2006 Laureate Award Winners
Paul E. Freehling
Paul E. Freehling, a partner in commercial and employment-related litigation with Seyfarth Shaw, Chicago, is a certified professional in alternative dispute resolution. A graduate of Harvard Law School and a former federal court law clerk, he is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and an elected member of the American Law Institute. Freehling is a past chair of the ISBA Administrative Law Section Council, and he has been its honored newsletter editor since 1971. He is treasurer of Chicago chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and a Charter Fellow and Gold Fellow of Illinois Bar Foundation. For 15 years, Freehling has been a mentor to students in the Irving Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. He is treasurer of his synagogue, a board member of the Chicago Opera Theater and a Chicago Symphony Orchestra fund-raiser. ìPaul has been a strong supporter of equal justice throughout his career,î said Sheldon Roodman of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, where Freehling served on the board for nine years. Eileen McCarthy of the Irving Harris School adds: ìEach year his students have reported how helpful he has been to them in forging their career paths, and what great effort he consistently makes to build relationships with them.î According to Thomas Morsch of Northwestern University's Bluhm Legal Clinic, Freehling ìis a brilliant but compassionate person who is never afraid to do the right thing or to speak up when others are reluctant to do so."
Joseph B. Mcdonnell
Joseph B. McDonnell of Belleville, an officer since 1998 in Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, Swansea, is a past president of St. Clair County Bar Association. He is a graduate of the St. Louis University School of Law and a former federal court law clerk. McDonnell was a law partner for 11 years with former U.S. Senator Alan J. Dixon, who calls him ìa fine trial lawyer, and an individual of impeccable reputation." He served on the ISBA Assembly for six years and chaired the ISBA Committee on Professional Conduct, on which he still serves. He is a member of the Committee on Amicus and the Joint Committee on Ethics 2000, and is a Silver Fellow of Illinois Bar Foundation. A recipient in 2004 of the ISBA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Tradition of Excellence Award, McDonnell received the St. Clair County Bar's highest honor, the Richard A. Hudlin Community Service Award, in 1998. He has served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness and the court's Task Force on Certification and Specialization, as well as the board of the Lawyers' Assistance Foundation. ìJoe McDonnell has practiced law with honor and distinction in Southern Illinois for 45 years," said his nominator, Russell K. Scott, president of the Illinois Bar Foundation. ìHe is recognized as perhaps the preeminent expert on legal ethics and has been the author of more than 20 ISBA ethics opinions." Fairview Heights attorney Harry J. Sterling added: ìJoe McDonnell is everything a lawyer should be."
Michael A. Orenic
Michael A. Orenic of Joliet, a retired chief judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit, is a former trial lawyer and assistant Will County state's attorney. A graduate of the DePaul University College of Law, he was an Army Air Corps officer during World War II. Elected to the bench in 1964, Orenic was presiding judge in Will County for 16 years while the circuit included Kankakee and Iroquois Counties. He served as chief judge from 1977 to 1982 and from 1986 to 1988, and he retired in 1990 to spend more time with his nine children and ailing wife, who died in 1996. A founder of Catholic Knights of Eastern Rite, Orenic has been a member of the Diocese of Joliet Tribunal, which adjudicates cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct involving affiliated individuals. Musical talent that emerged in high school, where he played flute and piccolo in a concert band and bass fiddle in a dance band, developed into an avocational career as an accomplished concert violinist. Orenic has performed with two local symphony orchestras, a cathedral orchestra and the acclaimed Floyd Wilson String Quartet ìOften times, as you approached his chambers in the early morning before court convened, you would hear music as he played his violin," said Joliet attorney George F. Mahoney III. ìEven in the most turbulent times, he maintained an unwavering course for litigants and our community by always having unquestioned integrity, fierce independence, respect for all people, renowned fairness and a passion to follow the law."
Anthony Scariano (posthumous)
Anthony Scariano of Chicago, who died in April 2004, is being honored posthumously for his distinguished career as an attorney in both the private and public sectors, an Appellate Court justice and an Illinois legislator. A graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center who earned four battle stars as an Army OSS officer in Northern Italy during World War II, he was an assistant U.S. attorney for five years and head of the Civil Division before entering private practice in 1954. Scariano was elected to the House of Representatives in 1956 and served through 1972, with appointments to several committees, and is credited with enactment of Illinois Open Meetings Act. In six of his eight terms, he received Best Legislator Awards and more than a dozen other high honors. Appointed in 1973 as chair of the Illinois Racing Board, he served for four years. He was appointed to the Appellate Court in 1985 and elected in 1986. He retired in 1996 and began a new career as an arbitrator and mediator. Proud of his Italian heritage, Scariano wrote a monthly article about the derivation of surnames for Fra Noi. He received the Award of Excellence from the Justinian Society in 1990. ìWhat Tony Scariano's credentials do not clearly establish is the influence that he has had on so many of us who have followed him," said ISBA past president Leonard F. Amari. ìWhat he taught us in terms of integrity, commitment and necessity for contribution will be his legacy."
Lois J. Wood
Lois J. Wood of East St. Louis is executive director of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, which serves low-income residents of 65 counties. A member of the ISBA Committee on Delivery of Legal Services, she follows in the footsteps of Joseph R. Bartylak, who was inducted last year as an Academy Laureate. A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School who might have enjoyed a career with a big law firm or corporation, Wood instead became an aggressive advocate for victims of urban poverty. She joined Land of Lincoln in 1974, became managing attorney in 1978, and from 1986 to 1996 also represented the Family Farm Law Project. Wood has served on the board of Farmers' Legal Action Group of Minnesota and has been an officer of the Agricultural Law Committee of the ABA Section of General Practice. She also was director of the section's Division of Public Service and Professional Responsibility. The Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois honored Wood in 1994, and she received the Richard A. Hudlin Community Service Award in 2002 from the St. Clair County Bar. ìLois Wood epitomizes the best our profession has to offer," said Russell K. Scott of Belleville in his nomination letter. ìHer many years of selfless service to the less fortunate throughout central and southern Illinois is a testament to both her character and her abilities." Scott added that Wood has spearheaded a long-needed reorganization of the LLLAF program and will soon conclude a $2.1 million capital campaign.
Samuel H. Young
Samuel H. Young of Glenview, who has served the Illinois legal profession and government in many ways, is of counsel to Kamensky, Rubinstein, Hochman & Delott, Lincolnwood. An Army paratrooper and intelligence officer in central Europe during World War II, he returned to graduate from the University of Illinois College of Law. After four years in private practice, Young was a securities commissioner and assistant secretary of state from 1953 to 1957. He was a partner in two Chicago law firms before opening his solo practice on LaSalle Street in 1967. Young served in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1973-74, and was a sponsor of the Federal Budgetary Responsibility and Control Act. Active in the ISBA since early in his career, Young chaired the Corporation and Securities Law Section Council, served on the Board of Governors and was secretary for two years. He was a member of the Joint Conference Committee with CPAs and the Special Committee on Legislative Process. In addition to articles in the Illinois Bar Journal, Young was author of commentaries on the state Motor Vehicle Code and Securities Law for Smith-Hurd. He edited handbooks and wrote chapters for IICLE. Young was legal counsel for 30 years and president for 10 years of the Home for Destitute Crippled Children, now Children's Care Foundation, and he was Glenview representative to North Shore Mass Transit District for six years. His nomination as a Laureate was supported by four previously inducted Laureates ñ Philip Corboy, Neil Quinn, Willis Tribler and James Wham.