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Donald F. Jurewicz passes away

Posted on August 20, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Don Jurewicz, 64, former Cook County Assistant  Public Defender, passed away last Saturday, Aug. 14, after an extensive battle with cancer.  Visitation and a memorial service will be held this Saturday, August 21, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Blake & Lamb Funeral Home, 4727 103rd Street, Oak Lawn, Illinois. Don attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, on a Chick Evans Scholarship and graduated with a BA in 1967.  He obtained his JD from John Marshall Law School in 1975.  Don worked as a Cook County Public Defender from 1975 - 2003.  Upon retirement from the Public Defender’s Office, he began a private law practice in Blue Island. Don had been very active in the Dolton Riverdale Jaycees and had been a member of the Dolton Zoning Board of Appeals.  He had also been active in the Worth Township Regular Democratic Organization.   Don was a member of the South Suburban Bar Association, the Southwest Bar Association and the ISBA. He was an avid reader and a sports fan.

Nathan G. Brenner Jr. passes away

Posted on August 19, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Nathan G. Brenner Jr. passed away last week. Mr. Brenner was a partner in the Morton Grove firm of Brenner, Matvrias and Alm. Read his full obituary in the Chicago Tribune

Best Lawyers names Clifford, Hebeisen and Durkin

Posted on August 12, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Robert Clifford, Keith Hebeisen and Kevin Durkin, partners at Clifford Law Offices, were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2011. Clifford, principal partner of the firm, was recognized in the Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Litigation and Product Liability Litigation categories. He was named the 2009 Chicago Personal Injury Litigator of the Year and the 2010 Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers. Hebeisen was listed in the Medical Malpractice field of law, and Hebeisen and Durkin were recognized by their peers in the Personal Injury Litigation area of law along with Clifford. Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become regarded as one of the definitive guides to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast nearly 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Clifford has been named by Best Lawyers in the field of personal injury law since its inception.

ISBA Past President Niro joins ABA Board of Governors

Posted on August 10, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Cheryl Niro
Cheryl Niro, long a leader of Illinois’ legal community, today became a member of the American Bar Association Board of Governors. Niro is a principal in the law firm of RobinsonNiro, LLC, which provides advice, expert witness services and training on issues involving legal ethics. Just beginning a 3-year term as one of only 38 members of the Board of Governors, Niro will help oversee administration and management of the ABA.  She represents the association’s Seventh District, comprising Illinois and Ohio.  The association represents lawyers from every corner of the country, practicing in every field of law and working in every professional capacity. Niro has worked in legal circles in Illinois since 1981, with her career alternating the private practice of law with public service.  She was executive director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism during 2006-09; a special counsel to the Attorney General of Illinois in 1996-99; and the executive director of the Illinois Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, a project of the state supreme court, in 1985-88.  While practicing in a law firm under her own name, she also founded the National Center for Conflict Resolution Education, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education. Niro is a past president of the Illinois State Bar Association, and has chaired or been a member of state bar entities devoted to a range of issues, from meeting the legal needs and interests of children in the state to the impact of international trade agreements on the practice of law.  As a hands-on leader, she worked with the state bar’s participation in national high school mock trial competitions and supported a project to revise and update the Illinois Revised Statutes.  She worked on issues of internal bar significance, but also those affecting the public, such as developing alternatives to litigation for resolving legal disputes.  She also is as past president of the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation, which works to meet the legal needs of the county’s indigent, and of the Illinois Supreme Court Legal Historical Society.

Peter Paolucci 1926-2010

Posted on August 10, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Former 10th Circuit Judge Peter Paolucci passed away last month at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Mr. Paolucci graduated from Bradley University and the St. Louis University School of Law. He began his practice in Lacon in 1955 and became an associate judge in 1970. He retired from the 10th Circuit Court in 1987 and returned to practice law in Lacon. Click here to read the full obituary in the Peoria Journal Star.

Wellington S. Smith 1913-2010

Posted on August 9, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Longtime Joliet attorney Wellington S. Smith passed away last month at the age of 96. Mr. Smith was born in Chicago and was a graduate of Morgan Park Military, Lake Forest College and John Marshall Law School. He was employed for 43 years at Chicago Title and Trust. After retiring, he practiced at law with Galowich & Galowich in Joliet as well as acting as an Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and the Will County Arbitration Commission. Mr. Smith was a WWII and Korean Conflict Veteran and received three Battle Stars. Read the full obituary at

David N. Dailey 1947-2010

Posted on August 5, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
David N. Dailey passed away in late June at his home in Moline. Mr. Dailey graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He practiced law for 37 years, from 1973 until his death. Read the full obituary in the Quad-City Times.

Bassett joins Williams Venker & Sanders

Posted on August 4, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Robert J. Bassett
Williams Venker & Sanders LLC in St. Louis is pleased to announce that Robert J. Bassett ( has joined the firm as its newest Partner. Bob, a respected trial attorney in, most notably, St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois, has spent 20+ years defending well-known companies, including trucking firms and pharmacies, among others. At Williams Venker & Sanders, he will continue to focus on product liability and transportation defense, bringing his decades of experience to these practice groups already established within the firm. In addition to his practice, Bob is an active member of the St. Clair County Bar Association in Illinois.  He served on the group’s Board of Directors from 1998-2004 and is currently First Vice President of the Association. Located in St. Louis, Williams Venker & Sanders LLC is one of the Midwest’s leading trial law firms. For more information, visit

Pine joins Dykema's IP Department as Of Counsel

Posted on August 2, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Dykema, a leading national law firm, today announced the addition of Jeffrey A. Pine to its Intellectual Property Department as Of Counsel in the firm’s Chicago office. Prior to joining Dykema, Pine was a founding partner of IP boutique firm Valauskas & Pine. Pine focuses his practice on technology-related litigation and licensing matters, with a particular emphasis on patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright disputes. He has extensive experience in counseling and providing intellectual property protection for start-up and established Internet-based companies. He also has a wide technical background, having worked as an engineer at a major defense contractor designing and developing Automated Testing Equipment for complex electronic systems. Prior to founding Valauskas & Pine in 2007, Pine was a founding partner of Baniak, Pine & Gannon. Previously, Pine began his intellectual property career at Brinks, Hofer, Gilson & Lione. Pine is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, and Illinois State Bar Association. He received a J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois. Dykema’s attorneys counsel clients on all aspects of the procurement, management, and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The firm’s intellectual property attorneys, including numerous attorneys who are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, prepare, prosecute and enforce patents in a diverse range of industries including automotive, communications, computer, electronics biotechnology, chemical and consumer products.

Samsa, Sweeney join Polsinelli Shughart

Posted on July 29, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
William Sweeney
Mary Samsa
Polsinelli Shughart PC welcomes attorneys Mary K. Samsa and William P. Sweeney to the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice as shareholders. Samsa and Sweeney join a deep bench of attorneys who advise clients in this increasing complex area of compliance responsibility. They assist clients on all aspects of plan creation and design, plan compliance and executive compensation agreements. Both attorneys previously practiced at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago before joining Polsinelli Shughart. Samsa has been in practice for more than 15 years and represents Fortune 500 public companies, privately held business entities and multinational organizations, as well as not-for-profit hospital systems and educational institutions.