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YLS Officers and Directors

YLS Chair - Mary K. Curry received her B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1999 and graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2005. Immediately following law school she clerked for the Honorable Patrick E. McGann followed by a clerkship with James F. Henry in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County for two years. In 2007, Mary began clerking for the Honorable Susan E. Cox, a United States Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of Illinois, where she is currently.

Mary's involvement in The Chicago Bar Association began in 2005 when she served as the Young Lawyers Division Chair for the Mental Health & Disability Law Committee for two years. Following that position, Mary joined the Young Lawyers Division's board serving as Secretary, Special Project Coordinator, Project Officer, and as Vice-Chair.
 
First Vice-Chair - Paul Ochmanek is the founder of the Paul Ochmanek Legal Office. Paul works closely with condominium and homeowner associations. Paul helps the board of directors and management with the association's day-to-day business. Paul's association work includes; issuing legal opinions regarding the association's governing documents, amending the governing documents and adopting rules, enforcement of the governing documents, turnover from the developer to the newly formed board, collection of assessments, counseling regarding special assessments, building code, bankruptcy, and foreclosure matters.

Honors and Awards
  • The Young Lawyer Section (YLS) of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) "Rising Star Award" for a YLS leader with exceptional promise - June 5, 2008
  • The YLS of the CBA David C. Hilliard Award for "Outstanding Committee Service (Real Estate Committee 2007-2008).
 
Second Vice-Chair - Matthew A. Passen an attorney with Passen Law Group, represents plaintiffs in serious personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death actions. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Economics from the University of Michigan in 2002, and law degree, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, from DePaul University College of Law in 2006. Prior to joining Passen Law Group, Mr. Passen was a litigation associate at Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago.

Mr. Passen has repeatedly been named a "Rising Star" By Super Lawyers, and is recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV® rated attorney. He received the "Rising Star Award" from the CBA YLS in 2010.

In addition to his work on behalf of the YLS, Mr. Passen serves on the editorial board of the CBA Record, and is an investigator for the CBA Judicial Evaluation Committee. Mr. Passen is a member of the Chicago Bar Foundation's Young Professionals Board, and was recently appointed Vice-President.

Mr. Passen also serves on the Associate Boards of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Illinois Legal Aid Online, and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago. He is a member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, as well as the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice, New Lawyers Division. In addition, Mr. Passen serves as Vice-Chair of the Products Liability and Medical Negligence Committees for the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association.
 
Member Service Manager - Adam J. Sheppard is a partner in the Law Office of Barry D. Sheppard & Associates, P.C., a firm which specializes in defense of criminal cases. In addition to serving as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the YLS Journal, Mr. Sheppard serves on the editorial board of the CBA Record. Mr. Sheppard has published a number of legal articles that have appeared in the CBA Record and other legal periodicals. Mr. Sheppard has also lectured at the Young Lawyers Section Criminal Committee.

Mr. Sheppard graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2005, where he had been the recipient of a Chicago-Kent Merit-Award Scholarship. Mr. Sheppard was also the recipient Northwest Suburban Bar Association Merit Award Scholarship, the CALI Award for excellence in the area of Futures-Commodities Regulations, and a finalist in the Charles Evans Hughes Oral Advocacy Competition. Prior to joining The Law Office of Barry D. Sheppard & Associates, Mr. Sheppard gained extensive trial experience with the Cook County Public Defender's Office as the recipient of the Jack Carey Merit Award Scholarship.

Bar Admissions: Federal Trial Bar, U.S. District Court; Northern District of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin; State of Illinois.
Law School: Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2005
Bar/Professional Organizations: Young Lawyers Section/Chicago Bar Association (Co-Editor of YLS Journal; YLS Officer; Editorial Board; Criminal Law Committee), Constitutional Rights Foundation (Lawyer in the Classroom), National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Illinois State Bar Association, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Shomrim Society of Illinois Inc.: Chicago Police Branch.
Other Relevant Employment Experience: Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court; Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office.
Recent Publications: Co-Editor/Contributing Author of 2011 YLS 40th Anniversary Book: "Celebrating 40 Years Service, A Brief History of the Young Lawyers Section," May/June 2011, "Working in a Family-Run Law Practice," CBA Record, February/March 2011, "A Trail Blazing Opinion - Justice Stevens' Role in Making Federal Sentencing Matters More Flexible," CBA Record, September 2010, "Hey Teachers, Leave Them Kids Alone," [re: school searches], CBA Record, July, 2010, "10 Tips for Young Lawyers," CBA Record, April, 2010, "The Hits Just Keep Coming: PLEA: The Chicago Bar Association's 87th Annual Christmas Spirits Show," CBA Record, 2011, "The 2009 Chicago Bar Association's 86th Annual Christmas Spirits Show," CBA Record, January 2010, "Back to School: What Parents and Students Should Know About Extracurricular Activities," The Tablets (Decalogue Newsletter), Fall 2009.
Lectures: Practicing Law in a Family-Run Law Practice, CBA/YLS Criminal Law Committee, 1/7/11; Production of Non-Transactional Informants, CBA/YLS Criminal Law Committee 3/11/11 (Co-Lecturer).
 
Public Service Manager - Matthew T. Jenkins joined the Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio as a personal injury lawyer in 2008. He practices personal injury law in all areas including cases arising from automobile collisions, construction negligence, premises liability and product liability.

In 2013, Matt, along with Flip Corboy, obtained an $8 million verdict for the family of a woman killed by a truck as she stood on shoulder of I-294. Before returning to Corboy & Demetrio, where he clerked while attending law school, Matt practiced plaintiffs' Civil Rights Law at Loevy & Loevy in Chicago. While at Loevy, Matt assisted in obtaining a $4 million verdict in a significant civil rights case on his very first trial.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 2007 from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he was recognized for both his academic achievements and his commitment to public service. In 2005, the law school honored Matt's personal dedication to public service by naming him a Public Interest Law Initiative Scholar.

Matthew is licensed to practice law in Illinois, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern Districts of Illinois.

He is an active member of the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, where he currently serves as co-chairman of its Civil Rights and Criminal Law Committee and the Illinois State Bar Association where he is a member on the Judicial Evaluation Committee. Matt currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Center for Disability & Elder Law and and is a member of the Young Alumni Committee of the Alumni Board at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. In 2010 he was selected as the Illinois Pro Bono Attorney of the Month by Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) for the volunteer legal work he has done. View ILAO's video of Matt here.

Jenkins also sits on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyer Section and on the Auxilary Board of Lawyer's Lend-a-Hand.
 
Secretary/Treasurer - Gabriela C. Sapia is an associate at the Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C. Gabriela graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2011 where she participated in the Family Law Clinic and focused her legal education on family-related matters. In January 2010, Gabriela continued her education in the area of family law when she joined the Law Offices of Patrick Markey as a law clerk. Through her work with the Family Law Clinic and the Law Offices of Patrick Markey, Gabriela has assisted clients with a wide range of family law issues, including divorce, custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, property division and post-judgment matters. Gabriela joined the Young Lawyers' Section in 2011 after graduating law school and has served as a special project coordinator for the YLS since becoming a member.

Prior to attending law school, Gabriela graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Dartmouth College in 2003.
 
Project Officer - Kathryn Carso Liss is a graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and holds a law degree from DePaul University in Chicago. While in law school, Kathryn attended a comparative family law course in Granada, Spain, was a dean's scholar, and authored a published Law Review article. Kathryn began practicing law in May, 2007 and joined Griffin McCarthy & Rice LLP as an associate attorney in August, 2008.

Kathryn focuses in domestic relations with the goal to competently assist families through difficult transition periods while attempting to educate clients and minimize the length of the process. She assists clients with the adoption process and is involved in the Chicago Bar Association Adoption Law Committee. Kathryn is also involved in the Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section Executive Committee as a Project Officer. Kathryn was named a Rising Star in 2010, 2011, and 2012 by Super Lawyers, completed mediation training at Northwestern University, is a Fellow of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, and is the Co-Committee Chair of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois Community Outreach Committee.
 
Project Officer - Martin V. Sinclair Jr. is an associate attorney with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He is a member of the firm's litigation practice group with extensive experience representing public and private companies and individuals in complex commercial litigation, including securities and ERISA class actions, shareholder derivative suits, and disputes relating to mergers and acquisitions and commercial contracts. His experience includes representing clients in federal, state and arbitral tribunals and in all phases of litigation, at both the trial and the appellate levels. In addition, Mr. Sinclair has experience defending civil investigations and conducting internal investigations in anti-corruption, fraud, securities and related matters.

As a part of his practice, Mr. Sinclair is devoted to pro bono work. Prior to joining Skadden, Arps, Mr. Sinclair served as a law clerk to the Honorable William J. Bauer of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Sinclair has also taught appellate advocacy at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
 
Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal - Jonathan B. Amarilio is an associate at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP where focuses his practice on all aspects of appellate and commercial litigation. He has experience representing individuals, small businesses, state and local governments, and a number of Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of matters before state and federal trial and appellate courts, including the Illinois Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Jonathan has also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois and as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago in a number of matters. Prior to joining Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Jonathan clerked for Justice James R. Epstein on the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, and in the General Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Jonathan is currently the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the YLS Journal, a member of the CBA Record Editorial Board and Co-Chair of the CBA Moot Court Committee. He also serves as a member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association Rules Committee.

Jonathan received his B.A. from American University and his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law. He is admitted to the Illinois State Bar, the State Bar of Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

 

YLS Directors

Ashly Iacullo Boesche is an associate at Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP, an intellectual property boutique in Chicago. Ms. Boesche focuses her practice on litigation and counseling in the areas of trademark, and copyright law, and on global brand development and trademark prosecution. Ms. Boesche also counsels clients in advertising issues and promotions and sweepstakes ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

Ms. Boesche is active in the intellectual property legal community. She is a member of the Young Professionals Board for the Chicago Bar Association and has served with the Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers' Section in a variety of roles including as the vice-chair (2007-2008) and co-chair (2009-2010) of the Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers' Section, Intellectual Property Committee. In 2010, Ms. Boesche was awarded with the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Chair by The Chicago Bar Association and was recognized as a Rising Star by Law and Politics.

Ms. Boesche formerly served as the Secretary and Treasurer for the Young Lawyers Section (2012-2013), currently serves as a Director of The Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers' Section and also chairs the Intellectual Property Committee for the Chicago Bar Association.

Ms. Boesche received her Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University and her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
 
Bibek Das is an associate at Tribler Orpett & Meyer, P.C. He concentrates his practice in construction litigation, general tort and coverage matters. He received a B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1999 and graduated from DePaul College of Law in 2003.

Mr. Das has been involved in the Chicago Bar Association since 2010 as a Chair and Vice-Chair for the Racial and Diversity Committee. He is also active in other professional organizations including the Illinois Bar Association, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, and as a Licensed Arbitrator Chairperson for the Circuit Court of Cook County. He has been recognized in Illinois as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyer magazine.
 
Octavio Duran, Jr. works at Willens Law Offices, P.C., dedicating his practice to representing individuals and families in personal injury and wrongful death actions.

Octavio got his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from the University of Illinois, receiving the honor of Senior Top 100. He started Michigan State University College of Law on a scholarship. He finished as the Class President. During law school, he also served as Vice-President of the Public Interest Law Society and as the liaison for the Hispanic Law Society and for Phi Alpha Delta. In addition, he was a member of the Moot Court Trial and Advocacy Board where he became a semi-finalist in the National Trial Competition and the American Association for Justice Competition.

Prior to serving as director of the Chicago Bar Association, he served as a special project coordinator where he received the "Rising Star Award", given to YLS leaders with exceptional promise. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Michigan State College of Law Alumni Association and the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Long Beach, CA. He mentors a young teen through the Juvenile Mentoring Initiative Program, sponsored by the CBA and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.  To read more about Mr. Duran, visit his profile at http://www.willenslaw.com/octavio-duran-jr/
 
Malcolm "Skip" Harsch works for the American Bar Association as an Associate Director in the Center for Continuing Legal Education. He designs and implements distance-learning courses for ABA Members and other legal professionals. His areas of focus are mainly the Intellectual Property, Education, and Labor & Employment sectors.

Skip is a native of Illinois with strong ties to the Midwest. Skip received his bachelor of science from the University of Iowa and his JD from DePaul University College of law. While at DePaul, Skip began his association and non-profit crusade as a summer intern for Lambda Legal. In addition to his service for the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Skip is a board member for the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago and the National LGBT Bar Association. He is also the President of the Board for Lights Out Theatre Company, a company of multi-disciplined artists dedicated to serving Chicago audiences with fresh and provocative theatrical productions.
 
Daniel Hwang is an associate with K&L Gates LLP. Daniel assists clients on a variety of intellectual property matters including patent litigation, trademark and copyright litigation, trademark portfolio management, registration and enforcement issues, and information technology contracts. He has experience assisting clients with domain name enforcement, international trademark registration and enforcement campaigns, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings, and federal litigation. Daniel is also a registered U.S. Patent Attorney and an active officer of both local and national intellectual bar associations including The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and the International Trademark Association.

Daniel graduated from the University of Illinois School of Law, where he served as an Articles Editor for the Journal of Law, Technology & Policy, and President of the Student Bar Association. Daniel earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.
 
Jennifer P. Irmen is a trial attorney at the Chicago law firm of Anesi Ozmon Rodin Novak & Kohen where she prosecutes construction negligence, products liability, medical malpractice, premises liability, and auto liability matters. Jennifer recently joined Anesi Ozmon Rodin Novak & Kohen after practicing law at Bruce Farrel Dorn & Associates for the past 7 years. While practicing at Bruce Farrel Dorn & Associates, Jennifer acted as the lead defense attorney for countless jury trials, bench trials, arbitration and ADR proceedings involving premise liability, negligent hiring, dog bite, fire, auto, and construction cases, all of which resulted in thirty not guilty verdicts in her favor. Moreover, for the past two years, Jennifer has been an adjunct law professor for the nationally acclaimed legal writing program at The John Marshall Law School.

Before joining the law firm of Bruce Farrel Dorn & Associates, Jennifer clerked for Beermann Swerdlove, where she drafted legal memoranda regarding child support, property division, and maintenance. Prior to clerking there, Jennifer clerked in the Employment Litigation Division of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago. The summer and fall after Jennifer's first year of law school, Jennifer served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Judge Guzman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois where she drafted legal opinions concerning employment and racial discrimination as well as deportation and removal proceedings.

Upon graduation from The John Marshall Law School, after being the President of John Marshall's Student Bar Association, Jennifer was appointed a member of the John Marshall Alumni Association's Board of Directors; she has served as a member of that board for the past seven years. This bar year, Jennifer received The John Marshall Alumni Association's coveted Presidential Service Award for her dedication to the organization, JMLS students, and the school as a whole. Jennifer will serve on the Executive Board of The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association as Secretary in the 2011-2012 bar year.

Jennifer is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Women's Bar Association as well as the Women's Bar Foundation.
 
Kenya Jenkins-Wright is an attorney at the law firm of Greene and Letts where she focuses her practice on the defense of civil litigation. She has experience defending clients in matters involving product liability, medical malpractice, civil rights, and employment. She has experience handling all stages of civil litigation, including settlement, mediation, arbitration, trial and appeal. Kenya graduated from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 2003. She is admitted to the State Bar of Illinois and the Northern District of Illinois.

Ms. Jenkins-Wright has been active in The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section for the past several years as a Special Project Coordinator. Furthermore, she is an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), and is currently a member of the ISBA Board of Governors. She is also active with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD). She is currently the ABA YLD Diversity Team Vice-Director, and has been selected as the 2013-2014 ABA YLD Diversity Director. Ms. Jenkins-Wright is also a Board Member At Large for the Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago, Inc.
 
Alex Memmen focuses his practice on civil litigation. His primary practice areas are personal injury, contract, toxic tort and construction litigation.

He is a currently serving as a director as well as co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Committee.

His extensive experience has led Mr. Memmen to litigate all levels of cases, including cases valued at over a million dollars. He has represented clients in the trial and appellate courts of both Wisconsin and Illinois.

Hailing from Green Bay, Mr. Memmen is an avid Packer fan. When not practicing law, he enjoys golf, tennis, skiing and American history.

Mr. Memmen is proud to sit on the board of directors of the New Colony Theater Company. Visit their website for showtimes, events and other exciting news.
 
Brandon Peck is a litigation associate at Peck Bloom, LLC, who practices in the areas of trust litigation, probate litigation, fiduciary defense litigation, elder law, and estate administration with an emphasis on contested trusts and estates. Mr. Peck represents individuals, families, financial institutions, and medical institutions.

Mr. Peck received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in 2006. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the University Of Illinois College Of Law in 2009, where he was actively involved with providing pro bono service to the community. Mr. Peck has been a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyer's Section since 2009, serving as co-chair of the Estate Planning Committee from 2011 to 2012. He is also a current member of the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter Junior Board (2011-Present). Mr. Peck is authorized to practice law in Illinois and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
 
Dave Scriven-Young is an associate in the Chicago office of Peckar & Abramson, P.C., where he practices commercial litigation, environmental law, and construction law. Dave's environmental expertise includes handling Superfund cases and wrongful death, personal injury, and property damage claims arising out of underground storage tank leaks, spills of chlorinated solvents, and other chemical releases. He has represented clients before the U.S. EPA and state environmental agencies in enforcement matters. He has counseled clients on compliance and/or permitting issues under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Toxic Substances Control Act. He has also helped clients take advantage of state and federal audit policies. In addition, he has advised clients on mergers and acquisitions concerning environmental liability and permitting issues, and conducted due diligence and prepared representations and warranties for corporate transactions. He is the author of the Illinois Environmental Law Blog (http://illinoisenvironmentallaw.com), which provides news and updates on cases, laws, and regulations involving Illinois environmental issues. Dave's construction expertise includes prosecution and defense of mechanic's lien actions, payment and performance bond claims, breach of contract actions, breach of warranty claims, delay and inefficiency claims, contract terminations, and other matters. He also has significant expertise defending clients against actions involving personal injuries at job sites.

Dave holds several leadership positions in bar associations and the community. He served as Co-Chair of the YLS Environmental Law Committee from 2010 to 2012. He is serving his second stint as a Committee and Liaison Director of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and was formerly Chair of the ABA YLD Law Practice Management Committee and the Environment, Energy, and Resources Law Committee. Dave's awards include being named a "Rising Star" by Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine in 2011 and 2012 and being selected by DePaul University to a list of 14 successful alumni under 40 years old and profiled in DePaul Magazine. In 2011, the YLS awarded Dave with the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Service.

Dave received a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Marquette University, and a Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from DePaul University College of Law. While at DePaul, He was on law review and an extern for The Honorable Blanche M. Manning, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois