2015 November LegalEase

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In This Issue
·         New Events
·         CLE
·         In Memoriam
           - E. Richard Johnson
           - Randall A. West

Contact Us:

Linda Raineri, Executive Director
110 SW Jefferson Ave., Suite 520
Peoria, IL 61602
Phone: (309) 674-6049
Email: pcba@mtco.com
Web: www.peoriabar.org

Timothy J. Howard
Hon. Jerelyn D. Maher
President-Elect and Budget Chair
Michele A. Miller 
Second Vice President 
Richard W. Zuckerman
Craig S. Young
Past President and
Nominating Committee Chair
Katherine A. Zogas
Jonathan L.A. Phillips
Communications & Technology
Hon. Lisa Y. Wilson
David B. Wiest (Golf) and
Robert R. Parker (Holiday Party)
Entertainment Co-Chairs
James F. Kane
Fitness, Health & Wellness
Nathaniel E. Strickler
Government & Public Interest Law 
Peter J. Lynch
Lawyer Referral Service
Hon. James E. Shadid
Lincoln Memorial Banquet
Stacy E. Crabtree
Local Continuing Legal Ed
Joshua D. Herman
Membership and Memorials
Cathy A. Molchin
Pro Bono
Ashley M. Miller
Public Relations
Thomas E. Howard
Real Property
Mary A. Corrigan
Substantive Law
Vincent M. Boyle
Young Lawyers
Directors at Large:
Michael D. Gifford
John P. Heil, Jr.
Kevin M. Miller
John P. Nicoara

Peoria County Bar Association
Foundation Trustees

Hon. Stephen A. Kouri
Timothy J. Howard
Hon. Jerelyn D. Maher
Michele A. Miller
Richard W. Zuckerman
Rex K. Linder
Karen M. Stumpe


10th Judicial Circuit Associate Judge Vacancy, www.peoriabar.org
Attorney I- Employee Benefits
Illinois Agricultural Association, Bloomington, IL Application URL:http://bit.ly/IAA_Attorney
The attorney I provides a wide range of legal support services to Illinois Agricultural Association (IAA) and Affiliated Companies and directly assists senior counsel on all corporate legal matters as requested in order to carry out the goals of the Office of the General Counsel. This position is located in the Bloomington, Illinois Home Offices.

Chief of Civil Division 
The Peoria County State's Attorney seeks to fill the Chief Civil Assistant State's Attorney position within the office.  Responsibilities: The Chief Civil Assistant State's Attorney is the manager of legal affairs for the County of Peoria, the elected officials, appointed officials, agencies, boards and committees.  The Chief of the civil division serves as daily counsel and as the attorney for the State's Attorney, members of the Peoria County Board, the County Administrator, and all Peoria County elected officials, appointed officials, agencies, boards and committees.  Education:  The Chief Civil Assistant State's Attorney must possess a Juris Doctor degree and have a license to practice law in the State of Illinois.  The candidate must be admitted to practice before the United States District Court and the United States Bankruptcy Court.  The candidate must have a minimum of 8 years of experience in civil law with an emphasis on governmental law and possess experience surrounding legislative law and labor bargaining for public employees.  Send resume to Julie Dickerson at jdickerson@peoriacounty.org. Deadline is November 30, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.

Immediate Opening. Growing AV-rated law firm is seeking a motivated Attorney with 1-5 years experience who understands the changes taking place in the legal industry. Applicant must be team-oriented, innovative, and capable of working in a mobile and paperless environment. Business background and Lean Six Sigma training is a plus. The position involves business law and commercial litigation, as well as general creditor’s rights and collection matters, in both State and Federal Courts. Strong writing skills and academic credentials required. Compensation commensurate with education and experience. Send inquiry and resume in confidence to: VanFleet Law Offices, Attn: Joe VanFleet, 7817 N. Knoxville Ave., Peoria, Illinois 61614.

Associate Attorney
Hasselberg Grebe Snodgrass Urban & Wentworth is seeking an associate attorney with two or more years of experience.  Please send cover letter and resume to the attention of Kenneth M. Snodgrass, Jr., at 401 Main St., Suite 1400, Peoria, IL 61602-1258. 

Chief Compliance Officer
Midwestern Securities Trading Company, an established and rapidly growing Broker/Dealer in East Peoria, Ill., is seeking a proactive, self-motivated Chief Compliance Officer. We have a strong compliance record, and we need a team player who can help us uphold the high standards that we set for ourselves and our partners. The Chief Compliance Officer oversees the Corporate Compliance Program, functioning as an independent and objective body that reviews and evaluates compliance issues/concerns within the organization. This is a great supervisory-level position, especially for a recent graduate. The ideal candidate will be able to obtain FINRA licensing within the first six months.  Email resume and cover letter to work@midwesternsecurities.com

Office Manager
Hometown Title, Inc. is seeking a title office manager to oversee the day-to-day operations of a multi-location title company, including title work, closings, office policies and bookkeeping.   The ideal candidate will also be an effective communicator, with the ability to multi-task under heavy time constraint and work well with others at all levels.  Interested candidates should submit their resume and salary requirements to:  jbenckendorf@benckendorf.com.

Legal Assistant
Part-time legal assistant needed to start immediately. Very casual and somewhat flexible working conditions and hours. Must be very patient and friendly. These attributes, as well as being detail-oriented and liking to organize papers and files, are more important than typing speed. Must be able to make some independent decisions and have good computer skills. Prior experience is not necessary, but desirable. E-mail your resume, if interested, to skoneal90@gmail.com with “Legal Assistant” as the subject.

Directory Changes
Brandt, Michael E, 125 SW Jefferson Ave., Suite 221, Peoria, IL 61602 309/369-1813

Crowley, James, 121 NE Jefferson St. Suite 200, Peoria, 61602, 674-5551 fax: 674-5539 James.crowley@murphy-dunn.net

Green, Jeff, 316 SW Washington St. Unit 1A, Peoria, 61602, 699-0111 fax: 699-4693

Merkley, Dennis E. & Shields, Kevin A., Merkley & Shields, LLC, 4450 N. Prospect Rd., Peoria Heights, 61616 phone: 723-8585, fax: 760-0435 
Noetzel, Henry D., 1201 W. Northmoor Rd. Unit 357, Peoria, 61614, phone: 691-9181
Noble, Kent A., 126 Southgate Rd. Peoria, 61614, phone: 692-2668
bigkenta@comcast.net Effective 1-1-16
Keller, Lora A., Murphy & Dunn, P.C., 121 NE Jefferson St., Suite 200, 61602, 674-5551, fax: 674-5539 Lora.keller@murphy-dunn.net
Russo, Heather, Illinois Mutual, 300 SW Adams St., 61634, phone: 800-437-7355 ext. 491, fax: 674-2076
Rafool, Gary, phone: 566-9986, all other information remains the same.
On January 1, 2016 the law firm of Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller, LLC will be renamed “Vonachen Westervelt, LLC."
Joining the firm will be the attorneys from Vonachen, Lawless, Trager & Slevin – John R. Pusey, John C. Brady, James E. Konsky, M. Michael Waters, Mark E. Wertz, S. Linn Perkins, Richard N. Gentry, Jr., John T. Brady, Michelle R. Eggert, Amira L. Vicari Hills, and Kerrianne L. Waters.  
They join Westervelt’s attorneys, Roger E. Holzgrafe, Thomas A. McConnaughay, Christopher J. Spanos, Rhonda L. Heinz, Jason L. Story, and William L. Blake, Of Counsel.   
Vonachen Westervelt, LLC will be located at 411 Hamilton Blvd, Suite 1400, Peoria, Illinois.

Office Space Available
Janssen Building, 2400+ sq. ft. luxury suite with offices  now available to rent.  Contact The Janssen Law Center at 309.676.2341.

LeFante Law Offices, P.C. has 2 offices available for sublet on a monthly or annual basis.  Large office is located in a completely remodeled suite and is furnished with an executive desk and has windows that overlook Sacred Heart Church.  Smaller office can be furnished or unfurnished. Internet and fax included.  Possibility for shared receptionist.  Additional rental space available for support staff.  Contact Jennifer Anschuetz at 309/999-1111 for additional information.

Office space available for lease in Eureka, Illinois.  Support staff assistance, phone and fax available.  Contact Mary E. Faupel, Faupel Law Offices, (309) 467-4940 or admin@faupellaw.com for additional information.

Attorney office for rent on 19th floor of former Associated Bank Plaza Building conveniently located across from the Peoria County Courthouse. All offices have window view. Corner office with spectacular view of river and bluffs available. Shared waiting area. Partially furnished second office with view of bluffs also available. Conference room available. Telephone and copier available for reasonable cost. Ideal for solo or satellite practice. For more information contact Louis Milot or Kim Horn at (309)671-4507.


Message from the President
Fall is here!

On behalf of your Peoria County Bar Association, thanks to all who attended our 12th annual Diversity Luncheon on October 21. We were honored to have the new Bradley University athletic director, Dr. Chris Reynolds, as our speaker. Over 300 people were there when our Diversity Committee announced this year’s winners of our Diversity Scholarships, Breeia Little and Yolanda Riley.

These scholarships are the result of the contributions that our members have made to the Peoria County Bar Association Foundation. In order to continue making these awards in the future, your continued support of the Foundation is necessary. If you have not yet made a pledge to the Peoria County Bar Association Foundation, please click here.

Shown here, left to right, Judge Lisa Wilson, Michele Miller, Dr. Reynolds, Tim Howard, Richard Zuckerman; Dr. Reynolds, Sonni Williams, Breeia Little and Yolanda Riley.
I hope to see you at our Annual Holiday Party on December 3rd. Our Entertainment Committee has new enthusiastic members who have promised the best on time program of the century.
Thanks for your continued support of our Bar Association.

PCBA Members Assisting Service Members

Thank you to Bob Muir, who recently assisted a veteran with updating a Will.  We appreciate all of our members who have assisted service members and Michael Lied of Howard & Howard who heads up this effort. Contact the PCBA office if would like to be included on our list of volunteers. 

In honor of Veterans’ Day, we give this update on the Peoria County Veterans’ Memorial – A Final Salute honoring Veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Gulf, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and the War on Terrorism, as well as any future conflicts.  There will be 106 names listed on the memorial of Peoria County Citizens that were KIA in Korea and Vietnam.   Steve Sonnemaker reports that plans are being finalized with the architect, they will be getting construction bids this winter, and hope to hold the dedication ceremony on Veterans’ Day 2016.  To contribute to this project, visit www.peoriacounty.org/auditor/veteransmemorial or call 672-6006. 

Lawyer Referral Service

This month we would like to thank attorney Jeff Green for his return of a referral fee in the amount of $357.  The LRS Committee also welcomes two new participants to the service, Dennis Merkley of Merkley & Shields, and Blake Mishler of Black, Black & Brown. If you are interested in learning more about the LRS, contact the PCBA at pcba@mtco.com.

Schedule of Events and Court Holidays

11      Veterans’ Day - Courts Closed; Courthouse Open
11      Why Gamble on Your Knowledge of the New Dissolution/Parentage Act?  6 hrs. CLE credit
          8:30 – 4:15, lunch included – Par-a-Dice Hotel
13      New Members’ Lunch – PCBA office – invitation only
18      New Members’ Reception, Hall, Rustom & Fritz/Jeff Green, 316 Washington St., 5:00-6:30
26      Thanksgiving - Courts & Courthouse Closed
27      Day following Thanksgiving Day  - Courts & Courthouse Closed
3        Holiday Party – Hotel Père Marquette – 5:30 Cocktails, 6:30 Dinner
24 & 25      Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - Courts & Courthouse Closed
1       Courts & Courthouse Closed

Committee Meetings
3     Commercial Law & Litigation (at offices of Howard & Howard)
4     Diversity
5     Government & Public Interest
6     Real Property, lunch sponsored by ATG
9     CLE
12   YLC
17   Board of Directors
18   Public Relations
19   Pro Bono
23   Lincoln Banquet (meeting at Bradley University)
1     Entertainment – skit rehearsal – 6:00 p.m.
2     Government & Public Interest
8     Commercial Law & Litigation
10   YLC
14   CLE
17   Pro Bono

Communications & Technology
The 2016 Attorneys’ Directories are in! Please stop by the PCBA to pick up the directories for your office.  Thank you to all who came for their sitting for the 2016 pictorial directory.  If you missed it, Photography by Lee is offering the low sitting fee of only $35 to PCBA Members in their studio on the following dates: Thursday, November 5, 10:00 – 3:00; Friday, November 6, 8:30 – 11:15; and Tuesday, November 10, 9:30 – 4:30.  Questions? Contact Mary at 444-7010.

By Hon. Lisa Y. Wilson
Thank you for supporting the Peoria County Bar Association's 12th Annual Diversity Luncheon.  There were 301 people in attendance, and our speaker, Dr. Chris Reynolds, the Athletic Director at Bradley University, provided a dynamic and inspiring speech at the event.  The Manual Academy Jazz Ensemble provided our musical entertainment at the luncheon, and the JROTC from Manual Academy presented the colors.  The Diversity Scholarship Recipients, Breeia Little and Yolanda Riley, were both in attendance and recognized as the 2015 recipients.  If you have not done so, the PCBA Diversity Committee would encourage you to consider making a financial pledge to the PCBA Foundation as those funds support the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program and the Diversity Scholarships that are awarded each year.  The Diversity Committee would also encourage law firms and solo practitioners to sign the PCBA Diversity Pledge.

The entertainment committee is working hard on the 2015 Holiday Party. If you have any humorous ideas, concepts, or skits, contact Rob Parker at rparker@mtco.com.  Make your reservation now – flyer included with this issue.

Fitness, Health & Wellness
By Michael A. Fleming
The PCBA’s 8th annual “Strides for Justice” 5K run/walk is in the books!  We had another beautiful Saturday morning on Grandview Drive, the last Saturday in September, and the race went off with no major problems.  We had 154 registrants and raised over $3,000 for Prairie State Legal Services.  Many thanks to all who helped and all who participated!
Several members won age group awards:  Sonni Williams, Ron Hanna, and Andy Covey each finished first in his/her respective age group.  Sharbel Rantisi, Mitch Gilfillan, and Vince Boyle finished 1-2-3 in the Men’s 30-34 age group.  (Sharbel, Mitch, and Ron finished 8th, 10th, and 11th overall as well!)  Dick (Rich) Williams took 2nd in his age group; Aliesha Graves was 3rd in hers.
Other members who ran include Kyle Tompkins (32nd overall), John Heil (57th overall), Denise Conklin (65th overall), Rob “Running Justice” Everett (80th overall) and Emily Perkins (88th overall).  I may have missed someone—if so, I apologize—and there were also some staff members who participated as well.  Local speedsters Guillermo Rolon and Jacki McKown took first overall in the men’s and women’s divisions. 
We are already looking forward to Strides 2016!  All or virtually all of you can at least walk the 3.1 miles on Grandview, so plan on signing up next year to walk, jog, run, or some of each!  Bring your colleagues, family, staff, and friends!  Get healthy and raise some funds for PSLS! 

Tennis Anyone?
The Fitness, Health & Wellness Committee is taking a survey to see if PCBA members are interested in a tennis tournament.  Email Jim Kane jkane@peorialawyers.com or the bar office pcba@mtco.com to express your interest.

Local Continuing Legal Education
Congratulations to Rich Williams from Williams, Williams, and Bembenek on winning the $100 drawing, courtesy of Pearl Insurance, at the 2015 Columbus Day Professional Responsibility Seminar!
November 7 deadline to register for “Why Gamble with Your Knowledge of the New Dissolution/Parentage Act?” is set for November 11, 2015, Par-a-Dice Hotel.  
2016 Winter Series 
January 9: Employment/Workers Compensation, Brad Ingram and Dana Hughes, Co-Chairs
January 16: Commercial Law & Litigation, Mary Corrigan and Brian Johnson, Co-Chairs
January 23: Civil Practice – Carol Perkins and Christina Cullom, Co-Chairs
January 30: Elder Law – Emily Wilburn, Kenneth Baker and Marci Shoff, Co-Chairs
February 6: Family Law – Judge Jerelyn Maher and Richard Zuckerman, Co-Chairs
February 20: Law Practice Management – Jim Kane and John Nicoara, Co-Chairs

Membership Committee Chairman Joshua Herman reports that applications for membership have been received from attorneys Wade Blumenshine, Lora Keller, James Van Rheeden, Andrew Williams, Julius “Logan” Block, Marchant Martinelli and an application for student membership has been received from Patrick Sheets.  Their applications will be submitted for approval at the January Board meeting.

On October 10, 2015, E. Richard “Dick” Johnson passed away at the age of 84.  He was born in Peoria.  Dick was a graduate of Knox College in the class of 1953.  Also in 1953 he received his commission into the U.S. Army where he was a liaison pilot. In 1960 he graduated from the Indiana University School of Law and he practiced in Peoria more than 30 years. He was also the District 2 Representative of the Peoria County Board and also served as its chairman.
On October 30, 2015, Randall A. West passed away at the age of 86.  He was born in Peoria, graduated from Peoria High in 1947, from the University of Illinois in 1951, and U of I Law School in 1953.  He served in the U.S. Army in the Counter Intelligence Corps.  He practiced law in Peoria from 1955 until 1999, first with his father, Clyde West, and then with the firm Safford, West, Tornow and Jaeger, where his son, Stephen, also practices.  Randy was President of the PCBA in 1977-78.
Memorial contributions to the Foundation may be made online at www.peoriabar.org/product/pcba-foundation. The PCBA has made a $100 contribution to the Foundation in memory of each of these members.

Public Relations Committee
By Ashley Miller, Chair
In order to continue to foster a positive relationship between the Peoria County Bar Association and the community, the Public Relations Committee is continuing the Adopt-a-School Program.  After extensive communications with District 150, it was decided that this year's Association partner will be Manual Academy. Our first joint venture consisted of coordinating with Manual Academy jazz ensemble to provide background music and the Manual JROTC to present colors at the recent Diversity Luncheon.
Our first positive contribution will consist of sharing our experiences in a classroom setting. We have agreed to supply PCBA attorneys (in groups of three) to attend one government/social studies class. Each team need only appear once. The students are learning about the United States Constitution and the basic functions of the three branches of government.
Our first speaking engagement will take place on November 10, 2015, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and we need three volunteers.  We will also need an additional team of three for December 2, 2015, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.  We anticipate a great response from the Bar, so please be aware that we will select participating teams of attorneys on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to volunteer, please e-mail Linda at pcba@mtco.com. As mentioned above, it is our hope and intention to build this program during the coming semesters. Additional opportunities for your participation will be coming soon!

Young Lawyers Committee
Project Santa
Christina Cullom, (674-1133 or ccullom@quinnjohnston.com), Emily Perkins (676-0400 or eperkins@heylroyster.com) and Kerrianne Waters (676-8986 or kwaters@vltslaw.com) are sending out instructions to each of the firm contacts with details of this year’s Project Santa.  The project benefits approximately 150 children served by the South Side Mission.  If you would like to participate, contact one of them for more information.
Halloween Blood Drive

Shown here are Arsenio Mims and Ben Clark, co-chairs of this year’s blood drive; Steve Wakeman and Mike Fleming wait their turn to donate; and Gery Gasick finishes his donation. The Young Lawyers Committee hosted a successful Halloween Blood Drive at the Peoria County Courthouse on October 30. Twenty-one people came to donate, and the American Red Cross accepted 18 units of blood. Thanks are due to Kerry Cassidy, Monica Kim, and Emily Perkins for volunteering their time and making sure everything ran smooth as can be.  Since one donation has the potential to save up to five lives the drive could potentially help save 90 people!  Thanks to all who participated this year!

By Sandra Crow and Shirley Coers
We would like to thank the following attorneys, paralegals, and other support staff who have assisted low income persons and recently closed pro bono cases:   Spencer Daniels, Courtney Dean, Debbie Harper, Robert Jennetten, Tom McConnaughay, Robert Muir, Carol Perkins (2), Jerry Rickert (6), Mike Sposato (2), Cynthia Volk, Kerrianne Waters, Carl Wilbur and Kevin Wolfe.
The Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee’s second annual Pro Bono Recognition Event at the Caterpillar Visitors Center on Monday, October 26, was a huge success.  There were over 100 people in attendance.  Congratulations to the award recipients:
Spencer Daniels, Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee Award
Gerard Rickert, Peoria County Pro Bono Plan Lawyer of the Year
Monica Kim, Peoria County Pro Bono Plan Young Lawyer of the Year
Quinn, Johnston, Henderson, Pretorius & Cerulo, Peoria County Pro Bono Firm of the Year
Luke Taylor, Tazewell County Lawyer of the Year
Robert Jennetten, Prairie State Legal Services Equal Justice Lifetime Achievement Award
And a special thank you for the award given to me for my many years of service as the Pro Bono Coordinator in the Tenth Judicial Circuit.  I felt so honored by all the kind words and the standing ovation. This marks my last Pro Bono Recognition Event with much sadness.  I will be leaving my position on February 26, 2016, but there will be more about that later.  In the meantime, you will still be hearing my voice on the other end of the phone asking you to share your talents to help someone who is less fortunate.  Thank you to our event sponsors: the Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, the Legal Services Division of Caterpillar, Inc., Public Interest Law Initiative, Peoria County Bar Association, and the Tazewell County Bar Association. 

You may have noticed that Attorney Gerard Rickert has closed 6 cases this month.  All those cases involve the drafting and execution of simple wills and advanced directives.  We have so many calls coming in asking for help in this area, that we need more attorneys to assist us than are currently on our list.  This takes very little of your time, but does a great deal for people.  Many are seniors that may own a home and need a will and power of attorney, or those who are suffering a serious illness and have been referred through our Medical-Legal Partnership.  Please contact us if you can help in this area.

PLEASE JOIN US FOR ACCESS TO JUSTICE…AFTER HOURS 2015, Thursday, November 5, from 6pm-9pm at Weave Ridge Golf Club. This is a live and silent auction to benefit Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. For more information and to register, please contact Prairie State’s Peoria Office at 309-674-9831 or online at:


As we head into the final weeks of the Street Law regular schedule (week of November 3 is the last week of classes), we would like to thank all of the volunteers who have participated this year.  Next, we are looking for volunteers for the Street Law Field Trip that will take place on Thursday, November 19, 2015, at Caterpillar’s Visitors Center from approximately 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.   We will need volunteers to help run the field trip (check-in table and hallway monitors) and provide classroom instruction in Contracts, Employment and Criminal Law (attorneys/instructors, assistants and facilitators/witnesses).  Although the event will run all day, volunteer slots are for designated shifts of approximately 90 minutes (through lunch at around noon).  All materials needed will be provided.
We are still preparing the exact schedule for the day.   If you have an interest in participating in the Field Trip, please email Tayanita Hayes at Hayes_Tayanita_T@cat.com.   We will get back to you with more details.

CASA of Peoria County is pleased to announce that this year’s “CASAblanca, an evening of Dancing with the Local Stars” is scheduled for Saturday, November 7, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in the Par-A-Dice Hotel Ballroom. Please save the date and plan to attend for a great event and some fun as one of the PCBA’s own Directors, Joshua Herman, and PCBA Member, Beth Jensen, will be two of our “Local Stars!” For more information, please call the CASA office at (309)669-2939 or visit the website at www.casapeoria.org.



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Prairie State Legal Services

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