Class Notes

Class Notes are displayed in the order that they are received. Below are some of our most recent submissions.

Submit a Class Note

Thomas Watts Johnston ’61

(6/14/2017)
Thomas Watts Johnston, 81, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 7th, 2017, surrounded by his family. His obituary was featured in the Chicago Tribune. 

Erin Johnson ’11

(6/14/2017)
This summer, Erin Johnson is taking on a different role when she performs the lead part of Peggy Sawyer in the St. Dunstan’s Theatre Guild of Cranbrook production of “42nd Street.” Johnson is no stranger to the theater, having performed in off-Broadway and Broadway productions around the country after earning her BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. Johnson is currently an associate at Dickinson Wright PLLC in Troy, Michigan. 

Chris Minelli ’08

(6/14/2017)
Ottawa, Illinois attorney and Democrat Chris Minelli plans to run against U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger for the 16th Congressional District seat in 2018.

Barbara Crowder ’81

(6/12/2017)
Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder was selected to serve as the Secretary of the Illinois Judges Association.

Clifford M. Carney ’52

(6/12/2017)
Clifford M. Carney age 90, passed away May 27th, 2017. Clifford was admitted in to law in 1952, where he remained licensed for 65 years. He was President of the DuPage Bar Association, President of the Election Commission and President of the Lions Club.

Peter and Heidi Huizenga ’63

(6/12/2017)
Peter and Heidi Huizenga have made a generous gift to further oncology research and to honor Kathy Albain, MD, FACP, FASCO at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Raymond Myles Sr. ’77

(6/12/2017)
Judge Raymond Myles Sr. passed away on April 10, 2017 in Chicago, IL. Having maintained a prolific career spanning four decades, Raymond was most recently assigned to the Criminal Division of the Cook County Courts at 26th and California where he presided over trials involving misdemeanor offenses and presided over Calendar 4 Courtroom, juvenile court hearing matters.

William Warren ’50

(6/6/2017)
UCLA Dean Emeritus William Warren passed away on May 30, 2017 at his home in Santa Monica, California. Bill was a giant in legal education and in his chosen fields of bankruptcy and commercial law.

Lisa Kpor ’14

(5/31/2017)
On May 24, 2017, Lisa Mon’a Kpor received an Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association in recognition of her outstanding commitment to pro bono representation.

Angie Snell ’11

(5/25/2017)
Angie Snell has joined Faegre Baker Daniels’ finance and restructuring group. She will practice as an associate in the firm’s Chicago office.

Christine Turner ’02

(5/16/2017)
Christine Turner recently relocated from Washington, D.C. to the San Francisco Bay area to join Facebook as the Head of Global Policy for WhatsApp, where she focuses on policy challenges in key global markets.

Sam Garrison ’01

(5/16/2017)
Sam Garrison was appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to the St. Johns River State College District Board of Trustees for a term beginning May 15, 2017.

An Nguyen ’15

(5/12/2017)
On May 3, 2017 An Nguyen received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award for outstanding pro bono service from Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS), Chicago’s first and pre-eminent legal aid organization. He was selected amongst over 2,300 volunteer attorneys from Chicago and the surrounding areas to receive the award and was honored at CVLS’ annual “Law and Disorder” event.

Stephanie Tang ’15

(5/12/2017)
On May 3, 2017 Stephanie received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award for outstanding pro bono service from Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS), Chicago’s first and pre-eminent legal aid organization. She was selected amongst over 2,300 volunteer attorneys from Chicago and the surrounding areas to receive the award and was honored at CVLS’ annual “Law and Disorder” event.

Christina Alabi ’10

(5/11/2017)
Christina is one of just 30 attorneys nationwide to be chosen as a 2017 National Employment Law Council Academy fellow. The NELC’s mission is to expand the minority bar that represents management in the field of labor and employment law, to impact global employment law policy and to promote ethnic interest in the profession.

Gilbert Taylor ’94

(5/5/2017)
The Hon. Gilbert Taylor is serving as a New York State Family Court Judge assigned in New York City. Appointed to the Bench in March of 2016, Judge Taylor has presides over child protective, juvenile delinquency, family offense and child custody cases. Judge Taylor resides in New York City.

Michael Closen ’74

(5/5/2017)
I am Professor of Law Emeritus, John Marshall Law School, Chicago, where I taught for 27 years , and where I am proud to say I was voted a “Professor of the Year” by the law students seven times. I have now published 20 books. I have authored 10 law books, including co-authoring the first and only law school casebooks in the country on Aids Law & Policy and on Notary Law & Practice. My 10th law book, “Notary Public Best Practices,” will be released later in 2017. And, I continue to lecture, consult, and testify as an expert witness in legal cases. I have also written 10 fun coffee-table type books on a variety of subjects (mostly about my favorite pastime of RVing and traveling), such as “Maine Memories: A Vintage Picture Postcard Tour.” My 10th coffee-table book “Don’t Call Them Trailer Trash” was just released in 2017.

Richard Hanus ’88

(5/5/2017)
On April 15, 2017, NBC News’ Justice Department correspondent Pete Williams featured Margarita Fitzpatrick and her attorney, Richard Hanus, a 1988 College of Law graduate, in a televised national report chronicling Margarita’s fight against deportation after she was wrongly solicited and approved for voter registration at her local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Patricia Pierman Larson ’79

(5/4/2017)
Patricia Pierman Larson has retired from Thomson Reuters (formerly West Publishing) after 37 years of service. Patricia began her career as a headnoter and spent the last 19 years as a Director of Judicial Editorial overseeing 100+ attorney editors.

Melissa Prober ’95

(4/25/2017)
Melissa Chroman Prober was recently named Executive Director of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Chicago North Shore. Founded in 1893, NCJW is the oldest Jewish women’s organization in the US and is an advocate for the rights and well-being of women, children, and families locally, nationally, and around the world.

Rod Adams ’85

(4/19/2017)
LeClairRyan proudly announces that Rodney Adams, a shareholder in the national law firm’s Richmond, Virginia, office, and an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), is one of two recipients of the Jerry L. Norville Award for Outstanding Educator from the VCU Master of Health Administration class of 2018. Adams, who leads LeClairRyan’s professional liability team, has taught Health Care Law and Bioethics at VCU for several years.

Craig Mousin ’78

(4/11/2017)
Craig Mousin was recently invited to speak as part of the Visiting Artist Series of DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts and the Office of Mission and Values to explore the pressing challenges of forced migration. The audience had viewed part of a documentary on Syrian refugees, Exodus. View a video of the panel event

Jamie Nicole Johnson ’16

(3/30/2017)
Jamie Nicole Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the University of Illinois College of Business MBA Achievement Awards reception on May 5th, 2017. The event is held to congratulate MBA honors students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.85 or higher and students who are graduating in the top 20% of their class.

Rosa Ochoa-Martinez ’97

(3/30/2017)
Rosa Ochoa-Martinez has been hired as a deputy attorney general in the Office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

Ann Barron ’94

(3/21/2017)
Heyl Royster has announced that attorney Ann C. Barron has become a partner in the firm’s Edwardsville office. Ms. Barron dedicates her practice to civil litigation, including environmental and business-related disputes, nursing home litigation, and personal injury defense. She began her legal career in 1994, serving as a law clerk to the Honorable James D. Heiple of the Illinois Supreme Court. After her clerkship, Ms. Barron worked for two law firms in the St. Louis area. She then served as in-house counsel at Valero in San Antonio, TX. While at Valero she managed complex environmental, commercial, class action and tort litigation matters. In 2013, Ms. Barron joined Heyl Royster as of counsel. Ms. Barron graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law.

Debra Walker ’87

(3/17/2016)
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Debra Walker is being recognized with a national lifetime achievement award for philanthropy. Walker is the third person and the first judge to receive the annual National Conference of Bar Foundations’ Excellence Award. The group, an organization under the American Bar Association’s Division for Bar Services, supports and shares programming ideas between bar foundations throughout the country. Member organizations include state, county, and smaller bar foundations.

Clarence Redman ’66

(3/3/2017)
Clarence O. Redman passed away on January 30, 2017.

Bina Joshi ’08

(3/2/2017)
Bina Joshi has been promoted to partner at Schiff Hardin LLP in the firm’s Chicago office. Bina’s practice is centered on environmental litigation, including issues arising under the Clean Air Act, CERCLA, and related state laws. She regularly helps clients with compliance matters, both in dealing with compliance issues and in the development of compliance programs and plans.

Paul Williamson ’73

(3/1/2017)
Mr. Williamson was recently named one of the top trademark attorneys in the U.S. in the 2017 edition of World Trademark Review’s WTR 1000. He earned Silver status in the national “Enforcement and Litigation” category.

Tom Lamont ’72

(2/24/2017)
Tom Lamont has recently re-located back to Springfield after serving in Washington D.C. as Assistant Secretary of the Army and subsequently, Vice-Chair of the National Commission on the Future of the Army. He is the principal of Lamont Consulting Services LLC.

Kathleen Feeney ’87

(2/20/2017)
In November 2016, Judge Kathleen A. Feeney received the Justice Marilyn J. Kelly Award for Outstanding Judicial Service from the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section for her 16 years on the bench presiding over Family Division cases in the Kent County Circuit Court, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Judge Feeney received the award for being “an outstanding judge with a great reputation” and because she is “passionate, widely respected, acknowledged as a leader by her peers, and is well-known by family law practitioners.” Grand Rapids Legal News, 12/23/16, vol. 81, no. 79. Judge Feeney is currently the Presiding Judge of the Family Division in Kent County and the chair of the Michigan Judges Association Family Law Committee; she also serves on the Michigan Supreme Court Civil Jury Instruction Committee and Michigan Family Law Benchbook committee. She remembers fondly The Law Revue and singing The Unemployment Chorus with her fellow law students!

Paul Stone ’42

(2/17/2017)
Paul Stone passed away February 11, 2017 at his home in Sullivan, Illinois.

Marlén Cortez Morris ’06

(2/3/2017)
Marlén Cortez Morris has been elevated to partner at Cheng Cohen LLC, a leading franchise law firm in Chicago. Marlén represents and advises franchisors, licensors, and distributors on a wide range of issues including labor and employment matters, the enforcement and defense of franchise agreements, and disputes regarding regulatory matters. She has been named a 2017 Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers.

Katie Chamberlain Kritikos ’09

(2/3/2017)
Katie Chamberlain Kritikos, a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies, will co-present “Privacy and Cloud Services in Public Libraries: The Case of BiblioCommons” at the 2017 Information Ethics Roundtable of the Association for Information Science and Technology Information Policy Special Interest Group held in Champaign, Illinois. This project for the Center for Information Policy Research analyzes patron privacy in public libraries that use cloud-based discovery layers.

Luc Attlan ’06

(2/2/2017)
Luc Attlan has been elected a partner by Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. He is a member of the Corporate Group and is based out of the Chicago office. Luc concentrates his practice on international corporate transactions and counseling. Luc advises a broad range of clients, ranging from small businesses to multinational Fortune 50 corporations. He also works with foreign companies seeking to do business in the U.S., as well as U.S. companies in need of assistance with their foreign operations.

Sam Kauffman ’12

(1/31/2017)
Sam Kauffman was elected First Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Pulaski County, Arkansas. His term on the Executive Committee runs from 2017 to 2019.

Ryan Gammelgard ’06

(1/31/2017)
Ryan D. Gammelgard has been elected President of the McLean County Bar Association. In addition, Ryan was one of 40 emerging leaders from the public and private sectors in Illinois selected to participate in the 2016 Edgar Fellows Program hosted by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Ryan is Counsel at State Farm in Bloomington, Illinois, where he works on public policy issues related to self-driving cars, drones, and other innovation related matters.

Merrell Bennekin ’01

(1/26/2017)
Merrell R. Bennekin has been named Executive Director of the Board of Police Commissioners Office of Community Complaints, a civilian oversight of law enforcement agency in Kansas City, MO. Prior to this appointment he served as Deputy Executive Director, a position he has held since 2008. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice with the Metropolitan Community College system, teaching courses in Criminology and Criminal Investigations. He is also a P.O.S.T. certified instructor with the Kansas City Regional Police Academy and teaches courses focused on mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and conflict de-escalation. Merrell is married to the former Kedra Williams ’01 and they have two daughters, Avery and Angela.

Rachel Janutis ’95

(1/26/2017)
Rachel Janutis has been appointed dean of the Capital University Law School. Named interim dean at the Law School in 2014, Dean Janutis is the first female dean of the Law School and has been a member of Capital’s law faculty since 2002. Prior to her appointment as interim dean, she had served as the Law School’s associate dean for Academic Affairs since 2010, and previously as director of Faculty Development. She is highly regarded by students, faculty, and administration for her work as both a future-focused teacher and administrator.

Susan Bursztynsky ’86

(1/26/2017)
Susan (Frank) Bursztynsky has been named Executive Director of ADV & SAS, a domestic violence and sexual assault agency in Streator, Illinois. Prior to this position, she was President & CEO of Starved Rock Regional Center for Therapy & Child Development (formerly, Easter Seals of LaSalle & Bureau Counties). She had also served as Director of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Family Violence Prevention Council and managing attorney with Prairie State Legal Services in Ottawa. Susan lives in Ottawa, Illinois, with her husband, Zenon. They have three daughters, including Jessica, who is a UIUC student.

Keyonn Pope ’09

(1/25/2017)
Keyonn L. Pope ’09 was recently promoted to Partner within the Chicago office of Reed Smith LLP. His practice focuses on all aspects of complex IP litigation matters, with an emphasis on patents, trademarks, unfair competition, trade secrets, trade dress, and copyrights. Keyonn has extensive experience handling matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, namely trademark and patent prosecution, inter parties review petitions, and trademark oppositions and cancellations. He also devotes a substantial portion of his practice to media and entertainment matters, including counseling clients on matters related to music and product licensing, distribution, and management. Keyonn holds various leadership roles within the firm and is active in pro bono and community activities. He is also a member of the College of Law’s Alumni Board.

Katie Chamberlain Kritikos ’09

(1/24/2017)
Katie Chamberlain Kritikos, a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies, will present a co-paper at the 9th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries (QQML) held from May 23-26, 2017, in Limerick, Ireland. The paper, “Legal and policy implications of licenses between library and information science open access journal publishers and authors: A qualitative case study,” investigates the similarities and differences in the licenses (contracts or agreements) used by five sampled LIS open access journals to illuminate the effects of open access on information policy and to recommend best practices.

Andrea M. Augustine ’97

(1/20/2017)
Andrea M. Augustine has been named co-chair of the Patent Preparation and Prosecution division of Duane Morris’ Intellectual Property Practice Group. Augustine focuses her practice in the areas of strategic counseling for patent and trademark procurement (domestic and foreign) and portfolio management in the electrical, mechanical and consumer product industries. She assists clients in drafting and negotiating IP-related agreements, including joint development, supply, licensing, sponsored-research, consultant and confidentiality agreements. Augustine performs freedom-to-operate, design-around, infringement and validity analyses; counsels clients on trade secret protection; and assists clients on due diligence for licensing and acquisition matters.

Adam Wirtz ’09

(1/18/2017)
Adam Wirtz has been hired as an associate attorney at 
Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC, located in Naperville, Illinois.

Jasmine Hernandez ’06 

(1/6/2017)
Jasmine Hernandez is now the 1st Vice-President (and President-elect) of the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago. 
Jasmine is an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in its Juvenile Justice Bureau. In addition to her work with AABA, Jasmine is immediate past president of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago, editorial board member of the CBA Record, as well as a member of the Women’s Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association.

Dr. Kanok Jullamon JSD ’12

(1/2/2017)
Dr. Kanok Jullamon has been appointed as the deputy secretary-general of the Institute of Legal Education for the Thai Bar Association. Dr. Jullamon also has been appointed a bankruptcy specialist by Ramkhamhaeng University for its doctoral programs. He continues to teach bankruptcy law, comparative law, and English for lawyers at universities in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand.

Patricia Brown Holmes ’86

(12/22/16)
Patricia Brown Holmes has been named Person of the Year by Chicago Lawyer Magazine. An excerpt from their website says, “
Holmes, the second black woman to serve as president of The Chicago Bar Association and a founding member of the Black Woman Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, is well-thought of throughout the legal community and South Side Chicago.”

Adrian Barr ’03 

(12/19/2016)
Adrian Barr recently earned the prestigious Chicago Bar Foundation Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship for his legal aid work.

Marissa Meli ’14

(12/19/2016)
Marissa Meli joined the Green Bay Packers in June 2016 as Corporate Transactions Counsel.

Jeff Brodin ’84

(12/19/2016)
Jeff Brodin was awarded the Frances Perkins Award for Public Service at the ABA Labor and Employment Section Annual Meeting in Chicago on November 11. He was also inducted into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers at the annual College dinner the following evening.

Willis Tribler ’60

(12/16/2016)
Willis R. (“Bill”) Tribler, a founding member and senior partner of the law firm of Tribler Orpett & Meyer, died early Saturday, December 3, after a brief hospitalization.

Dan Flannell ’77

(12/12/2016)
Dan Flannell, chief judge of the sixth judicial circuit and presiding judge of Moultrie County, is trading his robe for a newly created position as city administrator of Sullivan, IL.

Dawn Rosemond ’96

(12/7/2016)
Barnes & Thornburg LLP has announced that Dawn Rosemond, a litigation partner in its Fort Wayne office, has been named Director of Diversity, Professional Development and Inclusion. Rosemond has been with Barnes & Thornburg for 20 years, joining as an associate in 1996. She has been a partner since 2005.

Ashley Dus ’16

(12/6/2016)
Chicago-based law firm Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth is pleased to announce that Ashley Dus, (J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, 2016) has joined the firm as an associate. Dus concentrates her practice in professional negligence and product liability, defending both physicians and lawyers against malpractice claims and manufacturers against product liability claims.