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Walter Gerald Nelson, 87, of Bloomington, distinguished attorney, enthusiastic but inexpert golfer and outstanding citizen of the world, died January 6, 2017 at St. Joseph Medical Center surrounded by his family.

Walter was born January 2, 1930 in Peoria, IL, the only son of Walter and Hazel Nelson. He married Mary Ann Olberding on January 28, 1952. She preceded him in death. He married Mary Jo Sunderland on April 6, 1991 in Peoria, IL.

He is survived by his seven children: Ann (Mike) Larkin, Leland, NC; Mike (Pat) Nelson, Bloomington; Sue (Jay) Boor, Springfield, Pat (Lori) Nelson; Mackinaw, Tom (Tracey) Nelson, O’Fallon, MO; Tim (Lorraine) Nelson, Canton, MA; and Molly (Dave) Edwards, Bloomington; 19 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren as well as Mary Jo's children: Steve (Mary) Sunderland, Kevin (Tamie) Sunderland, Tom (Judy) Sunderland, Colleen (Chuck) Hubert, Maureen (Bob) Grubbs, and Teresa (George) Girardi, 19 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Mary Ann, daughter-in-law Robbin Nelson, and great-granddaughter Emily Nelson.

Walter graduated from St. Bernard’s Grade School and Spalding High School in Peoria, where he participated in football, baseball, and basketball. He captained Nelson’s Nine Nasty Nosepickers to the softball league championship.

He completed his pre-law education at St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, KA and Bradley University in Peoria, where he was a cheerleader senior year. He received his Juris Doctorate from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.

Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Carbondale attorney and ISBA Board of Governors member Carey C. Gill as an at large Circuit Judge in the First Judicial Circuit. Ms. Gill was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Judge James R. Moore was elected to the Fifth District Appellate Court in the November 2016 general election.

The appointment of Ms. Gill takes effect on February 17, 2017, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the vacancy will be filled by the winner of the November 2018 general election.

"I am thankful to Chief Justice Karmeier and the Supreme Court for appointing me to the Circuit Court,” Ms. Gill said. “I am honored to have this opportunity and recognize the great responsibility to both the profession and the community associated with serving on the bench.”

Chief Justice Karmeier recommended the appointment to the full Court following a review of applicants by a six-person screening committee, which included the Hon. Stephen Spomer, retired Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District; Tambra Kay Cain, Esq., Johnson County State’s Attorney; the Hon. Terry Foster, retired judge and attorney at Kruger, Henry & Hunter in Metropolis; attorney Kara Lynn Jones of Feirich, Mager, Green & Ryan, Carbondale; attorney Michael Oshel of the Harrisburg law firm Oshel Law, P.C.; and attorney William F. Sherwood of Southern Illinois Healthcare.

Justice John J. Stamos
Justice John J. Stamos
Justice John J. Stamos, who served as an Illinois Supreme Court Justice from 1988 to 1990, passed away on Saturday, January 28, in Northbrook. He was 92.

“On behalf of the Illinois Supreme Court, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family, friends and former colleagues of Justice John J. Stamos," Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier said. "Justice Stamos was an outstanding lawyer and judge who distinguished himself both on the appellate court and as a member of the Supreme Court of Illinois.

"Justice Stamos is perhaps best known as the author of In re Himmel,  125 Ill.2d 531(1989).  Decided in the wake of Operation Greylord, In re Himmel affirmed that all members of the Illinois bar are under an obligation to report lawyer misconduct or the misconduct of others directly observed in the practice of law or the administration of justice. The case has been cited hundreds of times in the legal literature and has had a profound and positive impact on how lawyers conduct themselves in Illinois and throughout the United States. The people of our State owe him a debt of gratitude for his unwavering commitment to the highest principles of justice. He will be missed."

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is pleased to announce that Kenneth E. Yeadon has joined the firm as a partner in the Chicago office. Previously an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and a Senior Attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, Yeadon will focus his practice on government investigations and securities litigation, internal investigations, compliance counseling, health care fraud, tax fraud and other complex business disputes.

"I'm very pleased to welcome Ken to Hinshaw and our White Collar Defense and Internal Investigations team," said Sergio Acosta, Practice Group Leader of the firm's Government Practice Group. "He brings to the table a tremendous amount of experience in conducting high level investigations and prosecutions on behalf of government law enforcement and regulatory agencies."

Yeadon has led investigations with the FBI, SEC, CFTC, IRS, FDA, and DOL, involving securities and commodities violations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) health care fraud, tax fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, bribery, money laundering, and trade secret theft. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago, he served as a Senior Attorney in the Division of Enforcement for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, where he conducted a series of high-profile investigations and enforcement actions involving investment advisers, broker dealers, officer and director liability, mutual funds, insider trading, and other complex financial fraud.

Adam Wirtz & John Fioti
Adam Wirtz & John Fioti
Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC, located in Naperville, Illinois, is pleased to announce the hiring of Associate Attorney Adam Wirtz, and Attorney John L. Fioti who will serve as of counsel to the firm.

Naperville Attorney Adam Wirtz will concentrate his practice in personal injury, civil litigation, and criminal and traffic law. He also has extensive experience in handling family law and collections matters.

On June 1, 2011, the day the Illinois Civil Union Act was enacted, Attorney Maximillienne “Max” Elliott launched a solo wills and trusts practice to serve families and individuals who were generally overlooked by lawyers.

“I always wanted to serve, in a significant way, people who were marginalized because they were erroneously perceived as not needing estate or business planning legal services,” Attorney Elliott explained.

So, at age 50, Max Elliott started her legal career and 5 years later she has received numerous honors from diverse groups.

S. Jason Teele is a trusted senior-level attorney with 15 years of experience representing clients in financial restructuring, distressed asset sales, creditors’ rights, litigation, and corporate and commercial matters. He represents corporations, boards and board committees, management teams, creditors’ committees, and high-net-worth individuals in a broad range of areas, including the telecommunications, entertainment, media, manufacturing, transportation, health care, the arts, chemical, and financial services industries.

Lauren M. Loew
Lauren M. Loew
Monica R. Chmielewski
Monica R. Chmielewski
Foley & Lardner LLP has announced the election and elevation of Monica R. Chmielewski and Lauren M. Loew to partner status as of February 1, 2017. They were formerly senior counsel.  

Monica R. Chmielewski is a Business Law attorney representing health care providers and pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the area of health care, health care transactional work, clinical research and food and drug law.

Valjean Rhule SmithValjean Rhule Smith, 88, of Springfield, passed away at 4:35 p.m. on Monday, December 26, 2016 at Memorial Medical Center. 

Valjean was born on February 16, 1928 in Springfield, the son of George and Tressa Rhule Smith. He married Connie Lee Riley on August 9, 1969 in Beardstown; she preceded him in death on August 13, 2012. 

Valjean earned his juris doctorate from Springfield College. He served as a public defender and worked for several private practice firms before retiring from the State of IL, Division of Aeronautics. He was a member of the Jacksonville Country Club and enjoyed golfing, fishing, reading, traveling, cooking and spending time with his family. 

Gregory Freerksen was a civil rights and labor union attorney for about 40 years. He was also a Blues radio DJ for 20 years, and he was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame during its first year. He loved music, dogs, being outdoors, science, and creating things, whether in the garden, the kitchen, or artistically. His family was very important to him.