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Michaels elected to leadership position at Baker & Daniels

Posted on February 16, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Rick Michaels
Baker & Daniels LLP has announced its top leadership positions for 2010, including the election of Rick Michaels to a three-year term on the law firm's strategic and policy board. Michaels is the managing partner of the Chicago office and practices business and corporate finance. Baker & Daniels LLP provides advice and counsel to regional, national and international clients with transactional and litigation needs. With more than 370 attorneys and legal professionals, the full-service law firm has offices in Indiana, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Beijing. B&D Consulting, a national advisory and advocacy firm focused on key sectors of the economy and based in Washington, D.C., is a division of Baker & Daniels. For more information about Baker & Daniels or B&D Consulting, visit or

Gardner awarded prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship

Posted on February 10, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Amy Gardner
Amy Gardner
Ungaretti & Harris LLP Litigation Partner Amy M. Gardner has been selected by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) to receive one of its prestigious 2010 Marshall Memorial Fellowships. Ms. Gardner is one of 54 emerging American leaders who were chosen for distinguishing themselves in their respective professions while demonstrating a commitment to enhancing relationships between the United States and Europe.  She is one of four from Illinois and the only Illinois attorney to receive the honor this year.  Since its inception 28 years ago, the program has attracted more than 1,650 of the best and brightest American and European professionals. During a 24-day European travel program, Ms. Gardner and other Fellows will explore political, economic and social institutions and issues impacting the United States and Europe.  They will meet formally and informally with policymakers and prominent members of the business, government, political, non-governmental organizations and media communities who will provide a local perspective on transatlantic and domestic issues. Following the Fellowship, Ms. Gardner intends to use the knowledge she gains to educate Ungaretti & Harris attorneys and clients on conducting business, particularly related to commercial and intellectual property litigation matters, in foreign jurisdictions. At Ungaretti & Harris, Ms.

Bryan Sims opens Sims Law Firm, Ltd.

Posted on February 9, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Bryan Sims
On February 1, 2010, Bryan Sims, a member of the Illinois bar since 1996, has started his own firm, Sims Law Firm, Ltd., in Naperville. Bryan is a 1996 graduate of Loyola University Chicago and was most recently a partner at Thompson, Rosenthal & Watts, LLP. Bryan will focus his practice on commercial litigation matters, commercial collections , mechanics liens, residential real estate, and landlord/tenant issues. More information about Bryan can be found at his blog The Connected Lawyer. Contact information:
  • Bryan M. Sims
  • Sims Law Firm, Ltd.
  • 1755 Park St.  Suite 200
  • Naperville, IL 60563
  • 630-344-9267
  • 630-689-9072 (fax)

Sommario elected treasurer of Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association

Posted on February 8, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Frank Sommario
Frank Sommario
Frank A. Sommario, an associate attorney at the Chicago law firm of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, was elected and installed treasurer of the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association (WCLA), Ltd., at a dinner meeting held January 23 at the Drake Hotel. Sommario was first elected to the WCLA Board of Directors in 2008 and served in that capacity for fiscal years 2008-09.  He became a member of the organization in 2001. The WCLA was established to promote fellowship among members of the bar engaged in the trial of workers’ compensation matters; promote, foster and sponsor legislation relating to workers’ compensation and its administration; aid, assist and cooperate with judicial tribunals and administrative bodies in matters relating to the administration of workers’ compensation laws; and improve quality of service to the general public for workers’ compensation legal services. Prior to joining Romanucci & Blandin, Sommario was a partner in a firm which represented petitioners in their workers’ compensation claims, and while in law school, was a law clerk for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.  A certified public accountant, as well as a registered investment advisor, he received his J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law in 2000 and his B.S.

Edward J. Downs 1937-2010

Posted on February 3, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Edward J. Downs, a lawyer described as having a soft tough for those in need, passed away from pancreatic cancer last week. Mr. Downs spent five years with the Cook County Public Defender's Office before becoming McHenry County's first public defender.
"I think he really semi-adopted his clients," said Chuck Murphy, a criminal defense attorney who met Mr. Downs 37 years ago. "He took an interest in that [client's] case, but also in what was going on in the person's life."
Mr. Downs received his master's degree from Loyola University and his law degree from DePaul University. Click here to read the full obituary in the Chicago Tribune.

Mike Rogers 1963-2010

Posted on February 3, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Former Cook County prosecutor and legal consultant Mike Rogers of LaGrange recently passed away. Mr. Rogers was a 1981 graduate of Fenwick High School. He graduated from Regis University in Colorado and received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
"Mike was the best at bringing new technology to the courtroom - in graphics, audiovisuals and re-enactments," said Chicago attorney John Lyke, who worked with Mr. Rogers in the Cook County state's attorney's office. "He was a hard-charging professional, and someone who was great at training other trial lawyers."
Click here to read the full obituary in the Chicago Tribune.

Women's Bar Foundation elects officers and directors for 2010

Posted on February 1, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Tthe Members of the Women's Bar Foundation (WBF) recently elected/re-elected as Directors of the Foundation, for three -year terms ending January 2013, the following members of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI): Sarah Breitlander, Anne McGovern Burkhart, Karina DeHayes, Dawn M. Gonzales, Bates McIntyre Larson, Susan Schwartz and Tracey Stokes. At the Annual Meeting of the Foundation's Board of Directors, held immediately after the Foundation's Members Meeting, the following individuals were elected as Officers for the year 2010:
  • President - Bernadette Barron
  • Vice President - Shelley DeRousse (Event Co-Chair)
  • Bernadette Freeman (External Affairs)
  • Carol A. Hogan (Fundraising)
  • Bates McIntyre Larson (Scholarships)
  • Catherine Basque Weiler (Event Co-Chair)
  • Secretary - Rosa M. Silva
  • Treasurer - Mary Melchor
The Women's Bar Foundation was created in 1966, and established as a non-profit organization in 1968, for the purpose of funding scholarships for deserving women law students attending Illinois law schools. For further information on the WBF, see

ISBA hosts Tort Law CLE at Chicago office

Posted on January 29, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Left to right: Dan Wurl, Darrell Seigler, George Leynaud, Martin O'Hara, Robert Duncan, Dennis Berkbigler, Ron Kalish and ISBA President John O'Brien
ISBA President John O'Brien met with the speakers and organizers of the Tort Law Section's "Back to Basics: Tort Law" on Friday at the ISBA's Chicago office. Some of those included:
  • Dan Wurl, Champaign
  • George Leynaud, Peru
  • Dennis Berkbigler, Effingham
  • Darrel Seigler, Ottawa
  • Ron Kalish, Chicago
  • Martin O'Hara, Chicago

Reeg now admitted in four states

Posted on January 29, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Kurtis B. Reeg
Kurtis B. Reeg
Kurtis B. Reeg, founder and president of Reeg Lawyers, LLC, is now admitted to the practice of law in the staets of Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska. For 30 years, Mr. Reeg has focused his practice on toxic torts, products liability and insurance law.

Pappas joins Enterprise Law Group as Of Counsel

Posted on January 29, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Enterprise Law Group, LLP is pleased to announce that Samuel L. Pappas has joined the firm as Of Counsel. Samuel is a business lawyer with 20 years' experience in areas including banking and bank regulation, business finance, complex structured and mezzanine finance, commercial real estate transactions, and securitized lending, as well as consumer finance and regulation. During his career, Samuel practiced in a large law firm, and has also been a transactional attorney for various banks and financial services companies, including Parkway Bank & Trust Company, Transamerica Finance Corporation, Bank One (n/k/a Chase Bank), and The Asahi Bank, Ltd. (a Japanese bank). He will be providing legal services to entrepreneurs, middle market companies, private enterprises and financial services clients. Samuel received his J.D. degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He received a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Northwestern University, where he served as President of Pi Sigma Alpha (a national honor society for political science majors).