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Southern Illinois

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces the arrival of three lateral associates, including one to its Madison County, Ill. office.

Associate Kenneth C. Hoffmann joins Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP from Bollinger Connolly Krause LLC, where he was also an associate. He focuses his practice on Medical Negligence and Healthcare, Construction Litigation, and Product Liability. Mr. Hoffmann received his J.D from DePaul University College of Law in 2011 and his B.A. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008.

Associate Alejandra M. Rodriguez joins the firm from Huston, May & Fayez, LLC in Chicago, where she was also an associate. She concentrates her practice on Medical Negligence and Healthcare, Family Law and General Trial Practice. Ms. Rodriguez received her J.D. magna cum laude from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Law Center in 2012 and her B.S. with honors from Nova Southeastern University in 2009.

Associate Abbey A. Fritz, who practices in Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Madison County office, was previously an associate at Brown & James, P.C. in Belleville, Ill. She focuses her practice on Asbestos Litigation and Toxic Tort Litigation. Ms. Fritz received her J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2014 and her B.A. summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2011.

Elizabeth Jeane Dibble (Elsey), age 56, of Freeburg, IL passed away on March 2, 2015 at her home, surrounded by family and friends after successfully surviving colon cancer for several years. Jeane was married to John Taylor Dibble on June 7, 1980 in Kewanee, IL. He survives as do their children, James Taylor (Anna Beasley) Dibble of St. Louis, MO and Katherine Elizabeth
Dibble of Austin, TX.

Jeane was born on May 26, 1958 in Hammond, Indiana to Janet D. Lane Elsey and Harold Elsey and older brother James. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Kewanee, IL and was joined by second brother, Kenneth.

After graduating from Kewanee High School in 1976, Jeane enrolled at MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Illinois, earning a special education degree in three years. After a brief time teaching she enrolled at Southern Ilinois University School of Law, Carbondale, IL, graduating in 1983. Jeane welcomed her son, James, in 1983 and daughter, Katherine, in 1985. She was a devoted mother and confidant, spending much of her free time at her children's sporting events, relaxing at the family cabin and traveling with her family.

Megha Shah
Megha Shah
Greensfelder is proud to announce that Megha Shah has joined the firm's Litigation Practice.

Megha brings state and federal court experience in complex civil litigation to her practice. She has participated in depositions for clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies in toxic tort cases and represented clients at the trial and appellate levels.

Before joining the firm, Megha was an associate at a Belleville, Illinois, law firm where she worked on complex toxic tort litigation and product liability. Among her successes was helping to obtain a favorable jury verdict in an asbestos lawsuit in Syracuse, New York.

While in law school, Megha worked with the University of North Carolina’s immigration clinic and as a clerk for a Chicago law firm and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Holderness Moot Court International Team and an executive board member for the International and Comparative Law Organization at UNC, participating in international conferences including at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands.

Megha is multilingual, with fluency in Gujarati and moderate proficiency in Hindi and French.

Roger Seibert
Roger Seibert
Roger H. Seibert, 69, of Pinckneyville, passed away at 10:45 A.M., Monday, April 27, 2015 at his residence.

Roger had been a practicing attorney for many years and was partner with Seibert, Bigham and Tanner. He had been attorney for the City of Pinckneyville since May of 2007 and was attorney for Pinckneyville Hospital, Pinckneyville Grade School and Oakdale State Bank. He was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Pinckneyville and was a church elder. Roger was a U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam. He was a member of Pinckneyville Optimist Club and Red Hawk Country Club. He was editor of Valparaiso Law Review, member of the Illinois State Bar Association, Perry County Bar Association, Southern Illinois American Inn Of Court and American Bar Association.

He was born January 4, 1946 at Omaha, NE, the son of Harold and Katherine (Hansen) Seibert.

He married Sylvia “Sunny” Carlson in March 7, 1970 at Kansas City, MO and she preceded him in death on July 14, 2010. He then married Marsha Morris on May 10, 2014 at Pinckneyville and she survives.

He is survived by his wife, of Pinckneyville, children - Kim Edwards and husband John of Atlanta, GA, Becky Graciano and husband Ryan of Oakland, CA, Natalie Bishop and husband Charlie and Wayne Halstead and wife Lindsay, all of Du Quoin, grandchildren - Jack Edwards of Atlanta, GA, Everett Graciano of Oakland, CA, Maddie Halstead, Jackson Halstead, Lucy Halstead, Carli Bishop and Charlie Bishop, all of Du Quoin, three sisters - Carole Collyard of Kansas City, KS, Faye Boe of Ypsilanti, MI, and Pat Wrona of Omaha, NE.

Belleville attorney Rex Carr with his Rex car.
Belleville attorney Rex Carr with his Rex car.
Celebrated Belleville attorney Rex Carr passed away on April 27, 2015, at the age of 88 from cancer. 

Rex was born Dec. 29, 1926 in Carbondale, Ill., to parents, Lloyd Carr and Madge Carr, nee Morgan. He passed peacefully at his residence in Belleville, Ill., with family by his side.

Rex was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd Carr and Madge Carr, nee Morgan; his four brothers, Lloyd Carr Jr, Eugene Carr; Gerald Carr, and Glenn Carr; and his sister, Loylou Winters; his infant daughter, Peggy Jeanne Carr; and his former wives, Jeanne Carr, nee Bates, and Edna Carr, nee Hawkins.

Surviving are his two sisters, Georgia Beaver and Marcheta Murphy; also surviving are his girlfriend and companion of 26 years, Patricia Schmidt; four sons, Dr. Rex G. (Beth) Carr, Bruce (Kathy) Carr, Eric Reeve, and Glenn (Angela) Carr; his daughter, Kathryn (Wayne) Wheeler; 14 granddaughters, Michelle Carr, Stephanie Doyle, Rebekah Brown, Rachel Cardona, Jessica Lamire, Erica Reeve, Chelsey Richards, Michelle Brockman, Shauna Chilton, Elizabeth Wheeler, Deborah Wheeler, Adrienne Carr, Alexei Carr and Alison Carr; grandsons, Rex Carr, Nathan Carr and Brandon Meyer. He also had twenty great-grandchildren.

James Powless
James Powless
James Kenneth Powless, 66, passed away at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

He was born on April 9, 1949, in Carbondale, the son of Kenneth Barnett Powless and Emily Mary (Cygnar) Powless.

He was united in marriage to Susan Elizabeth Reed on Saturday, June 13, 1970, in Marion, and together they shared over 44 years of marriage.

Jim obtained a Bachelor of Science in finance in 1971 and a Juris Doctor in 1974, from the University of Illinois in Champaign. He practiced law in Marion and owned William County Title and Abstract.

He was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church of Marion.

Jim enjoyed fishing, reading, cooking, tinkering, teaching and listening to folk music. He was selfless, performing acts of service for people without hesitation. He enjoyed volunteering for the Marion Regional Humane Society and substitute teaching for Marion and Carterville school districts. He was a “Dad” to many of his daughters’ friends and invested many years coaching summer softball league. His patience, laugh, humor, and love will be celebrated and remembered.

Donald L. Smith
Donald L. Smith
Donald Lynn Smith, 76, died on Monday, March 30, 2015, at Alton Memorial Hospital.

Born October 28, 1938, in Carbondale, Ill., he was the son of Irvan and Lucille (Lynn) Smith.

Mr. Smith graduated from East Alton Wood River High School in 1956. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1962 with a law degree and an accounting degree. After college he worked for Arthur Anderson & Company in Chicago. He then entered Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He served on the Navy legal department from 1962-1966 having spent time on board the USS Kitty Hawk CVA 63. In 1966 he joined the law firm of Hoagland, Maucker, Bernard & Almeter which later became Hoagland, Fitzgerald, Smith, & Pranitis. From 1992-2011 he was the Assistant State's Attorney. Mr. Smith intended to retire in 2015 after 51 years of service. He was a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, The Madison County Bar Association, and the Wood River Township Jaycees. On October 18, 1974 he married the former JoAnn Patterson in Edwardsville. She survives.

Mandi Ferguson
Mandi Ferguson
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes Mandi K. Ferguson to its Edwardsville office. Ferguson focuses her practice on the defense of product manufacturers and premises owners in Asbestos Litigation, Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation. She is admitted to practice in both Illinois and Missouri.

Ms. Ferguson serves as Vice Chair of the Tort Law Committee for the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel and Young Lawyers Liaison to the DRI Law Practice Management Committee. She received her J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2007 and her B.A. from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2001.

Ann Callis
Ann Callis
Former Chief judge Ann Callis today announced she will be joining the Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland law firm in Edwardsville.

Callis brings over 20 years of experience to the firm with her start in the community in 1990 when she served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in both Madison and St. Clair Counties. Callis was elected Circuit Judge in 2000, and became the first female Circuit Judge and the first female Chief Judge in Madison County.  In 2009, Callis created the first Veterans’ Court in Illinois, which sought to reintegrate veterans into society. Years later, the Madison County Veterans' Treatment Court has become a model for similar programs around the nation.

With deep ties to the community and a commitment to the future of Madison County, Callis will concentrate on the firm’s Commercial Law Division to further develop business growth in the area.

Founding partner, Mark Goldenberg stated, “We are pleased to announce that Ann Callis will be joining our firm. Ann’s impressive legal career and dedication to improving the lives of individuals in Illinois closely aligns with our firm’s core values. Ann’s professional commitment and passion will be a valuable asset to our team as we continue serving local and regional clients.”

"I’m thrilled to join the prestigious law firm of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland here in Edwardsville,” said Callis. “This opportunity will allow me the chance to focus on a division within the firm to grow business and provide the best possible representation to create powerful and lasting additions in our community.”

Robert Neely
Robert Neely
Robert Joseph (Bob, Bobby Joe) Neely, 92, a resident of rural Grantsburg, passed from this life Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. Mr. Neely is survived by his wife, Sharon, (nee Bremer) Foss Neely.

Mr. Neely was born Jan. 22, 1923, in Marion, to Ralph and Lanta (Brush) Neely. He was the beloved grandson of the late Honorable Rufus and Emma Neely and the precious nephew of the late Bertha Otey, Horace Neely and John Neely.

Mr. Neely graduated from Marion High School in 1940. Following high school, Mr. Neely worked for the FBI in Washington, D.C., where he met his late wife, Lois LeMay Neely. While in Washington D.C., he took courses at George Washington University and Georgetown University. He graduated from St. Louis University in 1950 and later became the Metro Division Manager for State Farm Insurance Agency. In 1955, he completed his academic studies with a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri Law School at Kansas City, number one in his class, as well as, a member of the prestigious Order of the Bench and Robe. In 1960, Mr. Neely moved his young family to Marion, where he opened his private practice. Mr. Neely served as the Massac County State’s Attorney from 1969 to 1972. In 1972, he moved his practice to Metropolis, and then to Vienna, in 1993, where he has practiced law as a true servant to all until the present time. Mr. Neely practiced law for no other reason than that he loved the truth. He loved serving others, and he truly gave himself to the needs of anyone and everyone through his wisdom and legal practice.