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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

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.

James M. Grant, Murphy C. Hart, and John (Jay) M. Huetsch were re-appointed to the board of directors of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG®) for a three-year term beginning January 2017. In addition, ATG Trust Company (ATG Trust), an ATG subsidiary, has appointed Steven K. Norgaard chair of the board of directors and Patrick D. Owens a board director.

As the owner of James Grant Law in Charleston and Casey, Ill., Grant brings experience in real estate, title insurance, probate, and income tax law. He serves on the ATG board’s audit and claims committees, and on the board of directors of ATG subsidiary, ATG LegalServe.

Hart has practiced with Hart Cantrell (formerly Hart & Hart) in Benton, Ill., since 1983, with a concentration on real estate, creditor collections, title insurance, and traffic violation. His firm has been a top-issuing member agent of ATG for many years. He is a member of the Illinois and Franklin County Bar Associations and serves on the board of directors of ISBA Mutual Insurance Company.

Huetsch is a real estate attorney and owner of Mon-Clair Title Company of Waterloo, Ill. He serves on the ATG board’s audit and claims committees, and on the board of directors of ATG subsidiary, The Judicial Sales Company.

Tony Valukas
Tony Valukas
Anton R. “Tony” Valukas has decided to step down from the honorary role of chairman of Jenner & Block, and will continue as an active, senior partner of the firm. “In the coming years, I intend to remain an active practitioner, helping our firm to develop opportunities representing our clients and mentoring the next generation of lawyers, but I believe now is an appropriate time for me to continue a natural transition of my practice,” Mr. Valukas said. “I am very confident in the direction the firm is taking. We are firmly committed to our core values, have a clear strategy for the future, and a talented and committed leadership team.”

Various firm leaders commented on Mr. Valukas’ career. Craig C. Martin, chair of the firm’s Litigation Department said, “Tony has been and will continue to be a tremendous asset to our firm. He not only has practiced at the highest levels of our profession, but time and time again has embraced and embodied our commitment to pro bono work, community service and assisting those who do not have meaningful access to the legal system.”

The law firm of SmithAmundsen recently promoted the following attorneys to partner based on professional achievement: Thomas Hayden, Yesha Sutaria Hoeppner, and Kay Weiler.

Thomas Hayden
Thomas Hayden
Thomas Hayden is a member of the Construction and Product Liability practice groups in the firm’s Chicago office. He focuses on a wide range of areas including products liability, construction negligence, transportation, retail claims, and municipal tort liability. He has represented clients in matters involving commercial litigation, real estate, regulatory issues, civil rights, and numerous other areas of law, and has experience defending personal injury and insurance subrogation claims.

Yesha Sutaria Hoeppner
Yesha Sutaria Hoeppner
Yesha Sutaria Hoeppner is a member of the Class Action, Commercial Litigation and Toxic Tort & Environmental practice groups in the firm’s Chicago office. She defends clients ranging from small businesses to publicly traded, multimillion dollar companies in a wide variety of class action cases in federal and state courts across the country. Yesha regularly serves clients dealing with consumer fraud and marketing related issues, product defect, breach of contract, and violations of statutes and regulations.

Jennifer Bunker
Jennifer Bunker
Attorney Jennifer Bunker has joined the law firm of Reilly Law Office, LLC. Jennifer Bunker is a native of Oglesby and presently lives in Peru, Illinois. She has worked in the Illinois Valley legal community for the past seven years handling many litigation related matters, including will contests, property tax appeals, breach of contract, and personal injury claims. Prior to joining Reilly Law Office, she clerked for Justice Robert L. Carter of the Third District Appellate Court.

Jennifer Bunker is actively involved in the Illinois State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section Council. She is the editor of the Council’s monthly publication distributed to members throughout Illinois. She also assists the Council in providing continuing legal education to attorneys, determining the need for new legislation, and reviewing and suggesting changes to current legislative proposals affecting wills, trusts, and estates. She has developed and drafted will and trust-based estate plans and administered probate and trust estates. Jennifer Bunker teaches an advanced master of laws (LL.M) class at The John Marshall Law School in estate planning and tax law. She also has experience in Municipal Law representing local governmental agencies and has experience in representing closely held businesses.

Brigette Lobacz
Brigette Lobacz
Moehle, Swearingen & Lobacz, Ltd., a Tazewell County, Illinois, law firm that provides legal services and counsel regarding civil practice areas, recently announced three significant changes to the firm.

The name of the firm changed from Moehle, Swearingen & Assoc., Ltd. to Moehle Swearingen & Lobacz, Ltd. to recognize Brigette Lobacz joining the firm as a partner in September 2016.

After more than forty years of serving individuals, small businesses, and local government, Bradley W. Swearingen retired in December 2016.

Jill M. Arnold joined the firm as an associate attorney in February 2017. Arnold is originally from Roanoke, Illinois, and a graduate of Illinois State University and Valparaiso University School of Law.

Juan R. Thomas
Juan R. Thomas
Juan R. Thomas is of counsel to Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. and the founder and principal of The Thomas Law Group. Mr. Thomas’s practice includes the following specialties: real estate/estate planning, labor and employment, and family law. In addition, Mr. Thomas provides counseling and training to firm clients in areas involving personnel, collective bargaining, and business development matters. Mr. Thomas is the president-elect of the National Bar Association (NBA) and will be sworn in as the 75th president of the NBA in the summer of 2017 during the Association’s 92nd Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada.

The National Black Lawyers: Top 100 includes Mr. Thomas on its Top 100 Lawyers list, an honor given to only a select group of lawyers for their superior skills and qualifications in the field. Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only, and is limited to the top 100 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers. Mr. Thomas’s selection was based upon his performance as an exceptional lawyer in the practice area of matrimonial and family law in the state of Illinois.

Matthew Gensburg
Matthew Gensburg
Gensburg Calandriello & Kanter, P.C. announces a name change effective immediately from its former name of Dale & Gensburg, P.C.  GCK’s practice areas include tax controversies, private client services such as estate planning and asset protection, corporate transactional services, bankruptcy, restructuring and workouts, and commercial litigation.

The firm also announces the formation of a national bankruptcy, workouts, and restructuring practice group which will be led by Matthew Gensburg. He was formerly a partner with Greenberg Traurig. E. Philip Groben also joins the firm as an associate in the bankruptcy, restructuring and workouts practice group.

 

Law firm O’Mara Gleason O’Callaghan has moved offices. The firm, which focuses on resolving disputes for businesses and individuals, has seen an uptick in work since opening its doors in 2013, resulting in the need for new office space. The firm’s new offices are at 230 W. Monroe in Chicago. O’Mara Gleason O’Callaghan focuses on litigation, business counseling, financial services litigation & arbitration, employment and white collar defense. More at www.ogolawyers.com