Young Lawyers Section Executive Council

The YLS Executive Council, chaired by the Chair of the Section, is composed of approximately 100 volunteer attorneys. The  Council aims to address the needs and interests of attorneys during their first 10 years of practice. It also sets the policy and exercises general supervision and control over the Section subject to the provisions of the YLS By-Laws. The Executive Council is comprised of the Officers, the Immediate Past Chair, the Directors, the Chairs of each of the various YLS Committees, and Special Project Coordinators. The Executive Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month and at additional times when called by the Chair.

Officers and Directors

The Section’s officers consist of a Chair, First Vice-Chair, Second Vice-Chair, a Member Service Manager, a Public Service Manager, a Secretary/Treasurer, two Project Officers, two Editors-in-Chief of the YLS Journal section of CBA Record, two Editors-in-Chief of the YLS's Online Publication, a Health & Wellness Facilitator, Immediate Past Chair, and ten Directors. The Chair, First Vice-Chair, Second Vice-Chair, Member Service Manager, Public Service Manager, Secretary, Treasurer, and Project Officers serve one-year terms. The Editors-in-Chief of the YLS Journal section of CBA Record, the Editors-in-Chief of the Section's Online Publication, and the Directors serve two-year terms. The Chair is not eligible for re-election. The Second Vice-Chair automatically success to the position of First Vice-Chair and the First Vice-Chair automatically succeeds to the position of Chair at the conclusion of his or her term.

Tracy Brammeier
Chair

Tracy 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. Previously, Tracy has been involved in the YLS as Public Services Manager and enjoys participating in the YLS Wills for Heroes project. She also serves on the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.




Dan Berkowitz
First Vice Chair

Daniel Berkowitz is an Assistant Attorney General with the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. He practices in the General Law Bureau, focused on defending State Agencies and State Employees when they are sued in court. He handles all manner of complex litigation from initial case analysis through trial.  









Martin Gould
Second Vice Chair

Martin D. Gould is a trial attorney at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC where he works in the firm’s complex litigation and catastrophic injury group, representing individuals and classes of victims in wrongful death, toxic exposure, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, auto and trucking accidents, construction and other workplace accidents, sexual abuse, including priest abuse, product defect, and airline crashes. Martin graduated toward the top of his class from Chicago-Kent College of Law, cum laude, and was a published member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review. Currently, Martin holds leadership positions within numerous legal organizations, including serving as the Co-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Torts Litigation Group and serving as a Co-Chair of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s Young Lawyers Division. Martin earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Northwestern University, where he was also a four-year member of the Northwestern Varsity Wrestling Team. The team placed 4th in the NCAAs Martin’s sophomore year in 2007.




 


Kernisha Padilla
Secretary/Treasurer


Kernisha Padilla is a conflicts attorney at Blank Rome. She also has a passion in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs flourish and grow through proper legal representation. Kernisha is a native of North Carolina who relocated to Chicago in 2015. Prior to relocating Kernisha served as managing partner of her Gilbert & Rivera, PC and as an adjunct professor at UNC- Charlotte. She is chair of the YLS Women in the Law Committee and received the YLS’ Rising Star Award for Leaders with Exceptional Promise in 2021.
 




Kenneth Matuszewski
Member Services Manager

Kenneth “Kenny” Matuszewski, CIPP/US is a registered Patent Attorney who provides advice about utility patents, design patents, data privacy, and cybersecurity. He also has extensive experience litigating software, electrical and mechanical patents in federal court and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Representative technologies he has worked with include electronic games, blockchain, cancer treatments, drones, SIM cards, microphones, electronic banking, and gene therapies. 

A firm believer that learning is a lifelong process, Kenny graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Oregon State University in 2019. Previously, he double-majored in Biological Sciences and Spanish at the University of Notre Dame and earned his J.D. at Chicago-Kent College of Law. He also received the YLS’ Rising Star Award for Leaders with Exceptional Promise in 2019, the 2020 David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Service, and the 2020 Impact Award for a Leader with Substantial Impact on the Section. 

 

John Risvold

Public Service Manager

John, a trial lawyer at The Collins Law Firm P.C., has dedicated his career to fighting those responsible for injuring his clients. He exclusively represents individuals and their families who are victims of personal injury or wrongful death. John works tirelessly to get the best outcome for his clients and has recovered millions of dollars for his clients. He has tried cases to verdict in Illinois and handled cases throughout the country. Prior to joining The Collins Law Firm, John defended large multi-national corporations in multimillion dollar litigation, giving him a unique insight into how cases are handled by the companies and individuals responsible for catastrophic injury.







Gavin Phelps
Project Officer

Gavin Phelps is a business law attorney helping clients with everything from starting a business, negotiating/drafting contracts, insurance coverage analysis, or anything in between. He has worked with start-ups, nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies. Gavin graduated from Hillsdale College with a bachelors in Political Economics and received his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School in 2016. His passion is to help clients be competitive.








Margaret Mendenhall Casey
Project Officer

Maggie is a trial attorney at the City of Chicago Department of Law. She represents the taxpayers of the City of Chicago in lawsuits including wrongful death, police pursuits, and premises liability. Prior to working for the City, Maggie served as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, advocating on behalf of victims of crime. While working as a prosecutor, Maggie tried numerous cases to verdict including jury trials, felonies, and sexual assaults.  



 







Kaitlin King
Co-Editor-in-Chief of YLS Journal

Kaitlin King is an associate attorney at Hart David Carson, LLP. Her practice is mainly focused in the areas of plaintiff’s personal injury, wrongful death, and premises liability. In addition to these concentrated areas of law, Kaitlin also handles a variety of other civil matters. Kaitlin graduated magna cum laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 2019. Prior to law school, Kaitlin attended the University of Missouri where she received Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Psychology and Sociology. Kaitlin is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. She is admitted to practice law in Illinois and South Carolina. Before becoming the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the YLS Journal, Kaitlin served as the Assistant Editor.    



 


Ted Kontopoulos
Co-Editor in Chief of YLS Journal
Ted Kontopoulos is a senior tax consultant at BKD, LLP in their international tax services and tax controversy services groups. His international tax practice focuses on inbound and outbound tax planning and compliance for multinational companies, individuals, and trusts. His tax controversy practice focuses on representation before the IRS and state tax authorities, foreign financial asset reporting, and submissions under voluntary disclosure programs. Ted co-runs the Law Student Career Immersion Mentoring Program and serves as co-chair on the YLS Business Law Transactions Committee where he won the 2021 David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Service. He has published articles in Tax Notes, Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives, Journal of International Taxation, and University of Illinois Law Review. Ted graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law, served as Note Topic Editor for University of Illinois Law Review and won the 2018 Rickert Award for Excellence in Legal Writing. He also graduated magna cum laude from Boston College with a B.A. degree in political science, earned Phi Beta Kappa honors and led the Fulton Debating Society to the 67th National Debate Tournament as co-captain.     

 



Laura Wibberley
Co-Editor in Chief of the @theBar Blog

Laura Wibberley is an attorney at Barker, Castro, Kuban & Steinback LLC. She practices in general litigation with a concentration in the area of medical negligence with the privilege of serving in the defense of hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers. She also serves in the defense of long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities. Laura received her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in 2017, where she graduated Valedictorian and summa cum laude.  



 





Alexandra Morelli
Co-Editor in Chief of the @theBar Blog

Alexandra concentrates her practice in the area of medical negligence serving in the defense of hospitals, physicians, and medical staff members. Her medical malpractice defense  work involves pre-litigation investigation and counseling, as well as guidance and recommendations to her clients in various risk management strategies. She also handles a wide variety of civil defense litigation where she represents not-for-profit organizations, health care facilities, and building management companies, in cases involving premises liability and  personal injury. Prior to joining Barker, Castro, Kuban & Steinback LLC, Alexandra worked as a law clerk at one of Chicago’s prevalent plaintiff litigation firms, where she gained  invaluable experience she uses to defend her current clients.


Alexander Passo
Health & Wellness Facilitator

Alexander I. Passo is an Associate at Latimer LeVay Fyock LLC. He concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation, including representing clients in matters involving internal business disputes, breach of contract, fraud, emergency business litigation, unfair competition, and professional negligence actions. Alex graduated from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law magna cum laude in 2014. Alex has previously served as a YLS Director, as Co-Chair of the YLS Tort Litigation Committee, and as contributor and steering committee member for the CBA's @theBar Blog.



 




Jeffrey Moskowitz
Immediate Past Chair


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.  To read more about Jeff in his own words, click here