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

Out Of State

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.

Shelbie J. Byers
Shelbie J. Byers
Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP is pleased to announce that Shelbie J. Byers has joined the firm as an associate. 

Ms. Byers, who is located in the firm’s Merrillville office, focuses her practice on Labor & Employment Law and Litigation. Prior to joining Hoeppner Wagner & Evans, Ms. Byers was an associate at the Chicago office of Proskauer Rose LLP where she represented clients before the state and federal courts and administrative agencies in a variety of labor and employment matters. Previous to her employment with Proskauer, she was employed as an Associate attorney in the Employment and Labor Group of Sidley Austin LLP. 

Ms. Byers received her law degree summa cum laude from Valparaiso University School of Law in May 2008 where she was a member of the Hispanic Law Students Association, a member of Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity and an Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity Fellow (one of thirty in the State.) Shelbie was the Associate Editor-in-Chief of the Valparaiso University Law Review.

Ms. Byers is licensed to practice in the States of Indiana and Illinois. 

“We are excited that Shelbie has chosen to join our firm,” noted William F. Satterlee, III, Managing Partner of Hoeppner Wagner & Evans. “Shelbie has a solid educational background and experience in the legal field that will lead her into a successful career as a member of our team.” 

John Cobb Williams
John Cobb Williams
John Cobb Williams, 82, of Wilmette, IL and Naples, FL, died Friday, November 30, 2012 at Avow Hospice of Naples.

He was born in Wilmette, the son of Ralph M. and Mary (Cobb) Williams.

He graduated from New Trier High School, Wesleyan College and Yale Law School. In college he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and particularly enjoyed singing in the school's choir.

He married Helen Grace Gilbert, of Kenilworth, IL, in 1955 at Kenilworth Union Church. Three daughters were born soon thereafter - Holly Montague (Larry Gniadek) of Mount Prospect, IL, Nancy Williams (Sandy Morrison) of Portland, OR and Sarah Mason Williams (Gabriel Ramirez) of Los Angeles, CA.

John spent his entire legal career as a partner at the Chicago office of Sidley & Austin, specializing in trusts and estates. He served many years on the Village Board of Northbrook, IL, including a four year term as Village President. He contributed extensive work to the Illinois Bar Association. John particularly enjoyed his community of friends, traveling, tennis, reading, writing, and singing in the Glencoe Union Church choir.

Lyn Cima
Lyn Cima
Lyn (Carter) Cima, 75, formerly of Gurnee, died in Greenville, Maine on Oct.20.

After her husband was killed in a car accident in 1971, she obtained a law degree at John Marshall Law School and raised their six children as a single mom. She was an active member of the Lake Forest Friends (Quakers) Meeting.

Lyn, the daughter of John and Mary Jane Carter was born in Camden, New Jersey and attended the University of Chicago at age 16, where she met her husband, Augustin Cima. They married in 1955.

She vehemently opposed the war in Vietnam War. She marched, refused to pay war taxes, boycotted Hostess and edited the newsletter for the North Shore branch of the WILPF. She was a Draft Counselor during those turbulent years, and was arrested drawing attention to the Army's illegal surveillance of anti-war citizens. (Charges were dropped.)

She joined the Lake Forest Friends Meeting and convened its Peace and Social Concerns Committee. Lyn was among the early organizers of PADS, Lake County's still-active community effort to feed and shelter the homeless. Until recently, she taught literacy to adult students and was honored when her student won Illinois' Spotlight Award for Literacy achievement.

Matthew J. Hodge
Matthew J. Hodge
Williams Venker & Sanders LLC is pleased to announce the addition of Matthew J. Hodge ( as the newest associate to join the growing law firm.

Matt’s background has included working with nursing homes and other healthcare providers, as well as defending clients in a range of personal injury cases.  At Williams Venker & Sanders, he will work primarily within the firm’s asbestos group.

About Williams Venker & Sanders LLC: 

Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Williams Venker & Sanders LLC is one of the Midwest’s leading trial law firms. The firm is committed to timely service and the aggressive defense of clients, both inside and outside the courtroom. Providing focused, comprehensive strategies designed to achieve the best possible result, the firm’s lawyers represent clients in legal matters ranging from commercial litigation, employment law and health care law to personal injury, product liability and toxic tort litigation. For more information, visit

ISBA members stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after the June 2011 admission ceremony.
ISBA members stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after the June 2011 admission ceremony.

Join ISBA members for a group admission on June 3, 2013

Only 50 spots are available so sign up now for the ISBA's biennial trip to the U.S. Supreme Court! For an application for admission and the event and hotel reservation form, contact Janet Sosin,, or 800-678-4009 or 312-726-8775. Applicants will be placed on the list on a first-come basis. A special group hotel room rate is available at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel for the admittee, family and guests.

Planned Events:

  • Reception Sunday, June 2, 2013:  5:30 p.m.–7 p.m. at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel for admittees and guests
  • Group Admission to the U. S. Supreme Court: Monday, June 3, 2013
  • Continental Breakfast at the U. S. Supreme Court for admittees and guests

To be eligible, you must be an active lawyer member of the ISBA, admitted to practice more than 3 years, and did not have any adverse disciplinary action pronounced or in effect during that 3-year period.

Click here to view photos from the ISBA trip in 2011.

(This event is sponsored by the Standing Committee on Bar Services and Activities)