2019 Speed Networking Mentors

Bridget Duignan is a partner at the firm Latherow & Duignan where she handles medical malpractice, construction negligence, wrongful death and sexual abuse cases on behalf of plaintiffs. She was recently elected as Secretary of Illinois State Bar Association, she is on the Board of Managers for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Bar Foundation. She currently co-chairs the Legislative Committees for the both the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. She lectures and publishes on various topics including, trial technology, evidence, construction safety, and the medical studies act. She formerly authored a monthly column in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, called Women, Law & Politics and before her career as a Plaintiff’s attorney, she worked as Asst. Counsel to Speaker Michael Madigan. Bridget is married with three children, ages 9, 7 and 4.

Sarah M. LeRose is an Associate Attorney at Leonard J. LeRose, Jr., Ltd., focusing her practice in the areas of estate litigation, estate administration and contested guardianship matters (for adults and minors), and is frequently appointed by judges in the Probate Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County to serve as Guardian ad Litem and as attorney for alleged disabled adults. Sarah is currently serving on the Board of Governors for the ISBA, as one of the Cook County, under the age of 37 representatives. Sarah received her Bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University and her law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law, where she graduated with Concentrations in Civil Litigation Skills and Criminal Litigation Skills.

James F. McCluskey is an Associate Judge – 18th Judicial Circuit having been appointed in July 2018.  Previously he was a founding member of Momkus McCluskey LLC concentrating in commercial litigation.   Mr. McCluskey practiced before all state and federal courts in Illinois. He is also admitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Mr. McCluskey received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Elmhurst College in 1976. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Northern Illinois University in 1979, and a Master of Laws from The John Marshall Law School in 1988. He has been licensed to practice law since 1979. He is a 1981 graduate of the Loyola University Trial Advocacy Program. He has written several articles for the DuPage County Bar and Kane County Bar Journals in the areas of tort and civil litigation. Mr. McCluskey authored a chapter on Arbitration and Mediation for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He has given numerous presentations on various aspects of civil litigation for the DuPage County, Kane County and Illinois State Bar Associations.  He is a licensed Real Estate Broker.

Mr. McCluskey began practicing law in 1979 as in-house defense counsel for CNA Insurance from 1979 to 1981.  From 1981 through 1986, he practiced insurance defense at Hubbard, Hubbard, O’Brien & Hall. From 1986 through 1988, he was an associate for Wylie Wheaton & Associates, a general practice firm in Wheaton, Illinois. He joined Clausen Miller, PC. a 150-attorney insurance defense firm based in Chicago in the Wheaton, Illinois office in 1988.  Mr. McCluskey joined Momkus McCluskey LLC as a partner in 1991. He has tried over 60 civil jury trials to verdict in Cook and the collar counties of Chicago and Federal Court in the Central and Northern Districts of Illinois. His trials include wrongful death, Structural Work Act, premises liability, insurance coverage, automobile, commercial, contract, shareholder’s and partnership disputes, and probate cases.

Mr. McCluskey is currently the President of the Illinois State Bar Association.  He previously was a Governor for the Illinois State Bar Association.  Over the years, he has been the President, Treasurer, General Counsel, Associate General Counsel and Chair of the Civil Practice, Tax and Professional Responsibility committees for the DuPage County Bar Association, and also the DuPage County Delegate to the American Bar Association.  He was Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Assembly Agenda & Program Committee, and a member of the ISBA Civil Practice & Procedure Council (2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2007 and 2008). Mr. McCluskey was honored as an Illinois “Super Lawyer” for his work in commercial and business litigation. He has been AV rated by Martindale Hubbell for the past 10 years. In 2005, the DuPage Bar Association awarded Mr. McCluskey the “Ralph Gabric Award” for Distinguished Leadership and Professionalism. In 2008, he received the DuPage Bar Association “Lawyer of the Year Award” for Distinguished Leadership and Meritorious Service. In, 2018, he received the Public Service Award from Northern Illinois University and the Alumni of the Year Award from Northern Illinois University College of Law.

Dennis J. Orsey graduated from University of Illinois with a B.A. degree with high honors in 1976. He received his law degree in 1979 from Southern Illinois University School of Law where he received the John S. Rendelman Award as Outstanding Senior Law Student and served as Student Bar Association President. After graduating from law school, he spent 5 years in general private practice with an Alton law firm and with his own practice in Granite City. In 1984, he was recruited by former Illinois Attorney General, Neil F. Hartigan, as Assistant Illinois Attorney General to establish and maintain the attorney General's Granite City Regional Office, which serviced an eight county area, including Madison County and seven surrounding counties. From 1990 to 2006, Mr. Orsey served as a member of the adjunct faculty at Southwestern Illinois College as an instructor of Business Law.

After serving eleven years as an attorney representing the people of the State of Illinois, Mr. Orsey returned to private practice in 1995, establishing his own general practice law firm, now located at 3388 Maryville Road, Granite City, Illinois. He served as an Assistant Madison County State's Attorney from 1996 through 2000. From 2001 - 2016 he served as Student Legal Services Attorney for Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Since
1997, Mr. Orsey has served as Deputy General Counsel for the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association and represents fifty-two (52) police and firefighter pension funds throughout the State of Illinois. He frequently presents training seminars for police and fire trustees to meet their mandatory training requirements. Mr. Orsey served as President of the Madison County Bar Association (1992-93) and has been a member of the Illinois State Bar Association General Assembly for over 20 years. He served as an elected member of the Illinois State Bar Association, Board of Governors (2003 - 2009; 2015 - present) and served as ISBA Treasurer (2008 - 2009). In June, 2013 Mr. Orsey received the prestigious Board of Governor’s Award from the Illinois State Bar Association. In 2016 Mr. Orsey was elected Third Vice-President of the Illinois State Bar Association and will serve as its President from June, 2020 to July, 2021.

Mr. Orsey and his wife, Catherine reside in Glen Carbon, Illinois and have a son, Matthew, who is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

Rory T. Weiler, Weiler & Lengle, P.C., St. Charles, Illinois, concentrates his practice in family law, with an emphasis on cases involving parental allocation and more complex economic issues, especially those involving family and closely held businesses.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northern Illinois University in 1975, and attended John Marshal Law School, graduating in 1979.  While at John Marshall, he was a staff member of the John Marshall Journal of Practice and Procedure.  He was admitted to practice in Illinois, and the U.S. District Court (Northern Illinois) in November, 1979. Weiler is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) who has 39 years of experience practicing in family law. 

Weiler is currently the ISBA Treasurer, and is in his second term as an elected member of the ISBA Board of Governors. He has served as chair of the ISBA Family Law Section Council, and is also a member of the ISBA Legislation committee. He has served two terms on the ISBA Assembly, He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the ISBA. He has served on the AAML Illinois chapter Board of Directors.

In 2016, he was appointed by ISBA President Umberto Davi to serve on the ISBA Special Committee for the Review of the Collaborative Law Process. He is currently Board liaison to the Family Law Section Council. He also served for ten years on the Illinois Supreme Court's Committee on Character and Fitness.

He has been active in advancing the provision of legal services to the indigent.  In 2001, he received the Kane County Bar Association's Pro Bono Award for his service to indigent clients, and in 2005 was awarded the ISBA's John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award. He received the national Legal Services Corporation certificate of appreciation for service to the indigent in 2011. Weiler & Lengle, P.C., was a 2015 nominee for the ISBA's John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service award for law firms.

He is a member of the Leading Lawyers Network, and has been recognized as an Illinois "Super Lawyer" and as one of the "Best Lawyers in America." He has lectured frequently at seminars sponsored by the Kane County Bar Association, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the Illinois State Bar Association on many family law topics, both substantive and practical, including child custody (allocation) litigation, analysis and cross examination of psychological experts in custody litigation, financial issues in divorce and trial practice. He has authored numerous articles on family law topics. He has written a book about family law practice, "Divorce Tools and Techniques," which has been published by James Publishing Co., www.jamespublishing.com.

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