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Peter J. Birnbaum
Peter J. Birnbaum
Peter J. Birnbaum is celebrating twenty-five years as President and Chief Executive Officer of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG®, http://www.atgf.com/).

Under his leadership, the company has developed into a leading lawyer service organization with annual revenues in excess of $90 million.

Birnbaum began his career at ATG as a law clerk in 1981 while a first-year student at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. He then advanced to positions of staff attorney, and vice president and counsel.

George B. Collins
George B. Collins
George B. Collins never let the heat of legal battle get in the way of his old-fashioned, courteous manner.

“George was the absolute gentleman, always,” said Collins’ law partner, Adrian M. Vuckovich. “And he also had the best sense of humor.”

That humor, Vuckovich said, was usually directed at Collins and not at others.

“He would never talk about a case where he was successful,” Vuckovich said. “He hated to lose, but he could make fun of it.”

Collins died Friday at his home in Chicago. He was 85.

Daniel Riess
Daniel Riess
Daniel Riess handled many cases as a patent attorney for nearly 50 years, but by far his best-known work was when he represented the Keebler Co. in what came to be known as the "soft cookie wars."

Procter & Gamble Co. alleged Keebler and two other cookie-makers, Frito-Lay and Nabisco Brands, infringed P&G's 1984 patent on "dual-textured cookies," which were crisp outside and soft and chewy inside. P&G marketed the cookies under its Duncan Hines brand; Keebler's version is called Soft Batch.

Riess and many other lawyers spent years on the case until the suits were settled in September 1989, with Keebler and the other two companies paying P&G $125 million.

John Alex, a partner in what is now the Cook Alex law firm, called it "one of the most major patent cases of all time."

Stellato & Schwartz, Ltd. is pleased to announce the addition of William O. Williams, III who was recently admitted to the Illinois Bar. Williams is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law. He will be working in Stellato & Schwartz, Ltd.'s Chicago office.

Michael J. Murphy
Michael J. Murphy
The McHenry County law firm of Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, located in Crystal Lake, Illinois, is pleased to announce the hiring of Associate Attorney Michael J. Murphy. Prior to joining Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, Murphy served as the owner and principal attorney of his own law firm for over 10 years. He concentrates his legal practice in the areas of residential and commercial real estate, estate planning, and business development.

Murphy graduated Magna Cum Laude from DePaul University, where he obtained his B.A. in International Studies. He went on to obtain his J.D. from liT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he was a recipient of the CALI Award for Legal Drafting.

Stanley Philip Hutchison
Stanley Philip Hutchison
Stanley Philip Hutchison, 92, passed away peacefully, comforted by his family, on October 18, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mr. Hutchison enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a business and civic leader. He was born in Joliet, Illinois on November 22, 1923, the first son of Verna Emma and Philip Stuart Hutchison. His early life was spent in Springfield, Illinois. He attended Knox College (Galesburg, Illinois), where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. During WWII, he served as a Lieutenant JG in the US Navy. Following his military service, he finished his undergraduate work at Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois) and received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, Illinois) where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi, the International Legal Honor Society. 

James E. Augustyn
James E. Augustyn
James (Jim) E. Augustyn, 65, of Chicago, Il, passed away suddenly on Sunday October 9, 2016 in a community park near his home. He was born in Chicago to Edward J. and Theresa J. (Kopera) Augustyn. He is survived by his mother, Theresa, of Chicago; sister, Donna (Patrick) Augustyn-Sloan of Lacon, IL. Jim is also survived by nieces and nephews, Samantha, Joseph, Bonnie, Christopher, Sara, Theresa and Anne, two great nephews, a great aunt and cousins. He was godfather to Samantha and Adam. He was a colleague and friend to Maria Romero and Guadalupe Martinez. He is preceded in death by his father and sister, Jeanne. Jim graduated from Georgetown University in 1973.

Kenneth J. James
Kenneth J. James
Kenneth J. James, 84, of Winnetka, IL, passed away on on Monday, September 26, 2016, at The Presbyterian Home in Evanston. He was managing partner of Kenneth J. James Partners in Northfield, Illinois. Those who knew him called him a true gentleman and kind soul.

Born on April 6, 1932 in Evanston, IL, he was the oldest son of Jeremiah and Helen James.

Raised in Evanston, he graduated from Evanston High School in 1950. He attended Stanford University where he graduated in 1954 with a B.S. in Economics. While at Stanford, he pursued two of his passions- joining the wrestling team and playing the drums in the marching band.

Freeborn & Peters LLP is pleased to announce that Matthew T. Connelly has joined the firm in Chicago as an Associate in the Litigation Practice Group.

“We welcome Matthew to our firm,” said Anthony J. Carballo, a Freeborn Partner and Co-Leader of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Team. “Matthew has valuable trial experience that will enhance our services to clients in all areas of complex disputes and litigation.”

Melissa (Missy) Greathouse
Melissa (Missy) Greathouse
The Board of Directors of Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc. (DRI), based in Carbondale, Illinois, is pleased to announce that it has selected Melissa (Missy) Greathouse to become its new Executive Director, effective immediately.  Greathouse will replace Mary Rudasill, who is retiring after founding DRI and serving for many successful years as its Executive Director.  The Board expresses its appreciation to Rudasill for her leadership and dedication to DRI.

“We are excited to welcome Missy into this new role.  As Executive Director, she will provide strong and innovative leadership for DRI’s mediation programs in Southern Illinois and the Metro East regions and continue to build positive relationships and expand DRI’s programs and funding sources,” says DRI Board President Sarah Taylor.  Greathouse has worked for DRI since 2009, most recently serving as Program Administrator for DRI’s mediation programs.