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

People

Anthony J. Fornelli
Anthony J. Fornelli
Anthony J. Fornelli passwed away on June 28, 2017. He was the beloved husband of the late Angela (nee Favia) Fornelli, for 59 years.

Fornelli was the past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers and grandfather of Natalie Petric, Justinian 2nd Vice President. Tony was a founding member and chair of Casa Italia, the Italian American Political Coalition, and the Italian American Veterans Museum. He served as past president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, UNICO National, and publisher of Fra Noi.

Harry Culbertson Armstrong
Harry Culbertson Armstrong
Harry Culbertson Armstrong, 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 29, 2017, at Meridian Village Retirement Community in Glen Carbon, Illinois. He was born on January 19, 1932, in Delavan, Illinois, the son of the late Benjamin Pearl and Marie Armstrong (Meeker).

Harry attended Delavan High School, graduating in 1949. He obtained his B.S. in commerce and law at the University of Illinois in 1953, and thereafter obtained his J.D. from the University of Illinois School of Law in 1955. Harry was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1955. He served his country as a J.A.G. officer in the Air Force in Korea in the late 50's. He then moved to Edwardsville, where he entered into the practice of law with James L. Reed, and became a partner of Reed, Armstrong and Gorman for the rest of his 55-year career. He retired in 2011. He was a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, a former president of the Madison County Bar Association, and a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He likely set the record for the most jury trials tried to verdict in Illinois.

Valentine Austriaco & Bueschel, P.C., a law firm formed last year by seasoned attorneys and ISBA Susan Valentine, Lydia Bueschel, and another attorney, has established its practice in commercial litigation and real estate matters. The firm has already experienced significant growth, adding new client engagements, and hiring its sixth attorney in May.

Operating from newly remodeled and expanded offices at 105 W. Adams, VAB also recently became certified as a women-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and was admitted for membership in the National Association of Minority and Women-Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF.)

“We’re excited about the growth we’ve seen in less than a year both in terms of new engagements and additional attorneys whom we’ve added to support our growing client base,” said shareholder Susan Valentine. “And, we’re thrilled to be certified as a women-owned business and to be admitted to NAMWOLF membership. In addition to serving our clients with excellence, one of our core values is to provide employment opportunities for women and minorities, and we are committed to the advancement, promotion, and recognition of minorities and women.”

Josette C. Allen
Josette C. Allen
ISBA member Josette C. Allen recently joined Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC after having operated her own family law practice in Naperville, Illinois.

Ms. Allen will continue that focus as an associate attorney with the firm, and she brings over twelve years of experience handling family law matters. She can handle complex financial litigation and is a court approved guardian ad litem on behalf of children of divorce.

Ms. Allen was formerly employed by the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., a family law practice in Wheaton, Illinois. She has experience in school law involving special education matters as a due process hearing officer with the Illinois State Board of Education and has served as the Chair of the DuPage County Bar Association School Law Committee. She has criminal litigation experience as a public defender for DuPage County.

Ms. Allen received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University in 1989 and a juris doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law in 1992. She was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in 1992 and is also a member of the DuPage County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, American Bar Association, and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Hon. Marjan Staniec, Cook County associate judge, passed away in January 2017. He was a resident of Norridge, Illinois at the time of passing.

Hon. Staniec earned his bachelor of law in 1941, his masters of laws in 1942, and his J.D. in 1957 from Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C.

He worked as an administrator for the U.S. Social Security Administration. Later, he was a columnist for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Your Social Security in Chicago Tribute, and co-producer and host of Social Security Tele-Line. From 1965-1968, he was the assistant regional director of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He was an associate judge for the Illinois Circuit Court, Cook County, from 1968-1976 and an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University from 1986-1987.

David Sosin
David Sosin
David B. Sosin, a founding partner at the law firm Sosin, Arnold & Schoenbeck, Ltd. in Orland Park, Illinois, took over the post of 2nd vice president for the Illinois State Bar Association, in accordance with the organization’s rules of succession.

Sosin was installed as the ISBA’s 3rd Vice President in 2016 following a state-wide election and served in that capacity for the past year prior to his elevation to the office of 2nd Vice President. As is the ISBA’s tradition, Sosin will serve as 2nd Vice President for the next year before taking on the role of 1st Vice President for one year, and then serve as President of the Board of Governors in 2019.

In his practice, Sosin served at Village Attorney for the Village of Crestwood, Illinois, for more than 20 years, and concentrates his practice in commercial real estate and land use law. In addition to Illinois, he holds a license to practice law in Indiana and Wisconsin.

“I’m very much looking forward to taking on the responsibilities of 2nd Vice President, and continuing my service to the Illinois State Bar Association and its members,” Sosin said recently. “Along with my clients, serving the needs of fellow attorneys is a very important part of my career.”

Sosin earned a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1972.

Two ISBA members, the Hon. Geraldine D'Souza, a Cook County Circuit Court judge, and Anne Shaw, founding officer of Shaw Legal Services, received the Cook County State's Attorney's Community Service Award during a recent ceremony held in commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. 

Cook County Judge Geraldine D’Souza was appointed in May 2016. She is currently assigned to the 6th Municipal District in Markham, where she hears domestic violence cases. Prior to joining the bench, Judge D’Souza was a Cook County prosecutor for 22 years. She maintains active membership in several legal associations, including the Illinois State Bar Association, where she is the vice chairman of the Criminal Justice Section Council. Judge D’Souza gives back to the community through her charitable work with Catholic Charities and other organizations.

Attorney Anne Shaw, founding officer of Shaw Legal Services, Ltd., a civil litigation firm, actively serves the community with her legal expertise and civic leadership. Ms. Shaw was instrumental in establishing the Chinatown Pro Bono Legal Clinic. She currently serves on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union Illinois and has been recognized for her numerous contributions to the community.

More information about the ceremony and awards is available here

Richard Biondi
Richard Biondi
Richard John Biondi, born in Highland Park, IL on February 12, 1948, beloved son of the late Eldo and Laura (Romitti) Biondi. Preceded in death by his older brother, Joseph Molendi (Joyce). Richard is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Linda (Higgins) Biondi, and four children, Daniel (Tara) Biondi; Michael (Amy) Biondi, Elizabeth (Jonathan Steele) and Kathleen (Daniel) Platt. His greatest joys were his four grandchildren: Carlin, Mallory, and Brooke Biondi, and Lennox Platt. He was the dear uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Richard attended Northwestern University as an Evans Scholar, graduating with a degree in history. After serving in the Marine Reserves, he earned his JD from Northwestern Law School and began his legal career with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. Richard enjoyed a long and successful career as an attorney in private practice. He leaves behind many friends, relatives and colleagues who are united by their love and respect. He will be remembered most for his kindness, honor and wonderful sense of humor.

His work with the Lake Forest Counsel of the Knights of Columbus was instrumental in reviving a vibrant philanthropic organization through St. Mary’s parish. Richard will be missed by all who were blessed to know him, to love him, to work with him, and to be helped by him over the years.

Ross Canterbury
Ross Canterbury
Ross Erskine Canterbury, 75, of Peoria, Illinois, passed away peacefully, while surrounded by his family, at 7:07 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Born on February 24, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, to Dr. John Ross Canterbury, M.D., and Audrey Bunting Canterbury, the family moved to Peoria, where Ross attended Whittier Grade School and Peoria High School. Ross attended college at Yale University, where he was President of Zeta Psi fraternity and graduated with honors. He then continued his education at Yale Law School, where he was active in Scroll and Key, as well as many volunteer roles.

Upon graduation from law school, Ross commenced practice with the Chicago law firm of Isham, Lincoln and Beale. Thereafter, he became a partner in the Peoria firm of Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll and Keller, where he practiced for 45 years. He concentrated his practice in labor relations and employment law, where he was a respected confidant and advisor to many businesses, municipalities and corporations, including Caterpillar.

Ross generously gave of his time in his specialized field as a lecturer. For many years, he was rated as a preeminent attorney by Martindale Hubbell, the highest classification by America's most respected evaluator of attorneys. As an AV-rated attorney, he was recognized as having both the highest professional integrity and ability in his profession.

Gerald Walters
Gerald Walters
Gerald "Jerry" R. Walters, 70, passed away on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

He was born on May 16, 1947, in Granite City, Illinois, the son of the late Gerald G. and Joyce O. (Johnson) Walters.

Jerry worked as an attorney for over 40 years in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. He served as a member of the board for the Illinois Lawyers' Assistance Program for 30 years, including president. In 2017, he received the Joseph R. Bartylak Achievement Award for his lifetime contributions to the organization.

After graduating from Granite City High School, he attended the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1969. Jerry then completed his first year at the University of Illinois College of Law. Then, from 1970 to 1972, Jerry served in the U.S. Army in South Korea, where he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. Upon his return from Korea, he finished his Juris Doctorate Degree in 1974.

Jerry enjoyed being active and was passionate about many activities such as racquetball, water-skiing and weightlifting. He won a gold medal in the 2008 St. Louis Senior Olympics and holds a record in the bench press. He was also a member of the Alton Masonic Lodge since 2003.