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Joseph R. Bartylak 1924-2010

Posted on August 30, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
ISBA Laureate Award winner Joseph R. Bartylak of Alton passed away on Thursday, Aug. 26, after suffering from pneumonia. Mr. Bartylak joined the staff of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation when it was founded in 1972. He had been staff attorney of the Legal Services Society of Madison County, one of seven organizations that combined to form LLLAF. Bartylak became the agency's executive director in 1976 and served for 27 years. He was at the helm while Land of Lincoln expanded into 65 southern Illinois counties and established several regional offices throughout its 33,OOO-square-mile service area. A 1947 graduate of the Washington University School of Law, Bartylak has been an advocate for legal services to the poor for most of his 58 years in practice. He retired from Land of Lincoln in 2003, but continued to serve the profession as the first downstate associate director of the Lawyers' Assistance Program. A past president of LAP who has served on its board for 25 years, Bartylak was a member of the ISBA Assembly and a past chair of the Committee on Delivery of Legal Services and the Committee on Public Relations. He was a Charter Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation, a trustee of the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, and a past president of the Madison County Bar Association. Bartylak has received the Charles Dorsey Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the Lovejoy Human Rights Award, a Distinguished Service Award from the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, and the Carl H. Rolewick Award from the Lawyers' Assistance Program. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 2, at 1:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Alton.

Lawyers present "Theater Law 101" at workshop

Posted on August 30, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Thomas Leavens and Jerry Glover (at right), partners in Leavens, Strand & Glover, LLC, were among four entertainment and intellectual property lawyers who spoke at Chicago Theater (anti-) Conference on  Sunday, August 22 at Theatre Wit on Chicago’s North Side. Marci Rolnik (center), legal director of Lawyers for the Creative Arts, moderated the discussion, which also included panelists (at left) Alan Salzenstein, a law professor at DePaul University, and Jeffrey Marks, an intellectual property attorney in private practice. The two-day conference, for representatives of young theater arts organizations, included presentations on the legal, marketing and fundraising issues facing Chicago theaters.

Amie "Tukung" Joof 1962-2010

Posted on August 27, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Amie Joof
Amie "Tukung" Joof passed away recently after a long battle with cancer. Amie graduated from St. Joseph’s High School, in The Gambia West Africa, in 1979. Upon completion of her high school studies, she worked in The Gambia in the Statistics Department as a junior clerk.

Bisceglia receives Humanitarian Award from IACC

Posted on August 27, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Jenner & Block Partner and ISBA Past President Joseph G. Bisceglia has been selected to receive the Humanitarian Award of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest (IACC). Mr. Bisceglia is receiving this award for his “outstanding charitable work with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, his long-standing support of and involvement in the Jenner & Block’s pro bono program, and his work for humanitarian causes as President of the Illinois State Bar Association." For the past century, the IACC has been recognizing the accomplishments of influential business men and women. Mr. Bisceglia has an extensive record of charitable service to the greater community. Since 1995, he has spent thousands of hours and other resources in support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the world leader in the treatment and research of childhood cancer, as a committee member of the hospital's annual "4 Stars of Chicago" fundraiser. He has served as co-chair of the event since 2006. During his service on the committee, the event has raised more than $5.4 million for the hospital. As part of his service to the bar, Mr. Bisceglia has been a consistent advocate for human rights and the rights of minorities and the underprivileged. As President of the Illinois State Bar Association, he instituted initiatives designed to increase diversity in the legal profession, including through civic education and educational pipeline programs, and succeeded in obtaining bar association support for resolutions on such issues as civil unions and death penalty reform. Mr. Bisceglia will receive the award at the IACC’s 103rd Annual Gala and Awards Dinner being held on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010.

Holisky and Lenz join Aronberg Goldgehn

Posted on August 25, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Mark Lenz
Jerry Holisky
Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa is pleased to announce that Jerry Holisky and Mark Lenz have become Members of the firm. Mr. Holisky focuses his practice on the legal concerns of closely-held companies and their owners, including business formations, mergers and acquisitions, commercial finance, secured transactions, real estate, commercial agreements, and structuring complex business relationships. He has a particular expertise in ownership and management disputes, frequently structuring, negotiating, and closing transactions to resolve these disputes. Mr. Holisky received his J.D. degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He joins the firm from Holland & Knight, where he was Senior Counsel. Mark Lenz focuses his practice on public finance, real estate and public law. He advises clients on utilizing tax credits and financing provided by governmental entities and private foundations.

Ray James Schoonhoven passes away

Posted on August 25, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Ray James Schoonhoven passed away at his Lake Forest home last month. Mr. Schoonhoven served in the Navy in WWII on a PT Boat in the South Pacific. He returned to Chicago after the war and received his J.D. from Northwestern Law School. He joined the law firm then called Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather and Geraldson. He was widely regarded as one of the premier management labor lawyers in the country and was a dedicated mentor to several generations of lawyers. Click here to read the full obituary

Williams Venker & Sanders partners Barth, Chavez named "Up & Coming Lawyers"

Posted on August 24, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Mike Barth
Patrick Chavez
Williams Venker & Sanders partners, Mike Barth ( and Patrick Chavez ( were recently named as “Up & Coming Lawyers” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly in their August 23rd issue. In conjunction with the recognition, Mike and Patrick will be honored at a reception on September 22nd along with other Missouri legal professionals named to the list. “Up & Coming Lawyers” recognizes the state’s premier lawyers that are younger than 40 years old (or within their first 10 years of practice) and are making a positive difference in the quality of justice while exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession.

John R. Gelbach 1920-2010

Posted on August 24, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Longtime Lincoln attorney John R. Gelbach passed away on Monday at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. Mr. Gehlbach graduated from Beason High School in 1938 and studied for two years at the University of Illinois, where he served on the staff of the Daily Illini newspaper. He transferred to Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree as a member of the class of 1942. During World War II, John spent 4½ years of Navy service for his country in the Seabees. He was on duty in the Pacific Theatre in Australia and New Guinea. While in the Navy, John studied for 8 months at the Harvard University School of Business. Discharged in 1946, he had attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After the war he enrolled at Northwestern University Law School, a member of the class of 1949, he was an editor of the Northwestern Law Review and received a bachelor of laws degree in 1949. After being admitted to the bar, Mr. Gehlbach became assistant to the general counsel for Swift & Company in Chicago until 1951 when he moved back to Lincoln to open his law firm. Family will receive friends from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., on Thursday, Aug. 26, at Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home, 127 South Logan, Lincoln. A funeral ceremony will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 402 Pekin Street, Lincoln, Illinois on Friday, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. with Father James Cravens officiating. Burial will be in Elkhart Cemetery, Elkhart. Memorial contributions may be made to Lincoln College or Trinity Episcopal Church. Read the full obituary in the Springfield State Journal-Register.

Clyde E. Murphy 1948-2010

Posted on August 23, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Clyde E. Murphy, a crusading civil rights attorney who won a Supreme Court case on behalf of African-American firefighter applicants, passed away on Aug. 17 at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. Services have been held.
In his 35-year legal career, first with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and more recently as executive director of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Mr. Murphy handled employment discrimination, affirmative-action, police misconduct and housing bias cases. His pivotal achievement came this year when the Supreme Court unanimously upheld a federal judge's ruling that the city of Chicago discriminated against a group of more than 6,000 African-American applicants who took the 1995 firefighter entrance exam.
Read the full obituary in the Chicago Tribune

Cournane named general counsel of IFA

Posted on August 23, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
The Illinois Finance Authority has appointed Brendan Cournane, 56, as General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Directors. Cournane replaces Christopher Meister, 45 (who was recently promoted to IFA Executive Director). Cournane had served as Senior Assistant General Counsel of the Chicago Board of Education, a position held since 2003. Cournane received his B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago in 1975 and his J.D. from Loyola in 1978.