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Arthur Gorov 1932-2010

Posted on January 19, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Longtime ISBA member Arthur Gorov passed away last week at his home in Montana. The Chicago native worked at the personal-injury law firm of Berkson, Gorov and Levin before heading up the legal research department for Cook County Circuit Court. He and his wife moved to Montana seven years ago.
"He always declared eagles carried his heart with them," said Billie Lee, his wife, friend and companion of 31 years. "They were the reflection of his soul."
Read the full obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bieber joins Levin Schreder & Carey as partner

Posted on January 19, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Levin Schreder & Carey Ltd. welcomes Scott Bieber as a partner of the firm. Bieber has been practicing law for 27 years and focuses his practice on family wealth preservation, federal transfer taxation and family business planning. A published author and frequent speaker for attorneys, accountants and other professionals on business planning and wealth preservation topics, Bieber is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is an Editorial Board member of Estate Planning magazine. Bieber has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Trust, Will and Estate Planning Law by the Illinois Leading Lawyers Network, has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer in Estate Planning and Probate, and is also named in Best Lawyers in America in the area of Trusts and Estates. Before joining Levin Schreder & Carey Ltd. in January 2010, Bieber practiced law at Schiff Hardin LLP. Bieber received his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School and his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. Levin Schreder & Carey Ltd. is a law firm focused on federal income tax, estate tax and gift tax planning and controversy resolution for individuals and closely-held businesses. The firm is one of the largest law firms devoted exclusively to income tax and estate planning and related litigation in the Chicago area. For more information, visit the firm's website at:

Michael E. Lavelle Sr. 1938-2009

Posted on January 18, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Election law expert Michael E. Lavelle Sr. passed away last month after years of battling lupus and liver disease. Mr. Lavelle was a native of County Galway, Ireland, and servied in the Marines from 1957-1960. He received a bachelor's degree from Loyola University and a law degree from John Marshall Law School.
"People called him the election czar," his son said. "He took a lot of heat as head of the Chicago election board, but I never heard him speak badly of anybody. He could be trading heated comments with somebody, and later on they would be friends."
Click here to read the obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times Click here to read the obituary in the Chicago Tribune

Barbara Downs passes away

Posted on January 14, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Barbara Downs
Barbara Downs
Barbara A. Downs, Wife and Partner of Robert K. Downs of Downs Law Offices, P.C., recently passed away. Barb and Bob met on July 4, became engaged Aug. 1 and were married Nov. 30, 1963.  They have 2 children, Christopher and Kelli (Steve) Seales and 2 grandchildren, Zach and Amanda. Barb worked as a child welfare worker to help put Bob through law school.  She received a P.H.T. (Putting Hubby Through) Degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1965. Barb received her JD from DePaul University in 1984.  She also had an LLM in taxation.  She received her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1961. Member, Family Law Section Council, Sub-Committee on Supreme Court Rules; Association of Family and Conciliation Courts; West Suburban and DuPage County Bar Associations; Past member of the Estate and Probate Section Council. In or about December 2008, Barb wrote an article for the ISBA Family Law Section Council's newsletter regarding an unfair transfer tax on the division of property in divorce cases that caught the attention of many, including Ald. Ed Burke.  Action is pending in the Chicago City Council. She was a partner in life and the law to Bob and a loving mother to Chris and Kelli.

Querrey & Harrow and Hunziker Law Group LLC announce strategic alliance

Posted on January 14, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Querrey & Harrow, a 70-year-old multi-service Chicago law firm, and Hunziker Law Group LLC, a 17-year-old downstate commercial law firm headquartered in Peoria, have formed a strategic alliance. The alliance's purpose is to enhance client satisfaction and facilitate client representations by offering services throughout an extended geographical area. The alliance will allow both firms to offer extended services in a cost-effective manner without sacrificing their traditional focus on providing each client with individualized attention.

Several members of ISBA Trusts & Estates Section Council recognized

Posted on January 13, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Several current and past members of the ISBA Trusts & Estates Section Council were recently recognized by the Leading Lawyers Network Magazine and by Super Lawyers Magazine:
  • James Lestikow - is featured in Dec 2009 Leading Lawyers Network Magazine
  • Lyman Welch is recognized as #2 in the Top 10 Trusts, Estates and Wills Lawyers in Dec. 2009 Leading Lawyers Network Magazine
  • Bill Peithman - is #10 in Consumer Lawyers Downstate in Dec. 2009 Leading Lawyers Network Magazine.
  • Ray Koenig - is the only 2010 Rising Star in Trust & Estate Litigation in Super Lawyers Magazine
  • Katarinna McBride and Donna Moore are 2010 Rising Stars in Trusts, Estate and Probate in Super Lawyers Magazine
Several current Trust & Estate Section Council members named  Super Lawyers in Estate Planning and Probate according to Super Lawyers Magazine include Gregg Garofalo, Bill Peithman, Tom Polachek and Lyman Welch.

"Rules of Evidence" to air on Judicial Perspective

Posted on January 12, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Luis A. Berrones, Israel A. Desierto and Diana J. Larsen and Michael B. Hyman will appear on "Rules of Evidence."
Rules of Evidence will be the topic of "Judicial Perspective," a half-hour cable program presented by the Illinois Judges Association (IJA), airing on Chicago Access Network Television, Channel 21 in Chicago, on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 10:30 p.m. The judges explain to non-lawyers the purpose and the use of evidence rules. Appearing on the show will be  Luis A. Berrones, a judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Lake County; Israel A. Desierto and Diane J. Larsen, both judges on the Circuit Court of Cook County; and program moderator Michael B. Hyman, also a judge on the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Illinois Judges Association, formed in 1971, provides continuing legal support to members of the judiciary and education to the public on matters regarding the court system.

Downs receives Lifetime Achievement Award from NWSBA

Posted on January 11, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Ed and Debra Downs
Ed and Debra Downs
Longtime criminal defense attorney Ed Downs has received the Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation was made in December. Dave Corbett of NWSBA cited Downs as being among "the top shelf of practitioners, a giant among us. Downs is a familiar sight at 26th and California," Corbett said, referring to the criminal courts building for the First Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Corbett called the courthouse "sacred ground," adding that it provides a challenging environment for defense attorneys. "His self-effacing manner belies his greatness," Corbett said. "He is a role model to many. Among brilliant trial lawyers, Ed Downs is top shelf. He's a giant among us." He has fought for the rights of all, Corbett said of Downs, adding, "I can't think of a more fitting recipient for this honor." In accepting the award, Downs exhibited the self-effacing manner to which Corbett had referred. Mentioning he had found law school hard, he told attendees, "I'm not that smart." It was a statement with which many would disagree. He earned degrees from Wright Junior College, Loyola University School of Business and Loyola University Graduate School of Industrial Relations, balancing classwork during many of those years with a job as a letter carrier.

State Rep. Lou Lang joins Querrey & Harrow as Of Counsel

Posted on January 7, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Rep. Louis I. Lang, Deputy Majority House Leader, has joined Querrey & Harrow and its municipal liability practice group as Of Counsel. Rep. Lang also handles commercial litigation and planning and development issues for public entities. Rep. Lang has served the 16th House District of Illinois (including Skokie, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, a part of the 49th and most of the 50th Wards in Chicago) and the Illinois Legislature for more than 20 years. Rep. Lang obtained his B.A. in Political Science at the University of Illinois and his law degree from DePaul University. "We are honored to have Rep. Lang aboard," says Michael Stillman, Managing Shareholder of the firm. "His perspective provides added value for municipal clients as well as our business clients with regard to regulatory issues in Illinois." Querrey & Harrow is a 70-attorney multi-service law firm with offices throughout greater metropolitan Chicago, and in Merrillville, Ind.

James C. Chiakulas 1940-2009

Posted on January 5, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
James C. Chiakulas, 69, of Chicago, passed away last month on the North Side. Mt. Chiakulas was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from John Marshall Law School.
A lawyer and union leader, Mr. Chiakulas fought to improve the working conditions of teachers across the Chicago area. He headed a group that advocated for Greeks living under Turkish rule on the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus. He was an accomplished jazz musician, said his son-in-law, Paul Chronis.
Read the full obituary in the Chicago Tribune