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The ISBA will soon fill two vacant Assembly seats in Cook County. One Cook County seat has a one-year term and the other has a two-year term. Both terms begin immediately – the two-year vacancy will be filled first. Assembly members must reside in their circuit or district.

In accordance with paragraph 3.8(a) of the ISBA's Policy and Procedures on Association Elections, ISBA is notifying members that Khara Coleman of Oak Park and Jill O’Brien of Chicago have filed nominating petitions to be elected to the two ISBA Assembly vacancies from Cook County.

Any eligible ISBA member in Cook County wishing to be considered for these vacancies must submit a nominating petition to ISBA Executive Department by email to kweaver@isba.org, as described in the Policy and Procedures on Association Elections. This nominating petition must be submitted no later than July 13, 2017. You are asked to also forward the original Nominating Petition to the attention of ISBA Executive Department, 424 South Second Street, Springfield, Illinois 62701.

According to the Policy, if no other candidates file a nominating petition, Ms. Coleman and Ms. O’Brien will be declared elected. If other nominating petitions are filed, the Board of Governors shall fill the seat from the candidates nominated.

Two ISBA members, the Hon. Geraldine D'Souza, a Cook County Circuit Court judge, and Anne Shaw, founding officer of Shaw Legal Services, received the Cook County State's Attorney's Community Service Award during a recent ceremony held in commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. 

Cook County Judge Geraldine D’Souza was appointed in May 2016. She is currently assigned to the 6th Municipal District in Markham, where she hears domestic violence cases. Prior to joining the bench, Judge D’Souza was a Cook County prosecutor for 22 years. She maintains active membership in several legal associations, including the Illinois State Bar Association, where she is the vice chairman of the Criminal Justice Section Council. Judge D’Souza gives back to the community through her charitable work with Catholic Charities and other organizations.

Attorney Anne Shaw, founding officer of Shaw Legal Services, Ltd., a civil litigation firm, actively serves the community with her legal expertise and civic leadership. Ms. Shaw was instrumental in establishing the Chinatown Pro Bono Legal Clinic. She currently serves on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union Illinois and has been recognized for her numerous contributions to the community.

More information about the ceremony and awards is available here

Richard Biondi
Richard Biondi
Richard John Biondi, born in Highland Park, IL on February 12, 1948, beloved son of the late Eldo and Laura (Romitti) Biondi. Preceded in death by his older brother, Joseph Molendi (Joyce). Richard is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Linda (Higgins) Biondi, and four children, Daniel (Tara) Biondi; Michael (Amy) Biondi, Elizabeth (Jonathan Steele) and Kathleen (Daniel) Platt. His greatest joys were his four grandchildren: Carlin, Mallory, and Brooke Biondi, and Lennox Platt. He was the dear uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Richard attended Northwestern University as an Evans Scholar, graduating with a degree in history. After serving in the Marine Reserves, he earned his JD from Northwestern Law School and began his legal career with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. Richard enjoyed a long and successful career as an attorney in private practice. He leaves behind many friends, relatives and colleagues who are united by their love and respect. He will be remembered most for his kindness, honor and wonderful sense of humor.

His work with the Lake Forest Counsel of the Knights of Columbus was instrumental in reviving a vibrant philanthropic organization through St. Mary’s parish. Richard will be missed by all who were blessed to know him, to love him, to work with him, and to be helped by him over the years.

The ISBA will soon fill one vacant Assembly seat in the 18th Circuit (DuPage County). This vacancy is for a two-year term and begins immediately. Assembly members must reside in their circuit or district.

In accordance with paragraph 3.8(a) of the ISBA's Policy and Procedures on Association Elections, ISBA is notifying members that Rick Veenstra of Wood Dale, Illinois, has filed a nominating petition to be elected to the one ISBA Assembly vacancy from the 18th Judicial Circuit.

Any eligible ISBA member in the 18th Judicial Circuit wishing to be considered for this vacancy must submit to ISBA Executive Department by e-mail to kweaver@isba.org, a nominating petition as described in the Policy and Procedures on Association Elections. This nominating petition must be submitted within 14 days of the June 23 notification date. You are asked to also forward the original Nominating Petition to the attention of ISBA Executive Department, 424 South Second Street, Springfield, Illinois 62701.

According to the Policy, if no other candidates file a nominating petition, Mr. Veenstra will be declared elected.  If other nominating petitions are filed, the Board of Governors shall fill the seat from the candidates nominated.

An e-mail containing this information and the nominating petition was sent to members earlier today, June 23, 2017.

There are three total vacant Assembly seats to be filled. The remaining vacancies are in Cook County. 

Gerald Cassioppi
Gerald Cassioppi
ISBA member Gerald A. Cassioppi, with Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC, was recently installed as the president of the DuPage County Bar Association’s Board of Directors. Cassioppi officially took on the leadership role during the DCBA’s Presidents’ Ball and Installation Dinner June 9 at the Drake in Oak Brook. 

Cassioppi provides businesses with legal counsel on various topics, such as commercial contracts, executive compensation, employee contracts and real estate. He has worked with businesses ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Cassioppi is currently the chairman of the DuPage County Ethics Commission and has served as general counsel to the DCBA and as a member of the Naperville District 203 School Board and Naperville Transportation Advisory Board. The DCBA named him its 2012 Lawyer of the Year.

Cassioppi received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a certified public accountant. He is an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association.

 


A member Jessica L. Defino recently joined Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC's Wheaton, Illinois, divorce and family law offices. Defino provides services to her clients in the areas of domestic relations and employment law, including discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, and wrongful termination.

Ms. Defino graduated with honors from the University of Iowa in 2013 with a BA in communications, and a double minor in Spanish and human rights. While attending the University of Iowa, she co-founded the Students for Human Rights group. She continued her education at John Marshall School of Law, graduating in June 2016, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar the following November.

While attending law school, she was a law clerk at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, focusing on family law and employment law. During her final year, she was an extern with presiding Judge Pamela Loza in the Cook County Domestic Relations Parentage Division. Jessica earned Dean’s List honors throughout her time at John Marshall Law School.

Jessica L. Defino is an active member of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, the DuPage County Bar Association, the Kane County Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association.

Chief Judge Kathryn E. Creswell announced that the Court is accepting applications to fill a vacancy for the Office of Associate Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois, DuPage County.  This vacancy is the result of the retirement of Associate Judge Bruce R. Kelsey effective July 7, 2017. Applications are now being accepted for this vacancy which will be filled by vote of the circuit judges of the 18th Judicial Circuit.

Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 39, any attorney, who is a U.S. citizen, is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois, and is a resident of the 18th Judicial Circuit may apply by electronically filing a signed application with the Director of the Administrative Office of Illiinois Courts on the form prescribed and furnished by the Director.  The instructions for submitting an application electronically are available on the supreme court's website.

If unable to submit an application electronically, an applicant must submit two (2) signed originals of the prescribed application with the Director of the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts at the address listed below:

Michael J. Tardy, Director
Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts
3101 Old Jacksonville Rd.
Springfield, IL  62704-6488

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has begun an application process for a judicial vacancy in the Fifth Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County. The vacancy is created by the retirement of the Hon. Edward Washington, II.

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.

That process will include an evaluation by the Alliance of Bar Associations, which is made up of 11 bar groups in the Cook County area, and the Chicago Bar Association. Further review will be conducted by a special judicial screening committee that Justice Theis established in 2013 and is co-chaired by retired U.S. District Court Judge Wayne R. Andersen and retired Illinois Appellate Court Judge Michael J. Gallagher.

To be eligible for consideration for appointment, the applicant must be a lawyer in good standing licensed to practice law in Illinois and a resident of the Fifth Subcircuit.

The deadline for submission of applications is 4 p.m. on Monday, July 17, 2017.

Notice of the vacancy and details of the application process are posted on the Illinois Supreme Court's website. From there, follow the instructions on the "Latest News" scroller announcing the Fifth Subcircuit vacancy.

Hon. Russell Hartigan
Hon. Russell Hartigan
Hon. Russell W. Hartigan, of Western Springs, arbitrator, lawyer, and retired Cook County judge, will be installed as president of the Illinois State Bar Association at the organization’s 141st Annual Meeting on Friday, June 16 at The Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wis.

During his year as president, Judge Hartigan will concentrate on several initiatives. He is dedicated to helping lawyers manage their practices. He will assist solo practitioners and small firms with succession planning through programming aimed at lawyers nearing retirement age to help them think about what’s next for their practices and clients. In addition, he plans to expand the association’s law firm management programming and resources, which includes launching the ISBA’s management and technology web portal, PracticeHQ.

To help the legal profession combat gun violence, Judge Hartigan will establish a blue-ribbon committee to recommend an appropriate role for the ISBA in educating others on and addressing the issue.

A third initiative will focus on new and young lawyers. He plans to address law student debt and practice-oriented training in law school by working with the ISBA Council of Illinois Law School Deans. He is also committed to recruiting young attorneys to ISBA membership.

Cynthia F. Tolan
Cynthia F. Tolan
Cynthia F. Tolan, a Morton Grove attorney with more than 15 years experience in estate and trust administration, estate planning, and elder law, has joined the ATG Trust Company as trust officer. 

Most recently, Tolan worked closely with families, guiding them through the estate and trust administration process, as an attorney at Huck Bouma in Wheaton. She represented both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in the administration of decedent estates and trusts created for the ongoing benefit of beneficiaries. She also represented clients in initiating and managing guardianships for minor children and disabled adults.

As co-chair of the firm’s Elder Law Group, Tolan also advised on the proper planning to assist elder clients or family members in making health care decisions, dealing with guardianship, and protecting and preserving assets. She also has experience as in-house counsel for a real estate development company.

Tolan is a former Iowa assistant attorney general and worked as human rights officer for the Missouri Commission of Human Rights. She is a frequent speaker on issues relating to estate planning, powers of attorney, and transfers of assets at death. She has also been an instructor at Durham Technical Community College in the paralegal technology program, and an instructor of mock trial classes at St. Louis University.

As a member of the Oncology Council of Advisors at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Children’s Hospital, Tolan is helping to implement a cancer survivorship program.