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Illinois Bar Foundation to Honor Three at Annual Fellows Breakfast

The Illinois Bar Foundation will honor Hon. Dennis J. Burke, Ret., and Ruth Ann Schmitt with the 2018 Distinguished Service to Law & Society Awards at the annual Fellows Breakfast on Dec. 7 at the University Club Chicago. Richard R. Winter will receive the 2018 Honorary Fellow Award.

Hon. Dennis J. Burke, Ret. will be presented with the Distinguished Service for Law & Society Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the legal community and the Illinois Bar Foundation throughout his career. Prior to serving 15 years on the Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge Burke was a trial attorney for 23 years at Burke & Burke. Judge Burke is a former secretary and treasurer of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), and past Chair of the ISBA Civil Practice and Procedure Committee. He is a current member of the assembly and remains very active on various ISBA section councils and committees. Judge Burke served two terms as the foundation’s president. ​

Ruth Ann Schmitt will also be presented with the Distinguished Service to Law & Society Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the legal community and the Illinois Bar Foundation throughout her career. Schmitt was a powerful force in promoting and expanding access to justice in Illinois. Beginning in 1981, she worked to develop the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program in Illinois. When the Lawyers Trust Fund was incorporated by the Illinois State Bar Association and The Chicago Bar Association as a not-for-profit corporation in 1983, she became its first executive director and helped implement IOLTA. Under Ms. Schmitt’s leadership, the Lawyers Trust Fund has become the largest Illinois-based source of funding for civil legal aid, distributing over $135 million in total grants since 1984. ​

Richard R. Winter, a commercial litigation partner at Holland & Knight, LLP, will receive the Honorary Fellow Award, presented to individuals of singular distinction among lawyers whose professional and public careers set an example to which others aspire. Winter has substantial experience in antitrust, shareholder, fiduciary, and trade secret litigation, and has been active in a variety of pro bono matters involving veterans, special needs children, and disabled adults, and Hague Convention maters reuniting children and parents.

To purchase tickets and for sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.IllinoisBarFoundation.org or call 312-726-6072.

Posted on November 8, 2018 by Rhys Saunders