Class Notes

Class Notes are displayed in the order that they are received. You may also view notes by decade, or by class year – simply click on the decade or click on the + symbol to expand the decade and display by year. If a given class year does not appear, notes do not exist for that particular year.

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Patrick Krekels '88


After more than 23 years with the financial services company Swift, Patrick Krekels is retiring as General Counsel at the end of June. In retirement, he plans to study art history, travel, volunteer, catch up on reading, and spend more time with family.

Peter Rasmussen '82


Peter Rasmussen recently retired from Bloomberg Law and is enjoying his time serving on two non-profit boards, taking parts in community theater, and reveling in the role of grandpa to a future Illini.

Shelly Knuppel '86


Shelly Davis Knuppel, 63, passed away after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer at her home in Petersburg on January 11, 2024.

Mark Feyen '80


Hon. Mark A. Feyen has announced his retirement from the Ottawa County Probate Court. Now in his 35th year, Judge Feyen took to the bench on January 1, 1989, after winning election in November of 1988. He won re-election five times.

Helen Hartnell '80


Helen Hartnell passed away in late 2023. She taught international law at numerous institutions and was a full-time faculty member at Golden Gate University (GGU) School of Law in San Francisco from 1997 until 2013. 

Thomas Bearrows '82


Having completed a 26-year stint as the General Counsel for the University of Illinois System, the longest serving senior executive officer in the University's history, Thomas Bearrows is retiring on December 31, 2023.

Richard Harden '83


Richard R. Harden, a partner at Thomas Mamer, LLP, has been reappointed to the Illinois Supreme Rules Committee for another 3-year term. He was first appointed in 2021.

Thomas Modeszto '89


In June 2023, Tom Modeszto retired from the Defense Logistics Agency, Fort Belvoir, VA, after 36 years of federal service, including 27 years as an active duty U.S. Army Judge Advocate. In October 2023, he began employment with The Sander Group, PLLC, which provides legal services and consulting on national security, government contracts, compliance, and litigation-related matters.

Neal Connors '89


Talofa! Neal Connors received a two-year appointment as an Assistant Attorney General in the criminal division for the U.S. Territorial American Samoa Government.

John E. Thies '88


John E. Thies has been appointed vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation. He was also recently elected to the Council of the ABA’s Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division Executive Committee. Thies is past president of the Illinois State Bar Association and practices with the Champaign-Urbana law firm of Webber & Thies, PC.

Taisa Markus '86


After 35 years of practice in Latin American capital markets and leaving White & Case in 2020, Taisa Markus serves as an adjunct professor at the College. She was recently appointed Visiting Professor at National University Kyiv Mohyla Academy Faculty of Law. At KMA, Taisa supports the English language and business law curricula. As a proud Ukrainian American, she is grateful for the opportunity to help train young lawyers in skills that will be critical in the reconstruction of the country and anticipated foreign investment.

James D. Jordan '82


Munsch Hardt Shareholder James D. "Jim" Jordan has been named to the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Labor and Employment categories. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, trade secrets, warranties, covenants not to compete and complex litigation of all sorts.

William Kresse '85


William Kresse has been appointed to the Advisory Commission to the Task Force for American Democracy by the American Bar Association. The Advisory Commission will help Task Force members consider ways to depoliticize how elections are administered, educate the public on democracy, and try to foster election innovations that address the causes of politicization.

James Rinck '82


The State Bar of Michigan is bestowing one of its highest honors, the John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award, to James R. Rinck for exceptional dedication to the legal profession and commitment to ensuring justice for all. The award will be presented September 21.

Matthew Maurer '87


Honorable Matthew Maurer, 62, of Springfield, died Sunday, July 23, 2023.

Paul Lisnek '83


The Luminary Award, recognizing philanthropic and volunteer leadership on behalf of Porchlight and music theater in Chicago, will be presented to Paul Lisnek on September 8 in Chicago.

Linzey Jones '82


On November 8, 2022, Linzey Jones was retained by the voters in Cook County for his third 6-year term as a circuit court judge. Judge Jones presides in the Bridgeview, IL, courthouse known as District 5.

Debra Walker '87


The Moms Association at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign elected Judge Debra Walker as President of its Board of Directors.

Debra Walker '87


Hon. Debra B. Walker will be presented with the IDC Distinguished Service Award in appreciation and recognition of Justice Walker’s outstanding and devoted service to the citizens of Illinois at a reception in June.

Taisa Markus '86


Taisa Markus retired from from White & Case LLP in 2022, where she had served as a partner in the Latin America Capital Markets Practice. Taisa, who is Ukrainian-American, is now Special Counsel for the Ukraine Project at the Vance Center for International Justice, a civil society group affiliated with the New York City Bar Association. Taisa also teaches a short business law course as an adjunct at the College and encourages other alums to apply. 

Sue (Sutkowski) Bettman '89


Sue Bettman has joined Brunswick Group, a critical issues advisory firm, as a Partner in their Chicago office. Sue was most recently the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of LSC Communications, and prior to that served as General Counsel of each of RR Donnelley, Huron Consulting Group, and True North Communications. Sue began her legal career at Kirkland & Ellis.

Robert Hu '88


A faculty member at St. Mary's University School of Law in Texas, Robert Hu recently published Research Guide to Chinese Patent Law and Practice, 2nd ed. via William S. Hein & Co.

Masatoshi Ohara '85


Masatoshi Ohara (MCL '85) received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in November 2022. He is a former Vice President of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and President of Osaka Bar Association. He is currently a partner of Kikkawa Law Office in Osaka, Japan.

Debra Walker '87


Justice Debra B. Walker received the Illinois Bar Foundation’s 2022 Distinguished Service to Law & Society Award. The award was presented at the IBF Champions Breakfast on Friday, Dec. 9.

Paul Lisnek '83


The City Council of the City of Chicago passed a resolution naming June 19, 2023, as "Paul Lisnek Day" in the city of Chicago. The honor recognizes Paul's long work covering law, politics, and entertainment on television and radio, as well as his extensive philanthropic work for a variety of causes and entities, including the University of Illinois College of Law.

Scott Redman '89


Scott Redman has been named as General Counsel-Chief Legal Officer of Drecisco Farms, LLC, which he led in obtaining an Illinois craft cannabis license. Scott also founded the Illinois Independent Craft Growers Association, the trade association for Illinois craft growers, and currently serves as its President.

James Jordan '82


James "Jim" Jordan was named to the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Jordan works in Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Labor and Employment for Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. 

Bruce M. Engel '84


Goldberg Segalla has added Bruce M. Engel to the firm’s Global Insurance Services group in Chicago.

Debra Walker '87


On June 28, 2022, Judge Debra B. Walker of the Circuit Court of Cook County won her primary election for a seat on the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. She has no general election opponent, so she will be installed on the Appellate Court on December 5, 2022.

Lowell Yoder '82

Lowell Yoder is the lead author of The Archaic Subpart F Services Rules: Ill-Fitting and Disruptive for Modern Services Businesses, 100 Taxes 39-100 (May 2022).

Richard Harden '83


Richard R. Harden has been inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers. This honor comes from one of the premier legal associations in North America. Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only, and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility, and collegiality. Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. There are currently approximately 5,800 members in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Richard R. Harden has been practicing with Thomas Mamer, LLP since 1986 and is a partner of the firm.

Christopher Yates '87

Christopher Yates was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Court of Appeals - District 3, effective April 18, 2022. 

Yates is currently a judge with the 17th Circuit Court of Kent County. He has been with the circuit court since 2008 where he presides over a specialized business docket and has previously handled civil, criminal, and family dockets. Prior to his time with the courts, Judge Yates was a partner with Yates, LaGrand & Denenfeld, PLLC and Willey, Chamberlain & Yates, LLP. He has also served as the chief defender for the Federal Public Defender's Office, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and as an attorney and advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice.  Judge Yates began his law career as a law clerk to Chief U.S. District Judge James Churchill and to U.S. Appellate Judge Ralph Guy.  

Jeffrey Ward '84

In January 2022, Jeffrey S. Ward joined Neal Gerber Eisenberg as a partner in the Chicago-based firm's Intellectual Property practice group. Neal Gerber Eisenberg hired Jeffrey Ward as a partner in the Chicago-based firm's Intellectual Property practice group. Jeffrey's practice centers on patent litigation, trade secret litigation, and strategic counseling for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, electrical engineering, agricultural, and food products.

Edythe H. Kelly '84

Edythe H. Kelly passed away on November 28, 2021, in Scottsdale AZ, where she and her husband had been residents since 1985.

Dave Kendall '84

David Lee Kendall, of Hinsdale, IL, age 64, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family on November 7, 2021.

Daniel Gregus '86

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Daniel R. Gregus has been named Director of the Chicago Regional Office, where he has served as acting co-director since June. Mr. Gregus is a 28-year veteran of the SEC and has held leadership roles in both the Division of Enforcement and the Division of Examinations. He has most recently served as the Associate Director of the National Clearance and Settlement Examination Program as well as the Associate Regional Director for the Broker-Dealer and Exchange Examination Program in the Chicago Regional Office.

Patricia Brown Holmes '86

Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila Managing Partner Patricia Brown Holmes has been honored as a “Managing Partner of the Year” by the Corporate Counsel’s annual Women, Influence and Power in Law Awards program. These awards honor general counsel, in-house leaders and law firm partners who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the empowerment of women in law. In recognizing Judge Holmes, the WIPL selection committee noted her role in shaping RSHC’s culture and designing explicit policies that ensure accountability on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Under her leadership, the firm has been recognized by Chambers as “a true diversity and inclusion pioneer for the profession” and was recently noted in Law360’s Diversity Snapshot Report for having one of industry’s the most diverse equity partnerships. 

William Henning '82

William Henning has been appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to the Work Group on Blockchain Matters. The work group will develop a master plan for the expansion of the blockchain industry in Texas and recommend policies and state investments in connection with blockchain technology. Henning is an Executive Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law. He received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and a Master of Laws from the University of Illinois . 

N. Peter Rasmussen '82

N. Peter Rasmussen announced his retirement from his position as senior legal analyst with Bloomberg Law. Peter is a recognized expert and frequent author and speaker on federal securities and corporate law. His work has been cited by SEC Commissioners, in agency rulemaking and in Congressional hearings.

Peter lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his wife Peggy, where he will spend retirement as a battlefield guide. The Rasmussens have three children. Peter may be reached at

Karen Suhre '82

Karen Suhre recently moved from Dallas, Texas to Kansas City, Missouri, and has been admitted to practice in Missouri in addition to Texas. She continues her solo practice in employee benefits and executive compensation matters, and has once again been recognized in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.

Kurt Reitz '84

Kurt Reitz of Thompson Coburn LLP has been recognized by the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® (by BL Rankings). He was named as one of the 2022 Lawyers of the Year.

John Wirt '89

John Wirt has joined Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. as its general counsel. He is the former president and GC of Epic Sports & Entertainment, a boxing promotions company.

Michelle Gilbert '86

The Chicago Bar Foundation has selected Michelle Gilbert, Legal and Policy Director, Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing, as the 2021 recipient of the Thomas H. Morsch Public Service Award, the premier public recognition for long-time legal aid and public interest law attorneys in the Chicago community.

Barbara Crowder '81

Retired Madison County Circuit Court Judge Barb Crowder was installed as president of the Illinois Judges Association during the annual meeting June 4. The Illinois Judges Association, which represents 1,250 active and retired Illinois state court judges, was founded in 1972 to provide services, support, and education to its member judges and raise public understanding of the Illinois judicial system.

Bruce Slivnick '81

Bruce Slivnick has been teaching in the Paralegal Studies Program of Roosevelt University in Chicago to both undergraduates and graduate paralegal certificate students for 25 years. He works in private practice in Deerfield, Illinois.

Howard Goldman '85

Senior attorney Howard B. Goldman recently joined the Business Transactions & Planning Practice Group of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest full-service law firms.

A business attorney for over 30 years, Goldman focuses his practice on the representation of borrowers, lenders, landlords and tenants in all aspects of real estate transactions. He handles finance, sale-leaseback and commercial lease transactions, and he assists clients with the purchase and financing of commercial properties. Goldman also negotiates with lenders regarding COVID-19 and its impact on hospitality and retail properties.

Admitted to practice law in Michigan, Illinois and New York, Goldman received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1985. He is a member of the Illinois and New York State bar associations and the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He also serves as the Michigan Chair of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys.

Michael Melbinger '83

Michael Melbinger retired from Winston & Strawn and the practice of law after 38 years (24 of them as chair of the practice group), as of January 31, 2021.

Jennifer Gerarda Brown '85

Jennifer Gerarda Brown, dean of the School of Law at Quinnipiac University, has been elected to the American Law Institute.

The institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law. 

Paul Lisnek '83

Paul Lisnek has written his 15th book and second work of fiction. “Assume Treason” was published in January 2021 and is the next in his Matt Barlow series. The first book called “Assume Guilt,” was published in 2019. Paul is the political analyst for WGN-TV in Chicago where he anchors “WGN-TV Political Report seen on WGN-TV Sunday Mornings at 9am. He sponsors the annual Paul M. Lisnek Award in Trial Communication and Ethics at the College of Law.

Susan McGrath '82

Susan McGrath was elected on November 3, 2020 and sworn in on December 1, 2020 as the Champaign County Circuit Clerk, the first Democratic candidate ever elected to that position.

Matthew Bettenhausen '85

Matthew R. Bettenhausen has joined the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he serves as Senior Advisor and Counselor to the Director. Bettenhausen has more than 17 years of federal service, principally as an Assistant United States Attorney with the Department of Justice in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). 

Karen Layng '87

Karen Layng has been elected to the role of National President (also known as the Chair of the National Board of Directors) of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). With her election, Karen became the highest-ranking volunteer member of GSUSA and joined a prestigious group of past National Presidents that extends back to the Movement's founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

Debra Walker '87

Judge Debra Walker was recently appointed as the senior alumnus on the University of Illinois College of Law Diversity Committee. She joins a robust committee of faculty, staff, and students, as well as a more recent alumnus. This is the first time the College has included alumni on this Committee.  She was also recently appointed to the University of Illinois Moms Association Board of Directors.

Alan King '88

Alan King has joined Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila in Chicago and will chair the firm's national Labor & Employment practice. He joins fellow alum and longtime friend Patricia Brown Holmes (c/o 1986) there. Judge Holmes is the firm's managing partner.

James D. Jordan '82

James D. Jordan has been named to the 27th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He is a shareholder at Munsch Hardt in Texas.

Lindsay W. Wright '86

Lindsay W. Wright passed away on March 1, 2020.

Kevin Howley '84

Kevin Howley of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. has been recognized on the 2021 "The Best Lawyers in America" list. He is based in the Milwaukee office.

Darryl Porter '86

iMedia Brands, Inc. has appointed Darryl Porter to its board of directors, effective August 11, 2020. Mr. Porter is a proven media executive with over 30 years of diversified business and creative experience in television, film and music. He is the CEO of Iconic Spectrum, a licensing company that specializes in monetizing African American icons like Miles Davis and George Duke across all forms of media.

Dion Joseph Sartorio '81

Dion Joseph Sartorio, 63, peacefully passed away on the morning of July 24th, 2020 at his home in Buda, Tx.

Daniel Shirey '86

Daniel Shirey was installed as the President of the Detroit Bar Association in June 2020.

Jennifer Gerarda Brown '85

Jennifer Gerarda Brown, dean of the Quinnipiac University School of Law, received the Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award at the Connecticut Bar Association's annual awards celebration on Wednesday, July 22.

Aaron Shepley '88

Aaron T. Shepley, age 56, Mayor and lifelong resident and advocate of Crystal Lake, IL, died peacefully at home on May 4, 2020.

Matthew Ryan '82

Matthew J. Ryan III, of Springfield, passed away May 27, 2020 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL.

Shari Viner '88

Shari Viner passed away in Chicago, IL on June 19, 2020.

Bill Kresse '85

Bill Kresse has been appointed to serve on the bipartisan, 10-member American Bar Association Advisory Commission on Election Law. The members constituting the Commission include some of the nation’s top attorneys in the field of election law, including both the Chair and Vice Chair of the Federal Election Commission.

Janet Flaccus '85

Janet Flaccus, age 70, of Fayetteville, Arkansas died Tuesday, March 3, 2020. She was a law professor at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville from 1984-2018.

Lenny Sachs '89

Lenny Sachs, a partner at Howard & Howard, was selected for the 2020 Distinguished Community Service Award by the Peoria County Bar Association (PCBA). Sachs, who leads the Labor and Employment Group at Howard & Howard, accepted the award at the association’s 112th annual Lincoln Memorial Banquet in late February.

Cliff Sladnick '81

In October 2019, Cliff joined CoAdvantage in Tampa FL as Vice President, M&A. Cliff has worked with CoAdvantage since 2009 as an investment banker. Cliff also continues on the Board of Directors of Children’s Learning World, a Montessori school, which all 4 of his grown children had attended since 1989.

Dennis Rendleman '81

Dennis Rendleman has been appointed Executive Inspector General for the Office of Illinois State Treasurer.

John Manning '81

John Manning accepted a position as Senior Counsel at the St. Louis Offices of Thompson Coburn LLP in the Banking and Commercial Finance Practice Group. Mr. Manning Comes to Thompson Coburn after 33 years at Rabobank affiliates, most recently completing a position as General Counsel of Rabo Diversified Services and Rabo AgriFinance.

Beverly (Ring) Mack '89

Ms. Mack was re-elected to the board of directors of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana. The DTCI is the professional organization of civil defense attorneys in Indiana promoting excellence in civil litigation and supporting the administration of justice in the courts and mediation.

Kevin Howley '84

Kevin Howley of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. has been recognized on the 2019 Wisconsin “Super Lawyers” list. He is based in the Milwaukee office.

Jon Moyers '86

Jon M. Moyers has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

Rick Pautler '80

Thompson Coburn attorney Rick Pautler was recently named a Lawyer of the Year in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in America.

Kevin Howley '84

Kevin Howley of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c has been named to the 2020 Best Lawyers in America.

Roman Wuller '86

Roman Wuller will become Chair of Thompson Coburn LLP in July 2020. Currently head of the firm's litigation department, Wuller has been with the firm since 1986, and made Partner in 1996.

Larry Eppley '85

The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) and 1871 announced Thursday that board member Larry Eppley has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors, effective July 1. Eppley is the Managing Partner of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s Chicago office, a global law firm, where he also leads the firm’s Hospitality Team.

Debra Walker '87

The Honorable Debra Walker has been named President of the Illinois Judges Foundation (IJF). Walker was installed for a 1-year term on Friday, May 31, at a meeting of the IJF Board of Directors. The IJF was established in 2007 to serve as the charitable arm of the Illinois Judges Association. Its membership includes current sitting and retired judges.

Richard Hanus '88

Transcripts from a precedent-setting deportation case Richard Hanus successfully defended - included up to the US Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit – were adapted verbatim for the theatrical production of “The Courtroom”.  The actual case is the subject of the precedent decision,  Keathley v. Holder, 696 F.3d 644 (7th Cir. 2012).  The Courtroom features Tony and Hobie award-winning cast actors and ran Off Broadway in recent months at various site-specific locations across New York City, including at the Thurgood Marshall U.S. District Court House, and more recently at the New York City Bar Association. Following the latter performance, Richard Hanus participated in a lively panel discussion about the play as well as current immigration law issues. Plans are underway for more performances to be presented at locations across the U.S.

Jeff Berman '87

Jeff Berman was honored for his years of service to Buffalo Grove at a recent village board meeting. Berman will leave the board in May after serving as trustee for 20 years. A proclamation was read in his honor and a plaque was presented as part of the recognition.

Mark Keenan '89

Mark Keenan has joined Barnes & Thornburg’s labor and employment department as a partner, the firm said in a recent announcement, saying he brings with him extensive experience working for management on union avoidance efforts. His practice has a particular emphasis on assisting employers in lawfully responding to union organizing efforts; having been involved in over 100 union campaigns and having argued numerous traditional labor cases before the National Labor Relations Board and federal courts of appeal.

Thomas Benjamin '80

Thomas Benjamin has been appointed President of Cambridge Quantum Computing, LLC, the North America subsidiary of Cambridge Quantum Computing Ltd of London (CQC). CQC is a world leading independent quantum computing company combining expertise in Quantum Information Processing, Quantum Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Chemistry, Optimisation and Pattern Recognition. Tom was most recently Chief Operating Officer of ANSER, Inc. in Falls Church, VA and Colorado Springs, CO. Tom was awarded the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal by the Central Intelligence Agency in 2005. He was a co-founder of InQTel, Inc., a not-for-profit strategic investor launched by CIA in 1999 to accelerate the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to national security agencies. Mr. Benjamin also served as Deputy General Counsel and Director of Legislation in his 20 years at CIA.

Scott Britton '85

Scott Britton has been elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners for the 14th District. As a commissioner he will supervise government operations focusing on the Cook County Health Care System, the civil and criminal justice system and the Cook County Forest Preserve. He will serve the 5.2 million residents of Cook County and control a governmental budget of $5.96 billion.

James "Rick" Biles '86

James Richard "Rick" Biles has retired as District Magistrate Judge for the 30th Judicial District of Kansas.

Lori Schaffel Goldstein '84

Lori Schaffel Goldstein is proud to be selected to the Top 100: 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers and the Top 50: 2019 Women Illinois Super Lawyers. A 35-year employment attorney, she is celebrating 8 years in her solo practice, representing employers and employees at the Law Office of Lori A. Goldstein, LLC.

Matthew Tanner '89

Matthew D. Tanner has been elevated to named partner at the newly-named law firm Roeser Tanner & Graham. Tanner is a commercial litigator with more than 25 years of experience at the trial and appellate levels and is a former Assistant United States Attorney in the Illinois Northern District Court.

Michael Tipsord '84

Michael Tipsord, State Farm President and CEO, has been named to Governor J.B. Pritzker's Job Creation and Economic Opportunity Committee. 

Andrew Goldstein '84

Andrew Goldstein was named Copyright Lawyer of the Year for Chicagoland for 2019 by Best Lawyers. That makes 3 out of the last 5 years.

David Whitaker '83

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that the firm was ranked in the USA Legal 2019 edition of Chambers FinTech. In addition, David Whitaker, partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology practice received Band 2 ranking in the Legal: Data Protection & Cyber Security category.

Paul Lisnek '83

Paul Lisnek released his first fiction work, Assume Guilt: A Matt Barlow Mystery. This new release can be found on

Anne Secker '80

Monterey County Women Lawyers Association (MCWLA) has announced that attorney Anne Secker received the 2018 Lady Justice Lifetime Achievement Award for Legal Advocacy and Community Service. Given annually by MCWLA, Ms. Secker’s award was presented at a dinner on November 29, 2018 at Scales Restaurant in Monterey. Ms. Secker earned her J.D. from University of Illinois in 1980 and joined the law firm of Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss as an attorney the same year. She is a shareholder with Noland Hamerly, an “AV Prominent,” top-ranked law firm providing legal services to the Central Coast region since 1928. Ms. Secker is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California, the Monterey County Bar Association, California Women Lawyers, and Monterey County Women Lawyers Association, in which she has served on the Board of Directors. From 1983 to 1995 she served as Judge Pro Tempore of Monterey County Court. She holds the highest rating, “AV” from Martindale Hubbell, and is well-respected by her peers, her clients, and the judiciary. Ms. Secker’s education includes a B.A., cum laude, from Northern Illinois University and she also attended Salzburg College in Austria.

Beverly Mack '89

Beverly Mack has been named to the board of directors for the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana. Her term begins on January 1, 2019.

Scott Black '89

Scott J. Black has been named a new associate judges for the 11th Judicial Circuit, according to a statement from the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts.

Mike Mitchell '80

Chapman and Cutler LLP mourns the loss of partner, colleague, and friend, Michael J. Mitchell, who passed away on November 25, 2018 in Chicago. He was 63. Read a tribute to Mitchell published by Chapman and Cutler

Kevin Howley '84

Kevin Howley of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. has been recognized on the 2018 Wisconsin “Super Lawyers” list. He is based in the Milwaukee office.

Karen Suhre '82

Karen K. Suhre '82 was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel at its annual dinner in Nashville in September. She also currently serves as co-chair of the Employee Benefit Plans Group of the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law.

Mike Ball '84

Michael F. Ball has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), one of the premier legal associations in North America. He is a partner in the firm of McCormick Barstow Sheppard Wayte & Carruth LLP and has been practicing in the firm’s Fresno office for his entire career. His primary litigation focus is on representation of physicians and other healthcare providers.

Craig Young '85

Craig Young was named managing partner at Heyl Roster on Oct. 1 and has earned national recognition for his worker’s compensation defense strategies. He is a Canton native and Bradley University graduate, beginning his career at Heyl Royster in 1983 as a summer clerk while enrolled in the University of Illinois College of Law, where he obtained his J.D. degree in 1985. Young became partner at Heyl Royster in 1992.

Linda Maschek '80

Linda Maschek retired in 2018 after serving as an Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Department of Public Health in Chicago, IL for 25 years. Prior to her ALJ appointment in 1993, Ms. Maschek served as staff counsel for several state agencies located in Chicago.

Michael D. Weis '88

Michael D. Weis has joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP as a partner in Chicago, in the firm's Commercial Transactions Practice Group. Weis, who earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1998, has more than 30 years of experience as a business and commercial transactions attorney and previously served as General Counsel for a long term care organization. Mr. Weis is a Certified Public Accountant.

Craig S. Young '85

Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C., is pleased to announce that University of Illinois College of Law alumnus, Craig S. Young, has been elected as the firm’s next Managing Partner effective October 1, 2018. Heyl Royster is a regional Midwest law firm with more than 120 lawyers and seven offices located in Illinois (Peoria, Champaign, Chicago, Edwardsville, Rockford, and Springfield) and Missouri (St. Louis). The firm provides legal services for businesses and corporations, professionals, healthcare organizations, governmental entities, universities, insurance carriers, and other major institutions. Heyl Royster lawyers have successfully defended clients in all of the federal courts and in each of the 102 counties in the State of Illinois, as well as in courtrooms in Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. The firm also counsels clients on all aspects of business life.

James Konetski '84

Jim Konetski has recently completed his eighteenth year as a Judge in the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, DuPage County Illinois.

Michele Eaddy '88

Michele Eaddy '88, a shareholder at Thrun Law Firm, P.C., has been elected to the NSBA Council of School Attorneys Board of Directors for a two year term.

John Boyle '83

John F. Boyle is National Fraud Counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance. John is with Meachum, Boyle & Trafman, 225 West Washington Street, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60606.

Thomas Modeszto '89

Tom Modeszto, COL (Ret), USA, has been designated the Deputy Senior Associate Counsel, Acquisition Law Group, at Headquarters, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Fort Belvoir, VA. Tom previously served with the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps for over 24 years upon his retirement from Active Duty in September 2015.

Miguel Zaldivar '88

Miguel Zaldivar has been appointed Regional Chief Executive for Asia Pacific and Middle East at Hogan Lovells

Kevin P. Fitzgerald '81

Kevin P. Fitzgerald, Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Illinois, retired on July 6, 2018.

Andrew Hale '84

Andrew Hale, a trial lawyer who has represented the city of Chicago multiple times in police misconduct cases, was recently profiled in Crain's Chicago Business: 

Steve Gerse '83

Steve Gerse is the founder and President of Himalayan Joy Home, a home for abandoned baby girls in northern India. Steve recently retired from Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he had been Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs.

Barbara Crowder '81

Madison County Circuit Court Judge Barbara Crowder was installed as the 3rd Vice-President of the Illinois Judges Association during the annual meeting on June 1, 2018, at Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago. The Illinois Judges Association, which represents 1,250 active and retired Illinois state court judges, was founded in 1972 to provide services, support, and education to its member judges and to improve public understanding of the Illinois judicial system.

Jim Flesch '80

I retired several years ago after a wonderful career as a litigator and trial attorney in Chicago. Francyn and I now live in beautiful Scottsdale AZ where we spend our time hiking, backpacking and competing in ultra marathon cycling races.

Michael Florey '88

Michael Florey, a principal at Fish & Richardson, the largest intellectual property law firm in the country, was named a top “Band 1” IP attorney in the 2018 edition of "Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business."

Michelle Gilbert '86

Michelle Gilbert, Supervisory Attorney with LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation), was selected to receive a 2018 United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service, for achieving a vanguard due process victory for Housing Choice Voucher participants.

Taisa Markus '86

Taisa Markus has joined White & Case LLP. She is a partner in the Firm's Capital Markets practice in New York. Her practice focuses on cross-border securities offerings, cross-border bank finance and M&A, restructurings and general securities law matters.

Lee Smalley Edmon '81

Justice Lee Smalley Edmon, Presiding Justice of Division Three of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal who is noted for her exemplary public service and dedication to advancing the legal profession, will receive the “Ronald M. George Award for Judicial Excellence” from the Beverly Hills Bar Association on February 20, 2018.

Richard Schmack '80

Richard H. Schmack, former DeKalb County State's Attorney, was presented with the 2017 Norm Maleng Minister of Justice Award by the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association at the Section's annual meeting in Washington, DC on November 3. The award is presented annually to a public prosecutor for service which exemplifies the obligation to 'seek justice, not merely to convict'. In September, he was also awarded the Northern Illinois University College of Law Public Service Award. Both awards were in recognition of his role in the exoneration of Jack McCullough, who had been wrongfully convicted in 2012 of a 1957 murder. His article on the case, 'Unmaking a Murderer: The Prosecutor's Duty to Remedy Wrongful Convictions', was published in the Summer 2017 edition of the NIU Law Review. Rich recently joined the faculty of the National Drug Court Institute to provide training and assistance, in maintaining best practice standards, to treatment courts throughout the nation.

Bill Jung '83

Bill Jung was nominated for a federal judgeship in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, giving him the rare distinction of being nominated for the bench by the three most recent presidents. Jung’s nomination by President Donald Trump follows the expiration of his 2016 nomination by President Barack Obama to fill the seat left vacant by U.S. District Judge Anne Conway. Jung was also nominated in 2008 by President George W. Bush, but his nomination was returned just before Obama took office.

Mary Kay Scott '84

Mary Kay Scott was honored with a 2017 Trial Lawyer Excellence Award for Defense Attorney Achievement October 26, 2017. More than 300 trial attorneys and judges were in attendance for the reception and awards ceremony. The program recognized superior outcomes in jury trials from both the plaintiff and defense bar. Mary Kay Scott of Brenner, Monroe, Scott & Anderson Ltd., in Chicago was one of three defense attorneys recognized for her individual body of work in defense of medical negligence cases. Ms. Scott received an award for Trial Lawyer Excellence, in recognition of successful representation of her clients during her years of practice. The day before the event Ms. Scott obtained a not guilty for a defendant radiologist in a trial in Lake County Illinois. Ms. Scott has been Martindale Hubbell AV rated for over 18 years.

Kevin Howley '84

Kevin J. Howley has been named a 2017 Wisconsin Super Lawyer.

David Sodergren '88

David R. Sodergren, age 54 of Warren and formerly of Rockford and Grand Rapids, passed away on Thursday, November 2, 2017, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. David is survived by his mother, Patricia Sodergren of Rockford; his sisters-in-law, Sandra Phillips and Pamela (Jack) Henry; and many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and cousins.

Craig Schloss '80

Craig has joined the law firm of Cozen O'Connor in its San Diego office. Specializing in employment and trade secret litigation, Schloss has extensive experience litigating wrongful termination cases, employee unfair competition/trade secrets disputes, wage and hour class actions, and discrimination, disability accommodation and sexual harassment lawsuits. He also practices before the National Labor Relations Board regarding labor matters on behalf of management.

Dan Slack '83

Dan Slack has been named to the Board of Directors of The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a national organization that protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. The Center accomplishes this mission by delivering cutting-edge education and research to millions of people across the country every year.

Steven Rubin '81

Steven D. Rubin was appointed by the President of the Florida Bar to serve as Chair of The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education for 2017-18. Florida has the largest legal specialization program in the Country with 26 areas of certification. Rubin has been Florida Bar Board Certified in real estate law since 1995.

Albert Salvi '85

The American Jurist Institute recognized Waukegan, IL, Attorney Albert Salvi of Salvi & Maher, LLC, as one of the Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys in Illinois for 2017. The award honors attorneys “for dedication and excellence in the practice of law.”

N. Peter Rasmussen '82

Peter is a senior legal editor with Bloomberg BNA and Bloomberg Law. He has authored several books and articles on federal securities law, and is a frequent contributor to BNA's Corporate Transactions Blog. He will moderate the federal securities regulators panel at the annual meeting of the American Association of Corporate Counsel. He lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his wife Peggy, who recently retired from her position as a director of international IT for AbbVie.

Jerry Krulewitch '86

Shedd Aquarium is thrilled to announce that University of Illinois graduate Jerry Krulewitch of McDonald’s has joined Shedd Aquarium’s Board of Trustees.

James Bartelt '81

The Marshfield Area Community Foundation recently announced that James Bartelt has been appointed to the board of directors. The board consists of 15 members who are appointed by individuals or organizations, and they are elected by a majority of the board of directors. The board meets monthly and is responsible for all functions of the Marshfield Area Community Foundation.

Jeffrey Berman '87

On June 9th, Jeffrey Berman (BS ’84 BUS, JD ’87 LAW) was sworn in as the President of the Lake County Bar Foundation. Jeff has nearly 30 years' of experience in a wide range of complex commercial litigation, and his practice currently focuses on class actions and related insurance coverage litigation. Jeff also currently is serving his fifth elected term as a Village Trustee, and as Village President Pro Tem, in the Village of Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He also serves as Co-Editor of the Docket, the official publication of the Lake County Bar Association.

Robert Wolff '80

Robert M. Wolff, a shareholder in the Cleveland office of Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has been recognized with a top ranking in the 2017 edition of the prestigious Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Chambers placed Wolff in Band 1, the guide’s highest distinction.

As a seasoned civil trial attorney, Wolff has more than 30 years of experience representing companies both large and small in the healthcare, energy, transportation, financial and retail industries. He has handled numerous labor arbitrations and has taken over 50 cases to jury verdicts involving matters of wrongful death, age, race disability and sexual discrimination, commercial and various major civil rights class actions, and wage and hour class actions.

Kathyrn Pyszka '89

Kathryn Pyszka has been named as Associate Regional Director for Enforcement in the SEC's Chicago Office.

Gerald Cassioppi '82

Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC Attorney Gerald A. Cassioppi was elected DuPage County Bar Association President.

Barbara Crowder '81

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder was selected to serve as the Secretary of the Illinois Judges Association.

Richard Hanus '88

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.

Rod Adams '85

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.

Debra Walker '87

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.

Kathleen Feeney '87

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!

Susan Bursztynsky '86

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.

Patricia Brown Holmes '86

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."

Jeff Brodin '84

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.