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Northern Illinois


ISBA and DuPage Bar presidents participated in memorial ceremony for Hon. John (Jack) Darrah at a DuPage County Board meeting held Tuesday, Oct. 10, at the County Board Room in Wheaton. 

Judge Darrah passed away on March 23, 2017. He was elected to serve in the state court in 1986, assigned to the Chancery Division of the 18th Judicial Circuit, DuPage County. He served in this capacity until 2000, when he was appointed to the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by President Bill Clinton. 

Hon. John Darrah's full obituary is available on Illinois Lawyer Now

The State of Illinois seeks a public service administrator at the Northern Receiving Correctional Center in Crest Hill to plan, organize, direct, and evaluate the operations of the Preliminary Hearing Program Unit; serve as supervising hearing officer, traveling statewide to attend and/or conduct preliminary and complex hearings; provide technical assistance to the chief legal counsel; serve as a resource to government officials; provide legal opinions, interpretations, and advice; and serve as a full line supervisor.

To be eligible for this position, the applicant must be a graduate of a recognized law school. Requires prior experience equivalent to three years of progressively responsible administrative experience in a public or private legal organization, preferably in the areas of criminal justice or administrative law. Requires the ability to successfully apply learned knowledge and techniques to working environment. Requires working of the agency's program operations and policies. Requires the possession of a license to practice law in Illinois. Applicants must be in, and maintain, good standing with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, October 11. 

Roger B. Gomien
Roger B. Gomien
Roger B. Gomien passed away peacefully on August 27, 2017 at Morris Community Hospital after a prolonged and valiant battle with Parkinson's disease. Mr. Gomien was a native of Colfax, IL born on December 31, 1934 to the late Roy B. and Julia (nee Reed) Gomien. He graduated from Colfax High School in 1952 and from the University of Illinois School of Agriculture in 1956. As an undergraduate, he was a member of Chi Psi Fraternity and was elected to the honor society, Ma-Wan-Da. While in law school at the University of Illinois College of Law, he held a graduate assistantship in agricultural law and was a member of Phi Delta Phi honorary society. Mr. Gomien received his law degree and was admitted to the bar in 1962. In 1959 he married Penny Malina of Deerfield. 

Mr. Gomien rose to be a respected and highly accomplished attorney, learning from older mentors and in turn guiding and mentoring many young attorneys. Notable among these is Joan Harrop, who began as Mr. Gomien's secretary at the age of 22 and ultimately became his partner in the firm Gomien & Harrop. Mr. Gomien was a member of the Grundy County Bar Association, Livingston County Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.


Officer Michelle Wilgus of the Belvidere Police Department received the ISBA Law Enforcement Award on September 18 during a Belvidere City Council meeting. The award was presented by Julie Johnson, ISBA Board of Governors and attorney at Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa in Chicago.

The ISBA Law Enforcement Award was created to recognize sworn law enforcement officers for conduct that promotes justice and to distinguish those individuals whose service to the public brings honor and respect to the entire criminal justice system. It recognizes those who excel in law enforcement.

Officer Wilgus, who was nominated for the award by Johnson on behalf of the ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law, was acknowledged for strengthening the relationship between the Belividere Police Department and the community by starting the ‘Badges with Books’ outreach program.

Nicholas Velasquez
Nicholas Velasquez
Nicolas Velasquez, Sr, age 92, died at home Friday, August 4, 2017. 

Nicolas was born on December 23, 1924 in Cabana, Peru, South America the son of Augusto and Maria (Quinonez) Velasquez. He married Nelly Maravi on May 17, 1956 in Lima, Peru. Nicolaswas employed as an Attorney for 39 years retiring in 1989. He enjoyed reading and traveling with his wife Nelly and son Nicolas Jr. 

Survivors include, his wife, Nelly of Rock Falls; three daughters, Maria Rosalba (Ray) Larkey of Rock Falls, Janette (William) Kooy of Dixon and Jaqueline (Steven) Mendoza of Dixon; one son, Nicolas Velasquez, Jr. of Rock Falls; six grandchildren, Ray (Danielle O'Neal) Larkey, Jr., Kimberly (Brent) Martin, Jeffrey Larkey, Christopher Kooy, Steven and Michael Mendoza; four great grandchildren, Ben and Austin Larkey, Jonathan and Kensley Martin; siblings, Amado Velasquez, Justino Velasquez, Goya Valle and Jose Velasquez. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Theodore Velasquez, Thomas Velasquez, Pedro Velasquez, Yolanda Velasquez and Augusto Velasquez. 

Private family graveside services will be held at Riverside Cemetery, Sterling. Arrangements were completed by the McDonald Funeral Home, Rock Falls.

Joseph Heaton
Joseph Heaton
Joseph Edward “Jock” Heaton Jr., 67, of Dixon, passed away Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at home surrounded by his beloved family, after a brief but courageous battle with cancer.

Jock was born Dec. 19, 1949, the son of Joseph and Mary Elizabeth “Bette” (Elmer) Heaton. He grew up in Dixon, and attended South Central Elementary School and Madison Elementary School. He graduated in 1968 from Dixon High School, where he was active in student government, sports, and music. He attended Indiana University, where he was a proud member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and graduated in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in business economics. He graduated in 1975 from The John Marshall Law School, with a Juris Doctor (JD) degree.

ISBA member Elizabeth M. Ellis recently joined Botto Gilbert Lancaster's McHenry County office. She will focus her practice in the areas of family law, family mediation and estate planning.

Attorney Elizabeth M. Ellis graduated from Loyola University, Chicago, in 2001 with a bachelor of science degree. She earned her law degree from DePaul University, graduating in 2003 with a certificate in the law of taxation. Ellis was admitted to the bar in Illinois 2005 and the Northern District of Illinois in 2012.

Prior to joining Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, Ellis maintained a solo legal practice concentrating on the areas of family law, family mediation, estate planning, and tax matters. Her professional history also includes experience as a tax advisor and financial planner. For several years she served her alma mater, directing business operations for Loyola University’s College of Arts and Sciences, while providing career direction to students as a pre-Law advisor and adjunct instructor.

Christopher McFadden
Christopher McFadden
Christopher R. McFadden, age 41, of Frankfort, Illinois, died Thursday, June 29, 2017, peacefully at his home.

Born in Joliet, Chris attended Joliet West High School. He graduated from Harvard in 1997, cum laude, where he was an editor of the Harvard Crimson newspaper. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from Northwestern School of Law in 2000 where he was on Law Review and earned Order of the Coif. Chris was a Federal District Law Clerk in Montgomery, Alabama, and he also clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. He worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in San Diego and Chicago from 2005-2016. Chris never lost a case. 

While at the U.S. Attorney's Office he was awarded an FBI Commendation, a National Crime Victims Certificate of Appreciation, and the Chicago Crime Commission Star of Distinction Award. He successfully prosecuted 28 cases, including a $600MM fraud case and a joint case with the Illinois Department of Securities involving $1B in funding.

Chris  worked at Northwestern University School of Law as an Adjust Lecturer from 2007-2012. He served on the Frankfort School Board and was its president from 2013-2015. He was re-elected to the Frankfort School Board in April 2017. He was an associate at the law firm of Mahoney, Silverman and Cross in Joliet.

Anthony Joseph Gregorio, 96, of Batavia, beloved husband of the late Martha (Peters) died peacefully at his home on Thursday, May 25, 2017, surrounded by his family. Anthony was born on February 10, 1921, in Chicago, the son of Angelo and Philomena (Nicoletti). He married Martha Peters on May 8, 1954, in Chicago and they celebrated 58 years of marriage until her death in 2012.

He spent his career as an attorney and claims superintendent for State Farm Insurance. He maintained an active law license up until his death. He was an arbitrator for Cook County and Kane County mandatory arbitration. He was honored with a citation for his ethical behavior as an attorney for over 50 years. He proudly served in the United States Army (World War II) as a medical technician during the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Liberation of the Philippines. He was grateful to participate in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. in recognition of his service. Anthony was an active member of the Cursillo Movement in the Joliet Diocese for more than 25 years. He was also a member of the Glen Ellyn Rotary. 

David A. North was born in Rockford on November 20, 1929, the son of Frank P. and Rhoda Woodman North, passed away in Florida on June 3, 2017. He graduated from Rockford West High School, where he was recipient of the American Legion Citizenship Award. He attended University of Wyoming on a football scholarship, then transferred to University of Arizona, where he was captain of the golf team. Following graduation, he became a naval officer and served in Korea as a fighter pilot aboard the USS WASP aircraft carrier. After his military service, he attended the University of Illinois School of Law, where he earned his J.D. He was a practicing attorney in Rockford for many years following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Attorney Harry North and his father, Attorney Frank North. He was a member of Rockford Country Club, Kiwanis Club, and served on the board of Winnebago County Department of Health.