Bios of Candidates for Third Vice-President and the Board of Governors
Learn about 2015 candidates for ISBA third vice-president, board of governors, and assembly.
Third Vice-President Contested
James Francis McCluskey, Lisle. Founding member of Momkus LLC, which has grown from two lawyers to 35 lawyers. Concentrates in commercial litigation. With more than 35 years of practice experience, he has tried over 55 civil jury trials to verdict throughout Illinois. Education: B.S., Accounting, Elmhurst College (1976); J.D., Northern Illinois University (1979); Master of Laws in Taxation, The John Marshall Law School (1988). Recently appointed to the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility. ISBA activities: Board of Governors (2009-present); secretary (2013-2014); Board Committee on Facilities and Technology (co-chair 2013-2014). Assembly (2001-2007); Assembly Agenda and Program Committee (chair, 2004-2005); Standing Committee on Budget and Audit; member, Task Force on the Impact of Law School Curriculum and Debt. Director, Illinois Bar Foundation (2011-2012, 2014-present). Other Activities: Member of the Justinian Society and American Inns of Court. Member: Kane County Bar; Illinois Women's Bar; Northwest Suburban Bar; West Suburban Bar; and Illinois Trial Lawyers associations. Member, DuPage County Bar Association (DCBA) holding extensive leadership positions including past president. Awards: Ralph A. Gabric Award for Distinguished Leadership and Professionalism, DCBA; "Lawyer of the Year Award", DCBA.
Bios of candidates for third vice-president and the board of governors
Learn about 2015 candidates for ISBA third vice-president, board of governors, and assembly.
Third Vice-President Contested
James Francis McCluskey, Lisle. Founding member of Momkus LLC, which has grown from two lawyers to 35 lawyers. Concentrates in commercial litigation. With more than 35 years of practice experience, he has tried over 55 civil jury trials to verdict throughout Illinois. Education: B.S., Accounting, Elmhurst College (1976); J.D., Northern Illinois University (1979); Master of Laws in Taxation, The John Marshall Law School (1988). Recently appointed to the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility. ISBA activities: Board of Governors (2009-present); secretary (2013-2014); Board Committee on Facilities and Technology (co-chair 2013-2014). Assembly (2001-2007); Assembly Agenda and Program Committee (chair, 2004-2005); Standing Committee on Budget and Audit; member, Task Force on the Impact of Law School Curriculum and Debt. Director, Illinois Bar Foundation (2011-2012, 2014-present). Other Activities: Member of the Justinian Society and American Inns of Court. Member: Kane County Bar; Illinois Women's Bar; Northwest Suburban Bar; West Suburban Bar; and Illinois Trial Lawyers associations. Member, DuPage County Bar Association (DCBA) holding extensive leadership positions including past president. Awards: Ralph A. Gabric Award for Distinguished Leadership and Professionalism, DCBA; "Lawyer of the Year Award", DCBA. Recognized as an Illinois "Super Lawyer" for business litigation. Held the highest overall Martindale-Hubbell peer rating for the past 15 years. Native of Melrose Park. Current member of the Rotary Club of Naperville. Currently resides in Batavia with his wife, Jeanne. Father of two adult daughters, Jaimie and Jessica. Issues Statement: Throughout my 35 years in the legal profession, I have worked diligently to allow members of our profession to achieve personal development through education, professional growth and financial success. My mission is to continue that work, and to make our Association more inclusive with respect to minorities, women and young lawyers who may be in need of business mentoring and job assistance.
Lisa M. Nyuli, South Elgin. Partner, Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel P.C. Practicing family and bankruptcy law for 25 years in Kane, Kendall, DeKalb, DuPage and McHenry counties. Education: B.S., University of Illinois (1986); J.D., Northern Illinois University College of Law (1989). Admitted: Illinois (1989); Northern District of Illinois (1989); United States Supreme Court (2004). ISBA activities: Board of Governors (2009-present); treasurer (2014-present); Assembly (2001-2007). Current member, standing committees on Budget and Audit; Investments; Personnel; and Scope and Correlation. Current liaison to Family Law Section Council; and standing committees on CLE, and Judicial Advisory Polls (past chair, 2006-2007). Past chair (2011 and 2012), Solo and Small Firm Conference Planning Committee. Illinois Bar Foundation: director (2010-2011, 2012-present); treasurer (2013-present); and Gold Fellow. Other activities: Kane County Bar Association (KCBA): president (2004-2005); Board of Managers (1998-2006); chair of the committees on Family Law; Delivery of Legal Services; and Families First Legal Aid. Kane County Bar Foundation: president (2001-2003); director (1996-2008); chair of the Children's Waiting Room, and Solicitations committees. President (2004-2005), Elgin Bar Association. Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Articles: ISBA Family Law Newsletter; KCBA Bar Briefs. Presenter at numerous ISBA and KCBA seminars. Educator at GAL trainings. Honors: Family Law Achievement Award (2003), Kane County Bar Association; Alumnus of the Year (2005), Northern Illinois University College of Law Alumni Council; Pro Bono Award (2006), Kane County Bar Foundation; Pro Bono Volunteer of the Month (April, 2009), Illinois Legal Aid Online. Issues Statement: I seek to use my extensive bar leadership and working committee experience to listen to ISBA members throughout the state, identifying existing member needs, improving communication, encouraging participation and welcoming involvement at all levels, and streamlining benefits to help the Association meet the future requirements of Illinois attorneys.
Board of Governors - Area 1 (Circuit 18) Contested - (1 to be elected)
Kent A. Gaertner, Wheaton. Principal at Kent A. Gaertner P.C. Of Counsel with Springer Brown, Wheaton. Kent concentrates his practice in bankruptcy law and workouts. ISBA activities: Assembly (2004-2010, 2013-present); member, Commercial Banking, Collections and Bankruptcy Section Council; member, Standing Committee on Marketing and Communications. Other activities: Member: Kane County Bar Association, DuPage County Justinian Society of Lawyers, and DuPage Association of Women Lawyers. DuPage County Bar Association president (2009/2010); past member of its Executive Committee and Board of Directors; and four-time chair of the Bankruptcy Committee. Past president of the DuPage County Bar Foundation as well as former member of its Board of Directors. He currently serves as a Hearing Officer with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee. Author of a number of articles regarding bankruptcy law for the DCBA Brief magazine. Speaker and moderator at many seminars regarding bankruptcy for the ISBA and DCBA. He and his wife Mary just celebrated their nineteenth anniversary. Issues Statement: The primary mission of the ISBA is to facilitate and assist its members in making their practices efficient and profitable. To do this, the ISBA must remain diligent about providing value for their member's dollars. ISBA needs to continue to provide services, programs and networking opportunities at a reasonable cost that will reward membership and attract new members and younger members.
Sharon R. Mulyk, Glen Ellyn. Partner at Mulyk, Laho & Mack. concentrating in family law and collections. Education: B.S. Political Science, Illinois State University (1996); J.D., The John Marshall Law School (2000). Admitted: Illinois (2000); Northern District of Illinois (2000); United States Supreme Court (2005); Wisconsin (2014). ISBA activities: Assembly (2013 to present); member, Assembly Finance Committee; member, Family Law Section Council. Other activities: Sharon served as president and associate counsel of the DuPage County Bar Association as well as delegate to the ABA; past chair of the Family Law, and Membership committees; member, Judiciary Committee; member, Planning Committee; member, Rules Revision Committee; member, Pro-Se Litigant Committee; member, CLE Committee; Judicial Intervention Leader; and ISCCPL Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentor. She also served as president of the DuPage County Bar Foundation; president, DuPage Justinian Society of Lawyers; and president, DuPage Association of Women Lawyers. Adjunct Professor, College of DuPage's Paralegal Studies Program. Presenter for the Illinois Paralegal Association; DuPage County Bar Association Young Lawyers, Basic Skills for New Attorney's and Mega Meeting. She has been recognized as an Illinois "Super Lawyer" Rising Star; maintains a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating; and an Avvo Rating 10-Superb in Family Law and Child Custody. She was awarded the DuPage Legal Assistance Foundation Pro Bono Attorney Service Award in 2011. Issues Statement: Sharon's commitment to bar leadership is evident by her involvement on all levels. She has continually encouraged colleagues to be active members of bar associations because she feels it is important in cultivating relationships within the legal profession and in ensuring that attorneys have a voice in issues that affect our profession.
Michael J. Scalzo, Wheaton. Senior partner at Scalzo Law Offices where his practice is concentrated in family law and alternative dispute resolution. Education: B.A., De Paul University (1970); J.D., Case Western Reserve University (1973). He served four years as a staff Judge Advocate General in the USAF. He has maintained an office in DuPage County since 1978. ISBA activities: member, Family Law Section Council (2006-2008); member, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council (2006-2008). Illinois Bar Foundation activities: Board of Directors (2003-2006); Lawyers' Care Committee (2010-present). Fellow, Illinois Bar Foundation. DuPage County Bar Association: Executive Committee, assistant treasurer (2006-2008); Family Law, Civil Law, and ADR committees. DuPage County Bar Foundation: Board of Directors (2000-2002, 2012-present). DuPage Legal Assistance Foundation: president (2014-2015); Board of Directors (2000-present). Prairie State Legal Services: Board of Directors (2004-2010), treasurer (2008-2010). Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois: Board of Directors (2010-2013), treasurer (2012-2013). DuPage County, court-approved, chair-qualified arbitrator; mediator, Family Law and Civil Law.
Board of Governors - Cook County Contested - (1 to be elected)
John W. Damisch, Chicago. Civil Trial Attorney and Illinois grain farmer. He attended a one room country school and was admitted to Northwestern University by examination at age 16. After service in the U.S. Army, he earned his J.D. at Northwestern. Attending Goldstein's (now Fred Lane's) Trial Technique night course prepared him to try his first personal injury jury trial. Fees from the jury verdict were enough to buy a house in Northfield. Former Magistrate of the Circuit Court in the 2nd Dist. ISBA activities: Assembly (1992-1998, 1999-2005, 2006-2012). Member, Standing Committee on Judicial Evaluations-Cook County. Member, Senior Lawyers; and Agricultural Law (chair 2008-2009) section councils. Former member, Standing Committee on Law Office Economics and Management (chair, 2002-2003). Board member (1996-2007), Illinois Bar Foundation where he helped secure $200,000 of the Willie Nelson Farm Aid funds for IBF distribution. Member: American, Illinois, Chicago and Northwest Suburban bar associations. Laureate of the Academy of Illinois Lawyers. Assisted in chartering banks in Arlington Heights, Mundelein, Wheaton, Northfield and Elburn. Sustaining member of North Shore Senior Center. Past director of Sheridan Shore Yacht Club, Illinois Living History Farms, Circumnavigators, Cook County 4-H Foundation and two church boards. Past chair, United Way; past president, New Trier Parents; past president, Chicago Farmers; past chair of Zoning Board of Appeals, and several Boy Scout positions. He is Order of the Arrow; his two sons are Eagle Scouts. He and his late wife, Harriet, lived in Northfield for 60 years. She was a farm and investment manager. They have two sons. Mark is President of Damisch & Damisch, Ltd., and Peter is an Annapolis graduate.
Jessica A. O'Brien, Chicago. Incumbent. Judge, Circuit Court, Civil Division. Education: B.S., Boston University; LL.M. Employee Benefits with Honors, LL.M. Taxation and J.D. with distinction, John Marshall. ISBA activities: Board Liaison for the standing committees on Government Lawyers; and Law Related Education for the Public. Board Liaison for Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law; and Education Law section councils; and Diversity Leadership Council. As board liaison submitted written proposals subsequently accepted by the Diversity Leadership Council. Past co-chair, Executive Committee of the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening. Obtained financial support for both the Leadership Institute, and Law Related Education for the Public programs. IBF Silver Fellow. Recognized for her work in advancing diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. Other activities (past and current) in the legal profession: Board of Trustee, John Marshall; first vice president, WBAI; ex-officio, Diversity Scholarship Foundation; past president, Asian American Bar Association (AABA) and Filipino American Bar Association (now FALA); board member, Chicago Bar Foundation; board of director Young Lawyers' Section, CBA; hearing officer, ARDC; member, Supreme Court's Character and Fitness Committee. Recipient: Advocate for Diversity, DSF; Service & Outstanding Woman, Clerk, Circuit Court; Otaka Leadership, AABA; 2012 President Obama's Call to Service; Humanitarian Model Family, Asian Chronicles USA; Community Service, State's Attorney; Distinguished Service, JMLS; Most Valuable Member, AABA and WBAI, etc. Issues Statement: As a judge and having served in many diverse leadership positions in the legal community and the community at large, I bring a breadth of multi-faceted experiences to the ISBA leadership. My mission is to increase growth and diversity within the ISBA membership, while focusing on cost containment and maximizing membership benefits. My proven experiences of growing organizations from the ground up and managing multi-million budgets will help to accomplish my mission.
Board of Governors - Area 3 (Circuits 12, 13, 16, 21, 23) Contested - (1 to be elected)
Jean A. Kenol, Joliet. Partner at the law firm of Mahoney, Silverman & Cross focusing on corporate law, real estate law, zoning and land use, and local government law. Education: B.A., University of Notre Dame; J.D., University of Illinois. ISBA activities: Appointed at-large member of the Board of Governors (2012-2014). From 2010 to 2012 served as ISBA's under-age-35, outside of Cook County delegate to the American Bar Association. Active member of the Young Lawyers Division Council (YLD) since May 2007 (chair, 2013); current YLD liaison to the Illinois Bar Foundation Board; current liaison to the Task Force to Study the Impact of Law School Curriculum and Debt. Other activities: Served as the president of the Notre Dame Club of Joliet and on the Board of Directors for United Cerebral Palsy of Will County. Current member of the Board of Directors for the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In February 2008 he was appointed a commissioner of the Joliet Police and Fire Commission and served for two years. In September 2012 he was honored to be named the Joliet Area Young Professional of Year by the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce.
Rory T. Weiler, St. Charles. Weiler & Lengle, P.C. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and concentrates his practice in family law. Education: Northern Illinois University (1975); John Marshal Law School (1979). Admitted: Illinois (November 1979). ISBA activities: Assembly (2004-2007, 2007-2010, 2013-present); chair, Assembly Rules and Bylaws Committee (2014-present). Member, Standing Committee on Legislation (2012-present); member, Family Law Section Council (2001-present; chair, 2010-2011) and current associate editor of the Section's monthly newsletter. He is a Diamond Fellow of the Illinois Bar Foundation and has been active in a variety of functions including the scholarship and development committees, fundraising for the annual Gala, and "Lawyers Rock". Other activities: He served 12 years on the Illinois Supreme Court's Committee on Character and Fitness. Member, Illinois AAML chapter board of directors. Active in advancing the provision of legal services to the indigent. Lectured at and participated in many seminars sponsored by the ISBA and other organizations on many family law topics. Authored numerous articles on family law topics. He has written a book about family law practice, Divorce Tools and Techniques, which has been published by James Publishing Co. Issues Statement: ISBA has a vast wealth of untapped talent downstate, and I hope to encourage more downstate members to participate in the ISBA, and create more opportunities for downstate members to become involved, so that we can deliver more relevant and better benefits to solo and small firm members outside of Chicago.
Board of Governors - Area 4 (Circuits 10, 14, 15) Uncontested - (1 to be elected)
Sonni Choi Williams, Peoria. Incumbent. Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Peoria. She is an in-house counsel representing governmental bodies and employees in both state and federal courts as well as before administrative agencies. Education: B.A., University of Iowa; J.D., Northern Illinois University College of Law. Admitted: Illinois; U.S. Central District Court of Illinois; 7th Circuit Court of Appeals; and the U.S. Supreme Court. ISBA activities: Board of Governors (2012-present); Assembly (2004-2007, 2007-2010). Chair (2009-2010), Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law; member, Task Force on Diversity; member, Standing Committee on Judicial Evaluations-outside Cook County; member, Local Government Section Council. Other activities: She served on the Special Supreme Court Committee on Professionalism, is a Commissioner on the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and is a chair member of the ARDC Hearing Board. Peoria County Bar Association (PCBA): Diversity Committee; Young Lawyers Committee; Special Committee on Mentoring; member of the Lincoln Memorial Banquet; CLE; and Government and Public Interest Law committees. She also serves on the 10th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, and Prairie State Legal Services Campaign Committee. Member, ABA and Abraham Lincoln Inn of Court. Board member, Illinois Local Governmental Lawyers Association (ILGL); member, Illinois Municipal League. Frequent speaker on various topics; author of articles for the ILGL and the ISBA. Awards: Young Alumnus of the Year Award, NIUCOL; Annual Achievement Award, Illinois Local Governmental Lawyers Association; and the Board of Governors Award, Illinois State Bar Association.
Board of Governors - Area 6 (Circuits 7, 8, 9) Uncontested - (1 to be elected)
Charles Y. Davis, Springfield. Incumbent. Partner at Brown, Hay & Stephens, LLP. Education: B.A., Quincy University (2002); J.D., Southern Illinois University School of Law (2005). Licensed to practice in the State of Illinois and before the Central, Northern, and Southern U.S. District Courts of Illinois. A Quincy native, Charles "Chuck" Davis has lived and practiced primarily in Central and West Central Illinois. He has a diverse litigation and transactional practice, concentrating in commercial transactions and litigation, general civil litigation, energy law, corporate law, real estate law, and employment law. Represents corporate, governmental, and individual clients in litigation before Illinois state and federal courts, as well as the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. As a part of his energy practice, he regularly represents public utilities in matters before the Illinois Commerce Commission. He represents clients in a variety of transactional matters, including asset and stock transactions involving extensive business assets and public utility systems. He serves on his firm's Management Committee. ISBA activities: Board of Governors (2012-present); member: Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation Section Council. Other activities: Member, Sangamon County Bar Association. Awards: Recognized as one of Springfield's "Forty Under 40" by the Springfield Business Journal (2010); and Student Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois during his undergraduate studies. Mr. Davis is active in his community and has served on the Boards of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House, the Lincoln Land Community College Foundation, and Leadership Springfield.
Board of Governors - Area 8 (Circuits 3, 20) Contested - (1 to be elected)
Dennis J. Orsey, Granite City. Education: B.A., University of Illinois with High Distinction; J.D., Southern Illinois University School of Law, Recipient Rendelman Award for Outstanding Senior Law Student. Served as Assistant Illinois Attorney General, and Director of the Attorney General's Granite City Regional Office (1984-1995). In 1995, established his own general practice firm in Granite City, where he concentrates his practice in representing downstate police and fire pension funds. Serves as Deputy General Counsel for the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association, and was an Assistant Madison County State's Attorney (1996-2000). Served as a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Southwestern Illinois College teaching Business Law (1990-2006). ISBA activities: Board of Governors (2003-2009); treasurer (2008-2009); Assembly; member, Assembly Agenda and Program Committee. Member of the standing committees on Marketing and Communications (chair, 2013-2014); and Judicial Evaluations-Outside Cook County; member, Bar Services and Activities Section Council; member, Task Force on the Impact of Law School Curriculum and Debt. Speaker, ISBA Bar Leadership Conference (2013). Illinois Bar Foundation: board member (2005-2006) and Silver Fellow. Charter board member of the Illinois Pro Bono Center (1992-1998). Other activities: Past president of the Madison County (1992-93) and Tri-City (1987) bar associations; member of the Madison and St. Clair County bar associations. Coordinated the People's Law School Program in Madison County for numerous years. Member, Illinois Supreme Court Character and Fitness Committee (5th District). Awards: Board of Governors Award (2013) for work as co-chair of Special Committee on the Impact of Law School Debt on Delivery of Legal Services; ISBA Community Service Award (1997); John C. McAndrews Pro-Bono Service Award special commendation (1993) for work as co-chair of ISBA's Task Force for Disaster Relief. Dennis resides in Glen Carbon with his wife, Catherine, and son, Matthew.
Tom Speedie, Nashville. Tom is an AV rated solo practitioner, with practice concentrated in Secretary of State Hearings, criminal law, and traffic/DUI. His previous employment includes: Secretary of State Hearing Officer; clerk to Justice Myerscough; ISBA Assistant Counsel and Director of CLE. Private practice concentrated in personal injury and worker's compensation. Education: SIU-Edwardsville (1991); St. Louis University Law School (1998). Admitted: Illinois and Missouri (1998); U.S. Supreme Court (2007). ISBA activities: Immediate past chair, Traffic Laws and Courts Section Council; past member, Administrative Law Section Council. During his tenure at ISBA, he worked with nearly every section council and many committees as the Association's staff liaison and Director of CLE. Other Activities: Member: National College for DUI Defense; Washington County Bar Association (president); and St. Clair County Bar Association. Presenter at numerous Law Ed seminars. Co-authored the Illinois Bar Journal article "What's New in Traffic Law for 2014"; contributed to the 2011 Illinois Bar Journal article "Representing DUI Clients Before the Illinois Secretary of State." Issues Statement: Between 2000 and 2013, the number of lawyers admitted to practice in Illinois and the number actually practicing here increased by 18.8% and 14.6%, respectively, while ISBA membership remained essentially flat. Historically, ISBA has done a poor job of attracting and retaining younger members and, for that matter, younger professional staff. Tom believes this is related to issues of the association's culture. Although ISBA has recently made strides on that front, as well as improving its value proposition to members, we need to maintain and increase our level of progress. We also need to facilitate active involvement, especially development of young bar leaders through the Young Lawyers Division, by lawyers outside of the Chicago area.
Kristi Vetri, Belleville. Private practice attorney. Adjunct Professor, The John Marshall Law School in its Elder Law studies program. Education: B.S., Frostburg State (MD) University; M.P.A., Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville; J.D., St. Louis University School of Law. ISBA activities: Current chair, Standing Committee on Marketing and Communications; immediate past chair, Elder Law Section Council; CLE coordinator, Elder Law Section Council's annual 2-day elder law boot camp. Other activities: Holds leadership positions on the American Bar Association Senior Lawyer Division's Voice of Experience magazine editorial board; is co-chair of the Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division Elder Law Committee; and acts as the Division's liaison to the ABA Commission on Law and Aging-ABA Aging and Law Networking. Participates as a judge for ABA Law Student Division competitions. Advisory board member, Sino-American Research Center for an Aging Population. She was on the national Board of Directors of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and editor in chief of the NAELA News. Her other leadership positions include alderman and mayor of O'Fallon, and O'Fallon Township supervisor. Issues Statement: As chair of the ISBA Marketing and Communications Committee her focus has been two-fold: (1) Look for new projects that increase our members return on investment to retain current members and entice new members; (2) Improve ISBAs high-value multimedia content, especially video, that is rich in content, ISBA branded, and short to ensure maximum exposure; and (3) Improve the Ask a Lawyer portal and activities to drive referrals to our members.
Assembly - Cook County Contested - (23 to be elected)
- Sandra M. Blake, Oak Park
- Dawn E. Bode, Glenview
- Kellyn Doyle Coakley, Chicago
- Bradley M. Cosgrove, Chicago
- Brion Doherty, Chicago
- Nora Ann Doherty, Chicago
- Tarek A. Fadel, Chicago
- Gregg A. Garofalo, Chicago
- Mauro Glorioso, Westchester
- Randolph C. Greune, Evergreen Park
- Jennifer A. Haase, Chicago
- Kenya A. Jenkins-Wright, Chicago
- Justin L. Leinenweber, Chicago
- Sarah M. LeRose, Chicago
- Ellis B. Levin, Chicago
- Lori G. Levin, Chicago
- Dennis M. Lynch, Chicago
- Lisa A. Marino, Chicago
- Timothy E. Moran, Chicago
- Eileen M. O'Connor, Chicago
- Margaret A. O'Sullivan, Chicago
- Angela Peters, Arlington Heights
- Arlette G. Porter, Chicago
- Martin D. Snyder, Chicago
- Rebekah L. Williams, Chicago