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 the Child.

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 Committee.

Jonathan has been repeatedly honored as an Emerging Lawyer by the Leading Lawyers Network and has been repeatedly named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.


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 institutions.

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 Illinois.

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 Promise.


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. Holderman.

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 Chicago.

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 as a Partner at Hart & David, LLP., dedicating his practice to representing individuals and families in personal injury and wrongful death actions.

Octavio has had much success in his young career.  He has acquired millions of dollars for his clients and has been recognized as a Rising Star by the Chicago Bar Association and the SuperLawyers; an award given for his dedication to public service and the advancement of the law.

He 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 Central District of Illinois.


Octavio attended Michigan State University College of Law on a scholarship. He graduated as the Class President, launching a scholarship for his graduating class.  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 public service member and special project coordinator where he received the "Rising Star Award", given to YLS leaders with exceptional promise. He also received the “Outstanding Service Award” by the Chicago Bar Association, a recognition for providing public service to the general community.  He is currently the President of Board of Directors for the Michigan State College of Law Alumni Association. To read more about Mr. Duran, visit his profile at


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 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 team. 

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.


YLS Directors


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 (2015-17).


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 Illinois.

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 clients.

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 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 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 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.



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 Council.


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.


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 trade compliance.

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 disclosures.

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 Association