President - Aurora N. Abella Austriaco, Of Counsel at Clark
Hill PLC, concentrates in the areas of real estate litigation,
construction litigation, mechanic's liens, defense of mortgage
foreclosure, mortgage fraud, title insurance claims and other special
chancery remedy cases. Before joining Clark Hill, she headed her own
firm, Austriaco and Associates. Prior to forming that firm, she spent
five years with a small boutique firm, worked for Harold Levine Ltd. for
four years, and served as Corporate Counsel and Managing Attorney for
the Indiana operations for Attorney's Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. for 10
years. She graduated from De Paul University with a B.S. in Finance
(1987) and a J.D. (1990).
A past Chair of the CBA Young Lawyers' Section, she also serves on the
board of the Chicago Bar Foundation and was Vice-President of the Center
for Conflict Resolution (CCR). She is the first female and minority
President of the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers' Association (IRELA), a
founding board member of the Filipino American Bar Association, past
board member and current member of the Asian American Bar Association
and former member of the ISBA Real Estate Section Council. She also
served on the Board of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI)
and was elected to the Board of Directors of Attorneys Title Guaranty
Fund, Inc., a bar related title insurance company. She is the first
female minority elected to the ATG board.
Aurora was recently appointed by Chief Judge James F. Holderman, U.S.
District Court, to serve as Chair of the 2012 Magistrate Merit Selection
Panel Committee. She also served as Chair of the Tellers Committee of
the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates and as a member
of the ABA Standing Committee on Meetings and Travel. She is currently
serving her third year as CBA delegate to the ABA House of Delegates.
She is a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Constitution and Bylaws
and was recently appointed as 2012 Diversity Director for the ABA
General Practice Division.
In addition to her bar association involvement, she is also active in
the community. Currently, she is in her ninth term as Chair of the Cook
County States Attorney's Asian Advisory Council and her tenth year as
Commissioner for the Cook County Human Rights Commission. She is also
serving her eighth year as Commissioner for the Park Ridge Planning
and Zoning Commission and serves on the board of the Park Ridge Juniors,
a group of Park Ridge philanthropic women which raises funds for
not-for-profit organizations in Park Ridge. She has also served as
President of the Asian American Institute and was elected to the Board
of Governors of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Illinois. She was a member
of the Filipino American Voters League from 1996-98 and served as
Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Chicago. She was a 2004
Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and from 2006-2009, served on the
Board of the Hubbard Street Dance of Chicago.
First Vice President - J. Timothy Eaton is a senior
litigation partner at Shefsky & Froelich Ltd. He concentrates his
practice in commercial litigation, appeals and arbitration.
He is a past president of the Illinois State Bar Association and the
Appellate Lawyers Association. He also was the First-Editor-in-Chief of
the Appellate Law Review and chair of the Appellate Advocacy Committee
of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Section of the American Bar
Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the
Federal Bar Association, Board of Governors of the Seventh Circuit Bar
Association and the American Bar Association Standing Committee on
Amicus Curiae Briefs.
He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and is the
author of over thirty articles on litigation, appellate law and
arbitration. He is a co-author of the book entitled: Civil Appellate
Practice: State and Federal (IICLE).
Second Vice President - Daniel Cotter, is a founding partner of
Korey Cotter Heather & Richardson, LLC. Previously, he was Chair of the
Corporate, Transactional and Regulatory Group at Lindemann LLC, Downers
Grove. Other experience includes serving as vice president and general
counsel at Argo Group U.S., Inc. and senior counsel with Unitrin Inc. A
CPA, he has also worked as an accountant at the insurance giant, C N A.
He is the Secretary of the John Marshall law School Alumni Association
and serves on the Boards of Monmouth College, the Chicago Bar
Foundation, and Kendall College. He is an adjunct professor at John
Marshall School of Law.
Mr. Cotter's community service includes as Chair of the Edgebrook
School District, a Cub Scout Den Leader, and fundraising annually for
the CBA's Lend A Hand-to-Youth program. He is a champion weight lifter
in his spare time and often uses his competitive events to raise money
for charitable causes, including Lend A-Hand-to-Youth. He is a magna
cum laude graduate of Monmouth College, where he earned his Bachelor's
degree in Accounting, and earned his law degree from The John Marshall
Law School, graduating first in his class. At John Marshall, he competed
in the John Marshall/ABA National Criminal Defense Lawyers National Mock
Trial Competition and was an Editor for the Law Review, while working
full-time at CNA as an accountant.
His awards include Monmouth's Distinguished Young Alumnus Award (2001)
and induction into the MClub (sports) Hall of Fame (2002).
Secretary - Patricia Brown Holmes is a partner at Schiff Hardin
LLP where she co-chairs the firm's Diversity Committee. A trial attorney
whose practice focuses on white-collar criminal investigations, she is a
former federal, state and local prosecutor and state court judge.
Her criminal and civil litigation experience includes handling matters
involving financial and accounting fraud, mail and wire fraud, corporate
whistle-blower allegations and hot-line calls, contract disputes and
other complex commercial litigation. She has also lectured on and
completed internal investigations involving the Foreign Corrupt
Practices Act (FCPA).
Judge Holmes also has extensive experience conducting internal
investigations at public and private entities and has conducted many
highly sensitive and confidential investigations involving high-level
executives. She has represented special committees and boards of
directors in a variety of internal investigations.
During her career, she has often been tasked by government officials
to assist in investigating sensitive matters. She was appointed by
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to chair the Illinois Torture Inquiry and
Relief Commission; the investigation of the City of Chicago's fire
commissioner for sexual harassment; the alleged cover up by the
executive director of the Office of Compliance; and the 2010
investigation of the Burr Oak Cemetery scandal as chair of the
governor's Cemetery Oversight Task Force. That investigation led to new
legislation regarding cemetery oversight and the funeral industry. She
is also a member of Senator Dick Durbin's judicial commission to
investigate backgrounds and select federal judges and the U.S. Marshal
for the Northern District of Illinois.
She is a frequent commentator and widely published legal writer and an
active member of several Bar Associations. She is an adjunct professor
of law at Northwestern University School of Law, Loyola Institute for
Paralegal Studies, and an instructor at the Attorney General's Advocacy
Institute Criminal Trial Advocacy Section of the U.S. Department of
Her many awards include the Visionary Award from the Black
Women Lawyers Association; the Illinois Judicial Council
Distinguished Service Award; the National Bar Association's
Judicial Council Special Chair Award; the University of
Illinois Seaberry Award for Service to the Legal Community and
the University's Outstanding Alumni Award for Public Service; a
peer review award from Illinois Leading Lawyers Network; and the
Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service from the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois/Federal Bar Association,
She has also been named by several publications and organizations to
their lists of outstanding attorneys in the commercial litigation, white
collar and criminal defense practices. In 2011, the National Diversity
Council named her "One of the Most Powerful and Influential Women of
Judge Holmes earned her Bachelor's degree and her J. D. from the
University of Illinois.
Treasurer - Daniel M. Kotin is a partner and personal injury
trial lawyer at the Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio. He is an
experienced personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice
attorney and his practice includes representing individuals in
transportation, product liability, and medical negligence cases. As a
result of his vast experience, he has attained leadership positions on
Steering Committees and has been appointed Lead Counsel on mass tort
litigation arising from fires, train derailments, and other disasters.
Throughout his career, he has obtained verdicts and settlements
totaling more than $185 million on behalf of his clients. Several of his
verdicts were record-setting awards for their type of case and amount
Within the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), he serves on the
Association's Finance Committee. Over the years, he has chaired multiple
committees of the CBA and served as a director of the Young Lawyers
Section. He is also involved in the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association,
where he is a member of the Board of Managers and was previously the
Chairman of the Association's Seminar Planning Committee. In addition,
he is also a member of the prestigious Society of Trial Lawyers where he
currently serves as vice-president.
He is on the faculty at Loyola University School of Law where he
teaches a course on Civil Procedure and serves as a coach of the
School's National Mock Trial Team. He also sits on the Board of
Governors for the law school and serves as a Co-Chair of its Circle of
Advocates. He is on the faculty at the National Institute for Trial
Advocacy where he teaches trial skills to lawyers in an annual program.
He has been appointed by the Supreme Court of Illinois and serves on the
Hearing Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
Mr. Kotin has testified at public hearings regarding proposed changes
in Supreme Court Rules. He regularly lectures at various bar association
and interest group seminars and has published chapters and articles in
legal books, periodicals and newspapers.
In 2002, he was recognized and profiled by Chicago's Law Bulletin
Publishing Company as one of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to
Watch". He was honored by the Lawdragon as one of "500 New Stars, New
World," in 2006. He is a member of The National Trial Lawyers, an
organization comprised of the top 100 trial lawyers from each state. He
is currently profiled as one of the Top 5% of Civil Trial Lawyers in
Illinois by the Leading Lawyers Network, has been designated an
"Illinois Super Lawyer" and maintains an AV rating - the highest
possible rating for any attorney - from the Martindale-Hubbell Law
CBA Board of Managers
Immediate Past President - Robert A. Clifford is
principal partner of Clifford Law Offices, a personal injury law firm in
Chicago concentrating in aviation, transportation, personal injury,
medical negligence and product liability law. He has represented clients
in every major commercial airline crash in the United States in the last
two decades and has also represented clients in private or corporate jet
and helicopter crashes around the globe. High profile cases have
included his representation of the estate of Bob Collins, Chicago's
popular morning disc jockey who was killed in a small plane collision,
the Dick Ebersol family, who were involved in a chartered jet crash, the
case of six-year-old Joshua Woods who was killed at Chicago's Midway
Airport when a Southwest Airlines jet skidded into his family's car, the
family of a victim in the Chalk seaplane crash off the coast of Miami in
December, 2005, and several plaintiffs in case of the 2006 Comair crash
in Lexington, Kentucky.
Mr. Clifford also received national attention for winning a $30
million verdict in the case of violinist Rachel Barton against a
commuter rail company. He obtained a $75 million settlement on behalf of
some of those injured or killed when scaffolding collapsed off the John
Hancock Building. And, he won a $15.8 million verdict on behalf of an
18-year-old teenager who was left permanently brain damaged after she
was struck by a YMCA van in a south suburb of Chicago.
His professional memberships include the International Society of
Barristers, the Inner Circle of Advocates, and the American Law
Institute, a group of 3,000 judges, lawyers and academics from around
the world who are selected on the basis of professional achievement in
For the American Bar Association (ABA) he has served as Illinois State
Delegate to the House of Delegates of ABA, Chair of the Strategic
Communications Committee, Chair of the Section of Litigation and Chair
of the Task Force on Aviation and the Law, for which he served in an
advisory role to congressional, executive, state and local leaders on
the legal ramifications in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack
A Past President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and of the
Chicago Inn of Court, he is also a member of the American College of
Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the
National Judicial College. He is also a member of a select group of
aviation consultants who advised the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, a
California-based think tank, on the investigation process of the
National Transportation Safety Board. Mr. Clifford also has been asked
to sit on the Rand Institute's Board of Overseers. He was appointed a
member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Civility.
Mr. Clifford endowed the first Chair on Tort Law and Social Policy to
his alma mater, De Paul University College of Law. This gift provides
for an annual symposium for academicians, lawyers and judges from across
the country to speak on a timely topic dealing with the relationship
between tort law, popular culture and societal needs. Mr. Clifford
shares his knowledge as a frequent lecturer for various bar associations
and legal groups throughout the country.
He holds a JD from DePaul University College of Law.
Maryam Ahmad is a felony trial assistant for the Cook
County State's Attorney's Office. She is presently based at the Markham
Courthouse, where she prosecutes adult felony cases.
Prior to joining the State's Attorney's Office, she served as Sexual
Harassment Officer for the City of Chicago and as a Cook County
Assistant Public Defender. Before joining the Public Defender's office
she was an Associate attorney at a small civil litigation firm.
Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked in the field of higher
education. She is the former Special Assistant to the President on
Diversity at DePaul University; Assistant Dean of Multicultural Affairs
for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Assistant Director
of Admissions at Yale University
At the Chicago Bar Association, she has served the Judicial Evaluation
Committee as a member of its Executive Committee and as Vice Chair of
its Investigations Committee.
She earned her B.A. in French from Chatham College in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania and holds a master's degree in Shakespearean Studies from
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She received her J.D.
from DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, where she was the first
student to earn DePaul's intellectual property law certificate.
Edward J. Austin is the principal attorney in the law
firm of Edward J. Austin, P.C. where he concentrates in criminal
defense. He handles complex litigation at both the state and federal
levels and his cases range from felonies to misdemeanors. Mr. Austin
began his career as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s
Office having served in the Appellate and Narcotics Units. He has tried
and litigated hundreds of cases and contested motions in various
counties in Illinois. He has been repeatedly recognized as an Illinois
"Super Lawyer" rising star.
As a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Mr. Austin has been
actively involved in the Criminal Law Committee and served as its
Chairman in 2010. Additionally, he was a long-term member of the
Judicial Evaluation Committee where he served on its Executive
Committee. In 2011-2012 he served as the Chairman of the JEC.
Additionally, he serves as a volunteer legal advisor for the Cara
Program, a provider of education and job training for those affected by
homelessness and poverty.
He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science and History
from Indiana University-Bloomington and received his J.D. from Loyola
University in Chicago.
Hon. Sharon Johnson Coleman was nominated to the
federal judiciary by President Barack Obama and joined the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2010.
Prior to her federal court appointment, Judge Coleman was a justice on
the Illinois Appellate Court, First District for two years. From 1996
until 2008 she was elected to serve as a circuit court judge in Cook
County. Judge Coleman served nearly 10 years as a jury trial judge in
the law division. She also served in the child protection division.
Judge Coleman served on the Illinois Supreme Court's Committee on
Illinois Pattern Civil Jury Instructions. She was also selected to
teach judicial ethics to incoming state judges from 1999-2008. Judge
Coleman has been a frequent lecturer at various judicial education
seminars. During her pre-judicial career, she practiced exclusively in
the public sector as an Assistant State's Attorney, Deputy State's
Attorney and an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Judge Coleman received her
juris doctorate degree from Washington University School of Law in St.
Judge Coleman has been an active member of the Chicago Bar Association
for more than 20 years. She has served the CBA as a member of the
Judicial Evaluation Committee and as a lecturer and panel member on
various presentations regarding practice in the Law Division. She is
also a member of the Black Women Lawyers' Association, Cook County Bar
Association, Illinois Judicial Council, Just the Beginning Foundation,
Leadership Greater Chicago, Seventh Circuit Bar Association, Women=s Bar
Association and many other legal and community organizations. Judge
Coleman has been the recipient of many awards and honors including the
Esther Rothstein Award and the C. F. Stradford Award.
Alison C. Conlon is a partner in the Chicago office
of Barnes & Thornburg and is a member of the firm's Litigation
Department. She focuses her practice on litigating commercial disputes,
toxic tort cases, professional malpractice issues and other matters for
companies, municipalities and individuals. Ms. Conlon also uses
alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, to
assist her clients.
Ms. Conlon's experience includes having represented manufacturers,
real estate investors and advisors, law firms, insurance companies, and
financial services providers. She has helped Fortune 500 companies to
win commercial arbitration matters worth millions of dollars, and has
defended large class action suits in multiple states brought against a
Fortune 100 company. Ms. Conlon's environmental litigation experience
includes defending corporations and municipalities in federal and state
courts. Representative cases include litigation where more than 1,000
individual plaintiffs alleged personal injuries and property value
diminution arising out of lead dust emissions from the operation of a
smelter in Detroit, Michigan; a class action property damage lawsuit
alleging the presence of TCE and PCE in a municipal water supply in
Ohio; and work as liaison counsel defending multiple cases brought by
hundreds of landfill neighbors alleging the presence of vinyl chloride
in private drinking water wells and the risk of vapor intrusion. Prior
to joining Barnes & Thornburg Ms. Conlon was a partner at the Chicago
firm, Wildman Harrold. She has also served as a law clerk for the
Honorable Charles P. Kocoras in the Northern District of Illinois.
At The Chicago Bar Association, Ms. Conlon is a co-chairperson of the
Tort Litigation Committee. She is also a member of the American Bar
Association and the Illinois State Bar Association. She serves on the
Northern District of Illinois Local Rules Committee, and is on the
ISBA/CBA Joint Task Force on Limited Scope Representation.
Ms. Conlon earned a B.A. cum laude in English from Yale
University and an M.A. in English from Georgetown University. She earned
her J.D. magna cum laude from Duke University Law School in 2000.
James B. Durkin is a partner in the Chicago office of
Arnstein & Lehr. He is a member of the Governmental & Municipal
Affairs Practice Group. He has assisted public and private entities by
conducting and coordinating internal investigations and problem solving
through regulatory and legislative remedies. In addition, he counsels
private and governmental entities on public finance issues. He is an
Mr. Durkin previously served as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General
and as an Assistant Cook County States Attorney. In 2002, he was the
Republican nominee for the United States Senate for the state of
Illinois. He is currently the assistant minority leader in the Illinois
House of Representatives serving the 82nd District. In December 2008, he
served as the ranking Republican for the Illinois House of
Representatives Impeachment Committee regarding Illinois Governor Rod
Mr. Durkin serves on the Board of Trustees of The John Marshall Law
School. Since 1996, he has served on the Board of Advisors of
Misericordia - Heart of Mercy Home. He has also served on the Board of
Advisors of Giant Steps School for Autism since 2000. From 1992-1997,
he was a trustee for Triton Community College and from 1994-1997 he was
Since 2006, Mr. Durkin has served the 82nd District as a State
Representative in the Illinois House of Representatives, and, from
1995-2003, he served the 44th District. He was the Illinois co-chair for
Senator John McCain's presidential campaign in 2000 and 2008. He is also
an executive committee member of the Illinois Republican Party
He graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S. Criminal
Justice in 1984, and earned his J.D. from John Marshall Law School in
G. A. Finch is a senior partner at Hoogendoorn &
Talbot, a boutique spinoff of Kirkland & Ellis. He practices in the
firm's business, employment, real estate and litigation groups. Mr.
Finch regularly advises clients on their corporate/commercial matters
including formations, financings, acquisitions and corporate governance
as well as negotiates executive employment contracts. He has substantial
experience in employment law, ethics investigations and counsel,
government procurement and governmental affairs.
Significant positions he has held include: partner in the business
group at Michael Best & Friedrich and co-managing shareholder, Corporate
Group chair, Governmental Affairs/Procurement Group chair, and Real
Estate Group chair at Querrey & Harrow. He is a former City of Chicago
deputy planning commissioner, Illinois Human Rights commissioner and
Chicago Housing Authority general counsel. He clerked for US District
Court Chief Judge James B. Parsons.
His honors include: Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow; Leadership Greater
Chicago Fellow; Illinois Leading Lawyer; Illinois Super Lawyer; Highest
Martindale-Hubbell Rating in Legal Ability and Ethics (AV); Chicago
Commission on Human Relations Thomas & Eleanor Wright Award; Chicago
United Business Leader of Color; Cook County Bar Ida Platt Award;
Chicago Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Citizens Award; Illinois League of
United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Award; Lambda Alpha International
Honorary Land Economics Society. He was featured as a Distinguished
African American Alumnus in the Field of Law in Amherst's Black History
A long-time civic leader, he currently serves on the Chicago Bar
Association Board of Managers, Chicago Bar Foundation Board of
Directors, the City Colleges of Chicago Community Advisory Council, CBA
Television Productions, Inc. Board of Directors, The John Marshall Law
Center for Real Estate Advisory Board and chair of the Decatur Classical
Local School Council. He is a member of: the Economic Club of Chicago
and Queen of All Saints Basilica Men's Club. He is also a life member of
the Association for the Study of African American Life & History. He
previously served as president of the Board of Advisors of St. Joseph
Seminary of Loyola University; Board of Trustees of Hampshire College;
Board of Trustees of the Commonwealth School; vice president of the
Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America – Chicago Area Council;
Board of Directors of the Chicago Community Trust's Chicago Area
Foundation for Legal Services; Board of Directors of Chicago
Sinfonietta; vice president of the Board of Directors of Pegasus
Players; president of the Board of Directors of the Katherine Dunham
Retrospective Festival; Board of Trustees of the Chicago Housing
Authority Pension Fund; secretary of the Editorial Board of Illinois Bar
Journal; Editorial Board of Chicago Bar Record; vice president of Board
of Directors of Amherst Club of Chicago; Board of Directors of Chicago
Legal Clinic; two different Governor's Transition Teams; Governor's
Committee on Housing; Illinois Agriculture Export Advisory Committee;
Lt. Governor's Energy Task Force; a Cook County President's Transition
Team; Cook County Recorder's Blue Ribbon Committee; and as vice
president and state general counsel to LULAC.
He graduated from Amherst College and the University of Michigan Law
Justin L. Heather is the Chair of the Young Lawyers
Section and a founding partner of Korey Cotter Heather & Richardson, LLC
("KCHR"), where he focuses his practice on complex commercial
litigation. He represents clients in federal and state courts, as well
as before domestic and international arbitral tribunals. He also
represents clients in matters involving a wide range of disputes,
including: intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions,
international gas and energy issues, complex commercial contracts,
securities law, bankruptcy, franchise law, consumer fraud, and Lanham
Act issues. He devotes a substantial amount of time to pro bono cases,
including, among others, successfully representing an inmate currently
housed on death row in Mississippi in federal habeas corpus proceedings.
Prior to forming KCHR, Justin worked in the Chicago office of Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for approximately 10 years.
Justin serves on the Young Professionals Boards of The Chicago Bar
Foundation and the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.
He has also served the YLS, the American Bar Association and the
Illinois State Bar Association in various capacities. Justin is the
recipient of several awards for his contributions to the legal community
and his legal writing, including the ABA Young Lawyers Division National
Outstanding Young Lawyer Award and The Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young
Lawyer Award. He has published a number of legal articles, including
both practice-related pieces and those directed at more substantive
areas of law, that have appeared in, among others, the CBA Record, the
Illinois Bar Journal, the ABA Litigation Ethics Newsletter and the
Journal of Law & Politics
He earned his J.D., cum laude, in 2001 from Northwestern University
School of Law, and his A.B. in 1996 from Dartmouth College, where he was
a double-major in Government & History. He is admitted to the bars of
State of Illinois, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals, and the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of
Scott W. Henry is a partner at Segal McCambridge
Singer & Mahoney, Ltd. He has focused his career on litigating products
liability, toxic tort, environmental and multi-district class action
cases. Mr. Henry currently serves as national and local counsel for
numerous companies primarily in asbestos litigation and has presented
and published on that area of the law. In these roles, he has developed
experience in medical and scientific issues related to toxic tort cases.
He has also assisted Fortune 500 companies in compliance with Chicago's
complex municipal laws and ordinances. Mr. Henry serves on Segal
McCambridge's Pro Bono and Public Service Committee and has handled pro
bono matters on behalf of a variety of clients through the National
Immigrant Justice Center and Chicago Legal Clinic.
Mr. Henry is a past chair of the Chicago Bar Association's Young
Lawyers Section and past member of the CBA's Judicial Evaluation
Committee. He also served on the Chicago Legal Clinic's Auxiliary Board
and the Junior Board of the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.
He lives in Chicago with his wife Christine, daughter Greta and son
He earned his BA in English from Vanderbilt University, in 1997, and
his JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, in 2000.
Jonathan S. Jennings is a partner in the intellectual
property law firm Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson
LLP. Jonathan concentrates his practice on litigation and counseling
relating to trademark, unfair competition, copyright, advertising,
domain name and publicity rights law. He also handles licensing,
clearance and trademark, copyright and domain name registration issues
Jonathan is an Adjunct Professor at The John Marshall Law School and a
member of the Advisory Board for the DePaul University College of Law's
Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology. He
co-authored the book Trademarks and Unfair Competition: Critical
Issues in the Law, published by Law Journal Press (New York, 2012).
On behalf of the Chicago Bar Association, he testified before the
Illinois Senate on right of publicity legislation that he helped to
draft while co-chairing the YLS Intellectual Property Law Committee. He
also served on the CBA's Legislative Executive and Strategic Planning
Committees, and currently serves on the Finance Committee. In addition
to his work with the CBA, he has been involved in the leadership of
other bar and trade associations. For example, he served on the
Leadership Council for the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law and
as the Parallel Imports Committee Chair for the International Trademark
He received his B.A. degree from Emory University, was a Rotary
Scholar at Trinity College Dublin, and received his J.D. degree from
Northwestern University School of Law, where he was an Articles Editor
for The Journal Of Criminal Law and Criminology.
Sharon E. Jones is the founder and President of Jones
Diversity Group. The Chicago-based firm provides consulting on diversity
and inclusion initiatives to corporations, law firms, foundations,
not-for-profits, and government agencies.
Formerly a federal prosecutor, she has been a litigator, a counselor,
an educator and a problem-solver with regard to extremely complex and
sensitive matters. Most recently, she served as Chief Operating Officer
and Executive Vice President for the Chicago Urban League. From
1985-1989, she was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern
District of Illinois, conducting federal grand jury investigations and
trials in high profile white-collar criminal cases. In private law
practice, Sharon Jones was a partner at Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert &
Matz in Los Angeles. In addition to her litigation practice, she was
responsible for all in-house continuing legal education, as well as
being an adviser to clients on a variety of employment and workplace
harassment issues. She was Of Counsel at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
in Los Angeles, where she created and implemented its litigation
training as well as firm-wide orientation training and evaluation
programs. She has also taught Trial Advocacy, both as an Adjunct
Professor at Northwestern Law School and at the National Institute for
In the corporate sector, she managed litigation matters worldwide for
Abbott Laboratories, as well as advising senior management in matters of
crisis management and in fashioning creative solutions to highly complex
business issues. After leaving Abbott Laboratories, she joined SBC
Communications (now AT&T) as Senior Counsel. From 2000-2001, Ms. Jones
served as Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association Private Antitrust
Litigation Committee and from 1994-1995, she was Vice-Chair of the
American Bar Association West Coast Committee of White Collar Crimes.
She is a co-author of two bar association reports providing consulting
advice to Los Angeles County: \The City in Crisis - A Report by the
Special Advisor to the Board of Police Commissioners on the Civil
Disorder in Los Angeles (October 1992) and Report of the Los
Angeles County Bar Association Advisory Committee for the Office of the
District Attorney (September 1994).
Ms. Jones was Counsel of Record in the amicus curiae brief filed in
the United States Supreme Court in 2003 by the Black Women Lawyers
Association of Chicago in Grutter v. Bollinger and the University of
Michigan in support of diversity in higher education.
A past President of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago,
she also served that organization as the Program Chair and created the
innovative monthly BWLA Roundtable luncheon series designed to increase
mentoring and networking opportunities for its members. She currently
serves on the Board for Women Employed. She also served as a consultant
to the ABA General Counsel Steering Committee to the Minority Counsel
Program and is the past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Committee
on Racial & Ethnic Diversity. In this role, she was instrumental in the
2006 adoption of the CBA Diversity Initiative and Commitments on Racial
& Ethnic Diversity. She is the past President of the Harvard Law School
Ms. Jones is a co-author of a guide published by the American Bar
Association in May 2004 entitled, "Walking the Talk: Creating a Law Firm
Culture Where Women Succeed."
She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.
Ray J. Koenig III is a member of Clark Hill PLC's
Litigation Practice Group and serves in the leadership role as the
Managing Member of Clark Hill's Chicago office. Ray graduated from
Michigan State University and DePaul University College of Law, where he
was a member of moot court.
His areas of emphasis and experience include probate, trust and
guardianship litigation. Ray has represented individuals, families,
financial institutions, medical institutions, and governmental
organizations in all areas of his practice. Ray has extensive trial,
appellate and mediation experience in state and federal courts. Ray is
frequently appointed Guardian Ad Litem and defense counsel in
complicated guardianship matters; he is also appointed Special
Administrator in problematic probate matters. Ray received an
"AV®" Preeminent Rating by his peers through
Martindale-Hubbell, and has been recognized by Super Lawyers
magazine as a Rising Star in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Ray is an adjunct professor at The John Marshall Law School. He
teaches an elder law course with topics including guardianship, advance
directives, discrimination actions, ethical issues in determining
competence and cognitivity, elder abuse, and end of life issues. Ray is
also a frequent speaker to numerous legal, community and civic groups on
issues related to his legal experience.
Ray is involved in the communities in which he works and lives,
including the following: Chicago Bar Association (Board of Managers
2012-14); Illinois State Bar Association (2011-12 Chair of the Trusts &
Estates Section Council and past Chair of the section Legislation
Committee; Member of the Task Force on Unauthorized Practice of Law);
LAGBAC; Chicago Estate Planning Council; Chicago Area Task Force on LGBT
Aging; Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights (Board of
Directors, Junior Board founding Vice President and past President);
Lambda Legal Education and Defense Fund (Co-Chair of National Planned
Giving Council); Chicago House and Social Service Agency (Board of
Trustees); Never Coast for Cancer Foundation (Treasurer); Congressman
Mike Quigley's LGBT Advisory Council; Cook County State's Attorney Anita
Alvarez's LGBT Advisory Council (Chair); and Alderman Tom Tunney's
Senior Advisory Council. Ray has also been nominated by Mayor Rahm
Emanuel to serve as a Commissioner on the Chicago Commission on Human
Ray resides in Chicago with his partner and two children. Ray is an
avid fan of the Cubs as well as Michigan State football and basketball.
Jill Eckert McCall, JD, MBA, CAE connects lawyers to
resources they need. She is active in both the association and legal
world. Within the CBA realm, Jill will contribute on the CBA Board of
Managers and as Vice Chair of the Trade and Professional Association Law
Committee. Jill just finished a term on the Chicago Bar Foundation's
board, and is a past-chair of the 9,000-member CBA Young Lawyers
Section. As an association leader, she was named to the Association
Forum Critical Conversations for the Future Think Tank, and is
focused on innovation in associations. At work, she's Director of the
American Bar Association Center for Continuing Legal Education
(ABA-CLE). Her department annually oversees the MCLE processing of more
than 700 program applications and creation of more than 300 programs.
She also serves on the ABA's Business Continuity Planning Task Force to
ensure that the ABA has a "Plan B" when disaster strikes. Jill
previously assisted the ABA as Director of its Young Lawyers Division, a
150,000-member entity that maintains a network of 300 bar organizations,
and as a career counselor and professional development program producer.
In the community, her primary volunteer outlet is service as the
treasurer of the LaSalle II Magnet School PTO. Follow Jill on Twitter
Natacha D. McClain is currently Chair of the Chicago
Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section (YLS). She is a senior associate
at Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney and focuses her practice on
products liability, construction, employment, and general civil
litigation matters in both state and federal court. She also has
experience in commercial litigation matters with the American
She grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois and attended Lake Forest College
where she received her degree in Economics and French. She began her
legal and bar career with the CBA after receiving her JD and MBA from
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 2004.
As YLS Chair, she introduced the 2012-2013 bar year theme, "Get
Involved in Your Community," and will launch dozens of member and public
service projects throughout the coming year. She is an active pro bono
volunteer and oversees Segal McCambridge's Homeless Experience Legal
Protection Program (HELP) in the firm's Chicago office, coordinating
efforts with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Ms. McClain also
serves on the Chicago Bar Foundation Young Professionals Board. She
lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago with her husband, Justin,
and two children, Lance and Sienna.
Judge Mary K. Rochford was elected to the Illinois
Appellate Court in November 2010. Her previous judicial experience
includes Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County (1991-2006)
and Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County (2006-2010).
In 2007, she was assigned to the Chancery Division of the Circuit
Court of Cook County where she heard complex civil cases. Before joining
the Chancery Division, she had dual assignments in the Law Division,
where she heard personal injury cases, and to the Second Municipal
District. There, Judge Rochford handled both civil and criminal matters
including domestic violence and misdemeanors, and charges of driving
under the influence. Prior to these assignments, she was assigned to the
First Municipal District (1991-1993).
Before being appointed to the bench, Judge Rochford practiced as an
appellate lawyer for the City of Chicago, Office of the Corporation
Counsel, and was in private practice handling a variety of cases before
the Illinois Supreme Court, the Illinois Appellate Court and the Seventh
District Court of Appeals. Under Chicago Mayor, the late Harold
Washington, she was appointed Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel in
charge of the Appeals Division.
Judge Rochford has been honored by community groups for her
involvement in philanthropic activities, especially student education.
Among her honors are "Judge of the Year" (2006) by the North Suburban
Bar Association and the YWCA's "Victim Safety Award" (2007).
Judge Rochford is an active member of several bar associations,
including the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association and
the Illinois Judges Association.
Judge Rochford earned both her Bachelor's degree and Juris Doctorate
degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Karen G. Seimetz is the General Counsel of the
Chicago Transit Authority, where she oversees and manages the day-to-day
operations of its Law Department involving litigation, transactions,
procurement, real estate, ethics and labor and employment-related
disputes. She began her career over 25 years ago at the law firm of
Phelan, Pope and John, a firm specializing in complex litigation, where
she became a partner. Her practice was concentrated on products
liability, toxic tort, commercial disputes, antitrust, personal injury
and medical malpractice. In 1996, she joined the City of Chicago's Law
Department, starting in the Torts Division where she tried numerous
high-exposure cases involving paramedic malpractice, traffic accidents
and police pursuits. She also served as lead counsel on several
high-profile cases against the City, including the numerous lawsuits
arising out of the catastrophic high-rise fire at the Cook County
Administration Building and the E-2 nightclub tragedy. Before joining
the CTA, from 2007 through November of 2010, she served as the First
Assistant for the City of Chicago's Law Department.
Frederick M. Snow
As Executive Vice President and General Counsel, First American Bank,
Elk Grove Village, Frederick Snow heads the bank's legal, compliance and
real estate valuation groups, and has responsibility for risk management
related to the bank's various business units. His responsibilities
include legal matters involving bank's trade finance group, wealth
management group, securities, corporate structure, litigation, and
commercial and retail loan portfolios, as well as regulatory compliance
and information security. He also serves as Secretary to the bank's
holding company Board of Directors.
Until 2005, he was a partner in Chapman and Cutler LLP, Chicago,
representing financial institutions, funds, underwriters, utilities and
transportation entities as bond and underwriter's counsel in a variety
of bond and project finance transactions.
He has served as a lecturer or moderator to various committees and
continuing legal education seminars of the National Association of Bond
Lawyers, the American Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association
concerning commercial finance, lender liability and credit enhancement.
He is a former chairman of the Commercial Transactions and the Financial
Institutions Committees of the CBA and serves on its Finance Committee.
Mr. Snow has been designated a member of Super Lawyers in banking by
Thompson Reuters and a member of Leading Lawyer Network in finance law
by Law Bulletin Publishing Company.
He is also a past chairman and legal counsel of Jane Addams Resource
Corporation, Chicago, and serves on the advisory board of Chicago Legal
Prep, a legal themed college preparatory high school serving Chicago's
Garfield Park neighborhood.
A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School he also holds an
LL. M. (with honors) in Taxation from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Howard S. Suskin is a partner at Jenner & Block LLP
in the Litigation Department and a member of the firm's Management
Committee. He is a Co-Chair of its Class Action Practice and a member of
the Securities Litigation and International Arbitration Practices. He is
also a member of the firm's Subprime Litigation Task Force and its
Tenant-in-Common Workout Task Force.
Mr. Suskin has substantial first-chair experience representing
individuals and business entities in civil and criminal securities
matters, including class actions alleging securities fraud and
misrepresentation claims, derivative actions claiming breach of
fiduciary duty, contests for corporate control, insider trading
investigations and broker-dealer issues.
In addition to his litigation practice, he also has substantial
experience counseling and representing clients in connection with
securities administrative and self-regulatory organization proceedings
and in arbitrations. He is active as an arbitrator with the American
Arbitration Association, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the Circuit
Court of Cook County, FINRA and the National Futures Association. He is
also a mediator with FINRA.
An active member of the American Bar Association's Securities Law
Committee, he has served as co-chair of the Class and Derivative Actions
Subcommittee. Mr. Suskin has also served the Chicago Bar Association in
many capacities including as former chairman of the CBA's Class Action,
Bench & Bar, Financial & Investment Services, and Securities Law
Committees. He also served as legislative liaison for the Securities and
Financial & Investment Services Committees and is an active member of
the CBA's Judicial Evaluation Committee.
Mr. Suskin is the author of numerous books and treatises on class
actions and securities law. He is also an in-demand speaker. He is a
frequent contributor to numerous business and legal publications
including Bloomberg, Thomson West, Mealey's Litigation Report: Class
Actions, ABA's Securities Litigation Journal, Law.com and BNA's
Securities Regulation and Law, among many other publications. Mr. Suskin
is a member of the Advisory Board of Board IQ, a Financial Times
publication, and the Securities Editorial Advisory Board of Law360. Mr.
Suskin also is on the faculty of Practising Law Institute.
He has won numerous awards throughout his career including being named
to Illinois Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation every year from 2006 -
2011 and has been named to the Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyers from 2007
He serves on the Board of Jewish Child and Family Services.
Timothy S. Tomasik is a partner at Clifford Law
Offices, Chicago, where he practices in various areas of personal injury
law including premises liability, aviation litigation, medical
negligence, medical liability and hospital liability. He has handled
some of the most complex and high profile cases at Clifford.
He has been recognized for his excellence in trial work, including
being inducted as a Fellow into the International Society of Barristers,
an honor society of outstanding trial lawyers chosen by their peers on
the basis of excellence and integrity in advocacy. He has been named a
Super Lawyer and a Leading Lawyer as well as being named one of Top 40
Attorneys Under 40 Years Old by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company of
Chicago. In 2009, he was awarded the William J. White Award of
Excellence from the Chicago Bar Association for his work as Chair of the
Judicial Evaluation Committee. He also serves as Chair of the American
Bar Association Section of Litigation, and Trial Evidence Sub-Committee.
In 1999, he was named the American Legion Expert Litigator for his
outstanding service as a gang prosecutor in the Chicago community as
well as for his excellence as a civil litigator.
Before going into private practice, Mr. Tomasik was an Assistant
State's Attorney, culminating his eight-year criminal trial career in
the Bureau of Special Prosecutions. He handled numerous high profile
capital cases and sexual assault cases during his tenure there.
A frequent speaker at various seminars and legal conferences across
the country, he serves on the faculty of the prestigious University of
Virginia Institute of Trial Advocacy where he is an instructor at its
annual weeklong program for lawyers and law students.
He is also an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the
International Society of Barristers, the Chicago Inns of Court, the
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for
Justice, and the American Bar Association. At the Chicago Bar
Association he is a past Chair of the Judicial Evaluation Committee
(JEC) and a Past Chair of the Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee.
He is a fellow of the Pound Civil Justice Institute and a Board member
of the Lawyers Lend A Hand To Youth organization. He has also served the
charitable arm of the CBA, the Chicago Bar Foundation on its Young
He earned his B. S. in journalism from the University of Colorado and
his J. D. from the University of Denver College of Law.