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Douglas Frank Spesia 1940-2010

Posted on June 21, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Douglas F. Spesia
Douglas Frank Spesia died peacefully at his home on Friday after a 10-year battle with prostate cancer. He was born October 11, 1940 in Joliet. Mr. Spesia graduated from the University of Illinois and the University of Notre Dame Law School. He was a proud member of Joliet's first all-star team which played in the 1953 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. On June 12, 1965, he married Loretta Wiesbrook and joined the oldest law firm in Joliet, which is now Spesia & Ayers. He had a distinguished and rewarding 45-year career as an attorney, and spent his adult life involved in the Cathedral of St. Raymond parish. An active volunteer, he served on the boards of many organizations including: President of the Joliet Montessori School Board, past President of the Will County Bar Association, President of the Joliet Rotary Club and host of exchange students, founding member of the Will County Community Foundation, and a committed supporter of Catholic Charities' Daybreak Shelter. An avid reader whose wide range of interests led to a life of incredible travel -- from family camping across the United States and Canada to world-wide trips with dear friends that covered six continents.

Arquilla DeBoni joins Romanucci & Blandin

Posted on June 18, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Gina Arquilla DeBoni
Gina Arquilla DeBoni has joined the law firm of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, as a managing attorney. Romanucci & Blandin provides clients with experienced and skilled representation in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and workers’ compensation claims. DeBoni, who is an elected member of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Board of Governors, has chaired several fundraisers for the ISBA’s Young Lawyers Division, raising thousands of dollars for the Children’s Assistance Fund.  She was the YLD chair in 2008-09. She recently completed a three-year term on the ABA’s House of Delegates, and is the ABA Young Lawyers Division District 15 representative, where she coordinates legal services in the event of a disaster.  She is also active in the Justinian Society of Lawyers and a board member of the Italian American Political Coalition. DeBoni has been named twice as a “Rising Star” in the field of law by Chicago magazine. She received her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2002 and her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in 1997. Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, is located at 33 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60602, contact or call (312) 458-1000.

ATG, Shulruff presented with 2010 Liberty Bell Award

Posted on June 16, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Hank Shulruff
Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Inc. (ATG), the only bar-related title insurance company based in Illinois, is the recipient of the 19th Judicial Circuit Court of Lake County 2010 Liberty Bell Award. The Liberty Bell Award is an annual award given to an organization that demonstrates outstanding commitment and service to the community. ATG has played an integral role in an unprecedented effort to help Chicagoland homeowners at-risk of foreclosure modify their loans via a series of “Fix Your Mortgage” and “Keep Your Home” foreclosure-prevention events. “In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, ATG is a leader in providing services to at-risk homeowners,” said Chief Judge James K. Booras of the 19th Judicial Circuit Court.  “We are proud of their dedicated volunteer work and ability to use the force of their membership to provide services to communities battling foreclosure.” Through its extensive member network, ATG has recruited and helped to train more than 500 volunteer attorneys to assist homeowners at these events.

Gatziolis, Karton, Maras named to Union League Club offices

Posted on June 11, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Three attorneys were installed June 8 as officers of the prestigious, 131-year-old Union League Club of Chicago. The new president is James J. Gatziolis, a founding partner of the Chicago office of Quarles & Brady. A 1973 graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law and a certified public accountant, he has chaired several ULCC committees and is a trustee of its Boys & Girls Clubs. Serving as first vice president is Robert M. Karton of Robert M. Karton Ltd, a 1965 graduate of the DePaul University College of Law. A former assistant state’s attorney, he has been in private civil practice since 1968 and is Great Lakes Region legal officer of the Civil Air Patrol. Guy N. Maras, a partner with Hennessy & Roach in workers’ compensation, was elected to his second term as club secretary. A 1995 graduate of The John Marshall Law School and former editor of its Journal of Computer and Information Law, he has a master’s degree in public policy from DePaul.

Illinois Judges Association installs 2010-2011 officers

Posted on June 8, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Officers of the Illinois Judges Association (IJA) for 2010-11 were installed at the organization’s Annual Meeting held recently at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.  The new officers are (from left) Judge Michael B. Hyman, Circuit Court of Cook County, Secretary; Justice M. Carol Pope, 4th Appellate District, Third Vice President; Justice Mary S. Schostok, 2nd Appellate District, First Vice President; Judge Lewis M. Nixon, Circuit Court of Cook County, President; Judge Rita M. Novak, Circuit Court of Cook County, Second Vice President; and Judge Robert J. Anderson, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Treasurer.

Arnoff inducted as Fellow by College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Posted on June 8, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers is proud to announce the election of long-time Evanston resident Alisa Arnoff of Scalambrino & Arnoff, LLP as a newly elected Fellow. Election as a Fellow is the highest recognition by ones colleagues of sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication and excellence. The 15th installation of Fellows will be held Nov. 6, 2010 in Chicago, coincident with the American Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section's Continuing Legal Education Conference. With the current installation, the College is represented by almost 1,100 members in 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada. The College was the vision of a number of the Fellows. The idea was to further establish this profession in all its aspects as one uniquely important to the world of labor and employment law, individual rights, collective bargaining and dispute resolution. The College was established in 1995 through an initiative of the Council of The Section of Labor and Employment Law of The American Bar Association. It operates as a free standing organization recognizing those who, by long and outstanding service, have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field.

Raccuglia awarded Leonard M. Ring Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on June 8, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Anthony C. Raccuglia of Peru, will be awarded the prestigious Leonard M. Ring Lifetime Achievement Award at the lllinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) Convention on Friday, June 11. The convention will be held at the Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort in Oak Brook. The criteria of the award is as follows: "This award is given annually at the convention banquet to someone selected by a committee appointed by the president. The recipient is someone who has devoted, as Leonard did, a substantial part of their life and their practice to ITLA, someone who has done more than is called for. Someone who had the standards of Leonard, the work ethics of Leonard and the commitment to ITLA that Leonard had. At the same time, it keeps alive the memory of Leonard Ring."

Smith to be installed as President of Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

Posted on June 7, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Todd A. Smith, a founding partner of Power Rogers & Smith in Chicago, will be installed as the 57th President of the lllinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) on Friday, June 11, at its annual convention. He received his Bachelors degree from Kansas University, his Masters in Business Administration at Northwestern University and his J.D. at Loyola University of Chicago. Smith is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, limited to 100 top trial lawyers nationwide. He is also a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers. He is a past president of the lllinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and a past president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), now the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Smith is also past Chairman of the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company Board of Directors. He was appointed to the Lawyers Trust Fund of lllinois by the lllinois Supreme Court and served a six-year term. He was honored in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 with his inclusion in the respected Naifeh & Smith publication, "The Best Lawyers in America." He has been recognized in the top 10 lllinois lawyers in recent Super Lawyer publications, as well as in the Leading Lawyers Network. He was also selected by Chicago Lawyer Magazine as its 1998 Person of the Year.

McLawhorn launches McLawhorn Law Offices, P.C.

Posted on June 4, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Todd McLawhorn, after practicing law for over 18 years in three of the country’s largest law firms, both in Chicago and New York, has started his own law firm. Mr. McLawhorn has tried cases and appeared before courts in a variety of jurisdictions, literally spanning the country from coast to coast. Mr. McLawhorn has significant experience with complex business litigation, including matters involving contracts, consumer fraud allegations, trade secret issues, deceptive trade practices claims, antitrust issues, merger and acquisition issues and business disputes. He has represented assorted clients in a wide array of industries, including those in the financial services, banking, computer hardware and software, membership services, manufacturing and professional sports fields. In addition, Mr. McLawhorn has devoted a substantial portion of his practice to class action litigation, particularly with respect to antitrust and consumer fraud claims. Most recently, Mr. McLawhorn was a partner at Howrey LLP, where he was the Hiring Partner and on the Chicago office’s management committee. Mr. McLawhorn received his law degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of both the University of North Carolina Law Review and the Holderness Moot Court Bench. He graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina University in three years with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Mr.

Lawless named partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck

Posted on June 2, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Michelle Lawless
Michelle Lawless has been named partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck after distinguishing herself as an associate since 2002. Ms. Lawless came to Schiller DuCanto and Fleck LLP following two years as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Moshe Jacobius, Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division, Circuit Court of Cook County. During that time, she also served as Division Attorney and Administrator of the Cook County Child Representative Program. Ms. Lawless received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and English from Indiana University and her Juris Doctorate degree from St. Louis University School of Law. In 2009, Michelle was recognized as one of 40 attorneys to watch who were under 40 years of age by the Chicago Law Bulletin Publishing Company.