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ISBA member Zora Ristanovic was recently named partner at Berger Schatz. Ristanovic concentrates her practice in the areas of Domestic Relations, Family Law and Matrimonial Law. Ristanovic graduated from the University of Illinois in 1992 and received her Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law in 1995. Berger Schatz is one of the largest and most highly regarded law firms in the country focused exclusively on family and matrimonial law. The firm has offices in Chicago and north suburban Bannockburn. Illinois Lawyer Now is happy to announce transitions for ISBA members. Please include name, position, law firm, practice areas, education information and former employer. A head shot in the JPG file format may also be included. Send information to
Arbitration and mediation expert John W. "Jack" Cooley, a former U.S. magistrate judge, passed away from multiple myeloma on July 21 at his home in Evanston. Mr. Cooley worked for two large private arbitration and mediation firms.
He taught conflict resolution at Northwestern University's law school for the last 12 years and wrote several books, including "The Mediator's Handbook" and "The Arbitrator's Handbook." He later came to believe his cancer was caused by exposure to Agent Orange during the war, and the government accepted his claim earlier this year, his daughter said. Raised in St. Louis, where his father was a barber, Mr. Cooley went to a private military academy before joining the Class of 1965 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He reached the rank of captain, but a tour of duty in Vietnam led him to law school.
Click here to read the full Tribune story.
Evette Zells, 71, passed away earlier this month. Ms. Zells graduated from Roosevelt University and earned a master's degree from Duke University. She received her law degree from Chicago Kent College of Law. Ms. Zells was a former educator, Illinois court child advocate and hearing officer for Cook County Juvenile Court. Click here to read the full Sun-Times story. Click here to read the Tribune story.
Well-known Southern Illinois criminal defense attorney Chris Heid passed away earlier this month at his home in Enfield. Chris graduated from Springfield High School, Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University School of Law. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army JAG. Click here to read the full story.
Retired judge Charles Covey, 76, of Dunlap, passed away on July 19 in Peoria. Mr. Covey attended Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., graduating in 1955. He then served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant until being honorably discharged. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1960. After law school, Mr. Covey founded the law firm of Covey and Litterst and also worked as a city attorney for Chillicothe and later served as a judge for Peoria County until he retired in 1995. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or to the charity of the donor's choice. Online tributes and condolences may be made at
Former ISBA member Michael Earl Morris passed away earlier this month in Colorado Springs, Colo.  Mr. Morris was born in Peoria and graduated from Bradley University and Kent College of Law. From the Canton Daily Ledger:
He began his career with the Illinois Bar Association, then worked as an attorney with the Fulton County Illinois Public Defender's Office. He also worked for Sebo Law Office. Mike's love of the mountains led him and his family to move to Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1982 where he was employed at the El Paso County District Attorney's Office from 1982-1986. He then entered private practice until he retired in June 2009.
Click here to read the full story.
Longtime ISBA member Homer W. Keller passed away in June at age 91. He was born in Peoria and attended Franklin Elementary School and Peoria High School. Mr. Keller earned his law degree from the University of Illinois in 1943 and practiced with the Westervelt firm for 66 years. Mr. Keller was President of the Peoria County Bar Association in 1971-72. He will long be remembered for his integrity, quick wit and kindness.

From the Peoria County Bar Association's July Newsletter.

Amy Richards
Amy Richards
Amy E. Richards is pleased to announce the opening of the Family Law Office of Amy E. Richards, with offices in Chicago and Buffalo Grove.  She will be handling family law matters (divorce, paternity, custody, child support, post-decree) in Cook, DuPage, Lake, and McHenry counties and can be reached at (312) 523-2155 or at Click here to visit the Richards Family Law website
Mark Belongia
Mark Belongia
Belongia, Shapiro & Hynes, LLP
has moved to new law offices at 20 South Clark Street, Suite 300, Chicago. Belongia, Shapiro & Hynes, LLP expanded its offices due to its ever expanding client base and the addition of several new attorneys in 2009, doubling its size. Belongia, Shapiro & Hynes, LLP is a full-service boutique law firm that handles a wide scope of legal matters locally, nationally and internationally. The Firm’s trusted experience and reliable leadership have allowed its attorneys to represent a broad client base ranging from large multi-national corporations to individuals.
Amy Gardner
Amy Gardner
ISBA Member Amy M. Gardner was re-elected President of the University of Chicago Alumni Club of Chicago at its officer elections June 22.  Ms. Gardner is a 2002 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.  The Club is made up of the 46,000 alumni and friends of the University of Chicago who reside in the Chicago area. Gardner is a commercial and IP litigator at Ungaretti & Harris LLP.