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Chicago Area

ISBA member Joshua J. Muench recently became a partner in the firm Stellato & Schwartz, concentrating in general tort litigation. Mr. Muench is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Susan T. Bart
Susan T. Bart
ISBA member Susan T. Bart recently joined Schiff Hardin LLP in Chicago as a partner in the Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Group.

Ms. Bart's practice focuses on estate and gift tax planning, trust and estate administration, charitable planning, and fiduciary counsel. Her clients include wealthy individuals and families, family business owners, corporate executives, banks and trust companies, trustees and executors, and private foundations.

Susan is a fellow, regent, and former Illinois state chair of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the leading national association for trust and estate lawyers. She was the Reporter of the Uniform Trust Decanting Act, which is now being enacted in several states. She has also been active in Illinois trust law legislation.

A recognized industry thought leader, Susan has written extensively on trust and estate law topics with more than 30 published articles and two books. She has lectured to professional groups around the country, such as the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning (University of Miami), ACTEC, the Notre Dame Trust & Estate Planning Institute, ALI-ABA, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), and the American Bankers Association.

Four members from Fischel & Kahn, Ltd. were tapped for leadership roles within the association.

“Fischel & Kahn has always been an active supporter of the ISBA and the tremendous work it does to advance the practice of law in Illinois,” said David Inlander, a principal at Fischel & Kahn. “We are proud to have so many of our attorneys involved in guiding and shaping the Section Councils that drive its more than 30,000 members.”

Bob Kaufman has been named chair of the ISBA’s Trust & Estate Section Council, which has the goal of reviewing current, and producing new legislation regarding probate, trust and estate planning matters

David Inlander has been named vice chair of the ISBA’s Bench & Bar Section Council, which advocates for cooperation between judges and the practicing bar members for a more effective justice system.

Deborah Soehlig has been named secretary of the ISBA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section Council, which strives to provide innovative substitutes to the conventional litigation procedures.

Ronald Menna has been named Secretary of the ISBA’s Civil Practice and Procedure Section Council, which aims to provide the professional skills and amplify knowledge of practicing attorneys in the civil law system.

Daniel A. Weiler, 68, of Elgin, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 3, 2017 after living courageously with ALS for nine years. Dan was born in Oak Park, IL to George and Bernice Weiler on October 19, 1948. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary North High School, graduating in 1966. He went on to attend Niles College Seminary and Loyola University, graduating in 1970. Dan earned his J.D. from John Marshall Law School in 1976, and spent his career as an attorney at Law in Elgin.

He was a forty year member of the Elgin Lions Club, and among his many volunteer works throughout that time were his service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin, his service on the City of Elgin Planning and Zoning Commission, and his service as the chairman of the Catholic Foundation for the People of the Diocese of Rockford.

Dan is preceded in death by his Mother, Bernice Weiler; Father, George Weiler; and nephew Stephen Villeneuve. Dan is survived by his wife, Carol Weiler of Elgin; children Michael (Jocelyn) Weiler of Elgin, Sarah (Bob Mullenbach) Weiler of Denver, CO; grandchildren Abe, Grace, Ava, Cole, Emily, Marcus, Levi, and Annie; siblings Martha (Dan) Meyer, Marian (Vic) Villeneuve, Anne (Joe) Koron, Tom (Lynn) Weiler, and Gerry (Ellen) Weiler; several beloved nieces and nephews; and his beloved caregiver Rashana Robertson. 

Patrick J. Kelly, 65, of Riverside, beloved husband of Kimellen Chamberlain; loving father of Sean & Meaghan Kelly; devoted son of Frances & the late Edward; fond brother of Steven (Teri) , Edward (Laura), Michael (Cathy), Gerlyn (James) Delaney & Tim (Carrie) Kelly; uncle of many. Proud SGT USMC & Distinguished Cook County State's Attorney.

Calvin Kirsh, 80, beloved husband of Lois nee Levin for nearly 60 years; loving father of Pamela Kirsh (Maher Lutfallah), Allen (Jodi) Kirsh and Linda (David) Glick; cherished Pa of Erin, Cole, Corey, Kyra and Carli; devoted son of the late Esther and Paul Kirsh; dear brother of the late Sanford (Winnie) Kirsh; fond brother-in-law of Arlene Levin and Sam Levin; adored uncle of many nieces and nephews. Calvin was a prominent Cicero attorney for over 40 years. He will be missed by everyone he touched.

Anthony J. Fornelli
Anthony J. Fornelli
Anthony J. Fornelli passwed away on June 28, 2017. He was the beloved husband of the late Angela (nee Favia) Fornelli, for 59 years.

Fornelli was the past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers and grandfather of Natalie Petric, Justinian 2nd Vice President. Tony was a founding member and chair of Casa Italia, the Italian American Political Coalition, and the Italian American Veterans Museum. He served as past president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, UNICO National, and publisher of Fra Noi.

Valentine Austriaco & Bueschel, P.C., a law firm formed last year by seasoned attorneys and ISBA Susan Valentine, Lydia Bueschel, and another attorney, has established its practice in commercial litigation and real estate matters. The firm has already experienced significant growth, adding new client engagements, and hiring its sixth attorney in May.

Operating from newly remodeled and expanded offices at 105 W. Adams, VAB also recently became certified as a women-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and was admitted for membership in the National Association of Minority and Women-Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF.)

“We’re excited about the growth we’ve seen in less than a year both in terms of new engagements and additional attorneys whom we’ve added to support our growing client base,” said shareholder Susan Valentine. “And, we’re thrilled to be certified as a women-owned business and to be admitted to NAMWOLF membership. In addition to serving our clients with excellence, one of our core values is to provide employment opportunities for women and minorities, and we are committed to the advancement, promotion, and recognition of minorities and women.”

Josette C. Allen
Josette C. Allen
ISBA member Josette C. Allen recently joined Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC after having operated her own family law practice in Naperville, Illinois.

Ms. Allen will continue that focus as an associate attorney with the firm, and she brings over twelve years of experience handling family law matters. She can handle complex financial litigation and is a court approved guardian ad litem on behalf of children of divorce.

Ms. Allen was formerly employed by the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., a family law practice in Wheaton, Illinois. She has experience in school law involving special education matters as a due process hearing officer with the Illinois State Board of Education and has served as the Chair of the DuPage County Bar Association School Law Committee. She has criminal litigation experience as a public defender for DuPage County.

Ms. Allen received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University in 1989 and a juris doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law in 1992. She was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in 1992 and is also a member of the DuPage County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, American Bar Association, and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.


Mediation is designed to resolve differences both in and out of the courts. It requires a very different mindset than courtroom litigation. This week-long Master Series program, which runs from October 16, 2017 – October 20, 2017 in Chicago, trains practitioners to resolve conflicts in a non-adversarial, non-confrontational manner, allowing peaceful resolutions between parties.

The program is taught by Richard Calkins and Fred Lane—two nationally recognized mediators, authors and educators. Until 20 years ago, both Mr. Calkins and Mr. Lane were well-known and highly regarded litigators. Since then, however, they have successfully mediated over 5,000 cases. They are co-authors of the “Lane & Calkins Mediation Practice Guide.” [The “Lane & Calkins Mediation Practice Guide” is included with the purchase of this program.] They are co-founders of the International Academy of Dispute Resolution, which was established in 2001. The academy offers courses in mediation methods and techniques, and also conducts national and international mediation competitions for students in undergraduate school and law school. For more information about the academy, visit www.inadr.org

Click here for more information and to register.