Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Central Illinois

The Illinois State Bar Association is seeking “Ask A Lawyer Day” volunteers for two shifts on Saturday, April 28, at the Illinois Bar Center in Springfield, 424 S. Second Street. The first shift runs from 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and the second shift runs from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Please consider volunteering to help the public with their legal questions and, at the same time, enhance the image of the profession.

Each year, to recognize and celebrate Law Day, the Illinois State Bar Association sponsors “Ask A Lawyer Day,” a day during which volunteers respond to telephone calls from the public and answer general legal questions free of charge. This is a state-wide public relations effort that receives considerable attention from the public and the media.

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete and return the form provided below to Tracy Potter.  You can send it any of the following ways:

Jay M. Hanson
Jay M. Hanson
Jay McCartney Hanson, 71, of Geneseo, passed away at home Jan. 30, 2012, after a courageous battle of several months duration.

Jay was born on Sept. 27, 1940, in rural Hillsdale, the son of J. McCartney "Pete" Hanson and Eleanor Dailey Hanson. He was raised in rural Hillsdale and attended Hillsdale schools. Jay graduated from Geneseo High School in 1958. He attended Lawrence College in Appleton, Wis., and Mexico City College and graduated from the University of Idaho in 1962 and the University of Idaho College Law in 1965. Jay was united in marriage to Judy Bond in 1963.

He began his law career in Geneseo and, in 1969, he was appointed as the youngest circuit magistrate in the state of Illinois; less than a year later, Jay was appointed associate judge of the circuit court. In 1976, he ran for and was elected to a full circuit judgeship in the 14th Judicial Circuit; he left in 1982 to practice law in Thompson Falls, Mont. Jay returned to Illinois in 1986 and ran again for circuit judge, serving until his retirement in 2000.

Survivors include his wife, Judy; four daughters, Jennifer (David) Squire, Baraboo, Wis., Mari Hanson, Fountain Hills, Ariz., Sarah (David) Humphreys, Pensacola, Fla., Kristina (Eric) Misfeldt, Geneseo; grandchildren, Sarah Grant, Tuesday Grant, Paige Squire, Sophia Squire, Signe Anna Squire, Brittany Frus, Kristina Humphreys, Zach Humphreys, Drake Misfeldt, Eleanor Misfeldt, Zane Misfeldt; sisters, Kathleen Hanson, Cottonwood, Ariz., and Priscilla Middleton, Sarasota, Fla.

Karen Hasara
Karen Hasara
The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Karen Hasara of Springfield, Illinois, to serve as a Commissioner of the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC). The ARDC is the Supreme Court agency that has administrative authority over more than 90,000 Illinois lawyers and investigates allegations of attorney misconduct.

Ms. Hasara, a non-lawyer, has a long history of public service in this state, beginning in 1975 when she was elected to serve on the Sangamon County Board. From 1980 through 1986, she was the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County. In 1986, Ms. Hasara was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, where she served the 100th District, until being elected to the Illinois Senate in the newly formed 50th Legislative District in 1992. In 1995, she was elected the Mayor of Springfield, the first woman ever to hold that office. She was re-elected in 1999 and served until her term ended in 2003. She currently serves as a Trustee of the Springfield Mass Transit District.

Ms. Hasara is a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of Illinois, the Board of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, and is active with the World Affairs Council of Central Illinois, the Rotary Club of Springfield, and the University of Illinois at Springfield Advisory Committee.

The law firm of Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen announces that five attorneys have become partners with the firm: Renee Monfort, Jana Brady, Michael Denning, Heidi Ruckman, and Patrick Cloud.

Renee Monfort began practicing law in 1990. She joined Heyl Royster’s Urbana office in 2009. Her practice focuses on the defense of healthcare providers and other professionals in professional liability litigation. She provides general counsel to individual health care professionals, multi-specialty clinics and hospitals on administrative, policy and risk management matters. Her practice also includes representation of clients in administrative proceedings before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

Jana Brady joined the firm’s Rockford office following graduation from law school in 2003. She focuses her practice on the defense of civil litigation and federal practice, particularly in the context of employment law, civil rights, medical malpractice, correctional medicine, insurance coverage, school law, and nursing home cases, and further practices in the areas of health care law and creditors' rights in the context of lien adjudication.

Michael Denning was a summer associate for the firm’s Peoria office and served as Senior Law Clerk to Justice Tom Lytton of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District prior to joining Heyl Royster’s Rockford office in 2004. He concentrates his practice in civil litigation, including defense medical malpractice and nursing home litigation; auto, premises and trucking litigation; and the defense of toxic tort and asbestos claims.

John C. Hedrich, 80, of Las Vegas, Nev., formerly of Princeton, died Jan. 6, 2012, in Las Vegas.

Mr. Hedrich was born Feb. 23, 1931, in Tiskilwa to Arthur W. and Mabel (Steimle) Hedrich.

He graduated from Tiskilwa High School in 1949, the University of Illinois in 1953, and the University of Illinois School of Law in 1955. He served two years in the U.S. Navy before starting his law practice in Princeton in 1957.

He was a magistrate of the circuit court from 1961-1964, an assistant state’s attorney from 1964-1968 and the Bureau County Public Defender from 1992-1994. He served for years as attorney for St. Louis Catholic Church and the village of Tiskilwa. He was a member of Bureau County Bar Association, including a term as president, and was a member and officer of numerous civic and private organizations, including the Knights of Columbus, Jaycees, Elks Club, Rotary Club, and Bureau Valley Country Club.

He was the last owner of the historic American House Hotel. He retired from the practice of law in 1998.

Survivors include his wife, Chung; five children, Susan Wallace of River Forest, Richard of Henderson, Nev., James of Norcross, Ga., Mary Katherine (Stacy) Pomonis of Champaign and John (Jane Chadesh) of Oak Park; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one brother, Richard of Atlantic Beach, Fla.; nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews; and his first wife, Ann Hanak.

He was preceded in death by one brother, Arthur W. Hedrich Jr.

Memorials may be directed to St. Louis Church.

Adam J. Lagocki
Adam J. Lagocki
Adam J. Lagocki, 34, of Peoria passed away at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in Lacon.

He was born on Nov. 7, 1977, in Bloomington, the son of Dr. James and Janet Lagocki. He married Angie Speck on June 26, 2004, in Peoria.

Adam is survived by his wife; two children, Addison (4) and Andrew (1); his parents; a sister; and countless loving friends.

Adam graduated from St. Thomas Grade School, Peoria Notre Dame (1996), Indiana University (1996 to 2000) and the University of Illinois Law School (2000 to 2003).

Adam shared his enjoyment of life with everyone he met.

His interests included cheering for Indiana University Hoosiers, golf, fantasy football, being a lifelong Jimmy Buffett fan, movie or music trivia and weekend brunches with the kids.

Adam was a respected member of the legal community. His professionalism and dedication earned local and statewide recognition. He was active in the Peoria County Bar Association, Abraham Lincoln American Inn of Court and the Greater Peoria Claims Association. He also was a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and American Bar Association.

Adam was a loving husband, father, son, brother and friend and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Please visit Adam's story at

Memorial contribution checks should be made out to Edward Jones. Sent to Edward Jones, 8500 N. Knoxville, Suite F, Peoria, IL 61615-2079, in care of Addison and Drew.

Edward Allen Verchota III, a resident of Champaign, passed away Thursday (Jan. 12, 2012) in Champaign.

Mr. Verchota was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Paris, Ill.

Mr. Verchota graduated from Champaign Central High School in 1979. He earned his B.A. from the University of Illinois in 1983 and a juris doctorate from Mississippi College School of Law in 1987.

Allen was admitted to practice law in the state of Illinois in 1988 and was a respected attorney in the Champaign-Urbana area, specializing in litigation and personal injury law.

Allen loved spending time with his son, playing golf and traveling, especially enjoying warm weather, going to the beach and taking cruises.

He also was an avid University of Illinois sports fan and an active participant in a local investment club. Allen's life was ended far too soon by complications from liver disease and alcoholism; another gifted and much loved individual's life cut short by addiction.

A private memorial service will be held for family and close friends. Allen will be greatly missed by all.

Mr. Verchota is survived by his son; his wife, Kristen Conley Verchota of Savoy; his parents, Judy and George Bryan of Champaign and Edward Allen Verchota Jr. of Paris; one brother, Michael (Kara) Verchota of Monticello; four sisters, Valari Verchota (Richard) Dillingham of Monticello, Anne Bryan (Paul) Peebles of Houston, Texas, Melissa Bryan (Thomas Harrison Jr.) of Berwyn and Brandi Verchota (Rich) Temples of High Ridge, Mo.; as well as five nieces and four nephews. He is further survived by other relatives and many dear friends.

ISBA President-elect John E. Thies recently gave a speech to representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Justice who were visiting the University of Illinois.

He covered several topics including: an overview of the ISBA; the range and purpose of U.S. bar associations and the services they provide; the regulation of the legal profession; the licensing of lawyers; the accreditation of law schools (and the education of law students); minimum continuing legal education; legal aid; and limited scope representation.

Group leader Mr. Ma Chi (photo at right) presented President-elect Thies with a lovely rolled print as a token of the delegation's appreciation. Ma Chi serves as the Vice Deputy Chief Judge from Gansu Province.

Philip C. Wherry
Philip C. Wherry
Philip Comstock Wherry, 72, of Chicago, died Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, from complications due to Parkinson’s disease.

He was born in 1939 in Pekin, to Dr. Roland C. and Miriam Platt Wherry. He was raised in Pekin.

His parents preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife, Cookie; his daughter, Chandler; his brother, Richard (Nancy) Wherry; and a loving circle of family and friends.

He was educated at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; and graduated from the University of Miami, where he met “the love of his life” and future wife, Helen “Cookie” Reichert.

After moving to Chicago and graduating from IIT Kent College of Law, Philip became a senior clerk to the late Federal Judge Julius J. Hoffman in Chicago. He became an associate at the law firm of Winston & Strawn before founding the firm of Abrams & Wherry, which specialized in business litigation, both in Chicago.

Philip had a life-long devotion to the community and historic preservation. He worked closely with Burt Natarus, former alderman of the 42nd Ward, to achieve down-zoning of the Near North Side of Chicago. For 30 years, Philip was involved with the North Dearborn Association, ultimately serving seven terms as its president. He was a co-founder of the Near North Preservation Coalition, which helped retain the beauty of that neighborhood.

The Peoria, Illinois law firm of Johnson, Bunce & Noble, P.C. is pleased to announce that Patrick T. Chambers and Susan Dawson-Tibbits have become shareholders in the firm.

Chambers has practiced law since 1978, having graduated with honors from Chicago Kent Law School. He primarily practices in the areas of real estate, title insurance, estate planning, probate, and unemployment benefits.

Dawson-Tibbits has practiced law since 1979, having graduated from the University of Michigan Law School. A member of the Illinois State Bar Association Elder Law Section Council, the Board of Directors of the Central Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and other related organizations for many years, she concentrates her practice in elder law, advanced directives, guardianships, long-term care advice, and other issues involving the elderly.

Johnson, Bunce & Noble, P.C. is a Central Illinois law firm primarily focusing in: business law, real estate, estate planning/probate, elder law, taxation, creditors’ rights, and related litigation.