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

Chicago Area

Judge Debra Walker
Judge Debra Walker
Judge Debra Walker, former President of the Illinois Bar Foundation, is the recipient of the 2017 National Conference of Bar Foundations (NCBF) Excellence Award.  The award, to be presented at the NCBF midyear meeting in Miami in February, recognizes an outstanding contribution to law-related philanthropy by an individual. Prior to her election to the Cook County Circuit Court in 2008, she was a partner at the law firm of Clausen Miller, P.C. where she concentrated on professional liability matters. 

Judge Walker has a long record of leadership in the legal profession. As a past president of the Illinois Bar Foundation, she served longer than any other board member in its 65-year history, holding the offices of Secretary and Vice President, as well as Chair of the Fellows program. A regular attendee at NCBF meetings, she served one term on the NCBF Board of Trustees, which included her service as chair of the Awards Committee and as a member of the Program Committee.  She also participated as a presenter at NCBF midyear and annual meetings. She was recently elected to the Illinois Judges Foundation board of directors.

Julie A. Johnson
Julie A. Johnson
Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa has elected Julie A. Johnson (formerly Neubauer) as a Member of the firm, effective January 1, 2017.

Julie dedicates her practice to issues of matrimonial and family law, including divorce, child custody, domestic violence/orders of protection, child support, post-judgment litigation, adoption, parentage and other related matters.

Through both negotiation and litigation, Julie has achieved extraordinary outcomes for her clients. In addition, she has expanded her practice to include family law appeals. Two  significant, published appellate cases of note include-- In re Marriage of Micheli, 2014 IL App (2d) 121245, as counsel for the wife, and In re Marriage of Branit, 2015 IL App (1st) 141297, reh'g denied (Oct. 15, 2015), appeal denied (Jan. 20, 2016), also as counsel for the wife.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has begun an application process for a judicial vacancy in the Fourth Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy is created by the retirement of the Hon. Thomas Davy.

Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled on an interim basis by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Theis will make recommendations to the Supreme Court after applicants undergo a screening and evaluation process.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has begun an application process for a judicial vacancy in the Second Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy will be created by the upcoming retirement of the Hon. Camille E. Willis, effective January 29, 2017.

Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled on an interim basis by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Theis will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court after applicants undergo a screening and evaluation process.

Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer LLP (“SFGH”) announced Monday that Michael A. Brandess has been elevated to partner.

Michael joined the firm’s business transactions and corporate restructuring and creditors’ rights practice groups in 2011. He has a wealth of experience representing companies in a wide array of healthy and distressed situations. He has led complex restructurings and liquidations across the country, in industries ranging from energy, real estate, construction, agriculture, retail, financial services, telecommunications and restaurant franchises. Michael also consistently represents asset purchasers and sellers in complex transactions, creditors’ committees in difficult reorganizations and trustees during the wind-down of multi-million dollar bankruptcy estates.


Registration is now open for the ISBA Young Lawyers Division Wine Tasting Networking event. Join your peers for an evening of socializing and wine tasting! This year, there will be select French wines from Que Syrah and hor d’oeuvres. To complete the experience, the YLD will be hosting a Speed Networking event beforehand at the ISBA Chicago office (20 S. Clark St, Suite 900) scheduled from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Please sign up for the networking event separately.

When: Friday, February 10, 2017, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Where: ISBA Mutual Space, 20 S. Clark Street, Suite 800 (map and directions)

Improve your trial skills in this "learn-by-doing" program that covers all phases of trial work from both a plaintiff and defendant's viewpoint. Through this course, you will learn and practice new trial techniques that are most effective and consistent with the Federal Rules of Evidence and the new Illinois Rules of Evidence. Each session is audio-video taped so you can see and hear the improvements in your voice, manner and trial technique. The program has been proven to be of value whether your practice includes trying jury and non-jury cases, administrative hearings, arbitrations, or mediations. The course is taught and coordinated by Fred Lane and Scott LanePlease Note: Scott Lane will assume a more active role in teaching during the Spring semester along with several celebrity guest lecturers.

Governor Bruce Rauner announced the 2017 recipients of the Order of Lincoln, which is the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service. The list includes a Central Illinois man, who was born in Sullivan. This year's recipients include Hon. James Holderman.

The Honorable James Holderman received his J.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Was appointed to serve on the United States District Court. Served as Chief Judge from 2006 to 2013. Initiated innovations to improve the jury trial system. Expanded the Settlement Assistance Program and renovated the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Earned the U.S. Department of Justice Aware for Distinguished Service and the American Inns Court Award for Professionalism and Ethics.

Get the updates you need on statutory, regulatory, case law, and policies concerning Illinois state and local taxes! Tax attorneys, CPA’s practicing state tax, and attorneys with an interest in state and local tax practicing at law firms, industry, or governmental agencies – with intermediate practice experience – who attend this seminar in Chicago or via live webcast on January 27, 2017 will better understand: the legislative items affecting members of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Taxpayers’ of Illinois; which legislative items will impact all Illinois residents; the recent policy changes at the Illinois Department of Revenue; the tax changes in Chicago and Cook County, including Chicago’s lease tax and amusement tax; the policy issues and court decisions regarding Illinois property tax; and much more!

The law firm of Mueller, Reece & Hinch, LLC is pleased to announce that attorney Kyle A. Korkus has joined the firm as an associate. MRH Law is a general practice law firm with transactional and litigation concentrations in business and commercial law, estate planning and probate, and real estate law.

Attorney Korkus comes to the firm having had the honor to work as an Assistant State's Attorney in the Office of the McLean County State's Attorney. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was a recipient of the 2015 McLean County Bar Association Community Service Scholarship.