YLS Officers and Directors
||YLS 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
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,
- The YLS of the CBA David C. Hilliard Award for "Outstanding
Committee Service (Real Estate Committee 2007-2008).
||First 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 AVÂ® rated
attorney. He received the "Rising Star Award" from the CBA YLS in
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
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.
||Second Vice-Chair - 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.
||Member 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
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
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
||Public Service Manager - 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.
||Secretary/Treasurer - Vickie
||Project Officer - 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.
||Project Officer - 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.
||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
||Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal -
Geoffrey T. Burkhart is an attorney and project director at the
American Bar Association, where he works to improve indigent criminal
defense systems. He previously served as a law clerk to Justice James
Epstein of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. He also worked
for four years as an Assistant Appellate Defender. In law school, Geoff
served as Editor in Chief of the DePaul Law Review and as an extern to
Justice Anne Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court. Geoff has published
several articles in the CBA Record, where he is a member of the
editorial board, and the Illinois Bar Journal, where he twice received
the Lincoln Legal Writing Award.
||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.
||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/
||Kalisa R. Gary is a commercial real
estate attorney at the law firm of Dubin Singer P.C. She represents
developers on all aspects of projects nationwide including negotiations
of purchase and sale agreements, planning, zoning, leasing, borrowing
and due diligence matters. She also serves as a primary contact for all
individual and portfolio site conveyances, and coordinates mechanic lien
claim and litigation responses.
Prior to working at Dubin Singer P.C., she was a top billing attorney at
Richmond Breslin LLP, where she represented prominent clients in the
commercial real estate sector, and well as high wealth individuals on
private residential transactions.
She has served as a chairperson of the YLS Real Estate Law Committee for
five (5) bar years. As a descendant to CBA President Elbert H. Gary
(served 1893-1894), Kalisa considers The Chicago Bar Association her
Alma Mater - alongside Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied the Liberal
Arts and majored in all things French, and Chicago Kent College of Law
where she received her Juris Doctor in May 2005.
In her spare time, Kalisa can be found riding her bicycle across the
States of Iowa and Illinois, spinning, dancing and doing yoga, and
learning about Abraham Lincoln.
||Nick Holland is an attorney practicing
in Chicago. 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.
||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
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.
||Yana Karnaukhov works for the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Fair Housing and
Equal Opportunity, where she handles matters related to investigations
of potential violations under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of
1968, as amended, 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 also served
as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office
in the Northern District of Illinois, where she handled fair housing and
ADA related matters. Yana is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola
University Chicago, where she earned a Bachelor of Business
Administration. 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 for her volunteer work. While at Northwestern, Yana
served as a federal judicial extern for the Honorable Matthew Kennelly
in the Northern District of Illinois. Yana also externed for the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission in Chicago. She volunteered as a
certified mediator with the Center on Conflict Resolution and mediated
cases at the Cook County Circuit Court. She was also a senior law
student at the Northwestern Center on Wrongful Convictions and
volunteered for First Defense Legal Aid.
Yana has served as a Vice Chair and Legislative Liaison (2012-2013) and
later as the Co-Chair (2013-2014) of the Chicago Bar Association’s
Young Lawyers Section Civil Rights Committee. She is a volunteer
attorney with Equip for Equality, and she is involved with several
committees which promote social justice, such as the Equal Access to
Justice Medical Legal Partnerships Committee. Yana is fluent in Hebrew
||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
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
Adam Sheppard is a partner
at Sheppard Law Firm, 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 Sheppard Law Firm, Mr. Sheppard
gained extensive trial experience with the Cook County Public
Defenderâ€™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
Bar/Professional Organizations: Young
Lawyers Section/Chicago Bar Association (Co-Editor of YLS Journal; YLS
Officer; Editorial Board; Criminal Law Committee), Constitutional Rights
Foundation (Lawyers 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
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
â€“ Justice Stevensâ€™ 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 Associationâ€™s 87th Annual Christmas
Spirits Show," CBA Record, 2011, "The 2009 Chicago Bar
Associationâ€™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