founder of the Lincoln Statue Committee and the Lincoln Award Committee.

James was a brilliant attorney and an avid and excellent bridge player who enjoyed golfing, fishing, antiquing and auctions. He will be remembered for his love of dogs, enjoying long Sunday drives and being an Abraham Lincoln expert.

James Kane has joined the Peoria, Ill. Law firm of Johnson, Bunce & Noble, P.C. Kane is a nearly 40 year attorney, focusing in real estate, estate, and business transactions.

Competent representation not only requires legal knowledge, skill, and preparation, but also requires you to keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with technology. Don’t miss this program in Springfield on October 9, 2015 that’s designed to give you the individualized, personal, hands-on computer training you need that’s directly applicable to the practice of law! Attorneys lacking basic computer skills who attend this seminar will better understand: how to use computer hardware, including the keyboard and mouse; how to create documents in Microsoft Word; how to create an email account and what to do with it once it’s created; the dangers of opening attachments and spam; using the Internet for your online legal research; the importance of converting documents to PDF; how to safeguard yourself and your practice against the dangers of advanced technology; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Senior Lawyers Division and co-sponsored Young Lawyers Division. It qualifies for 3.50 hours MCLE credit, including 3.50 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.


Phyllis Jean Beverly, 62, of Glenarm, died at 8:12 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015, at her home.

Phyllis was born June 17, 1953, in Springfield, Ill., the daughter of Gerald and Elsie Wallsten Heckler. She married Thomas E. Beverly on Feb. 15, 1980, at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield.

Phyllis worked at The Apple Barn in Chatham for over 20 years. Prior to that, she worked 17 years for the Attorney General. She had also been employed by the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Medical Society. Phyllis was a member, past deacon, elder, and Sunday school teacher at First Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed flowers and gardening, being outside, and spending time with her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents and one son, Stephen G. Beverly.

Phyllis is survived by her husband, Thomas E. Beverly of Glenarm; four children: April Bridges of Bloomington, Thomas (Carmen) Beverly of Chatham, Heather (Jason) Konzelmann of Georgia, and Dylan Beverly of Glenarm; eight grandchildren: Shelby, Jayden, Nathan, and Katrina Beverly, Keegan and Summer Bridges, and Carly and Audrey Konzelmann; three sisters: Nancy Schwermin of Springfield, Cheryl (Victor) Linderman of Glenarm, and Joyce Padget (Bill Peters) of Chatham; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services have been held. Please visit boardmansmith.com to offer your condolences.

Gary Cline
Gary Cline
Gary L. Cline, 59, of Franklin, passed away on Saturday, September 5, 2015, at Memorial Medical Hospital in Springfield.

He was born on May 23, 1956, to George and Mary Louise Kaiser Cline. In 1978, Gary married his high school sweetheart, Linda Bergschneider, and she survives. Together they raised their three children, John Cline of Austin, Texas, Nicholas (Mallory) Cline of Evanston, and Elizabeth Cline at home. He is also survived by three sisters, Cathy (Dave) Rhea of Waverly, Connie Fairless of Jacksonville, and Carol (Robert) Seymour of Franklin. He loved his family, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many nieces and nephews.

Gary earned a bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois. He was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in 1981 and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 1985. He was a past president of the Sangamon County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and a member of the ISBA Assembly, Lincoln-Douglas Inns of Court, and Trial Lawyers Association. Gary joined Rammelkamp Bradney as a partner in 2002. Gary also taught a business law class at Illinois College.

Gary’s service to the community laid a foundation for pieces of his children’s lives. He spent many years serving on the Franklin CUSD #1 school board, as a scout leader, and a cross-country coach. In the past several years he, donated countless hours volunteering for Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County both locally and internationally.

Gary was generous with his time and skills. He always saw the best in the world around him and worked to see it realized.