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

Chicago Area

Matthew G. Shaw
Matthew G. Shaw
Attorney Matt Shaw is proud to announce the opening of Shaw Family Law, P.C. in St. Charles, Illinois. The Kane County family law firm is located at 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 105, St. Charles, Illinois 60174.

St. Charles Divorce Lawyer Matthew G. Shaw is the founding partner of Shaw Family Law, P.C. He brings 30 years of legal experience to his family law practice, and he was formerly a founding partner at the law firm of Shaw, Jacobs, Goostree & Associates, P.C.

The State of Illinois Supreme Court recently appointed personal injury attorney, Stephan D. Blandin, to another one year-commitment on the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) hearing board, effective March 1, 2016. Founding partner and principal at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, Mr. Blandin has served on the ARDC’s hearing board for five years. He is one of more than 75 hearing board members who will make recommendations in disciplinary matters of lawyers in Illinois throughout the next year.

“I am honored to be a part of the ARDC for the fifth year in a row,” said Mr. Blandin. "Preserving the integrity of the legal profession and ensuring that the Illinois public can trust in our legal system is of the utmost importance.”

All hearing board activities are guaranteed confidentiality during all grievance investigations for Blandin, while disciplinary actions are adjudicated publicly. The ARDC board members are comprised of volunteer lawyers and non-lawyers who work under the direct supervision of the Chair of the Commission, James R. Mendillo. The ARDC operates under the authority of the Supreme Court, which regulates the admission and discipline of lawyers in Illinois.

Governor Bruce Rauner has reappointed Peter J. Birnbaum to a six-year term on the Illinois Court of Claims. Birnbaum, a judge on the Court since 2004 and Chief Justice since 2015, retains his role as president and CEO of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG®, http://www.atgf.com/).

The Illinois Court of Claims was established by the legislature in 1889 as a forum of limited jurisdiction to render decisions on monetary claims and lawsuits against the state. Birnbaum is one of seven judges on the Court of Claims. They are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Illinois Senate. “I am honored by Governor Rauner’s continuing confidence in me to lead and serve on a court that plays an integral role in determining the rights and responsibilities of the state and its citizens,” Birnbaum said.

During his tenure, Birnbaum has provided leadership for the court in a number of areas, for example, cases involving soldiers killed in the line of duty. He also has authored several significant opinions including a case involving a State Trooper who killed two young girls while he was texting and driving at reckless speeds.

John E. Thies
John E. Thies
Attorney John E. Thies, a shareholder at Webber & Thies, P.C., in Urbana, and past President of the Illinois State Bar Association was installed as the Chair of the Board of Directors for ISBA Mutual Insurance Company on March 18, 2016.

ISBA Mutual provides malpractice insurance to Illinois lawyers.

As Chair, Thies said, he will continue the ISBA Mutual’s commitment to helping Illinois lawyers achieve the highest professional standards and guard against professional liability.

“The availability of ISBA Mutual insurance is one of the most significant ISBA benefits. All the lawyers of our state owe a debt to the ISBA leaders who had the foresight to create this company in the interest of lawyers and their clients. I am delighted to serve as chair, and together with our board and staff, look forward to a strong year.”

Chicago Disability Attorney Jonathan L. Pearson
Chicago Disability Attorney Jonathan L. Pearson
Attorney Jonathan L. Pearson, managing attorney at Pearson Disability Law, LLC announces the opening of four new Chicago area law offices.

The new office locations are in Downers Grove at 1431 Opus Place, Suite 110; in Evanston, at 1603 Orrington Avenue, Suite 600; in Orland Park at 15255 S. 94th Avenue, 5th Floor; and in Schaumburg at 1821 Walden Office Square, Suite 400.

Pearson Disability Law, LLC is dedicated to helping individuals obtain Social Security disability benefits. The firm provides personalized and skilled representation to every client with all aspects of Social Security disability claims, regardless of the complexity of their case or where they are in the complex application process.

Kimberly A. Davis
Kimberly A. Davis
E. Angelo Spyratos
E. Angelo Spyratos
Experienced civil litigation attorneys E. Angelo Spyratos and Kimberly A. Davis recently launched SpyratosDavis LLC, an independent law firm serving individuals and businesses in commercial and civil litigation, claims and lawsuits for money damages, and family law.  

Spyratos and Davis enjoy a rich professional bond as they have practiced together for more than 16 years with a focus on civil litigation. The founders bring over 40 years of combined experience practicing law. Designed for speed, responsiveness, and resolution, the new firm opens with eleven experienced attorneys formerly from a DuPage County-based law firm. To better serve clients, SpyratosDavis has offices located in both suburban DuPage County (Lisle) and downtown Chicago. SpyratosDavis provides informed, tailored, and efficient representation to individuals and businesses for claims and lawsuits across counties in the upper third of Illinois.

Kelley Kronenberg, a full-service law firm, has announced that Bruce E. de’Medici joined as Of Counsel in the firm’s Chicago office. Mr. de’Medici has more than 30 years of experience in commercial finance transactions, corporate restructuring, and insolvency proceedings.   

Among his diverse client base, Mr. de’Medici represents business enterprises, financial institutions, lessors, secured and commercial creditors, assignees for the benefit of creditors, and bankruptcy trustees in all facets of bankruptcy litigation and reorganization.

The Nominating Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County today announced its selection of the 26 candidates who will seek appointment to 13 associate judge vacancies by vote of the circuit judges.

“The Nominating Committee worked diligently to ensure that any one of these 26 individuals will be an asset to the bench if ultimately elected by the circuit judges,” Chief Judge Evans said, adding that the process also examined applicants’ bar ratings, career achievements, and whether they could be fair and impartial adjudicators.

“Given that all of the candidates received positive ratings from the bar associations, I am confident that our new associate judges will be ready to hit the ground running in the Circuit Court of Cook County,” Chief Judge Evans said.

The Nominating Committee is made up of the following circuit judges:

The Circuit Court of Cook County is alerting the public that effective April 2, 2016, the Cook County Department of Facilities Management will no longer provide storage lockers for the public to store banned items at courthouses. This includes the Leighton Criminal Court Building, at 26th Street and California Avenue, where smartphones have been banned for the past 3 years.

Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans was notified by the Cook County Department of Facilities Management that, due to security and staffing concerns, it will remove all storage lockers that it had installed at courthouses as a service for the public to safely store banned items while they conduct court business.

“It is critical that the message gets out that there will no longer be lockers available beginning April 2 at any of the courthouses,” said Chief Judge Evans. “At the Leighton Criminal Court Building, my particular concern is that people who are relying on the county’s storage lockers won’t be able to clear security and will miss court if they bring a smartphone.”

People who miss court could be subjected to bail forfeitures, be held in contempt of court or have warrants issued for their arrest. Family and friends of defendants and victims could also miss court hearings, and subpoenaed witnesses would be subject to being held in contempt of court and possible civil liability to the party issuing the subpoena.

The Sheriff has banned approximately two dozen items from all Cook County courthouses, and the list includes items such as knives, mace spray, cameras and recording devices.

The International Academy of Dispute Resolution will honor ISBA Past President Fred Lane and CBA Past President Joseph Stone with Lifetime Achievement Awards and the Alliance of Bar Associations and Administrator Joyce Williams with a Special Recognition at its Gala on April 13, 6 p.m. at the Standard Club in Chicago.

The International Academy of Dispute Resolution is a charitable 501C3 organization that educates college and law students and legal professionals worldwide concerning the best mediation practices.