A 1954 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School who was admitted to the Illinois bar in January 1955, James Bleyer has practiced for more than a half-century in Marion, primarily in insurance defense. He is a past president of the Williamson County Bar Association and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, as well as a member of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. Letters of nomination praised Bleyer's high ethical standards, professionalism and integrity. Laureate James B. Wham called him "one of the most excellent and highly respected trustworthy trial lawyers in Southern Illinois."
A 1971 graduate of the Loyola University School of Law, Jack Donahue was an assistant DuPage County state's attorney for two years before embarking on a private practice in criminal defense. He served on the ISBA Assembly from 1988 to 1991 and chaired the Criminal Justice Section Council in 1992-93, the same year he was president of the DuPage County Bar Association. The founding president of the DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, he was DuPage County Lawyer of the Year in 2000. Donahue was nominated by 18th Circuit Chief Judge Ann B. Jorgensen, who called him "a scholar of the law, the epitome of professionalism, ethical excellence and a true gentleman in every sense of the word."
A 1952 graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Harold Field served with the Army Infantry in Europe during World War II and received the Bronze Star. He had a matrimonial law practice in Wheaton for 50 years before becoming of counsel to Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck. Senior partner Donald C. Schiller, as ISBA past president, noted that Field improved the profession by mentoring lawyers and encouraging civility and high standards in family law matters. A 1983-87 member of the ISBA Board of Governors who served 10 years on the Assembly, Field is a past president of both the DuPage County Bar Association and the Illinois chapter of the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. He was DuPage County Lawyer of the Year in 1982.
A 1973 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School who was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1974, Donald Hubert practiced in Chicago until his untimely death last November of a heart attack at age 58. A past president of the Chicago Bar Association, he received its Justice John Paul Stevens Award last year and was a previous recipient of the Carl H. Rolewick Award from the Lawyers' Assistance Program. Hubert's professional and civic contributions were extolled by three ISBA Laureates – Jerold Solovy, Kimball Anderson and James Montgomery – in special tributes published in the January issue of the CBA Record. ISBA past president J. Timothy Eaton called Hubert a lawyer's lawyer and consummate professional who "deeply cared about lawyers" and was ready to help anybody who needed his assistance.
A 1966 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Jewel Klein had spent the previous summer in Richmond, Va., assisting the NAACP in school desegregation cases. In the Peace Corps for two years after graduation, she helped Peru farmers get legal recognition for agricultural co-ops. General counsel to the Illinois Racing Board for 12 years before becoming a partner in a Chicago firm, Klein was president of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois in 1989-90. She chaired the ISBA Administrative Law Section Council in 1992-93 and is its current secretary. Barry H. Greenburg, with whom Klein has practiced for five years, called her an innovative and dynamic attorney "of the highest moral character" with "a strong civic duty toward those who have not been as fortunate."
A 1979 graduate of the Loyola University School of Law, Claire Manning held key positions in state government before becoming of counsel to Brown, Hay & Stephens in Springfield five years ago. She was chief labor relations counsel for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services from 1980 to 1984, a member of the Illinois Labor Relations Board from 1984 to 1993, and chair of the Illinois Pollution Control Board from 1993 to 2002. Manning also was a privately contracted labor arbitrator, mediator and fact-finder in four states for 15 years, and was a visiting professor in public sector collective bargaining for the University of Illinois Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations. Newsletter co-editor of the ISBA Environmental Law Section Council and chair of the Committee on Women and the Law, she is a founder of the Central Illinois Women's Bar Association and Government Bar Association.
Champaign attorney John Phipps, a 1965 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, "has been helping other lawyers – particularly sole practitioners – in small towns and small firms" for more than 40 years, said Laureate Thomas S. Johnson in his nomination. Phipps served on the ISBA Assembly for six years and has chaired the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, the Law Office Economics Section, and the Special Committee on Electronic Research that led to acquiring Fastcase legal research service for ISBA members. Perhaps his greatest contribution was as a tireless advocate for the Illinois Supreme Court rule to enable a lawyer to sell or transfer a law practice in the event of retirement, disability or death. Phipps also has served on the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Board for 40 years and chaired it for 13 years. He received the ISBA Austin Fleming Award in 2006 as editor of the General Practice Section newsletter.