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

Transitions

Illinois Lawyer Now is happy to announce transitions for ISBA members. Please include name, position, law firm, practice areas, education information and former employer. A head shot in the JPG file format may also be included. Send information to sanderson@isba.org

Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that Justice Thomas M. Harris has been assigned as an appellate court judge in the Fourth District. The assignment, which will fill the vacancy created following Just M. Carol Pope's retirement, takes effect on August 1, 2017, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the vacancy will be filled by the winner of the November 2018 general election.

Justice Harris was first appointed as a judge in 2007 and was elected as resident circuit judge of Logan County in 2008. He has served for the Fourth District Appellate Court since January 3, 2013. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Harris had served as a civil trial lawyer since 1988.

Justice Harris currently serves on the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and previously served on the Special Supreme Court Committee to Study Courtroom and Judicial Security. He is a member of the Illinois Judges Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Logan County Bar Association, and the Lincoln-Douglas Inn of Court. He has previously served as chair of the Allerton Conference, Civil Practice and Procedure Section, and Tort Law Section of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Justice Harris is a past member of the board of directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation and previously served on the editorial board of the Illinois Bar Journal and as the publication's editor-in-chief. He is a frequent speaker at professional seminars and guest lectures at the University of Illinois College of Law.

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP welcomes several lateral attorneys to add more strength and expertise to the firm’s toxic tort litigation, asbestos litigation, and product liability practices.

Partner Drew M. Schilling joins Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP from Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen,
where we was also a partner. He received his J.D. in 1996 from Southern Methodist University Dedman
School of Law and his B.S. in 1993 from Northern Illinois University.

Partner Gary C. Pinter joins the firm’s Madison County (Edwardsville) office from Heyl, Royster, Voelker
& Allen, where we was also a partner. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 2007 from Northern Illinois
University College of Law and his B.A. in 1999 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Associate Meg F. Hogan, who practices in the Chicago office, was formerly an associate at Heyl, Royster,
Voelker & Allen in Chicago. She received her J.D. with honors in 2013 from Northern Illinois University
College of Law and her B.A. in 2010 from Illinois State University.

Jacqueline Pesenko
Jacqueline Pesenko
Stephanie Tang
Stephanie Tang
ISBA members Jacqueline S. Pesenko and Stephanie L. Tang recently joined Kogut & Wilson, LLC.

Jacqueline Pesenko focuses her practice in the areas of matrimonial and family law. She prosecutes cases on behalf of victims of violence, abuse, neglect, and felony crimes. She brings an extensive background in social work, psychology, and counseling services. Jacqueline received her bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law, where she earned a certificate in child and family law, the President’s Award for Service, and  the Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award.

Jeffrey D. Shelley
Jeffrey D. Shelley
Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer LLP (“SFGH”) announced Monday that Jeffrey D. Shelley has joined the firm as counsel in its Chicago office.

Jeff focuses his practice on estate planning, estate and trust administration, charitable planning, tax matters, business transactions, and intellectual property. His scientific, tax, and business background gives him unique insights when providing individuals, entrepreneurs, business owners, and family offices with personal and business solutions.

Before joining SFGH, Jeff was the principal estate planning attorney at another law firm, where he also worked on business and intellectual property matters. Prior to entering private legal practice, Jeff worked as a Big Four professional services firm consultant, where he advocated for clients in complex business tax credit matters. He has also prepared patent applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Before practicing law, Jeff gained extensive business experience as a research scientist for a Fortune 500 company that manufactures and markets consumer and health care products worldwide. During his career there, he developed and launched next-generation products and manufacturing processes and was granted several product and process patents. Jeff has been named as an inventor in multiple utility patents.

Norman Berger
Norman Berger
Gensburg Calandriello & Kanter, P.C. announces the addition of Norman Berger as senior counsel, a transition that will strengthen the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group and add a specialty in environmental law. Berger brings more than 30 years of experience to GCK’s boutique law practice.   

A member of the firm’s commercial litigation practice, Berger has served as lead trial counsel in dozens of jury and bench trials across multiple jurisdictions and industries including real estate, retail, heavy manufacturing, chemicals, and recycling. He represents clients in state and federal courts nationwide and before state and federal agencies, as well as in arbitration and mediations. He has served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.

Berger will also advise clients on matters involving real estate, manufacturing, employment, environmental, class action, corporate, securities, closely held business, ERISA, and insurance issues. He has in-depth experience with complicated technical and regulatory issues and with matters involving scientific and other technical experts. He will counsel clients on insurance coverage, permitting, enforcement and administrative matters.

Berger serves as a member and past chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Council at DePaul University College of Law, as a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and a founding participant in the Pro Bono Committee for Representation of Indigent Defendants. In 2013, Berger won the Outstanding Service to DePaul University Award.

David Navarro
David Navarro
Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of David Navarro as a Cook County Circuit Judge in the 4th Subcircuit.

Mr. Navarro was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas Davy.

The appointment takes effect May 25, 2017, and will conclude on Dec. 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

"I am grateful to Justice Theis and the Supreme Court for this appointment," Navarro said. "I am honored to have this opportunity and look forward to serving the people of Cook County."

Mr. Navarro has served as the Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau for the Office of the Illinois Attorney General since 2009, and previously served in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office as an Assistant State's Attorney and Supervisor of the Professional Standards Unit.

Justice Theis recommended Mr. Navarro's appointment after candidates were reviewed by bar associations and a special judicial screening committee. Mr. Navarro received qualified or recommended ratings from a dozen bar groups. The special judicial screening committee was established by Justice Theis in 2013 and is co-chaired by retired U.S. District Court Judge Wayne R. Andersen and retired Illinois Appellate Court Judge Michael J. Gallagher.

Mr. Navarro earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago and his juris doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Debra A. Seaton
Debra A. Seaton
Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Debra A. Seaton as a Cook County Circuit Judge in the 2nd Subcircuit.

Ms. Seaton was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Camille Willis.

The appointment takes effect May 18, 2017 and will conclude on Dec. 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

"After practicing law for many years, I am humbled and honored to be appointed to one of the most esteemed positions in the legal profession: the office of Judge," Seaton said. "I thank Justice Theis and the other members of the Illinois Supreme Court for providing this wonderful opportunity to serve."

Ms. Seaton has been an Attorney Supervisor for the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender since 2010. She worked as a solo practitioner for 10 years and previously served as an Assistant Public Defender for Kane and Cook counties for 13 years.

Justice Theis recommended Ms. Seaton's appointment after candidates were reviewed by bar associations and a special judicial screening committee.

Ms. Seaton received qualified or recommended ratings from a dozen bar groups. The special judicial screening committee was established by Justice Theis in 2013 and is co-chaired by retired U.S. District Court Judge Wayne R. Andersen and retired Illinois Appellate Court Judge Michael J. Gallagher.

Ms. Seaton earned her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Iowa and her juris doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Thomas Canepa
Thomas Canepa
Gensburg Calandriello & Kanter, P.C. announces the addition of Thomas V. Canepa as senior counsel in a move that strengthens the firm’s tax exempt and nonprofit, real estate, sports and entertainment, intellectual property, and venture & emerging companies practices. Canepa brings more than 25 years of experience to GCK’s boutique law practice.   

The addition of Canepa’s career-long achievements and breadth of experience in the areas of corporate, business, M&A, technology and new business start-ups, joint ventures, real estate, and tax law continues GKC’s recent growth to better serve client needs. 

As a trusted outside general counsel, problem-solver and client advocate, Tom guides and advises business owners, entrepreneurs, management and corporate officers, directors and shareholder/members. The scope of his counsel includes the areas of business, corporate, transaction and finance matters incorporating strategy, entity management, commercial and venture funding, tax planning, intellectual property and trade secret protection, and real estate matters. Canepa also brings a unique international perspective and experience to his work on behalf of churches, foundations, not-for-profit entities, and other strategic initiatives for his clients in Asia, Europe, and Central Asia.

Nicole Simmons
Nicole Simmons
The law firm of Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC is pleased to announce the hiring of attorney Nicole L. Simmons. Prior to joining Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC, Simmons practiced at a full-service Chicago law firm. As an experienced litigator, she will handle business transactions and commercial litigation matters.

Attorney Nicole L. Simmons is admitted to practice law in Illinois, Missouri, and Massachusetts. She graduated with her J.D. from Boston College Law School, where she participated on the school’s National Moot Court Team. Simmons has experience in all phases of litigation, appeals, and alternative dispute resolution. She has represented clients in federal and state courts across the country. She handles cases related to commercial disputes, products liability, employment, proprietary information, and trade secret.

Simmons also effectively represents business clients in litigation, contracts, risk management, and compliance matters. Additionally, she handles contract matters, including negotiations, drafting, and a variety of agreements including RFPs, subcontracts, licensing, vendor, and professional consulting agreements. 

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.