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Central Illinois

Richard W. Paterson
Richard W. Paterson
Richard W. Paterson, 84, of Champaign passed away Dec. 10, 2011, surrounded by his wife and children.

He was born Jan. 25, 1927, in Champaign to Harold and Dolly (Webb) Paterson. He attended Champaign schools, graduating from Champaign High in 1945. After serving in the Army, he returned to Champaign to earn a law degree from the University of Illinois. He was an attorney in the community for 52 years.

Richard is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marietta Ripley Paterson, and his sister, Bonnie McLauthlin of Denver, Colo. Richard and Marietta have three daughters, Nancy Strang (David), Mary Kaminsky (Lenny), and Martha Henss (Mark). Their beloved grandchildren are Emma and Jake Henss, Maggie Henss Jones, Tucker, Cameron and Shelby Strang, and Bonnie and Lauren Kaminsky. Richard was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Norman Paterson.

Brian C. Silverman, 68, of Champaign passed away on Nov. 23, 2011 following a long illness.

He was born in Chicago on Aug. 2, 1943, the son of Mary (Cutler) and Isadore Silverman.

Brian graduated from DePaul University Law School. He became a Cook County assistant public defender, eventually serving as head of the Juvenile Division.

In 1979, he moved to Champaign to become the first full-time public defender of Champaign County. After leaving the Public Defender's Office, Brian had a private practice specializing in criminal defense and family law.

Brian loved the Champaign-Urbana community. He was generous in giving back to it through donations and public service, including providing free legal representation to people in need. He was also a longtime supporter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

An active Republican, Brian served as a precinct committeeman and loved talking politics with anyone who was willing. He was a frequent guest on "Penny for your Thoughts."

A lifelong sports fan, Brian bled Illini Orange and Blue and was always happy supporting Chicago's sports teams. His beloved Cubs often disappointed him, but he never lost his enthusiasm for every one of their games. He often joked that being a Cubs fan prepared him to be a public defender because he was used to losing.

Despite his disabilities in later life, Brian was a model of courage and determination, continuing to be an active part of the legal community.

Underneath his sometimes misunderstood exterior, at the end of the day his friends and family would tell you that his heart and loyalty were unparalleled.

Hugh A. Strickland, 80, died on Oct. 26, 2011, at the Jerseyville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after a lengthy illness.

Born May 3, 1931, in Rockford, Ill., he was the son of the late Marie Elmer Johnson and Hugh A. Strickland.

Mr. Strickland graduated from Senn High School in Chicago and received a bachelor's degree from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. While at Knox, he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He graduated in 1953. He received his JD from the Chicago Kent College of Law in 1959. He was a U.S. Army Veteran during the Korean Conflict and served from 1953 to 1955.

Mr. Strickland was a partner in the law firm McDonald, Strickland & Clough in Carrollton until his recent retirement. He was certified by the Illinois Bar Association in 1960. He was a charter member of the Illinois Bar Foundation, a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Greene County Bar Association, the Southwestern Bar Association, the Illinois Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. He was very civic-minded, serving on the Greene County Welfare Services Committee and the Illinois Heart Association Board. He was also a trustee and past president of the Thomas H. Boyd Memorial Hospital, and past president and member of the Long Lake Association in Vilas County, Wis. He was a member of the Elks, Westlake Country Club in Jerseyville and the Big Sand Lake Club in Phelps, Wis.

He married the former Donna McDonald on Aug. 11, 1956, in Carrollton. She survives him.

Leroy A. Ufkes
Leroy A. Ufkes
Attorney LeRoy A. Ufkes, 88, of Carthage died at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, at Memorial Hospital in Carthage, Ill.

He was born Sept. 8, 1923, in Bear Creek Township, Hancock County, Ill., the son of Fred J. and Tena M. Johnson Ufkes. On Dec. 28, 1956, he married Joan Aleshire at St. Paul Catholic Church in Macomb, Ill.

He attended Basco High School for three years, graduating from Carthage High School in 1940. He received his bachelor's degree from Carthage College in Carthage, Ill. He attended Texas Tech College in Lubbock, Texas, and Louisiana State University in engineering and received his Juris Doctorate with honors from the University of Iowa Law School in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1950.

He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army and served in Italy in World War II.

He served on numerous state commissions including the Commission for the Status of Women, Guardianship and Advocacy Commission and Illinois Court of Claims. He was Special Assistant Attorney General for more than 10 years with the state of Illinois, served an interim term in the Illinois state Legislature, was a member of Hancock County Bar Association, an Illinois delegate for numerous Republican National Conventions, and director of the boards of Farmers State Bank of Ferris, Union Bank of Carthage and Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home. He was a charter member of the Carthage VFW.

Ralph J. Coletta, 89, of Peoria died at 5:25 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, at Methodist Medical Center.

Born Dec. 13, 1921, in Chillicothe to Cesidio and Assunta Aromatario Coletta, he married Ethel Mary Meyers Nov. 19, 1949, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Peoria. She survives.

Also surviving are four daughters and two sons, Jeanie Caskey (Barry Stortz) and Michele (Dan) Smith and Robert (Valencia) Coletta, all of Peoria, Marianne (Pete) Hoener of Austin, Texas, Suzanne (Vince) Kennedy of Barrington, and Joseph (Debra) of Highland Park; 14 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren.

One daughter, Renee Joers; one brother, John; and one grandson; preceded him in death.

He was a World War II Army veteran, a graduate of the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga., and was commissioned as a second and first lieutenant of Infantry. He served in the South Pacific Theater of Operations. After the Japanese surrendered, he served with the United States Army of Occupation in Japan as an Intelligence officer with the general headquarters of Gen. Douglas MacArthur as a Japanese language interpreter. He also served the Fifth Army headquarters General Courts-Martial at Fort Sheridan, Ill., and as a reserve officer in 1948-49.

He was a graduate of Chillicothe Grade School; Peoria High School; earned a bachelor’s degree from Bradley Polytechnic Institute, now Bradley University; and earned his doctorate in law from the University of Chicago Law School in 1949 after military service and passed his bar examination in that year.

On Wednesday, October 5, the McLean County Bar Association Mentoring Program held an orientation for its first class of new lawyers and mentors. The MCBA Mentoring Program was created to pair attorneys new to the practice with those more experienced in order to supplement their legal education with practical advice and counseling. The program has been approved by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism ( 

The Mentoring Committee accepts mentor and mentee applications and personally matches each pair based on their qualifications. Mentoring relationships last one year and encompass a wide variety of personal topics including legal ethics, civility, and wellness, and professional topics such as law practice management and effective client communication. Both mentors and mentees who complete the requirements of the program will receive six hours of ethics CLE credit. The program was able to match nine new lawyers with experienced attorneys in the county.  This represents a participation rate of well over 50 percent. The MCBA anticipates a successful year ahead and thanks its mentors and new lawyers for their participation and enthusiasm.

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride delivered the plenary speech to a packed house on Friday morning at the Illinois State Bar Association's Solo and Small Firm Conference in Springfield. The Chief Justice detailed his rise from legal aid lawyer to solo practioner to the Supreme Court.

Kilbride detailed his start as a young lawyer making $14,000 a year in 1981 at the Legal Aid clinic in Rock Island. He represented workers laid off during the early 80s recession from local factories.

Kilbride left the clinic to join a small law firm in 1987. He did insurance defense work and made partner, but became unhappy with the long hours and lack of control. He left and went out on his own in 1993.

He applied for associate judge three times, losing out each time. He finally won a much larger seat in 2000, joining the Illinois Supreme Court.

News and notes from Chief Justice Kilbride:

  1. He switched from a BlackBerry to an iPhone 4S (yesterday)
  2. Yellow page ads worked great for him (though he admits this was pre-2000)
  3. Make your clients happy; then ask them to refer their friends and family
  4. A law office in a prominent location may not be a good thing (some people want anonymity when seeing a lawyer)
  5. Some people correctly say he is "all screwed up" (he required 36 screws for injuries suffered in a biking accident)

Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase, will kick off the Illinois State Bar Association's Solo and Small Firm Conference on Thursday morning with "Fastcase: Introduction to Legal Research Training." Walters will take continue after that program with "Fastcase: Advanced Legal Research Training 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m."

Conference registration is now available on-site only.

Visit the Conference website for information about the Registration Pricing, Meal/Social Functions, and more.

Both of these programs provide 1.0 hour MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour approved

Solo Small Firm Conference
Solo Small Firm Conference

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
The Illinois State Bar Association will present the 7th Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference from Oct. 27-29 at the Springfield Hilton. Last chance to catch the Conference in Springfield before it moves to a new location! Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride will be the featured plenary speaker. Earn up to 12 hours of MCLE credit, including all 6 hours of PMCLE credit. “Get Connected” to your peers, the latest in technology, and current practice updates at this year’s Conference.

    Conference registration is online only at

    Discounted pricing until Oct. 24: $350 ISBA Member ($400 onsite) /$650 Non-Member ($700 onsite)

    Visit the Conference website for information about the Registration Pricing, Meal/Social Functions, and more.

    The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that William A. Yoder received a majority of the votes cast by the circuit judges in the 11th Judicial Circuit and is declared to be appointed to the office of associate judge.

    Mr. Yoder received his undergraduate degree in 1982 from Purdue University and his Juris Doctor in 1985 from John Marshall Law School. Mr. Yoder is currently affiliated with the McLean County State's Attorney's Office in Bloomington.