CBA Officers & Board of Managers 2018-2019


President Steven M. Elrod

A partner at the firm of Holland & Knight, Steven M. Elrod represents private and public sector clients on land use, zoning and real estate matters.  He is chairman of Holland & Knight’s National Land Use and Government Team and is the executive partner of the firm’s Chicago office.  He also served on the firm’s national directors committee for two consecutive terms. 

Mr. Elrod has extensive experience in the litigation of land use issues, including eminent domain, regulatory taking and inverse condemnation, as well as First and Second Amendment issues.  He successfully argued a religious land use case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Mr. Elrod also serves as the corporation counsel for the City of Highland Park and as the village attorney for the communities of Northbrook, Glencoe and Lincolnwood.  He is also actively involved in the general representation of the firm’s more than two dozen Chicago area government clients.

His many charitable and civic efforts include service on the Board of the Chicago Bar Foundation, which funds pro bono legal service organizations.  He is the past chairman of the board of directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing law-related and civic education to elementary and high school students; and he is a founding member of the Board of the Highland Park/Highwood Legal Aid Clinic. 

Mr. Elrod earned his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University, manga cum laude, and his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. 

First Vice President Jesse H. Ruiz

Jesse H. Ruiz is a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath, where he serves as Marketing Partner and is a member of the firm's Client Service Committee.  Mr. Ruiz also practices in the Corporate and Securities Group and counsel’s clients on corporate finance issues; negotiation of consulting and other commercial agreements; reorganizations; corporate compliance; corporate governance issues; employment matters, and the formation of business entities in the United States, Latin America and Europe. 

Mr. Ruiz also serves as legal counsel to the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus and the Illinois Legislative Caucus Foundation, receiving the Foundation’s Leadership Award for his efforts and assistance in the formation of both organizations.  He also serves on the American Bar Association's Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities and is past president of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and past chairman of the Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund of Illinois.

Mr. Ruiz has focused his civic involvement in public education for many years, formerly serving as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education and as a member of the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission. He has also served as chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education and on the Chicago Public Schools Desegregation Monitoring Commission. 

His many awards and honors include the Barristers Philanthropic Award from Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth for his work in education advocacy and youth mentoring; the Education Excellence Award from El Valor; the Education Award from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, and the Vanguard Award from the Chicago Bar Association.  

Mr. Ruiz earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School, where he served as an editor of the University of Chicago Law School Roundtable.  

Second Vice President Maryam Ahmad

Maryam Ahmad is the Chief of the Juvenile Justice Bureau for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and a former Cook County Circuit Court Judge, Cook County Assistant Public Defender, and senior academic administrator for several universities.  Ms. Ahmad began her professional career in higher education, serving as Assistant Director of Admissions at Bucknell University; Director of Minority Recruitment at Yale University; Assistant Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Affirmative Action at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Special Assistant to the President on Diversity at DePaul University.  

She began her legal career as an associate attorney specializing in corporate, civil, Title VII, and intellectual property litigation.  She transitioned to criminal law, representing Cook County’s indigent residents facing misdemeanor and felony charges as a public defender and then becoming an Assistant State’s Attorney representing victims of crime in both juvenile and adult court. 

In 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Ms. Ahmad Circuit Court Judge.  She served on the bench until December 2016, hearing civil and criminal cases in the Circuit Court of Cook County.  In February 2017, Ms. Ahmad was appointed to lead the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Juvenile Justice Bureau where she oversees child protection services and juvenile delinquency operations. 

Ms. Ahmad was elected to a two-year term on the Chicago Bar Association’s Board of Managers in 2011 and served as a member of the CBA’s Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) from 2005 to 2014 and 2016 to 2018.  She has held several leadership positions on the CBA’s JEC including General Chair (2017 to 2018).  

Ms. Ahmad received her bachelor’s degree from Chatham College, her master’s degree from Bucknell University, and her J.D. from DePaul University.

Secretary E. Lynn Grayson 

Recognized as one of the nation’s leading environmental lawyers, E. Lynn Grayson is a partner in the environmental law firm of Nijman Franzetti LLP.  She is the immediate past chair of the Environmental and Workplace Health & Safety law practice at Jenner & Block LLP, where she served as lead environmental counsel in U.S. and international transactions and counseled corporate leadership on the management of material environmental risks and liabilities.

Ms. Grayson also advises clients on critical enforcement, regulatory and litigation matters, conducts environmental internal investigations and defends clients in criminal, whistleblower and qui tam actions.   She has significant experience defending against natural resource damage claims and performing due diligence including water scarcity concerns. 

Prior to her career at Jenner & Block, Ms. Grayson was the Chief Legal Counsel for the Illinois Emergency Services and Disaster Agency and the State Emergency Response Commission.  She has also prosecuted federal and state environmental cases as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois.

Ms. Grayson has made significant contributions to promote diversity in the legal profession, including the advancement of women.  She is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms and a past chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s standing committee on Women and the Law, as well as the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women.  She has received numerous awards and honors including the CBA’s Alta May Hulett Award, the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ Women with Vision Award, the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Award and the 2017 Best Lawyers’ Women of Influence Award.

Ms. Grayson earned her bachelor’s degree from Franklin College and her J.D. from Indiana University’s School of Law. 

Treasurer Timothy S. Tomasik

Timothy Tomasik is a founding member of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman LLC where he has distinguished himself as one of Chicago’s elite trial attorneys. Prior to joining the firm, Tim practiced for 15 years at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago and also served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney in the Bureau of Special Prosecutions.

Mr. Tomasik has tried over 100 jury and bench trials to verdict and has handled and successfully resolved hundreds of millions of dollars in claims in a variety of practice areas, including complex premises liability, aviation litigation, medical negligence, medical liability, hospital liability, and mass disasters. 

As a trial attorney, Mr. Tomasik has handled significantly complex and high profile and cases including serving as a lead counsel of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the World Trade Center litigation against the airlines industry for security breaches that led to the tragic 9/11 hijackings and air crashes in which he helped to secure a $1.2 billion settlement.

Mr. Tomasik is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including being inducted by his peers into the International Society of Barristers, an honor society of outstanding trial lawyers. He has also been inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates and in 2018 became a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America. Mr. Tomasik is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, American Bar Association Torts Committee, and chair of the Sub-Committee on Experts and Evidence.  He also served for 15 years on the Chicago Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Committee. He is also a Chair of Lawyers Lend-A-Hand, a foundation that provides grants to Chicago’s underprivileged youth and is a Board Member of the Western Springs Foundation for Educational Excellence.

Mr. Tomasik received his undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and his J.D. from the University of Denver. 

Hon. Thomas R. Mulroy Immediate Past President

Judge Thomas R. Mulroy became the 141st President of the Chicago Bar Association in June 2017.  After practicing law for over 30 years, Judge Mulroy became a judge in 2007 and sits in the Law Division’s Commercial Calendar section.  He spearheaded the Commercial Calendar’s innovative and successful mandatory arbitration program which assists litigants by expediting the adjudication of certain smaller cases and he is the supervising judge of the program. 

Judge Mulroy was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois before joining Jenner & Block LLP, where he became a partner and practiced as a criminal defense and commercial trial lawyer representing clients in state and federal courts throughout the country. 

Judge Mulroy was active in the representation of indigent clients through Catholic Charities, the Legal Assistance Foundation, and the Federal Defender Program.  He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Governors at Loyola University’s School of Law.  He sponsors the annual Mulroy Award for Excellence in Evidence at the law school.

Judge Mulroy has served as Special Counsel for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission; Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Civil Procedure and Evidence Committee; a Board member of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education; a Board member and life member of the Illinois Bar Foundation; a Board member of the Chicago Bar Foundation and adjunct professor of trial practice at  Loyola, Northwestern, and DePaul Universities.   

Judge Mulroy earned his bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and his J.D. from Loyola University School of Law.

Board of Managers:

Mark Epstein

Mark Epstein, of Epstein and Epstein, concentrates his practice in the areas of mental health, guardianship, and elder law and he has litigated leading mental health law cases in Illinois, including the Illinois Supreme Court case that tested the constitutionality of authorized involuntary psychotropic medication.  
Mr. Epstein has been an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern Law School; chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Mental Health Law Committee; and five-time chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Mental Health Law Committee.  He has also been a member of various legislative and executive task forces involving mental health legal issues. 

Mr. Epstein is the recipient of numerous awards including receiving the Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship and being named an Illinois “Top Ten” Elder Lawyer by the Leading Lawyers Network.  He has also been widely published in the CBA Record and the Illinois Bar. 

Mr. Epstein received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and his J. D. degree from Northwestern Law School.

Nina Fain

Nina Fain is an experienced corporate attorney who is a pioneer in the field of law.  As one of the first African American women in Chicago to become a partner in a major firm, Fain has been a champion of diversity and inclusion in the legal industry.  Moreover, Nina has embraced the use of technology in the practice of law, focusing her interest in technology to learn about IP, licensing and the myriad of software programs which assist lawyers in the administration of law firms and in the management of complex transactions, litigation and arbitration matters in a global world. With clients in the U.S. and Europe, Fain has learned about changes in EU regulation and compliance related to GDPR and other countries’ laws related to data privacy and security.  She is a member of the International Association of Data Privacy Professionals (“IAPP”).

Today, Fain is Trust Counsel to a prominent Pasadena, CA family, overseeing their commercial and real estate interests in the U. S. and Europe. She is also a former partner in the AM Law 100 firm of Holland & Knight LLP in Chicago where she worked in the firm’s Local Government Section for Executive Partner and CBA President Steven Elrod. Prior to that time, Fain had been a Partner and Economic Development Department Chair at the regional law firm of McBride Baker and Coles LLC. Among her clients at McBride were British Petroleum (“BP”), Fluor, and the state of Illinois Office of the Treasurer. As such, Fain oversaw the resolution of legal issues of more than 20 billion dollars of business risk for those entities.  Fain has also served as a Hearing Officer and Arbitrator in the public and private sectors. 

Currently, Fain is a member of the Chicago Bar Association Board of Managers and serves on the CBA’s Editorial Board working alongside Illinois Appellate Justice Michael Hyman to promote the achievements of CBA members and provide articles on the emerging trends in Illinois law. She has been an Adjunct Professor at both Roosevelt University and DePaul University, where she taught Master level and Ph.D. students in in public policy, real estate and not- for- profit law. Fain holds three academic degrees, including a Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign and a Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Science in Education Administration from Northern Illinois University.  She was also a Leadership America Fellow at the University of Texas -Dallas’ Graduate School of Management Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance, in its Women on Corporate Boards program, specializing in corporate strategy.

Hon. LaShonda A. Hunt

Hon. LaShonda A. Hunt is a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Illinois.  She previously served as General Counsel of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, Chief Legal Counsel of the Illinois Department of Corrections, and an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois. 

Judge Hunt began her legal career as litigation associate at a national law firm, followed by service as a staff attorney for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and a law clerk to the Honorable William J. Hibbler, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois. She also worked as in-house counsel in the utility industry overseeing commercial litigation and bankruptcy matters and later transitioned to regulatory affairs. 

Judge Hunt is an active member of the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, serving previously as president, vice president and a board member.  She is also a leader in the Chicago Bar Association, where she was co-vice chair of the Federal Civil Practice Committee and on the Judicial Evaluation Investigations Committee. 

Judge Hunt is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow (Class of 2013) and she has served on the board of Just the Beginning and chaired Youth Programs for the 2012 Biennial Conference. In addition, she previously oversaw the JTBF Schools Project and was responsible for developing and implementing a national Summer Legal Institute for underrepresented high school students interested in legal careers. 

Judge Hunt received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Michael J. Kaufman

Michael J. Kaufman is a professor of law and dean at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  He has served as a member of the Loyola law faculty since 1986 as associate dean and interim dean until his appointment as dean in 2017.  Mr. Kaufman also created and directs Loyola’s Education Law and Policy Institute, which conducts conferences, transdisciplinary research, comprehensive academic programs, direct representation of children and families, and advocacy dedicated to enhancing educational access and equity. 

Mr. Kaufman has also published the most widely used treatise in Illinois civil litigation, the Illinois Civil Trial Procedure book, now in its 16th edition. He also coauthored the textbook Learning Civil Procedure (West, 2015). He has also published dozens of books and countless law review articles in the four areas of his expertise: education law and policy, securities regulation and litigation, civil procedure, and jurisprudence. 

Mr. Kaufman has won numerous awards for his teaching and for his public service efforts.  He is also an expert consultant to federal and state regulators and a public arbitrator for securities disputes, and he delivers bar examination review lectures for thousands of law students throughout the country each year. 

Mr. Kaufman received his bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College and his J.S. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Hon. Diane Joan Larsen

Hon. Diane Joan Larsen is a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County assigned to the General Chancery Section of the Chancery Division having previously served in the Law Division for 14 years. Before being elected to the bench, Judge Larsen was Chief of Policy Litigation at the City of Chicago’s Law Department.  During her 15-year career at the city, she specialized in the defense of civil rights policy challenges and class actions in both federal and state court.  She has participated in the implementation of several law enforcement and criminal law procedures, including development of probable cause hearings for the local courts.  

Judge Larsen has lectured on various constitutional, civil, and criminal law procedure issues at the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., the Chicago Police Academy, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Hispanic Institute of Law Enforcement.  

Judge Larsen has been an adjunct professor for 28 years at Loyola University Chicago Law School, where she teaches Illinois Civil Litigation Practice and Appellate Advocacy.  She has also taught classes for the Police Training Institute of the University of Illinois.  Judge Larsen has been appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as a Judicial Education Faculty Member. 

Judge Larsen serves as chair of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Civil Justice Committee.  She currently serves on the board of directors for Women Everywhere Partners in Service Project, Inc., where she has been a volunteer for the past 19 years.  She has also served on the board of directors for the Illinois Judges Foundation, where she was chair of the Harold Sullivan Scholarship Committee.  Judge Larsen was a 2008 recipient of the Hooten award given by the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.  

Judge Larsen received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from DePaul University and her J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago Law School. 

Kathryn C. Liss

Kathryn Liss is the Director of the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center and a law student advisor at DePaul University College of Law.   Prior to working at DePaul, Ms. Liss practiced solely in the area of family law for over ten years handling cases involving divorce, paternity matters, adoptions and orders of protection.  She also served as a court appointed child representative and Guardian ad Litem in Cook County. 

Ms. Liss has completed mediation training at Northwestern University as well as the Houston Family Law Trial Institute program.  While in law school, she attended a comparative family law course in Granada, Spain, was a dean's scholar, worked in the International Human Rights Law Institute, and authored a published Law Review article.

Ms. Liss is actively involved in the Chicago Bar Association and previously served as chair of the Young Lawyers Section. She founded and currently serves as chair of the CBA’s Human Trafficking Committee. Ms. Liss also serves on the Chicago Bar Foundation's Board of Directors and previously served as a past member of the Chicago Bar Foundation's Young Professional Board and the Center for Conflict Resolution's Board of Directors.  She also teaches adoption law as an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law.

Ms. Liss received her bachelor’s degree in in psychology from Miami University (Ohio) and her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. 

Matthew Passen

Matthew A. Passen is a partner with Passen Law Group, representing plaintiffs in personal injury, medical negligence, and wrongful death cases.  Prior to joining Passen Law Group, he was an associate at Jenner & Block LLP in its litigation department. 
During law school, he clerked for the Honorable Ronald A. Guzman, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, as well as with the United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois.

Mr. Passen is a past chair of the CBA Young Lawyers Section (YLS) and past president of the Chicago Bar Foundation's Young Professionals Board (YPB).  He is the chair of the CBA’s Trial Practice Committee and a past-Investigator for the Judicial Evaluation Committee.  He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Justice Entrepreneurship Project.  He is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and member of the Chicago Inn of Court. 

Mr. Passen received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. 

Brandon Peck

The newly named chair of the CBA’s Young Lawyers Section (YLS), Brandon E. Peck is a partner with Peck Ritchey LLC.  Representing individuals, families and financial and medical institutions, he concentrates his practice in the areas of trust, estate, and guardianship litigation and administration. 

Mr. Peck advises fiduciaries charged with the administration of estates and trusts and guides them through the probate process.  He also routinely represents all parties in contested guardianships including minors and disabled adults. 

Mr. Peck was selected by Leading Lawyers Magazine as a top emerging lawyer in Elder Law, Trust, Will and Estate Planning and he was also a contributor to the book “Alzheimer’s and the Law,” which was published by the American Bar Association in 2013.

Mr. Peck is a frequent lecturer in the areas of trust and estate litigation, guardianships, special needs and estate planning for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Chicago Bar Association,  and numerous hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and community organizations. 

Mary Robinson

 Mary Robinson has practiced law in Illinois for over 42 years. At her firm, Robinson Law Group, LLC, she represents lawyers in disciplinary investigations and prosecutions, counsel’s lawyers and law firms facing ethical crises or looking to implement effective professional practices, and provides expert witness services in legal malpractice cases and other matters where professional responsibility issues are being litigated.  

Since 2009, Ms. Robinson has also served by appointment of the federal district court as Compliance Administrator for Cook County, where she is responsible for overseeing implementation of the consent decree entered in the case of Michael Shakman, et al. v. The Democratic Organization of Cook County, et al, U.S.Dist.Ct., N.D.Ill. No. 69 C 2145.

Prior to founding her practice in 2007, Ms. Robinson served for 15 years as Administrator of the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and she also practiced with the Illinois State Appellate Defender and in private practice concentrating on appellate, criminal and family law.

Ms. Robinson is a frequent speaker for national, state and local bar association programs on ethics and professional responsibility issues and she presently serves as a CBA- designated member of the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee.  She has served as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Discipline, and as Chair of the Planning Committee for the ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility, as well as a member of several  ISBA committees and task forces, including the Task Force on the Future of Legal Services.  

Ms. Robinson received her J.D. from the University of Southern California.

John C. Sciaccotta

John C. Sciaccotta focuses his practice on litigation, arbitration and business counseling matters with a special emphasis on complex civil trial and appellate cases brought in federal and state courts throughout the United States. 

Mr. Sciaccotta has also been appointed by the American Arbitration Association as an Arbitrator and Lawyer Neutral to adjudicate various claims and disputes in arbitration.  He joined the firm of Aronberg Goldghen in April 2015 from Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. He also practiced at its Chicago office predecessor firm, Shefsky & Froelich, for 15 years.

Mr. Sciaccotta’s litigation and trial services work has included counseling and representing corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and their owners in issues involving corporate control, valuation, corporate squeeze-outs, minority oppression, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. He has also represented property owners in various types of litigation against municipalities as well as prosecuting and defending doctors, accountants, engineers, architects and real estate brokers in professional negligence and lien matters.

He is a past trustee of the Chicago Bar Foundation, past director of the 100 Club of Chicago and the Civic Federation of Chicago as well as the past president and founder of the Fenwick High School Bar Association and a Fenwick Life Trustee. 

Mr. Sciaccotta received his bachelor’s degree from Creighton University and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. 

Adam Sheppard

A third-generation criminal defense attorney, Adam Sheppard is a partner at Sheppard Law Firm, P.C. where he concentrates in defense of serious criminal cases. 

Mr. Sheppard is a member of the Federal Defender Panel and was recently named to the Board of Directors for the Center for Conflict Resolution.  Mr. Sheppard is a frequent lecturer at CLE seminars on criminal law issues and well as Title IX proceedings. 

Mr. Sheppard is a former officer of the CBA Young Lawyers Section and has served on the CBA Editorial Board for nearly 10 years.  He also serves as lawyer in the classroom for the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC) and on the Decalogue Society’s board of managers and editorial board and formerly served on its executive board.  He also serves on the junior board of the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind.

Mr. Sheppard also serves as a pro bono attorney for JUF Community Legal Services providing representation for indigent defendants.  He has been admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar), the Central District of Illinois, and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He is a lifetime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and member of the Federal Bar Association, Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Illinois State Bar Association. 

Mr. Sheppard received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Helene M. Snyder

Helene M. Snyder has a background in both private practice and public interest law, including two years as a guardian ad litem with the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian representing children in abuse and neglect proceedings and supervising courtroom attorneys.  

Ms. Snyder’s legal practice includes the representation of children as their court-appointed attorney in custody and visitation cases and parents in abuse, neglect, custody, and visitation cases.  She also advises mental health professionals on confidentiality, mandated reporting, and other legal issues.  Ms. Snyder has conducted seminars for physicians and mental health professionals on family law, mandated reporting, and confidentiality and workshops on juvenile law for foster parents.   

Ms. Snyder is a long-standing adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago, where she has taught courses on social work and the law, including mental health law.  Ms. Snyder has also taught courses on social work and the law and on family policy and the law in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.  She has published articles on effective legal representation of children in custody and visitation proceedings for the Chicago Bar Association and American Bar Association.  

Ms. Snyder is past chair of the Chicago Bar Association Legislative Committee, past chair of the Chicago Bar Association Domestic Relations Committee, past chair of the Chicago Bar Association Task Force on the Revision of Illinois Family Law, past president of the Family Defense Center, and current president of the Forensic Forum.  Ms. Snyder has previously served as executive vice-president of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, president of the Illinois Task Force on Child Support, and a board member of the Women’s Board of the Heartland Alliance.

Ms. Snyder received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Greta Weathersby

Greta Weathersby is an in-house attorney for WEC Energy Group, Inc., a leading Midwest electric and natural gas delivery company serving 4.4 million customers across four states.  The Company’s principal Illinois utilities are The Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.  She has practiced in the energy sector for the past 27 years including practice as a Partner in the commercial litigation group of a large law firm. As in-house counsel, Ms. Weathersby counsels corporate executives and managers to minimize legal risk on a broad range of issues including employment defense of federal and state agency charges and lawsuits; guidance and counsel on ERISA related issues, compliance counseling on FMLA and ADA issues; responding to corporate audits; managing cybersecurity and data privacy issues; regulatory experience before state public utility commissions and litigation defense under breach of contract, Fair Credit Reporting Act and the United States Bankruptcy Code.  

Ms. Weathersby has been active in the Chicago Bar Association for many years including the Commercial Litigation and Energy and Utilities committees.  She is also a member of the American Bar Association and has held leadership positions with Midwest Energy Association, Legal Regulatory and Governmental Affairs section. 

Ms. Weathersby currently serves as a member of the Law Alumni Board of Governors and the Dean’s Diversity Council for Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.  She has also served as a member of the Black Creativity Advisory Council for the Museum of Science and Industry.  She is a recipient of the First Chair Award for Top Compliance Counsel and the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, BLSA Donald L. Hallowell Distinguished Award for Service.

Ms. Weathersby received her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and her J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago Law School. 

Zeophus J. Williams

Z. (Zeophus) Williams began her legal career in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and rose through the ranks to become Chief of the Child Support Enforcement Division.  She had previously held the positions of Division Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor of Special Projects & Training in the State’s Attorney’s Office.  She is also chair of the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee. 

Ms. Williams’ service in the legal profession and community includes serving as president of the Cook County Bar Association, and chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Committee on Professional Conduct, Chicago Bar Association Domestic Relations Committee, and Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening.  She is also chair of the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee. 

In addition, Ms. Williams has served as a board member with the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, an assembly member with the Illinois State Bar Association, secretary of the Chicago Local School Council, president of the Cook County Bar Community Law Project, and a legal clinic volunteer. Ms. Williams has also presented Continuing Legal Education seminars for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Cook County and Chicago Bar Associations, NCSEA, and ERICSA. 

Ms. Williams received her bachelor’s degree in commerce from DePaul University and her J.D. from the John Marshall Law School. 

General Counsel: Howard S. Suskin

Howard S. Suskin is a partner in Jenner & Block’s Litigation Department and Co-Chair of the firm’s Securities Litigation Practice and its Class Action Practice.   Mr. Suskin has substantial first-chair experience representing individuals and business entities in civil and criminal securities matters, including class actions alleging securities fraud and misrepresentation claims, derivative actions claiming breach of fiduciary duty, contests for corporate control, insider trading investigations and broker-dealer issues.  

Mr. Suskin serves as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, and for self-regulatory organizations including the Chicago Board Options Exchange, FINRA and the National Futures Association.  

Mr. Suskin is an active member of the ABA Securities Law Committee, including serving as co-chair of the Class and Derivative Actions Subcommittee.  He currently serves as general counsel for the Chicago Bar Association and served previously as chairman of the CBA’s Class Action, Bench and Bar, Financial and Investment Services and Securities Law committees.    

Mr. Suskin is a member of the Advisory Board of Board IQ, a Financial Times publication, and The Deal, and he has served as a member of the Securities Editorial Advisory Board of Law360.   He has lectured extensively and has published numerous treatises and articles on issues relating to arbitrations, class actions and securities law, including serving as editor and co-author of the West Publishing Illinois Civil Litigation Guide, Moore’s Federal Civil Motion Practice and Pretrial Civil Litigation, the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Treatise on Class Actions, and the ABA’s Annual Survey of State Class Action Litigation.  

Mr. Suskin received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a member of the Michigan Law Review.