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Frank Sommario
Frank Sommario
Frank A. Sommario, an associate attorney at the Chicago law firm of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, was elected and installed treasurer of the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association (WCLA), Ltd., at a dinner meeting held January 23 at the Drake Hotel. Sommario was first elected to the WCLA Board of Directors in 2008 and served in that capacity for fiscal years 2008-09.  He became a member of the organization in 2001. The WCLA was established to promote fellowship among members of the bar engaged in the trial of workers’ compensation matters; promote, foster and sponsor legislation relating to workers’ compensation and its administration; aid, assist and cooperate with judicial tribunals and administrative bodies in matters relating to the administration of workers’ compensation laws; and improve quality of service to the general public for workers’ compensation legal services. Prior to joining Romanucci & Blandin, Sommario was a partner in a firm which represented petitioners in their workers’ compensation claims, and while in law school, was a law clerk for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.  A certified public accountant, as well as a registered investment advisor, he received his J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law in 2000 and his B.S.
Edward J. Downs, a lawyer described as having a soft tough for those in need, passed away from pancreatic cancer last week. Mr. Downs spent five years with the Cook County Public Defender's Office before becoming McHenry County's first public defender.
"I think he really semi-adopted his clients," said Chuck Murphy, a criminal defense attorney who met Mr. Downs 37 years ago. "He took an interest in that [client's] case, but also in what was going on in the person's life."
Mr. Downs received his master's degree from Loyola University and his law degree from DePaul University. Click here to read the full obituary in the Chicago Tribune.
Former Cook County prosecutor and legal consultant Mike Rogers of LaGrange recently passed away. Mr. Rogers was a 1981 graduate of Fenwick High School. He graduated from Regis University in Colorado and received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
"Mike was the best at bringing new technology to the courtroom - in graphics, audiovisuals and re-enactments," said Chicago attorney John Lyke, who worked with Mr. Rogers in the Cook County state's attorney's office. "He was a hard-charging professional, and someone who was great at training other trial lawyers."
Click here to read the full obituary in the Chicago Tribune.
Tthe Members of the Women's Bar Foundation (WBF) recently elected/re-elected as Directors of the Foundation, for three -year terms ending January 2013, the following members of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI): Sarah Breitlander, Anne McGovern Burkhart, Karina DeHayes, Dawn M. Gonzales, Bates McIntyre Larson, Susan Schwartz and Tracey Stokes. At the Annual Meeting of the Foundation's Board of Directors, held immediately after the Foundation's Members Meeting, the following individuals were elected as Officers for the year 2010:
  • President - Bernadette Barron
  • Vice President - Shelley DeRousse (Event Co-Chair)
  • Bernadette Freeman (External Affairs)
  • Carol A. Hogan (Fundraising)
  • Bates McIntyre Larson (Scholarships)
  • Catherine Basque Weiler (Event Co-Chair)
  • Secretary - Rosa M. Silva
  • Treasurer - Mary Melchor
The Women's Bar Foundation was created in 1966, and established as a non-profit organization in 1968, for the purpose of funding scholarships for deserving women law students attending Illinois law schools. For further information on the WBF, see
Left to right: Dan Wurl, Darrell Seigler, George Leynaud, Martin O'Hara, Robert Duncan, Dennis Berkbigler, Ron Kalish and ISBA President John O'Brien
ISBA President John O'Brien met with the speakers and organizers of the Tort Law Section's "Back to Basics: Tort Law" on Friday at the ISBA's Chicago office. Some of those included:
  • Dan Wurl, Champaign
  • George Leynaud, Peru
  • Dennis Berkbigler, Effingham
  • Darrel Seigler, Ottawa
  • Ron Kalish, Chicago
  • Martin O'Hara, Chicago
Kurtis B. Reeg
Kurtis B. Reeg
Kurtis B. Reeg, founder and president of Reeg Lawyers, LLC, is now admitted to the practice of law in the staets of Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska. For 30 years, Mr. Reeg has focused his practice on toxic torts, products liability and insurance law.
Enterprise Law Group, LLP is pleased to announce that Samuel L. Pappas has joined the firm as Of Counsel. Samuel is a business lawyer with 20 years' experience in areas including banking and bank regulation, business finance, complex structured and mezzanine finance, commercial real estate transactions, and securitized lending, as well as consumer finance and regulation. During his career, Samuel practiced in a large law firm, and has also been a transactional attorney for various banks and financial services companies, including Parkway Bank & Trust Company, Transamerica Finance Corporation, Bank One (n/k/a Chase Bank), and The Asahi Bank, Ltd. (a Japanese bank). He will be providing legal services to entrepreneurs, middle market companies, private enterprises and financial services clients. Samuel received his J.D. degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He received a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Northwestern University, where he served as President of Pi Sigma Alpha (a national honor society for political science majors).
The ABA Young Lawyers Division will honor Justin Heather, co-editor of the Illinois State Bar Association's YLD newsletter, with its National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. The YLD will present the award during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 6. The YLD presents this award annually to a young lawyer who exemplifies professional excellence, service to the legal profession and the bar, service to the community, and who has a reputation for the advancement of legal ethics and professional responsibility. Heather, a litigation associate with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, concentrates his practice on complex corporate litigation. He represents clients in a variety of disputes, including international gas and oil matters, intellectual property, securities law, bankruptcy, franchise law, complex commercial contracts, and mergers and acquisitions. In his eight years of practice, Heather has logged more than 4,000 pro bono hours, more than 10 times the ABA's recommended 50 hours a year. His pro bono service involves working with such clients as death row inmates, West African citizens suffering political persecution, and other clients in various race and disability discrimination lawsuits. In addition to his frequent pro bono contributions, Heather actively supports a variety of bar activities.
Rockford attorney Timothy J. Condon Sr. passed away last month at his home in Loves Park after a courageous battle with cancer. Mr. Condon graduated from the University of Notre Dame and received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin. Click here to read the full obituary in the Rockford Register Star.
Rockford attorney Alex Abate passed away last month at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn. Abate earned his bachelor's degree in economics and juris doctorate from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After school, Abate returned to Rockford, where he practiced law for 35 years. He practiced with the Abate & Smith Law Firm for 13 years. Click here to read the full obituary in the Rockford Register Star.