YLS Officers and Directors
YLS Chair - Jonathan B. Amarilio is a partner at
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP who focuses his practice in civil
appellate litigation and critical motion practice. Jonathan has been
involved in numerous high profile cases and regularly represents
individuals, small businesses, state and local governments, and 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 a number of matters.
In addition to serving as the CBA YLS Chair, and on the CBA Board of
Managers, 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 on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to
Youth organization, on 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
First Vice-Chair - Brandon E. Peck is a partner
at Peck Ritchey, LLC, who practices in the areas of trust litigation,
probate litigation, fiduciary defense litigation, elder law, estate
planning and estate administration with an emphasis on contested trusts
and estates. Mr. Peck represents individuals, families, financial
institutions, and medical institutions, concentrating his practice in
the areas of trust, estate, and guardianship litigation and
administration. He advises fiduciaries charged with the administration
of estates and trusts as well as guides them through the probate
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), formerly serving on the Executive Committee as the Chair
of Education and Advocacy (2013-2015). 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, 2015, 2016, and 2017 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. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 he was also selected by Leading Lawyers
Magazine as a top emerging lawyer in Elder Law, Trust, Will and Estate
Planning. 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
Second Vice-Chair - Octavio Duran,
Jr. works at Bekkerman 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 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/
Member Service Manager - 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 skills.
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 Will County.
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.
Public Service Manager - Carl 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 for the Honorable James F. Holderman as
well as in the Judiciary Committee office of Senator Dick
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, and the YLS Secretary/Treasurer last year. Carl
also serves as an investigator for the CBA's Judicial Evaluation
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 in
2012 and the University of Illinois College of Business with honors in
Secretary/Treasurer - Alexis Crawford Douglas is a senior associate
at K&L Gates LLP and concentrates her practice in the area of
intellectual property, including a range of transactional and litigation
matters related to trademarks and copyrights, along with the strategic
management of intellectual property portfolios. Alexis regularly
represents clients ranging from multi-national to start-up companies in
a variety of industries including consumer products, marketing and
advertising, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, food and beverage,
financial, technology, and entertainment.
Alexis previously served as co-chair of the YLS Creative Arts committee
(2013-2015) and as a YLS Director (2015-2017). Alexis volunteers for
NIJC as a pro bono asylum attorney and is a mentor at the 2112 business
incubator. She routinely speaks on topics related to social media and
trademark law. Alexis 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, Alexis 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
Project Officer - Emily Roschek is Director of both
the ABA Senior Lawyers Division whose mission is to serve as an advocate
for senior lawyers and their families and ABA Legal Career Central,
which is dedicated to providing robust career development resources and
job opportunities for law students and lawyers at any stage of their
careers. From her work with the ABA and the Chicago Bar Association,
Emily has significant experience in program management and in producing
continuing legal education webinars and seminars in various areas of
law. As a member of the CBA, Emily served as Chair of the YLS
Future of the Profession Committee (2015-16, 2016-17), Co-Chaired the
YLS Professional Responsibility Committee for two years (2015-16,
2016-17) and was the Committee’s Vice Chair 2014-15, when the
committee won the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee
Service. Emily is also a member of the Chicago Bar Foundation's
Prior to joining the ABA, and before that, the CBA, Emily practiced in a
variety of legal settings, including at a labor and employment firm, in
the Office of the General Counsel at the Illinois Education Association,
as a Hearing Office for the Illinois Office of the Comptroller.
Additionally, Emily has significant experience in eDiscovery and
Emily earned her J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law with a
Certificate in Labor and Employment Law. While at Chicago Kent, she
became a certified mediator through the Center for Conflict Resolution.
She earned her B.A. at the University of Michigan with a double major in
Philosophy and Political Science
Project Officer - Svetlana Gitman is an
associate at Bruce Farrel Dorn and Associates where she focuses her
practice on civil litigation defense.
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, co-chair for the Public Service Committee from 2013-2015, and as
Director from 2015 - 2017.
Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal - Natalie C. Chan is
an associate in the Employment and Labor group in the firm’s
Chicago office. Natalie’s practice involves counseling employers
and litigating on a broad array of employment and labor matters,
including employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and
hour, contract disputes, and restrictive covenant issues, in single- and
multi-plaintiff cases, as well as collective actions. Natalie also
assists employers in drafting and reviewing employment-related
agreements and policies, including employee handbooks, severance
agreements, and non-competition and confidentiality agreements.
Natalie has experience with case management and has drafted a variety of
litigation documents, including pleadings, discovery requests and
responses, and dispositive motions and other briefs. She also has
experience preparing to take and defend depositions of fact and expert
witnesses. In addition, Natalie maintains an active pro bono practice in
areas including employment and labor, immigration, and veterans’
benefits. She received the firm’s Thomas H. Morsch Award for Pro
Bono Achievement in 2016.
Natalie was selected as a Fellow for the Class of 2016 National
Employment Law Council (NELC) Academy, which is considered a pipeline
for future leaders of the NELC, an organization primarily composed of
minority outside and in-house lawyers, throughout the United States and
abroad, who represent private- and public-sector employers in all
aspects of labor and employment matters. She was one of 25 Fellows
selected nationally for this advanced skills training program based on
demonstrated excellence in the practice of management-side labor and
employment law, demonstrated leadership potential, and stellar
Natalie earned her law degree magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from
Washington University School of Law. While in law school, Natalie served
as Managing Editor of the Washington University Law Review and co-taught
an undergraduate course on “Women and the Law.” Natalie was
a recipient of the Scholar in Law Award, Excellence in Oral Advocacy
Certificate, and Legal Practice Excellence Award for exemplary
Prior to joining Sidley, Natalie served as a judicial extern at the Cook
County Circuit Court in the Law and Chancery Divisions. She graduated
magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a B.S. in
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, businesses, and individuals on a wide range of
issues, including government relations, zoning, land use, real estate,
taxation, and environmental law.
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. This is his third year as an editor for the YLS Journal.
Nick is excited to continue publishing high-quality, informative
articles in the Journal, and he looks forward to his second year serving
on the YLS Board.
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.
Noah A. Frank is an attorney with SmithAmundsen
LLC’s labor & employment group, representing businesses.
He focuses his practice in leave law (especially the intersection of
FMLA, ADA, and Workers’ Compensation) and discrimination claims,
providing practical advice and counsel to keep companies compliant,
litigating when necessary. Noah has been recognized as a Super
Lawyer Rising Star each year 2012-2017, and is licensed to practice law
in Illinois and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Illinois (General and Trial Bars).
Noah graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and
Institute of Labor & Industrial Relations (now the School of Labor
& Employee Relations). He has been active with the CBA since
2008, and a co-chair of the YLS Labor & Employment Committee since
2012 (earning the Hilliard Award for 2012-2013).
Noah is a frequent speaker for various chambers of commerce (such as the
Illinois Chamber, where he serves on Employment Law Council and Business
Advisory Board), and other business groups. He is currently the
American Bar Association District 15 (Illinois & Indiana)
Representative, and Chair of the University of Illinois College of Law
Alumni Board Nominations Committee.
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
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.
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 Chicago.
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.
Oliver Khan is an Assistant Counsel at the American
Association of Insurance Services, Inc., a not-for-profit advisory
organization that serves over 700 insurance companies.
Before becoming a director for the YLS, Oliver served as a
coeditor-in-chief of the YLS Journal and still sits on the editorial
board for the CBA Record. He also previously served as a chair of the
YLS Insurance Law Committee.
Previously, Oliver practiced complex commercial litigation and served as
a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Michael B. Hyman at the Illinois
Appellate Court, First District, and the General Chancery Division of
the Circuit Court of Cook County.
He graduated law school from Ohio State in 2010 where 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 is also a published poet.
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
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
John Risvold joined The Collins Law Firm in 2017 as
an associate trial lawyer. As a trial lawyer John handles personal
injury, medical negligence, wrongful death, environmental and other
catastrophic injury cases. John works exclusively for victims and
consumers to ensure they get the justice they deserve.
He has tried cases to verdict in the Chicago area and taken depositions
throughout the country. Prior to joining The Collins Law Firm, John
worked on both the defense and plaintiff’s side, giving him a
unique insight into how cases are handled by defense firms.
A graduate of the University of Missouri, John received his Juris
Doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law. While at
Mizzou, John was recognized as one of the school’s top trial
advocates, receiving the R. David Ray Excellence in Trial Advocacy Award
and CALI Award for best Trial Advocate. He graduated Order of
Barristers, a distinction which is given to the 10 attorneys in each
class who exhibit excellence and attain high honor through the art of
In 2017, John was named to the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars
list. A distinction which recognizes 2.5% of attorneys under the age of
40 in each state.
Lindsey A. Seeskin is an associate attorney
with The Horwitz Law Group whose practice is dedicated exclusively to
representing victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful
death cases including lawsuits arising out of motor vehicle and semi
truck accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, products
liability and dangerous workplaces. Lindsey has helped clients recover
millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.
Lindsey has been a member of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers
Section since 2013, first serving as vice chair and then serving as
served as co-chair of the YLS Women in the Law committee. She also
serves on the executive board of the Jewish United Fund’s Young
Lindsey earned her law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2011.
As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois she majored in
political science before graduating in 2007.