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Out Of State

ISBA President Mark D. Hassakis (front row, center) with the 45 new admittees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts granted the motion by ISBA President Mark D. Hassakis on Monday to admit 45 ISBA members to practice before the nation's highest court. The admittees and their families enjoyed a continental breakfast in the East Conference room of the Supreme Court before the admission ceremony and to a history of the court after the ceremony. The group was also treated to special appearances by Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

The Illinois State Bar Association conducts trips to the U.S. Supreme Court every two years - the next trip will be led by current ISBA 2nd Vice President John Thies of Urbana on June 3, 2013.

Click here to view a photo gallery from this event.

ISBA President Mark D. Hassakis with his wife, Janet Hassakis, ISBA President-elect John G. Locallo, Marron Mahoney, IBF President George Mahoney and IBF Past President David Sosin

The U.S. Supreme Court will swear-in 45 Illinois State Bar Association members on Monday, June 6. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elana Kagan have agreed to meet with the new admittees and their families after the ceremony.

A reception sponsored by GEICO Insurance and the ISBA was held on Sunday night at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel.

Click here to view a photo gallery from the reception.

Mary V. Khouri

The law firm of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. is pleased to announce Mary V. Khouri has joined the Firm’s Employee Benefits Practice Group as an Associate.

Khouri focuses her practice in the employee benefits and executive compensation areas.  Khouri has significant experience drafting and amending qualified retirement plans and welfare benefit plans.  Khouri regularly advises and counsels clients on employee benefit plan administration, compliance, contracts, and mergers and acquisition issues.

While in law school, Ms.

The Israeli Consulate in New York and the Office of the Legal Advisor at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ), will hold an international Conference on Legal Challenges in Israeli Policy and Advocacy, on June 27-28, in New York.

Discussions will focus on:

  • Law and Security: the legal framework in the fight against terrorism; operational dilemmas; methods of investigation
  • International institutions: challenges facing Israel within the United Nations system; the international legal sphere and the US Legal system
  • Law and advocacy: responding to campaigns of delegitimization and "Iawfare"; taking the legal initiative; presenting Israel's case and advancing informed discussion
  • Key issues in Israel-Palestinian negotiations: updates and insights from Israel's negotiations with its neighbors

Donald J. Straka

Walentine O’Toole McQuilan & Gordon is pleased to announce that Donald J. Straka has joined the firm as a partner in the area of corporate and banking law. Straka has over 20 years of experience in representing public and private corporate clients, financial institutions, medical practices, manufacturing concerns and regulatory authorities in multiple jurisdictions. He specializes in corporate law, banking law and regulation, lending and finance, mergers and acquisitions (private and public companies), business transactions and litigation, regulatory matters, securities, real estate and employment matters. He provides strategic legal advice to clients relative to their growth and financial objectives, organizing and structuring business entities, acquisitions and divestitures, and negotiating and closing complex transactions.

He served for eight years as the Chief Legal Officer of a Midwest regional Bank Holding Company and its subsidiaries where he advised the Board of Directors and led the Legal, Human Resources and Security Departments and served on a number of Committees. He has also served as a Director and/or CEO of various other corporate entities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The Chicago-based law firm of Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP (MBT) continues to expand nationally with the opening today of its new office in San Francisco - at 575 Market Street. The office will be led by seven new partners, including a group of recognized national leaders in insurance and labor and employment law from the San Francisco law firms of Sedgwick LLP and Long & Levit LLP.

Joining MBT from Sedgwick will be Julia Molander, who specializes in insurance counseling and litigation. She will serve as managing partner of MBT’s San Francisco office. Other new partners include four attorneys from Long & Levit:

  • Howard Garfield , insurance, employment and professional liability
  • Irene Yesowitch, insurance counseling and litigation, and professional liability
  • Jason Geller, labor and employment litigation
  • Karen Uno, insurance counseling and litigation

Also joining the San Francisco office will be Dan Crawford, the Executive Vice-President and General Counsel of the California-based business insurance brokerage firm of Edgewood Partners Insurance Center, which is ranked among the fastest growing privately held companies in California.  In addition to his duties as general counsel, Crawford will become a partner at MBT, specializing in insurance and employment litigation.

Rounding out the group of partners leading MBT’s new San Francisco office will be Fulton Smith III of the San Francisco-based Barber Law Group.  Smith specializes in insurance coverage and litigation.

On March 21, 2011, sponsored by Most Rev. Thomas J. Paprocki and Kent D. Sinson, certain members of the Chicago Lawyers Hockey team were admitted in open court to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Those photographed in the Court’s East Conference Room prior to admission are (left to right): Lowell D. Snorf, III, Michael B. Goldberg, Kent D. Sinson, Ronald Kalish, Most Rev. Thomas J. Paprocki, Kevin M. Magnuson, David M. Goldman, Steven L. Demitro (Captain) and David Vander Ploeg.

According to Supreme Court Clerk, William K. Suter, the March 21, 2011 open admission was the first time any lawyers hockey team was admitted in open court.

Following the March 21 admission, on March 24 the Lawyers hockey team returned to Chicago’s McFetrich Ice Arena and captured their fourth consecutive Masters Hockey league championship, defeating the Chicago Democrats hockey team, 4-3.

Several members of the lawyers hockey team played NCAA Division I hockey and/or semi professional hockey; some lawyers have been on the team for 20 years. The lawyers hockey team plays in the Masters Hockey League out of Chicago’s McFetridge Sports Center. Other members of the Lawyers hockey team are: Anthony J.

The Illinois State Bar Association will host its 135th Annual Meeting from June 16-18 at the Abbey Resort, Fontana, Wis.

This summer the ISBA returns to Lake Geneva, where the leaders of our Association gather in celebration of our accomplishments over the past bar year and sail forward with new plans for the year ahead. In this relaxed collegial atmosphere, memories are made and friendships renewed. So make plans now to bring the family and join us for the ISBA’s 135th Annual Meeting On the Banks of Lake Geneva!

The deadline for making your room reservation (Be sure to indicate that you are attending the ISBA Annual Meeting) is on or before May 14th. Reservations received after this date will be subject to availability - rooms at The Abbey typically sell out fast. The deadline for advance registration is June 6th.

A schedule of events is available at

Hotel information is available at

Register at

Eric Dearmont

Ross Titzer

Williams Venker & Sanders LLC is pleased to announce the addition of Eric Dearmont ( and Ross S. Titzer ( as the newest associates to join the growing law firm.

As former legal counsel to the Missouri Public Service Commission and Executive Director of the Columbia Missouri Police Officer’s Association, Eric Dearmont is well-equipped to handle the complex litigation the firm is known for.  He will focus primarily within the asbestos practice group, working closely with the firm’s many toxic torts clients.

Ross S. Titzer will also work within the firm’s toxic torts group, as well as the commercial litigation and transportation law practice groups.  Experienced in defense litigation, he has handled all phases of a case, including drafting pleadings, arguing motions and developing overall strategy.

Located in St.

The ABA welcomed new members at an orientation lunch at the Midyear Meeting in Atlanta last week. They included ISBA 3rd Vice President Paula H. Holderman (left), who is scheduled to assume the presidency of the ISBA in 2013.

Chair of the Illinois State Delegation, Robert Clifford (right) of Clifford Law Offices, also attended the luncheon. A skit was put on to explain how new members can speak on resolutions that come before the House of Delegates.