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John P. Deege 1916-2009

Posted on December 7, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
John P. Deege, 93, passed away last month at his Quincy home. He was born June 26, 1916, in Great Bend, Kan., a son of Fred and Myrtle Ireland Deege.
John was an attorney who practiced for over 50 years and retired in September of 2008. He was a graduate of Madison Grade School, Quincy High School, Illinois College at Jacksonville and the University of Illinois Law School. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1944-1946 and from 1950-1952 in the Korean War.
Read the full obituary in the Quincy Herald-Whig

Stephen Bell joins Grady Pilgrim

Posted on December 4, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Stephen Bell
Stephen Bell
Chicago law firm Grady Pilgrim Christakis Bell LLP announced today that attorney Stephen Bell, one of the founding partners of the Chicago law firm Goldberg Kohn Bell Black Rosenbloom & Moritz, Ltd., has joined Grady Pilgrim as a partner. Bell chaired Goldberg Kohn's Real Estate Group from 1996 to 2007, and served on its Management Committee for many years until his recent resignation.  Grady Pilgrim is a Chicago-based law firm founded in October 2008 by four former partners of the Chicago law firm Arnstein & Lehr LLP. Bell received his law degree, cum laude, from Harvard University in 1969 and his A.B.

ATG President Birnbaum elected to American Land Title Association Board of Governors

Posted on December 3, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Peter Birnbaum
Peter Birnbaum
Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund President Peter J. Birnbaum was elected to the 2009-2010 Board of Governors of the American Land Title Association at the association's annual convention at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, in late October.  ALTA is the official trade group of the title industry. Birnbaum is only the second bar-related title company executive to serve on ALTA's  board during its 85-year history. Birnbaum will also serve as ALTA's Underwriters Section Representative. Title industry veteran Mark Winter was named ALTA's 2009-2010 new president at the October convention. "I look forward to uniquely representing ATG's nearly 4,000 member attorneys in my new position with ALTA's Board of Governors," explained Birnbaum. "During his 28 years with Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Peter has continually brought progressive ideas, ceaseless energy and strong leadership to his organization and to the broader title industry," commented ALTA's CEO Kurt Pfotenhauer.

William C. Butcher 1924-2009

Posted on December 2, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
William C. Butcher, formerly of Melrose Park, passed away on Nov. 28, 2009, at his home in Kent, Wash. Bill was born Jan. 30, 1924, in Rock Island. He married Velma Melton on Jan. 1, 1943, in Chicago. He served in the Army Air Corp in the South Pacific during WWII. He graduated from John Marshall Law School in 1953 and practiced law for 40 years. He enjoyed playing chess, and he loved the Lord. Having retired, Bill and Velma moved to Washington six years ago. Bill is survived by his brother, Ted, and sister, June; his daughter, Mary; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife and their daughter, Patricia. Burial will take place 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, 2009, at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Wash. Arrangements by Marlatt Funeral Home in Kent, Wash.

Quarles & Brady's Slaughter selected to Board of The Chicago Committee

Posted on December 1, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Kevin Slaughter
Kevin Slaughter
Quarles & Brady LLP is pleased to announce that Kevin Slaughter has been selected to serve on the Board of The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. "I treasure the opportunity to give back to the Chicago Committee," said Slaughter. "It has been a tremendously valuable resource to me personally since I was a law student." Mr. Slaughter practices in the Firm's Corporate Services group. His principal areas of practice are corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and technology/e-commerce. He earned his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law and his B.A. degree from Hampton University. The Chicago Committee is the preeminent voice and agent fostering racial and ethnic diversity in the Chicago legal community, impacting the broader legal profession. It sponsors programs for its member law firms, minority partners, associates and law students in order to provide the Chicago legal community with the tools necessary to increase and sustain diversity in Chicago's law firms. Quarles & Brady LLP is a full-service law firm with more than 450 attorneys practicing from offices in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Chicago; Naples, Fla.; and Milwaukee and Madison, Wis. Additional information about the firm may be found at

John D. Drew passes away

Posted on November 30, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Longtime attorney John D. Drew died recently at his home in Benton.
Drew began his career as an attorney in 1979, and was a member of the Franklin County Bar Association and the Illinois Bar Association. “Many people didn’t realize the pro bono work that John did,” Muir noted. “I’ve had a dozen people tell me over the last few days that John had handled things for them and didn’t charge them a dime.”
Read the full obituary in the Benton Evening News.

Pfanenstiel and Whitfield named associates at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck

Posted on November 30, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
[gallery link="file" columns="2"] Eric R. Pfanenstiel and Evan D. Whitfield were recently named associates at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck. Mr. Pfanenstiel will concentrate his practice on complex family law matters including finance, property division and custody. Mr. Pfanenstiel received his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. While studying at DePaul he received a Certificate in Taxation and the Cali Award for Excellence in Family Law Legal Drafting.  He began his career at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck as a law clerk in 2007. Mr. Whitfield was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic soccer team and received his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law, where he earned a Certificate in Family Law. His practice concentrates on complex family law matters including finance, child custody and paternity. Mr. Whitfield joined Schiller DuCanto & Fleck as a law clerk in 2008.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Kilbride named Judge of the Year by ABOTA

Posted on November 23, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Justice Thomas Kilbride
Justice Thomas Kilbride
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride has been named Judge of the Year by the Illinois Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Justice Kilbride was honored and received the award on Friday, Nov. 20, at the University Club in Chicago. "Justice Kilbride was chosen not only because of his career on the Illinois Supreme Court, but also because of his 20 years in private practice," said Illinois ABOTA president Geoffrey L. Gifford. "His good public works, all the good things he's done in pro bono and other community service make him an unusually well-qualified candidate for this award." ABOTA is a 50-year-old national organization of civil trial lawyers comprised of an equal number of well-respected, highly talented plaintiff and defense attorneys. Its primary focus is to preserve the right of a trial by jury in civil cases, and the independence of the judiciary. The Illinois Chapter has about 90 members. Justice Kilbride, who grew up in Kankakee, received his B.A. degree magna cum laude from Saint Mary's in 1978; and his law degree from Antioch School of Law in Washington D.C. in 1981. While in law school, Justice Kilbride completed judicial internships for the administrative assistant to the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court and for U.S. District Court Judge Joyce Hens Green.

ISBA YLD Council member Justin Heather wins National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award

Posted on November 19, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Skadden Arps attorney and ISBA YLD Council member Justin Heather has been selected the winner of the 2009 American Bar Association National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.  Cheryl Camin of Texas and Keathan Frink of Florida are the other finalists.The award will be presented at the ABA Midyear Meeting on Saturday, February 6, 2010.

John F. McCabe passes away

Posted on November 17, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Attorney John F. McCabe died on October 24, 2009, at age 51 at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge after a long battle with cancer. John was a man of integrity and humility, who dedicated his life to his family and profession. John graduated in 1984 from Ohio State School of Law. He spent 15 years at the Will County State's Attorney's Office where he served for several years as Supervisor of the Felony Division and Chief of White Collar Crimes Unit. John obtained verdicts in over 50 felony criminal cases and had 14 1st degree murder convictions. Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow said "John had a brilliant mind, a heart-felt compassion for others, a great sense of humor and a gracious but masterful ability to read people. These qualities made him a phenomenal prosecutor and an incredible human being. He never complained about his personal travails, but he was always the first to step up to help others. I'm a much better person for having known John McCabe." Former colleagues described John as a "truly fine thinker who worked tirelessly to bring about justice," a "quiet giant of the law," "tough but compassionate," and an "excellent lawyer but an even better person," who was "honest and honorable." John was recently employed at Codilis and Associates where John practiced real estate law representing mortgage bankers. According to his law firm, John's reputation in this area was "unparalleled." He handled contested litigation and was responsible for Cook and Will County matters. He was well respected by judges, colleagues and support staff.