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Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG®) recently promoted three ISBA members with a combined 50 years of experience at the company: Christine Sparks to senior vice president – chief operating officer; Arden K. Miner to vice president – underwriting, support, and development; and Tania M. S. Stori to vice president – claims and litigation.

“One of ATG's biggest strengths is the loyalty and longevity of its staff and member agents,” said Peter J. Birnbaum, ATG president and CEO. “Christine, Arden, and Tania are all talented lawyers who have come up through the ranks at ATG. They possess in-depth experience in many aspects of our business and are uniquely qualified to lead us to future success and business growth.”

An employee since 2003, Sparks brings a deep understanding of ATG operations, agent operations, risk assessment, and compliance to her new position as a result of her experience in the training and procedures, support and development, claims, and underwriting departments. She is well-versed in title insurance and lending industry practices and the regulatory environment. In her most recent role as vice president and managing attorney, Sparks assessed the insurability of real estate transactions as they relate to claims analysis and investigated and resolved title insurance claims. She also provided direction and support to training and procedures department personnel in resolving member compliance issues.

James M. Grant, Murphy C. Hart, and John (Jay) M. Huetsch were re-appointed to the board of directors of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG®) for a three-year term beginning January 2017. In addition, ATG Trust Company (ATG Trust), an ATG subsidiary, has appointed Steven K. Norgaard chair of the board of directors and Patrick D. Owens a board director.

As the owner of James Grant Law in Charleston and Casey, Ill., Grant brings experience in real estate, title insurance, probate, and income tax law. He serves on the ATG board’s audit and claims committees, and on the board of directors of ATG subsidiary, ATG LegalServe.

Hart has practiced with Hart Cantrell (formerly Hart & Hart) in Benton, Ill., since 1983, with a concentration on real estate, creditor collections, title insurance, and traffic violation. His firm has been a top-issuing member agent of ATG for many years. He is a member of the Illinois and Franklin County Bar Associations and serves on the board of directors of ISBA Mutual Insurance Company.

Huetsch is a real estate attorney and owner of Mon-Clair Title Company of Waterloo, Ill. He serves on the ATG board’s audit and claims committees, and on the board of directors of ATG subsidiary, The Judicial Sales Company.

Tony Valukas
Tony Valukas
Anton R. “Tony” Valukas has decided to step down from the honorary role of chairman of Jenner & Block, and will continue as an active, senior partner of the firm. “In the coming years, I intend to remain an active practitioner, helping our firm to develop opportunities representing our clients and mentoring the next generation of lawyers, but I believe now is an appropriate time for me to continue a natural transition of my practice,” Mr. Valukas said. “I am very confident in the direction the firm is taking. We are firmly committed to our core values, have a clear strategy for the future, and a talented and committed leadership team.”

Various firm leaders commented on Mr. Valukas’ career. Craig C. Martin, chair of the firm’s Litigation Department said, “Tony has been and will continue to be a tremendous asset to our firm. He not only has practiced at the highest levels of our profession, but time and time again has embraced and embodied our commitment to pro bono work, community service and assisting those who do not have meaningful access to the legal system.”

Lawrence William "Bill" Reisch, Jr.
Lawrence William "Bill" Reisch, Jr.
Lawrence William "Bill" Reisch, Jr., 88, of Springfield, died at 10:15 p.m. on Monday, March 20, 2017 at Lewis Memorial Christian Village.

Bill was born June 13, 1928 in Springfield, the son of Lawrence W. and Margaret McGowan Reisch. He married Elizabeth "Bitsy" Garvey on May 28, 1960 in Springfield. 

Bill graduated from Springfield High School in 1946 and went on to attend the U.S. Naval Academy during WWII. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri and earned his law degree from Washington University. He served as an assistant states attorney of Sangamon County and was then in private practice before becoming an assistant attorney general in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General for 33 years. He then served as an attorney in the Office of General Counsel of the Illinois Department of Revenue until his retirement in 1993.

Bill was admitted to practice at the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, and the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois. He was a member of the Sangamon County Bar Association, Sangamon Club, American Legion Post #32, Sangamon Historical Society, Springfield Art Association, Illinois State Museum Society, and St. Agnes Church. He volunteered as a docent at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum and for Central Illinois Senior Services. Bill had an interest in computers and enjoyed reading, playing golf, and spending time with his family. 

Camille Hoffmann
Camille Hoffmann
Camille Ada Oliver Hoffmann, 90, of Stuart, FL, and a former long-time resident of Naperville, IL, passed away under the care of Hospice of the Treasure Coast with her two daughters by her side. 

She was born March 13, 1927, in Chicago, to the late James and Ada-Marie Oliver.  She was a graduate of Lake Forest College in 1949, and later received her law degree in 1952 from DePaul University, in Chicago. 

Camille was the second woman in the States Attorney’s Office in Illinois and the first woman lawyer in DuPage County’s States Attorney’s office. 

Camille founded Oliver Construction in the 50s and was later joined by her husband in forming the Oliver Hoffmann Development Corporation of Naperville that developed many residential land projects including, Rock Ridge, Stillwater, Paddocks Subdivision, Kinloch, River Run, Spring Brook Square, and Ash Wood Creek, all of Naperville and many developments in Aurora, Oswego, Sugar Grove, and Batavia. 

Camille funded many medical projects for Edward Hospital for equipment purchases as well as being a founding annual supporter of Ribfest. She headed the Open Door annual Winter Coat Drive, and formal wear drive for their annual dance for special needs adults. Camille personally tutored the handicapped in both oral and written communication. 

Keith E. Yard
Keith E. Yard
Keith E. Yard, 55, of Morris, passed away Tuesday, March 28, 2017 in Loyola Medical Center in Chicago. Born August 31, 1961 in Morris, he was the son of the late Kenneth and Virginia (Walden) Yard. 

Raised and educated in Morris, Keith graduated from Morris High School with the Class of 1979. He received his B.S. from Western Illinois University and then attended Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, where he obtained his J.D.

Survived by his children, Leah (Daniel) Peat of St. Joseph, MI, Mark Yard of Morris, Christopher (Katie Walker) Yard of Dwight, and Riley Yard of Mazon; Darla Yard Roe of Mazon; grandchildren, Violet and Arthur Peat, and Lucas Yard. He is also survived by two brothers, Jim (Karla) Yard and Kevin Yard, both of Morris; and one sister, Denise (Greg) Gillespie of Varna, IL.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother in infancy, Kenneth Eugene.


The Honorable Francis Edgar Maxwell, retired judge of the 20th Judicial Circuit, Nashville, Illinois, died March 21, 2017.

Francis Edgar Maxwell (known to many of his friends as Max) was born on Nov 7, 1923, in Hoyleton, Illinois, to Ruth Edgar Maxwell and Joseph Daniel Maxwell, who was then teaching school in Hoyleton. Francis moved to Nashville after his father was elected County State’s Attorney, and attended public schools in Nashville. 

After graduation, Francis won a scholarship to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he began his studies in 1941. In October 1942, however, he enlisted in the Army and was sent to the ASTP program at the University of Nebraska. He then served in Battery C 156th Artillery in France, Austria, and environs, until the end of World War II. In 1944, Francis married Joan Beckmeyer, daughter of Myrtle and Gustav Henry Beckmeyer of Nashville, his classmate in school in Nashville. 

After discharge from the Army, Francis returned to the University of Illinois to finish his law degree while Joan worked in an abstract of title office in Urbana. Francis was sworn in as an attorney shortly after their twin daughters were born on January 17, 1949.

A long-term restoration project between the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office and the Supreme Court of Illinois has led to the discovery of some rare, historic documents involving famous and infamous Illinois attorneys.

“I am pleased with the results of this project, which sought to restore and preserve a unique facet of our state’s history,” said White, who also serves as State Archivist. “Since 2010, the State Archives Department has been restoring attorney oaths for the Supreme Court. Approximately 142,000 oaths, some preceding the Civil War, have been restored.”

Justice Rita Garman with Archives’ conservator Alex Dixon examine a restored oath.
Justice Rita Garman with Archives’ conservator Alex Dixon examine a restored oath.
Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier said, “The Court recently had the opportunity to tour the State Archives and see, firsthand, the efforts being made there to conserve these important documents. Attorney oaths offer scholars, educators and students a very tangible, but very fragile connection to the lawyers who have helped shape our laws and the legal profession over the past two centuries. The Court is extremely grateful to the Archives for everything it has done to ensure that this irreplaceable record of the legal profession’s history is preserved and protected for future generations. The work done by the Archives’ staff has been nothing less than extraordinary.”

Timothy Murphy
Timothy Murphy
Timothy J. Murphy, 62, passed away due to complications from his relentless battle with cancer on April 4, 2017. Survived by wife of 37 years Kathleen (Meersman), children Sarah (Joe) Reth, Patrick (Ryan) Murphy, Claire (John) Hollyoak, and Jack Murphy, grandson Owen Reth, parents Robert and Dolores Murphy, many loving brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and large extended family. Tim was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, brother-in-law, nephew and friend.

Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Tim was proud of his Chicago roots. He enthusiastically cheered for the Chicago White Sox, Blackhawks and Northwestern Wildcats. An alum of DePaul Law School, he was a dedicated and dogged attorney that practiced his talents in the city for over 37 years. Devout in his faith, he believed strongly in helping and serving others and his community, including as a committed member of the Mt. Prospect Lions Club. He brought energy and zest to every occasion and enjoyed life to the absolute fullest. He loved getting together with friends, going to countless rock concerts, and making others laugh with his wit and humor. He was a loyal friend, willing confidant, peacemaker and sage counselor and will be missed by all. 

The law firm of SmithAmundsen recently promoted the following attorneys to partner based on professional achievement: Thomas Hayden, Yesha Sutaria Hoeppner, and Kay Weiler.

Thomas Hayden
Thomas Hayden
Thomas Hayden is a member of the Construction and Product Liability practice groups in the firm’s Chicago office. He focuses on a wide range of areas including products liability, construction negligence, transportation, retail claims, and municipal tort liability. He has represented clients in matters involving commercial litigation, real estate, regulatory issues, civil rights, and numerous other areas of law, and has experience defending personal injury and insurance subrogation claims.

Yesha Sutaria Hoeppner
Yesha Sutaria Hoeppner
Yesha Sutaria Hoeppner is a member of the Class Action, Commercial Litigation and Toxic Tort & Environmental practice groups in the firm’s Chicago office. She defends clients ranging from small businesses to publicly traded, multimillion dollar companies in a wide variety of class action cases in federal and state courts across the country. Yesha regularly serves clients dealing with consumer fraud and marketing related issues, product defect, breach of contract, and violations of statutes and regulations.