YLS Officers and Directors
YLS Chair - Kathryn Carso Liss began practicing law
in May, 2007 and has practiced exclusively in the area of family law.
Katie is currently an attorney at the Law Offices of Jean Conde,
PC. She competently assists families through difficult transition
periods while putting the interests of the children first. She
represents clients in adoption, divorce, paternity, and order of
protection proceedings as well as serves as a Cook County court
appointed Child's Representative, Guardian ad Litem, and Attorney for
Katie has completed mediation training at Northwestern University and
litigation training at the Houston Family Law Trial Institute. She
has also been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, an annual
publication of Thomson Reuters and publishers of Chicago Magazine. Katie
teaches adoption law as an adjunct professor at DePaul University
College of Law and serves on the Family Law Center Advisory Board at
said law school.
Katie received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology of Law from Miami
University (Oxford, Ohio) and law degree from DePaul University
(Chicago). While in law school, Katie attended a comparative
family law course in Granada, Spain, was a dean's scholar, and authored
a published Law Review article.
First Vice-Chair - Jonathan B. Amarilio focuses
his practice in civil appellate litigation and has been involved in a
number of high profile cases. He has experience representing
individuals, small businesses, state and local governments, and numerous
Fortune 500 companies before state and federal appellate courts,
primarily the Illinois Appellate Court, 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 numerous matters.
In addition to serving as the CBA YLS First Vice Chair, Jonathan has
held several YLS officer positions and has served on a number of CBA
practice and administrative committees, including the CBA Special
Committee on Appellate Practice, the CBA Membership Committee, the CBA
Officer Nominating Committee, and the CBA Special Committee Assisting
the Illinois Supreme Court to Implement Recommendations of the
Conference on the Future of Illinois Courts. He also serves as an
ex-officio member of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Young
Professionals Board, as a Vice-Chair to the Chicago Bar
Foundation’s Investing in Justice Campaign, as Co-Chair of the
Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association Speakers Committee, and as a
member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association’s Rules
Jonathan has been repeatedly honored as an Emerging Lawyer by the
Leading Lawyers Network and has been repeatedly named a Rising Star by
Second Vice-Chair - Brandon E.
Peck is a senior associate attorney at Peck Ritchey, 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
Mr. Peck received his undergraduate degree from the University of
Illinois in 2006 and his Juris Doctor from the University Of Illinois
College of Law in 2009. Mr. Peck is authorized to practice law in
Illinois and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
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; Director from 2012 to 2014; and Public
Service Manager from 2014 to 2015. He is also a current member of the
Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter Junior Board
(2011-Present), currently serving on the Executive Committee as the
Chair of Education and Advocacy (2013-Present). Additionally, Brandon is
a contributor to the book Alzheimer's and the Law, which was published
by the American Bar Association in 2013.
In 2014 and 2015 Brandon was selected by his peers in multiple statewide
surveys of Illinois attorneys as a "Super Lawyer", an attorney to whom
other attorneys would refer their family. Brandon achieved a 10.0 out of
10.0 rating by Avvo a reflection of his experience, industry recognition
and professional conduct. Brandon lectures to colleagues and
professionals in the areas of trust and estate litigation, guardianship,
special needs, and estate planning.
Member Service Manager - Shawna Boothe joined Schiff
Hardin LLP as an associate in 2014. She concentrates her practice in
complex civil litigation, including commercial law, white-collar
defense, defamation, misappropriation of the right of publicity,
construction litigation, consumer product class actions, trade secrets,
and trusts and estates litigation.
Shawna received a Bachelor's degree from the University of St. Thomas in
Mathematics and Philosophy in 2010 and a Juris Doctorate in 2013 from
the University of Illinois College of Law.
Shawna is licensed to practice law in Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota,
District of Columbia, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois.
She is an active member of the Chicago Bar Foundation, where she
currently serves on the Young Lawyers Board and Chicago Appleseed Fund
For Justice, where she served as a Public Interest Law Initiative Fellow
in 2013 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors. Shawna also
currently serves as Vice President of the Law Alumni Board for the
University of Illinois College of Law.
Shawna sits on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Bar Association's
Young Lawyer Section. This is her second year serving as an Officer of
the YLS, and she continues to serve as co-chair of the Chicago Bar
Association's National Moot Court Competition, which she has served
since 2013. In 2013, Shawna was awarded the Rising Star Award for a
Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyer Section Leader with Exceptional
Public Service Manager - Alex Memmen is the principal attorney at the
Memmen Law Firm, LLC. Mr. Memmen is a graduate of the University
of Wisconsin Law School and is admitted to practice law in Illinois and
Wisconsin. For the past ten years, Mr. Memmen has dedicated his
practice to helping injured persons seek justice. His firm has
successfully litigated hundreds of cases. Mr. Memmen takes pride
in being a true trial lawyer. He has been named a “Rising
Star” by Super Lawyers and “Top 40 under 40” by the
American Society of Legal Advocates.
As a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Mr. Memmen has chaired the
Moot Court Committee, Tort Litigation Committee and has served as a past
director of the Young Lawyers Section. He is also proud to serve on the
young professionals board for Illinois Legal Aid Online as well as the
Chicago Bar Foundation.
Secretary/Treasurer - Carl M. Newman is an Assistant Corporation
Counsel in the City of Chicago Department of Law and represents the City
in state and federal appeals. Previously, Carl worked for the
Social Security Administration and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit. As a law student, Carl interned in the United
States Attorney's Office and the Honorable James F.
Carl began with the YLS as a legislative liaison for the YLS criminal
law committee, ran the Serving our Seniors project, co-chaired the YLS
Civil Rights committee, and served as a special project
coordinator. Carl received the YLS Rising Star Award for his work
in the 2015-16 bar year.
In addition to his work with the YLS, Carl is a member on the Chicago
Bar Foundation's Young Professionals Board. Having worked
previously at LAF, the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, and Prairie State
Legal Services, Carl is committed to expanding access to justice in
Carl graduated from the University of Chicago Law School with honors and
the University of Illinois College of Business.
Project Officer - Octavio Duran, Jr. works at
Bekkerman Law Offices, P.C., dedicating his practice to representing
individuals and families in personal injury and wrongful death
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 project officer of the Chicago Bar Association, he
served as a a public service member and special project coordinator
where he received the "Rising Star Award", given to YLS leaders with
exceptional promise. He is currently the President of Board of Directors
for the Michigan State College of Law Alumni Association. 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.bekkermanlaw.com/attorneys-and-staff/
Project Officer - Paraisia Winston Gray graduated received her law degree from Loyola University
Chicago School of Law. She obtained a Bachelors Degree in Urban and
Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Ms. Winston is admitted to practice law in Illinois.
Ms. Winston is heavily involved in the community and is also a member of
several bar associations. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association
and Black Women Lawyers Association. She sits on the Chicago Bar
Foundation’s Young Professionals Board and on the Associate Board
for Best Buddies Illinois. Additionally, she volunteers with several
probono agencies and projects including the Family Defense Center and
the Wills For Heroes Project.
Prior to starting her own law practice, Ms. Winston worked at other
firms, government organizations, and legal aid clinics. She gained
valuable experience in different areas of the law. She has successfully
represented clients in litigation and pre-trial proceedings including
hearings, trials, and the discovery process. Ms. Winston has handled
numerous civil litigation and family-law cases. She has specific in
experience in guardianship law and debt relief.
Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal - Oliver Khan is an
associate in the Chicago office of Arnstein & Lehr and a member of
the firm's Litigation Practice Group.
Before joining the firm, Mr. Khan served as a judicial law clerk for the
Honorable Michael B. Hyman at the Illinois Appellate Court, First
District, and the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
As a clerk, he drafted over 150 opinions, orders, and dissents at all
stages of litigation.
Those cases involved breaches of contract, breaches of fiduciary duty,
insurance coverage, commercial and residential foreclosure, real estate
disputes, zoning and eminent domain, administrative reviews of
employment and pension decisions, injunctions, personal injury, civil
rights violations, class actions, involuntary civil commitments, and
criminal matters. Additionally, he worked on several cases involving
condominium associations regarding the interpretation of bylaws,
easements and operating agreements, and directors' and officers'
liability insurance policies.
In law school, Mr. Khan participated in the Civil Law Clinic and
Criminal Defense Clinic, where he represented indigent clients in
pretrial and settlement proceedings. He was an issue editor and member
of the editorial board of I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the
Information Society. He also was a member of the ABA Moot Court Team,
and a judicial extern for Judge Sargus at the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
He is also a published poet.
Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal - Nick Standiford is a commercial litigator and
municipal attorney with the law firm of Schain Banks. For commercial
litigation matters, Nick handles all stages of litigation in state and
federal court. In his role as a municipal attorney, Nick advises
municipalities on a wide range of legal issues including government
relations, zoning, land use, real estate, taxation, and environmental
Prior to practice, Nick received his B.A. from the University of
Michigan where he double-majored in History and Political Science. After
spending a year in Washington, D.C. as a paralegal, Nick attended law
school at Michigan State University, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of
the International Law Review and a national champion on the mock trial
Nick served as the YLS real estate committee co-chair after graduating
law school. Last year, he was an assistant co-editor of the CBA record.
Nick is excited for another great year of publications and looks forward
to his first year serving on the YLS board.
Mark M. Abellera - is an Associate at Purcell &
Wardrope, Chtd. Mr. Abellera concentrates his practice on complex
commercial litigation in matters involving construction defect,
transportation negligence, professional liability, insurance coverage,
and commercial loss recovery claims. He has represented clients in
numerous state and federal jurisdictions.
Publications: Co-Author, "Chapter 29: Expert Evidence–Law,
Strategies and Best Practices", PRODUCT LIABILITY LITIGATION: CURRENT
LAW, STRATEGIES AND BEST PRACTICES, Practising Law Institute (2010).
Mr. Abellera received his B.A. in English Literature from DePaul
University, and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School, where he
served as Lead Articles Editor for the REVIEW OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
LAW. In law school, Mr. Abellera was an intern at the United States
Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois and a law clerk
in the City of Chicago Department of Law's summer honors program.
Mr. Abellera formerly served as Vice-Chair of the CBA YLS Insurance
Coverage Committee (2012-13), Chair of the CBA YLS Insurance Coverage
Committee (2013-14), and a CBA YLS Special Project Coordinator
(2014-15). He currently serves as a CBA YLS Director for a two-year term
Tracy A. Brammeier -is an attorney at Clifford Law
Offices, P.C. Her practice focuses on aviation, transportation,
premises, and construction liability in addition to other areas of
personal injury and wrongful death litigation. She obtained a
certificate in advocacy from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and
has served as a judicial extern in the Northern District of
Tracy volunteers for the 100 Club of Chicago, a not-for-profit
organization that assists the families of police officers and
firefighters throughout Cook and Lake Counties, by providing the
families with a legal resource following the death of a loved one killed
in the line of duty. Previously, Tracy has been involved in the
YLS as a project coordinator and enjoys participating in the YLS Wills
for Heroes project. She also serves on the Board of Managers of
the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.
Alexis Crawford Douglas - is an associate at K&L
Gates LLP and concentrates her practice in trademark prosecution and
enforcement, and the strategic management of intellectual property
portfolios. Ms. Douglas represents clients in trademark and copyright
enforcement matters, and counsels clients on social media and domain
name matters. Ms. Douglas regularly represents clients ranging from
multi-national companies to non-profit organizations in a variety of
industries including consulting and training, marketing, media, food and
beverage, consumer products, finance and entertainment.
Ms. Douglas previously served as co-chair of the YLS Creative Arts
committee (2013-2015) and is in her second year as Director. Ms. Douglas
graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she was president of
Moot Court Honor Society and executive articles editor of the Journal of
Intellectual Property. As an undergraduate at Northwestern University,
Ms. Douglas majored in journalism and political science. She
subsequently worked at a media company and owned a writing, editing and
publishing business prior to and during law school.
James J. Gay - After working in a small firm helping
people recover for their injuries, Jim founded James J. Gay Law, LLC in
2010 to assist individuals who have suffered catastrophic losses due to
the conduct of others in personal injury, medical malpractice,
workers’ compensation and wrongful death claims. Jim brings a
strong record of success recovering millions of dollars on behalf of his
Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Jim obtained two
bachelor’s degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and
returned to Chicago to obtain his law degree from DePaul University
College of Law in 2008. While in law school, Jim was a law clerk at
prestigious personal injury firm in Chicago where he developed his deep
desire to help people and in the civil justice system.
Jim has been recognized for his hard work and success throughout the
years and continues to earn respect from his colleagues. Jim has been
named a Rising Star by the SuperLawyers organization in 2015 and 2016.
In addition, Jim has been named an Emerging Lawyer by the Leading
Lawyers Organization in 2015 and 2016, and a Top 40 under 40 in personal
injury by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2016. Jim is a
highly skilled trial attorney, obtaining numerous jury verdicts and
settlements in his clients’ favor.
Jim resides on the northwest side of Chicago in the Belmont Cragin
neighborhood with his wife, Caitlin and two sons LJ and Tommy. When not
practicing law, Jim spends time getting involved in his community.
Svetlana Gitman - is an associate at Bruce Farrel
Dorn and Associates where she focuses her practice on civil litigation
Svetlana received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. While working towards her
undergraduate degree, Svetlana studied abroad at Queen Mary University,
in London and returned to London to work at the Honourable Lincoln's Inn
upon graduation. After working in London for a year, Svetlana returned
to Chicago to attend The John Marshall Law School.
While in law school, Svetlana became involved with the Chicago Bar
Association- Young Lawyer's section immediately. She served as the
co-chair of the Law Student Committee, helping to organize numerous
events. Svetlana also served as a staff editor of The John Marshall Law
School Law Review, and her comment, titled (Dis) service of Process: The
Need to Amend Rule 4 to Comply with Modern Usage of technology, was
published in Spring of 2012.
After graduating law school, Svetlana remained involved with the
CBA-YLS, serving as a special project coordinator from 2012 – 2013
and as a co-chair for the Public Service Committee from 2013-2015. In
her capacity as the public service co-chair Svetlana helped facilitate
the Wills for Heroes Clinic, which brought together attorneys and
non-attorneys to help draft wills and power of attorneys for first
responders. Svetlana remains active with the Wills for Heroes
organization and received the State Farm Pro Bono award this past March
in recognition of her work.
Nick Holland - is examining counsel with
Chicago Title Insurance Company. Before becoming director he was the YLS
Corporate Practice Committee Co-Chair for four years. During this time
he has participated in many YLS events including the annual Texas Hold
em Tournament, Law Week, moot court competition, and Constitutional
Rights Foundation of Chicago video project. Nick has also volunteered
with CARPLS and the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan
Nick earned his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2009. As
an undergraduate at Illinois Wesleyan University he majored in both
economics and business administration before graduating in 2006.
Yana Karnaukhov - works for the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, FHEO, where she handles matters related
to investigations of potential violations under Title VIII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1968, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act, and other related statutes. She also serves as the
Region V expert for HUD on its Equal Access in Housing Regardless of
Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity rule. In this role, she regularly
provides trainings for HUD staff and presents at professional
conferences throughout the Midwest. She is a recipient of a 2014 HUD
Secretary's Award for her work in this area.
Yana has served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S.
Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Illinois, where she
litigated fair housing and ADA related matters. She has also detailed at
the CFPB with the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity where she
worked on ECOA and Regulation B matters.
Yana is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola University Chicago. She is
also a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, where she
earned her Juris Doctorate and was recognized as a public service star.
While at Northwestern, Yana served as a federal judicial extern for the
Honorable Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois.
Yana is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University School of Law,
and she serves as a FINRA arbitrator.
Lindsay Margolis - is a family law
attorney at Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP. She advises her
clients in all areas of family law including divorce matters, premarital
and postnuptial agreements, child support, child custody, visitation,
maintenance, property valuation and division, orders of protection,
paternity matters, and post-decree issues such as enforcement and
modification of judgments. Lindsay worked as an associate attorney at
the Law Offices of Scott Tzinberg, a boutique family law firm, from
March 2012-June 2015.
Lindsay received a Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law in May
2010 and was admitted to the Illinois bar in November 2010. Throughout
law school, Lindsay clerked at various domestic relations firms in the
loop and for Chicago-Kent's distinguished Family Law Clinic. She
received the prestigious CALI award for academic excellence in both
Trial Advocacy and Mediation. She was also on the Dean's List from Fall
2008 through Spring 2010.
Lindsay graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University in 2007, where
she received a B.A. in Spanish.
Dedicated to public service and being an active member of the legal
community, Lindsay served on the CBA's Young Lawyers Section Executive
Council as Special Project Coordinator from 2012-2015, and will be
serving the YLS as a Director for the bar year 2015-2016. Lindsay also
provides pro bono representation to minor children in contested domestic
relations cases (divorce and parentage) as a Child Representative
through Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) and is volunteers her
time as a mentor to law students through Chicago-Kent's Society of Women
in Law program. Outside of the legal community, Lindsay sits on the
Special Olympics Illinois Leaders Council and is the Co-Chair of the
Young Professionals Division of NA’AMAT's Greater Chicago
Jeffrey M. Moskowitz - is a trial attorney with a
broad knowledge of criminal law. He is a graduate of DePaul University,
College of Law, where he received a Certificate in Criminal Law and the
prestigious CALI award for excellent trial litigation
Jeff has handled hundreds of criminal cases and has
primarily focused his practice on felonies. He has successfully
represented clients charged with murder, attempted murder, criminal
sexual assault, possession of a controlled substance with intent to
distribute, aggravated battery, assault, felony DUI, armed robbery,
unlawful use of a weapon, theft and residential burglary. Jeff has
achieved favorable outcomes for clients in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and
Outside of work, Jeff is very active within the community. He is a
recipient of the Benjamin Hooks' Distinguished Public Service Award for
his extensive pro bono work. Jeff also serves on the DePaul University,
College of Law's Dean's Advisory Counsel and is a member of the Lawndale
Christian Legal Center’s Young Professional’s Counsel.
Additionally, he is a member of the Chicago Bar Foundation's Young
Professional's Board and is an attorney mentor for the Chicago Bar
Foundation's Justice Entrepreneur's Project. He also coached the Little
Village High School mock trial team and did volunteer expungements for
Cabrini Green Legal Aid.
Tom Reynolds - is an associate attorney in the
international trade law firm of Page•Fura, P.C.
Page•Fura, P.C. represents companies engaged in global trade and
concentrates in the areas of import operations and compliance; export
controls and sanctions/embargoes; border/supply chain security; trade
remedies and relief; government relations; foreign law; and
transportation. Our firm is supported by a global network of attorneys
and other professionals who also concentrate their work in international
Tom's trade law experience has included representing companies before
U.S. Customs & Border Protection and counseling on issues such as
tariff classification, country of origin determinations and marking
requirements, tariff preference program/free trade agreement
eligibility, trade relief and remedies, foreign-trade zones and customs
enforcement matters. In the export arena, Tom has counseled and
represented companies before the Bureau of Industry & Security, the
Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Bureau of the Census on issues
relating to sanctions and embargoes, antiboycott regulations, export and
re-export controls, and where necessary, submissions of voluntary self
Tom received his B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Political
Science and Religion from the University of Florida in 2009, and J.D.
from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2013 where he served as Managing
Editor of the Journal of International & Comparative Law and Vice
President of the International Law Moot Court Honor Society. Prior to
joining Page•Fura, P.C., he was a litigation associate at
Rodriguez Legal Group, and is active in other associations including the
Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and the Hispanic National Bar