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Out Of State

LeAnna Grimsley
LeAnna Grimsley
LeAnna (Early) Karnopp Grimsley, 61, formerly of Peoria and Morton, passed away Sunday, July 7, 2013, in Simi Valley, Calif.

Her loving husband, Gary LaPook, survives.

She was born on Sept. 13, 1951, to David and Kathleen (Bosecker) Early. She was preceded in death by her mother.

Her sister, Janice Robertson, and her father and his wife, Juli, live in Salt Lake City, Utah.

LeAnna was first married to Richard Karnopp and had one child, Carrie Karnopp Driscoll (Kevin). She was married to her second husband, Gregg Grimsley, in 1998. He preceded her in death in 2004. She has two granddaughters, Eloise and Agatha.

She taught science at Central Junior High School in East Peoria for five years before attending the University of Illinois College of Law, graduating in 1986. She was an attorney at Vonachen, Lawless, Trager & Slevin for a number of years, later forming her own law firm, Grimsley & Grimsley, with her husband Gregg.

Known for her sharp wit and intelligence, LeAnna was nearly impossible to beat in Trivial Pursuit, a favorite game among her family and friends. LeAnna loved to travel and enjoyed many wonderful trips, vacationing in Europe, St. Martin, Egypt, Hawaii and Tahiti, among many other destinations. She and her husband Gary recently spent two summers in Paris.

The Illinois State Bar Association Assembly, the organization's 203-person policy making body, approved several reports during the 137th Annual Meeting in Lake Geneva, Wis.

The Assembly unanimously approved the 53-page report and recommendations of the Special Committee on the Impact of Law School Debt on the Delivery of Legal Services. The report was supported with research and testimony from statewide hearings that call for dramatic changes in the way law schools deliver education. The Assembly also moved to adopt the report as coming from ISBA and not just the special committee and sending the report to the deans of all Illinois law schools, newspapers editors and Supreme Court justices. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has written to the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education recommending the findings in the ISBA report.

The Assembly also approved the report and recommendations of the Special Committee on Fair and Impartial Courts.

ISBA Past President John Locallo presented the report and recommendations of the Special Committee on Collaborative Law, which opposed legislative passage of the "Uniform Collaborative Law Act" as a violation of separation of powers. The Assembly approved that report as well.

Paula H. Holderman, chief attorney development officer at Winston & Strawn, LLP, in Chicago, was sworn-in as the 137th president of the Illinois State Bar Association on June 21 at the Annual Meeting in Lake Geneva, Wis.

During her term as president, Holderman will place special emphasis on four major projects, with an overall focus on enhancing member services and new member recruitment. She has formed a New Lawyer Task Force, to be chaired by two young lawyers, Marron Mahoney and Brian Monico, who, with a committee, will develop recommendations for the ISBA to help young lawyers succeed in the profession.

Holderman will also concentrate on member services and marketing the tangible benefits of ISBA membership. Currently, the ISBA offers 15 hours of free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits each year to members, as well as Fastcase (online research) and E-Clips (case digests and legal news) as essential tools of the practice. ISBA membership also provides access to affordable malpractice insurance through the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company. “We will show the legal community that ISBA membership is not only relevant but the one membership that an Illinois lawyer needs,” she stated.

Join us as we celebrate our accomplishments and outline initiatives for the coming bar year. The deadline for advance registration is June 14th at 4:30 pm.

The advanced member registration fee is $75 online. The onsite member fee is $100. Register at

More information on the 137th Annual Meeting is available at

The deadline for making your room reservation for the ISBA Annual Meeting is Wednesday, May 22 at the ISBA Headquarters Hotel – Grand Geneva Resort & Spa.

To make your room reservation at the Grand Geneva, please call 855.833.5345 and reference reservation code #7524VF or indicate you are attending the ISBA Annual Meeting. The room rate is $175 (single/double) plus resort fee and tax. A deposit on first night's lodging is required. Please note: It is strongly advised that golf tee times be booked in advance of the meeting to secure a spot on the courses.

More information on the 137th Annual Meeting is available at

Donald Ridge, 94, of Sarasota, FL, died on Apr. 7, 2013.

Donald was born and grew up in Chicago, where he attended elementary, middle, and high school. He then went on to graduate from University of Chicago and Chicago School of Law. After serving as a Lieutenant in the US Infantry and being wounded, he was assigned to be a commandant of the Prisoner of War Camp in England.

He is survived by his wife Imogene; children Scott (Nancy) and Ann (Greg) of Chicago; step-daughter Brooke Smith and step-granddaughter Blair Ault of Houston, TX.

Roger W. Eichmeier
Roger W. Eichmeier
Former ISBA Board member the Hon. Roger William Eichmeier passed away in Chandler, AZ, on March 2, 2013. He was born on May 15, 1932, in Freeport, IL, to Charles Simon and Lee Nampel Eichmeier. 

He graduated cum laude from Depauw University, Greencastle, IN. He was the president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Northwestern Law School, Chicago and wrote for the Law Review.

In 1957, Roger and his family moved to Aurora, IL. He joined the law firm of Matthews, Jordan, Dean, and Peterson where he practiced law for many years. He was appointed an associate judge of the Kane County 16th Judiciary Circuit in 1987 until his retirement in 2000. He loved the law and was on the Board of Governors for the Illinois State Bar Association.

He was active in Aurora as an elder of Westminster Presbyterian Church and as a member of the Lion's Club. He spent hours on swimming pool decks refereeing his children's competitive swimming meets.

Roger retired to Galena, IL, where he enjoyed horseback riding and his dogs. He served as president of the Galena Territory HOA and chaired the legal and bylaws committee.

Dwight F. Bickel
Dwight F. Bickel
Dwight Franklin Bickel, 81, passed away on January 16, 2013, at his home in Phoenix, Ariz., following a recent illness. He was born February 1, 1931, to former mayor Melvin J. Bickel and Ethel M. (Hackley) Bickel in Trilla, Ill. Dwight grew up in Trilla and Charleston, Ill., where he married Barbara Carrolyn Alexander in 1949; they had two children, and later divorced. He married Cynthia (Gross) Petrie of Emmett, Idaho, in 1969, and they had a son together.

Dwight began college at the University of Michigan, served in the Air Force during the Korean war, then attended the University of Illinois where he earned his B.S. degree, 1955, followed by his Juris Doctor degree, 1957. After completing his education, he began practicing as a lawyer in Charleston. In 1958 he and his family moved to Boise, Idaho, where he served as Idaho's Assistant Attorney General from 1959-1963, and started a private law practice that he continued for the rest of his life.

The ABA Law Student Division desperately needs 77 more lawyers and judges to serve as oral argument judges for the 2012-13 St. Louis Regional National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC). This moot court competition will be held at the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse (111 South 10th Street, St. Louis, MO 63102).

The rounds take place in the late afternoon on Thursday and Friday, February 21-22  and all day on Saturday, February 23. Judges may serve multiple rounds if they desire.

  • Round 1 – Thursday, February 21 (3:30 pm - 7:45 pm) 14 judges needed
  • Round 2 – Friday, February 22 (3:30 pm - 7:45 pm) 27 judges needed
  • Round 3 – Saturday, February 23 (8:30 am - 12:45 pm) 23 judges needed
  • Round 4 – Saturday, February 23 (1:00 pm - 3:30 pm) 7 judges needed
  • Round 5 – Saturday, February 23 (3:30 pm - 6:00 pm) 6 judges needed


Lawyers and judges are asked to visit and enter their contact information and round selection on that form.

Gene Kwas
Gene Kwas
Eugene Stanley Kwasniewski “Gene Kwas” died Nov. 16, 2012, in his home in Austin, Texas.

Gene Kwas, to all who knew and loved him, was born Eugene Stanley Kwasniewski on Oct. 14, 1922, the middle of seven boys, to Joseph and Josephine Kwasniewski.

Though he couldn’t speak English until second grade, athletic ability earned him many sports letters in Evanston Township High School. His strength was speed, breaking the 100-yard dash time in high school in under 10 seconds, bettering Jim Thorpe’s record. He attended a state dinner with the governor, unheard of for an immigrant’s son, and received a football scholarship to the University of Illinois. He did not become an opera singer, as encouraged by the choir mistress of Evanston HS Elite Concert Choir.

World War II interrupted his sophomore year in college, sending him to the Air Force, a “90 day wonder,” drafted and “instantly” made an officer. A bombardier at age 19, he was taught how to fly a B-17 bomber, and was off to Bari, Italy.

The War over, the decorated war veteran resumed his career as a football halfback hero, with a win against UCLA in the Rose Bowl of 1947. Playing poker nights, he was able to fund his law degree in 1950, then practiced law in Peru to be close to his college sweetheart. Gene married Lillian Marie Forcht in 1950, a happy 63-year union.

Gene joined the FBI, assigned to San Mateo, Calif., where daughter Anne was born. He was a special agent for five years during the McCarthy era.