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

Southern Illinois

Join us in Collinsville on Friday, June 27 for a comprehensive overview of the federal civil practice addresses the most common issues faced by practitioners and offers advice from the bench and experienced lawyers on how to handle them! Attorneys with all levels of experience who practice law in federal court will gain a better understanding of: the issues that can arise while pleading in federal court, including jurisdiction issues, venue concerns, and removal/remand issues; disclosing electronically stored information during discovery; how to prepare for and conduct successful settlement conferences; the recent developments in admissibility of fact; how to effectively present testimony during the trial; current trends in mass tort and class action practices; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Federal Civil Practice Section and qualifies for 4.0 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC and Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher & Hayes LLP, national leaders in mass tort and complex litigation, announced today the two law firms will merge effective July 1 of this year. The firm will be called Simmons Hanly Conroy and have offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis and Alton, Ill. The new firm will continue to represent victims of corporate wrongdoing.

“The merger gives us a New York office, expands our attorney depth and creates a streamlined practice with centuries of litigation experience,” said Chairman John Simmons. “Together, we are positioned as a dominant national leader in asbestos, mass tort and complex litigation matters, and we are especially pleased that Jayne Conroy will continue her leadership role as a named shareholder in the merged firm.”

Simmons and Hanly Conroy have been co-counsel partners for over a decade, successfully resolving products liability litigations including Oxycontin, Chantix, Yaz and Toyota unintended acceleration cases. The merger is a natural progression of the firms’ existing relationship, said Simmons.

The Simmons Firm employs more than 60 attorneys and 150 professional support staff spread among five offices in St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Alton, Ill. Founded in 1999 by Simmons, the firm quickly developed a national reputation in asbestos litigation by securing a $250 million verdict against U.S. Steel on behalf of a factory worker diagnosed with mesothelioma.

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced Friday the appointment of longtime attorney M. Don Sheafor Jr. as Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit. He will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge S. Gene Schwarm to the Fifth District Appellate Court.

Mr. Sheafor, 59, currently is a partner with the law firm of Burnside, Johnston, Sheafor & Connor which traces its history in Vandalia to the past 100 years. Mr. Sheafor also served as State’s Attorney for Fayette County, having been appointed in 1983 and serving two full elected terms until 1992. Over the course of his career, Mr. Sheafor has practiced in nearly every area of civil and criminal law and has tried hundreds of cases.

Mr. Sheafor is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University, and received his juris doctor from Thomas Cooley School of Law in Lansing Mich. He was licensed and admitted to the practice of law in Illinois 1981, when he joined the Fayette County State’s Attorney’s office as an assistant prosecutor. He was in private practice at Sheafor & Day in St. Elmo from 1992 to 1996 when he joined the Burnside, Johnston Sheafor and Connor law firm.

Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court is given the authority to fill judicial vacancies by interim appointment until the next election cycle.

This two-day program in Carbondale on May 22-23 is designed to help those attorneys who represent children. Under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 906(c)**, attorneys should receive 10 hours of education every two years in child development; roles of guardians ad litem and child representatives; ethics in child custody cases; relevant substantive state, federal, and case law in custody and visitation matters; and family dynamics, including substance abuse, domestic abuse, and mental health issues.

Rodney Pitts
Rodney Pitts
Rodney Joseph Pitts, 65, of Lake Tapawingo, Mo., passed away Feb. 27, 2014 at his home.

He was born May 15, 1948 in Litchfield, Il to Bill and Lola (Fensterman) Pitts. Rodney was a graduate of St. Louis University with a Juris Doctorate. He was an Attorney at Law in the Law Office of Rodney J. Pitts in Wood River, IL. He was an Assistant State Attorney in Madison County from (1973-1982). State of Illinois Special Attorney General (1976-1982), attorney for the St. Louis Regional Airport, Bethalto, IL, City Attorney for Village of East Alton, IL (1976-2004), Wood River Township Attorney (1991-2004), Adjunct Professor, Criminal Law, Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey, IL (1974-1977). He served as an Alderman in the City of Lake Tapawingo. On December 1, 1982 he was united in marriage to Nicole Kileen. Rodney was a Presbyterian by faith. He enjoyed fishing, guns, target shooting, and spending time with family and friends. Rodney was a tissue donor and encourages others to do likewise. He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant sister, Mary Gaye Pitts.

In addition to his wife Nicole, he is survived by his son, Jason Walter Pitts of Maryland Heights MO; daughter, Alaina Marie Pitts of Wood River IL; grandchild, Haley Marie Monroe, brother, Gregory William Pitts of Lake Tapawingo, MO; sister, Barbara Ann Smith and husband Craig of Brighton, IL; one nephew Craig Smith II, his wife Michelle, and great niece Addyson.

James M. Ruppert
James M. Ruppert
Joshua A. Humbrecht
Joshua A. Humbrecht
The law firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C., with its principal office in Mt. Vernon (yet serving all of
Illinois), is proud to announce Joshua A. Humbrecht has become a partner in the firm and James M.
has joined the law firm as an associate.

Joshua A. Humbrecht

Josh received his J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2009 and graduated magna cum laude. During law school he was active in trial advocacy and clerked for an appellate court justice and at 2 local firms. Josh began working for Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C. as a law clerk in 2008 and was offered a position as an associate upon graduation. Josh focuses on personal injury and workers’ compensation. In 2005, Josh received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University where he double majored in political science and history and was active in the mock trial program. Josh grew up in New Lenox, Illinois where he graduated from Lincoln-Way High School. He is married to Monika Humbrecht and they live in Benton, Illinois with their infant son, Caden.

James M. Ruppert

James hails from Madison County, Illinois, having attended Alton Senior High School. He later studied at Western Illinois University, majoring in political science and graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 2010. James obtained his J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2013.

Hon. S. Gene Schwarm
Hon. S. Gene Schwarm
The Illinois Supreme Court announced Thursday the appointment of Chief Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm to the Appellate Court in the Fifth Judicial District. Chief Judge Schwarm will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Appellate Justice James M. Wexstten, effective January 29, 2014.

The appointment is effective April 1, 2014 and will expire December 5, 2016, when the position will be filled by the winner of the 2016 General Election

“I am honored to be selected to fill the vacancy in the Fifth District Appellate Court," Chief Judge Schwarm said. "My humble thanks go to Justice Lloyd Karmeier and the Supreme Court for giving me this opportunity.

"I am especially pleased to follow retiring Justice Jim Wexstten, an outstanding jurist and colleague."

Don’t miss this discussion in Fairview Heights on Friday, March 14th regarding the increasingly complex issues occurring in traffic law and DUI court, as well as the new case law and legislation mandated by the Illinois General Assembly! State’s attorneys, public defenders, judges, and attorneys practicing in the DUI and traffic courts – with all levels of experience – who attend this full-day seminar will better understand: the jury selection process in DUI and misdemeanor cases; how the traffic law arena is affected by the legalization of medical marijuana; the ethical obligations you have as a traffic law attorney; how new legislation has impacted the defense of Operating Under the Influence; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Traffic Laws and Courts Section and qualifies for 5.50 hours MCLE credit, including 0.75 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Lorri Mott
Lorri Mott
Lorri A. Mott (Compton), 48, of Smithton, Ill., born Jan. 9, 1965, in Keokuk, Iowa, died Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Belleville, Ill.

Lorri was a well-known and well-respected attorney for the past 22 years, practicing in Belleville, Ill. She specialized in adoptions, GAL (Guardian Ad Litem), and all facets of family law. She served on the Children's First Foundation board of directors, and worked on the continuing legal education program for the St. Clair County Bar Association. She served as the secretary for the Ledgestone Estates Homeowners Association in Smithton, Ill., and was treasurer of the St. Louis Barbie Club. She enjoyed jazz music, traveling, arts and crafts, and creating Barbie doll accessories.

She was preceded in death her father, Leo Mott; and her father-in-law, David Compton Jr.

Surviving are her husband of 22 years, Timothy P. Compton, whom she married on May 17, 1991; her mother, Lois, nee Young, Mott of Quincy, Ill.; three brothers, Randy (Barbara) Mott of Poland, Rick Mott of Washington, D.C., and John (Chris) Mott of Venice, Fla.; a sister, Nancy Barry of Quincy, Ill.; her mother-in-law, Frances L., nee Goodwin, Compton; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Get the updates you need to practice with confidence with this full-day seminar that examines a broad spectrum of advanced workers’ compensation issues! Join us in Chicago OR Fairview Heights on Monday, Feb. 17 for a discussion on the pitfalls to avoid throughout the Appellate process, how the Commission uses impairment ratings, and the ins-and-outs of a Section 12 examination, as well as a look at the updates to current case law. Labor/employment attorneys and workers’ compensation practitioners with advanced levels of practice experience who attend this seminar will better understand: the deadlines for a proceeding before the Arbitrator and Commission; how to apply the new AMA guidelines; how to avoid dismissal by the Appellate Court for failing to perfect your appeal; interlocutory orders from the Commission and Circuit Court; how a physician performs an impairment rating examination and how the impairment rating affects the permanency awards at the Commission; the various ethical issues workers’ compensation attorneys may face; and much more!

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Workers’ Compensation Section and qualifies for 5.75 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.