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.
Jeffrey Shebesta '02
Jeffrey James "Jeff" Shebesta passed away suddenly at home in Chicago, Ill., on Aug. 26, 2020, from a heart attack at age 43. Jeff was an Assistant General Counsel for Blue Cross Blue Shield (Mergers and Acquisitions) for Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Brad Yusim '02
Brad Yusim passed away on December 11, 2019, after bravely fighting an aggressive form of brain cancer, known as a glioblastoma. He joined Jenner & Block as an associate in 2002 and became a partner in 2010. He quickly distinguished himself with his quiet but focused commitment to delivering excellence for his clients. Over the years, Brad handled a variety of matters, from complex commercial disputes to difficult pro bono criminal cases. In addition to being a quietly fierce advocate, Brad was also known for being extraordinarily decent, a testament to the truth that effective advocacy is rooted in professionalism. He will be sorely missed.
Ernesto Palomo '02
Ernesto Palomo (’02) was recognized as Latino Attorney of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA).
David Grassmick '02
David Grassmick, a litigation Partner at the Chicago firm of Cope Ehlers, P.C., has coauthored "LexisNexis Practice Guide: New Appleman Illinois Insurance Law," which is set for release on May 31, 2019.
Sven Nylen '02
Sven Nylen has joined Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP as a partner in the Chicago office. He is the first bankruptcy attorney to join Benesch's insolvency and creditors' rights practice group in Chicago. He came to the firm in mid-March after spending more than 11 years at K&L Gates LLP. His practice includes restructurings, workouts, bankruptcies and other insolvency-related matters.
Matthew Hiller '02
Matthew Hiller joins DLA Piper’s Litigation practice in Chicago, IL. Hiller joins DLA Piper from the US Attorney’s Office, where he served as an Assistant US Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, and in Chicago. As a member of the National Security and Cybercrimes Section of the US Attorney’s Office, Hiller’s responsibilities included leading criminal and national security investigations, trying cases in federal court, and consulting for the FBI and Department of Justice across the US with respect to cyber investigative techniques.
Martha Victoria Diaz '02
Martha Victoria Diaz was awarded the Mercedes Luque Rosales Government Lawyer Award at the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois 2018 Gala. Martha Victoria Diaz has served the people of Chicago for over 16 years both in public service and private practice. As the chair of HLAI’s judicial evaluation committee, Martha Victoria has revamped and streamlined the judicial evaluation process. Moreover, Martha Victoria was the catalyst to formalizing the committee’s membership selection. Martha Victoria is also a member of the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association. She is Senior Counsel for the City of Chicago’s Law Department in the Legal Information, Investigations and Prosecutions Division where she defends Freedom of Information Act challenges brought into state court as well as defends City of Chicago Departments in FOIA appeals before the Public Access Counsel and Chancery Court.
James Pinkstaff '02
James M. Pinkstaff, 41, of Urbana passed away on Saturday, September 8, 2018. He worked as a lawyer in the Chicagoland area for several years before starting his own practice in 2015. Outside of the office, he studied taekwondo and jiujitsu and even had a sparring mat on top of the apartment building he owned. San Diego, Calif., was a home away from home for him, and he enjoyed surfing out on the Pacific waves. Friends and family will long remember a driven and focused soul whose intelligence was only outshined by his determination in all things.
Scott Bennett '02
Senate President John Cullerton has appointed State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) as the new chairman of the Senate Criminal Law Committee. A graduate of Illinois State University and University of Illinois Law School, Bennett served as a Champaign County Assistant State’s Attorney before being appointed to the State Senate in 2015. Since arriving in the Senate, Bennett has used his experiences as a prosecutor to push for legislation to assist survivors of sexual assault. He has also led the charge to eliminate statute of limitations on sexual crimes against children.
Keith Hill '02
Keith Hill is the newest elected partner at Heyl Roster. Hill is based in the firm's Edwardsville office, and concentrates his practice on civil litigation, defending clients in product liability, premises liability, professional liability, automobile accidents, employment and labor law, and civil rights.
Scott Cruz '02
Clark Hill announced today that Scott Cruz, a senior attorney in the firm’s Labor & Employment practice was named to Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “Forty Under 40” list. The list recognizes attorneys who have achieved success and made significant contributions to the Chicago legal community. Nominators praised Cruz, 39, for his commitment to clients and strong work ethic. Fellow attorneys who he has worked with and those he opposed cited his ability to show empathy and his integrity as defining characteristics.
Joe Sadler '02
Kotz Sangster has named Joe Sadler partner in the firm's downtown Grand Rapids office.
Christine Turner '02
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.