2013 December LegalEase

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In This Issue
•             Courthouse News
•             2014 Winter CLE Series
•             Committee Reports
•             Pro Bono Report

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

Board of Directors
James F. Kane, President
Craig S. Young, President-Elect and Budget Chair
Timothy J. Howard, Second Vice President
Hon. Jerelyn D. Maher-Schulz, Secretary-Treasurer
Hon. Lisa Y. Wilson, Past President and
Nominating Committee Chair

Jesse A. Placher, By-Laws
David B. Wiest, Communications & Technology
Richard W. Zuckerman, Courts & Procedures
Nina R. Gougis, Diversity
Jeffrey R. Bach (Golf)
Mark M. Flannery (Holiday Party)
Ronald L. Hanna, Fitness, Health & Wellness
Louis P. Milot, Government & Public Interest Law
Michele A. Miller, Law Library
Mary A. Corrigan, Lawyer Referral Service
Sonni Choi Williams, Lincoln Banquet
Brad A. Elward, Local Continuing Legal Ed
Gregory J. Rastatter, Membership
David B. Mueller, Memorials
David M. House, Pro Bono
Joshua D. Herman, Public Relations
Dustin E. Essig, Real Property
Sharbel A. Rantisi, Young Lawyers & Law Day
Directors at Large:
Nathan R. Bach
Michael D. Gifford
Christopher S. McCall
John P. Nicoara

Associate Attorney
A well-established medium size Peoria general practice law firm seeks an associate attorney with zero to four years’ experience, preferably with interest in estate planning, commercial law, and litigation, real estate and title examination. Proficiency with law firm software applications also preferred. We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package. Please send cover letter, resume and references in confidence by email only to curban@hgsuw.com

Attorney: AV-rated business law firm is seeking a motivated Attorney with at least 3 years experience handling business and commercial litigation, as well as general creditor’s rights matters.  Strong writing skills and academic credentials required.  Compensation commensurate with education and experience.  Send inquiry and resume to: VanFleet Law Offices; Attn: Joe VanFleet; 7817 Knoxville Avenue, Peoria, Illinois  61614.

Secretary / Receptionist
The Peoria office of Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is seeking a full-time Secretary/Receptionist starting mid-January 2014. Prairie State is a not-for-profit law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals and seniors. The Secretary/Receptionist will participate in a full range of office duties in a fast paced environment. These duties include, but are not limited to, answering the phone, interacting with clients, filing, typing, photocopying, running errands, assisting with fundraising, and other general office tasks including serving as the office contact for interns and volunteers, working closely with the firm’s IT personnel to maintain office’s computers, and ordering office supplies. Interest in and commitment to assisting low-income individuals in the resolution of their legal problems is necessary. Successful candidate must possess a strong work ethic and organizational skills, as well as proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel, and must enjoy working with people in a fast paced office. Legal experience and Spanish-speaking preferred, pay depending on experience. No phone calls please. Please send cover letter, resume and list of references to Denise E. Conklin Managing Attorney, Prairie State Legal Services, Inc., 331 Fulton St. Suite 600, Peoria, IL 61602. Or via fax at (309) 674-3802. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is an EOE/AAE. Deadline to apply is Dec. 10, 2013.

Paralegal Position
AV-rated business law firm in Peoria is seeking an experienced paralegal with general business, creditor’s rights, and commercial litigation experience. Benefits available, salary commensurate with experience. Send inquiry and resume in confidence to: VanFleet Law Offices: Attn: Joe VanFleet; 7817 N. Knoxville Avenue, Peoria IL 61614.

2013 Directory Changes
Connor, William C., 4600 N. Prospect Rd., Suite 1, Peoria Heights IL 61616. All other information remains the same.
Crowley, James M.  4600 N. Prospect Rd., Suite 1, Peoria Heights IL 61616. All other information remains the same.
Davies, Kenneth E. 309 Main St.,  Peoria, IL 61602. Phone: (309) 637-7141 Fax: (309) 637-7213, Email: kedpeoria@yahoo.com
Inman, Arthur J., 411 Hamilton Blvd., Suite 1936, Peoria IL 61602.  All other information remains the same.
Jensen, Elizabeth L., 124 SW Adams St., Suite 600, Peoria IL 61602. Phone:  (309) 676-0400, Fax: (309) 676-3374
Email: bjensen@heylroyster.com.
Loeffel, William C., 301 SW Adams St. Suite 700, Peoria IL 61602,  Phone: (309) 676-1381, Fax: (309) 676-0324, Email: bill.loeffel@att.net.
Satterly, Caitlin “Frazier” Email: csatterly@illinoiscourts.gov.   All other information remains the same.

McLean County Changes:
Justice, Chandra L., 115 W. Front St., Bloomington, IL 61701. Phone:
(309) 827-3670, Fax: (309) 827-3991
Email: Chandra@jlawgroup.com.

Tazewell County Changes:
Elliff, Dancey & Bosich, P.C., 109 S. 4th St., Pekin, IL 61554. (No P.O. Box)
Bosich, Sue E.
Dancey, Burt L.
Kriegsman, J. Scott
All other information remains the same.

Will Searches
Anyone with information on the Last Will and Testament of Donna Jean Alberg (DOD12-26-11) She resided at 4941 W. Swords Circle, Peoria, IL Bradley Andrew Martin is searching for a Will that was prepared after 1997.  Please contact Bradley “Drew” Martin either by Phone: (425) 513-6738 or by Email: bamcougar@outlook.com.

Attorney Valerie Umholtz is asking the PCBA for a will search for the following individual you is now deceased, Carl Louis Fasbinder  or Carl Louis Fasbinder Anton Contact Valerie by Phone: (309) 347-4141 or Email: vumholtz@msulegal.com

Anyone with information on the Last Will and Testament of Robert L. Hramec please contact Aimee S. Peterson by Phone (309) 691-9650 or Email: peterson@peorialawyers.com.

Anyone with information on the Last Will and Testament of Harold & Eleanora Nelson please contact Kathy Higdon by Phone (309) 453-5808.

Office Space Available
Janssen Building, 2400+ sq. ft. luxury suite with offices  now available to rent.  If interested please contact The Janssen Law Center at (309) 676-2341.

LeFante Law Office is expanding and will have an additional two offices for attorneys available.  Contact Jennifer at (309) 999-1111 or by Email: janschuetz@lefantelaw.com.

New Members' Luncheon

On November 13, 2013, the PCBA held its Fall New Members’ Luncheon. Seventeen attorneys attended the luncheon, which holds the record for perfect attendance! Above from left to right are: Thomas Dennis, Jim Kane (President), Tyler Anderson, Charles Gockenbach, Chrissie Peterson, Alex Ketay, Chief Judge Michael Brandt, Ashley Miller, Greg Rastatter (Membership Chair), Monica Kim, Sandy Crow (Pro Bono Coordinator), Jennie Boswell, Erik Gibson, Melissa Hoffman, Brian Seckler, Christina Cullom, Daniel Hardin, Jeremy Schweigert, Kathleen Carter, Sharbel Rantisi (YLC Chair) and  Daniel Hanuska.  Not shown is Jerry Tuffentsamer.  We would like to thank the Judges and Board Members in attendance who took time out of their busy schedules to come and share their thoughts with the new members of the association. We would also like to thank all of the Judges and attorneys who came out to welcome the new members on Thursday, November 21, at Ulrich’s Rebellion Room. Special thanks go to Casey Johnson of WestPoint Financial who sponsored the free drinks and appetizers!!

Illinois Joining Forces

Many local attorneys have been providing services to local military personnel and veterans through efforts largely coordinated by local attorney Michael Lied of Howard and Howard Attorneys PLLC.  The PCBA hopes that by joining IJF, it can institutionalize Mr. Lied’s efforts to find and match service members to an attorney who can assist them, while empowering a greater number of service members with legal access and knowledge.  This month we would like to recognize attorney Danny Schroeder (right) of Hasselberg, Rock, Bell & Kuppler for assisting a veteran in a family law matter. Anyone interested in helping with this program, may contact Mike Lied at mlied@howardandhoward.com or you may contact the PCBA at pcba@mtco.com.  

Schedule of Events and Court Holidays

      24 & 25  Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day – Courts and Courthouse Closed
         1      New Year’s Day – Courts & Courthouse Closed
       11       Elder Law Seminar – Susan Dawson-Tibbits & Marci Shoff
18       Criminal Law Seminar – Arthur J. Inman
20       Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Courts & Courthouse Closed
       25       Civil Practice – Carol J. Perkins & Jennifer M. Morris
         1     Government & Public Interest Seminar – Patricia M. Redman & Stacy E
. Crabtree
      12        Lincoln’s Birthday – Courts Closed/Courthouse Open
      15        Workers’ Compensation Seminar – Brad A. Elward and Christopher Doscotch
      17        Presidents’ Day/Washington’s Birthday (Obsvd.) Courts & Courthouse Closed
        1        Family Law Seminar – Hon. Jerelyn Maher-Schultz and Richard Zuckerman

Committee Meetings

    2      Noon          Public Relations
    9      Noon          Communications & Technology
   11     Noon          Sponsorship
   12     Noon          YLC – Sponsor:  Spence Wike, WestPoint Financial Group
   17     Noon          Ad Hoc Committee on Tornado Relief
   19     Noon          CLE
    7      Noon          Real Property
    9      Noon          YLC – Sponsor:  Dr. Richard Olson
   13     Noon          Fitness, Health & Wellness
   14     Noon          Pro Bono
   15     11:00         Lincoln Banquet (calling group)
   16     Noon          CLE
   17     Noon         Law Day Subcommittee
   21     Noon          PCBA Board
   22     Noon          Foundation Trustees
   23     Noon          Government & Public Interest
   29     Noon          Ad Hoc Committee on Attendance

Committee Reports

Communications & Technology

If you are in need of information such as addresses, telephone numbers or email addresses for PCBA members, the bar’s website www.peoriabar.org is only a few clicks away. Please take advantage of this page by clicking on the “Membership” tab.  Members are listed alphabetically.


Many thanks to Mark Flannery, Jami Webster Hall and the cast of characters for many hours of their time preparing for last Thursday’s annual Holiday Party. Cast included:  Andrew Almasi, Elizabeth Arcot, Rob Parker, Ann Pieper, Matt Smith, Rich Zuckerman, and our very brave pianist, Jeff Krumpe.  The party returned to the Pere and the committee would like to hear your comments on the event.  Please email Mark at Flannery_Mark_M@cat.com.

Fitness, Health & Wellness Committee: Member Link to Wellness

By Sandra Crow, FHW Committee

Stress, Cortisol and Weight Gain: Is stress making you gain weight? There is a good chance it is. Our bodies interpret our grinding modern lifestyle as a never-ending emergency. Many people associate stressful times with overwhelming fatigue, anxiety, and sleep problems. But weight gain is one of the most common issues, because stress causes increased cortisol levels which can hang around long after the event and cause you to crave sugar and other bad carbohydrates. But once you are aware of this, there are things you can do to break the cycle. The following website has some good information. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/can-stress-cause-weight-gain.

FHW Member Tip and recipe:  You will be more satisfied if you eat whole foods, like butter instead of margarine. Yes, your body needs good nourishing fats to be healthy. So ditch packaged food, get off the low fat way of life, and start cooking. Here is the site to one of my favorite recipes. Your kids will love it. http://nomnompaleo.com/post/5695132949/zucchini-spaghetti-zoodles-meatballs.

Lawyer Referral Service

Thanks go to Angela Evans for sending a referral fee to the PCBA on a family law matter sent to her through the Lawyer Referral Service.  If you would like to learn more about the LRS, contact Linda at pcba@mtco.com.

Local Continuing Legal Education Seminars

2014 Winter Series Seminars: The following Saturday morning programs will be from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The seminars will be held at the Spalding Pastoral Center, 419 Madison Ave., Peoria, IL 61603.  A continental breakfast is included. See Schedule of Events, above.  Click here  /sites/default/files/2014%20Winter%20CLE%20Flyer.pdf to download Registration form or go to https://peoriabar.org/Shop to register online.

Committee Chair Gregory Rastatter reports that Carl M. Newman, has applied for regular membership. His application will be presented to the Board in January.


On Thursday, October 31, 2013, Dean B. Rhoads passed away. He was born on September 4, 1949, in Bartonville, Illinois. Dean received his degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Illinois in 1970. Upon graduation from U of I, he was employed as a computer systems analyst for Caterpillar, Inc. until 1973. He then returned to the University of Illinois College of Law and received his Juris Doctorate in 1976 with honors, Order of the Coif. He clerked for Justice Jay J. Alloy of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District until 1978 when he joined the firm of Sutkowski & Rhoads, Ltd. (formerly known as Sutkowski & Washkuhn, Ltd.). He was a member of the ABA, ISBA and the PCBA. He also was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law for Pension and Profit Sharing Plans. The PCBA has made a contribution of $100 to the PCBA Foundation in memory of Dean B. Rhoads

Public Relations

PCBA’S Distinguished Community Service Award - Nominations Sought

The PCBA Distinguished Community Service Award was established in 1995 when the following resolution was unanimously passed by the Board of Directors of the Association:

WHEREAS, members of the Peoria County Bar Association have a long history of community activism in volunteer projects to improve the quality of life in the Peoria area;

WHEREAS, the Peoria County Bar Association continues to encourage community involvement by its members;

WHEREAS, those individuals among our membership who have exhibited long commitment to community service as a volunteer deserve to be recognized and honored;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of the Peoria County Bar Association hereby establish the DISTINGUISHED COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD recognizing each year one of our members whose record of longtime community volunteerism is exemplary and brings honor to both the Peoria area and this Association.

The recipient of this award is recognized at the annual Lincoln Banquet & Gala, and past recipients include: William Rutherford, Rex Linder, Tim Bertschy, David Mueller, Tim Cassidy, Justice Mary McDade, Donald Jackson, Karl Kuppler, Craig Young, William Connor, Karen Stumpe, Judge Michael Mihm, Matthew Jones and last year’s recipient Hon. John A. Gorman.  The deadline for nominations is January 3, 2014Click here to complete the online Nomination Form today.

People’s Law School

The Public Relations Committee has announced its 2014 lineup for the People’s Law School. This joint effort with Illinois Central College will be held on Thursdays at the ICC North Campus, 5407 N. University St. Peoria, IL from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. All sessions are free, however pre-registration is required due to limited seating. The lineup is as follows:

  • February 20, 2014 Foreclosures/Bankruptcies- Sumner Bourne, Presenter

  • March 6, 2014 Landlord/Tenant Issues – Jim Rochford,  Presenter

  • March 20, 2014 Family Law – Michelle Eggert, Presenter

  • April 3, 2014 DUI/Criminal Law – Matthew Miller,  Presenter

  • April 17, 2014 Wills & Estates – Timothy Kirk, Presenter

  • May 1, 2014 Employment Matters – Presenter, Nile Williamson

Young Lawyers

2013 Project Santa

The Young Lawyers will again this year be partnering with South Side Mission for their annual gift giving program, connecting the Legal Community with the underprivileged within our community. Names have been distributed to everyone participating this year and you may drop off your wrapped gifts at the PCBA office or you may contact Co-Chairs: Mitchell Hedrick at mhedrick@heylroyster.com or Jennifer Bonesteel at jenniferbonesteel@gmail.com.  Deadline for drop off of the gifts is Tuesday, December 17.

Courthouse News - From the Bench

Thank You!

I want to thank the Peoria County Bar Association for its commitment to the betterment of the law, in practice, in charitable endeavors and in civility, exemplifying the highest degree of professionalism. It’s been a pleasure to be your Chief Judge for the past three years. Absolutely the highest honor was given to me by your award of the 1st Annual Public Service Award at the annual meeting. – Michael E. Brandt, Chief Judge Tenth Judicial Circuit


John Flynn, the 10th Circuit Trial Court Administrator, is retiring at the end of this year after over 23 dedicated years in the position and some 15 years prior public service. He has served under 8 Chief Judges who would all reflect that his service to the 10th Judicial Circuit’s court system and Peoria County has been invaluable – Michael E. Brandt, Chief Judge Tenth Judicial Circuit

State of the Circuit

  1. Veterans Treatment court is adding one of the first operational mentoring programs in the State.

  2. The Odyssey case management system is up and running in Peoria County

  3. The new local rules have been completed and are available on the County’s website.

  4. Peoria Landlord/Tenant Court with the collaboration of Prairie State Legal Services has added a legal service help desk at the courthouse on Tuesdays.

  5. Peoria County has an e-filing initiative with the bar association and in conjunction with Supreme Court mandates.

  6. Tazewell County has begun discussions for a long-term e-filing project.

Access to Justice

The new Peoria County Self Help Center/Law Library is up and running. Illinois Legal Aid Online holds out Peoria County as a “Courthouse Model I” – a separate space, courthouse location, fully staffed, open during courthouse hours and with a viable funding plan. Statewide forms are on their way – name change.

Tenth Circuit Trial Court Administrator

Please welcome Rená Parker who has been selected as the new 10th Circuit Trial Court Administrator to replace John Flynn who is retiring at the end of the year. The selection was made by a committee of circuit judges designated by the ten 10th Circuit judges. The committee members were Chief Judge-elect Stephen Kouri who will assume office on January 1, 2014, current Chief Judge Michael Brandt, Judge John Vespa, and Judge Kevin Lyons. Rená Parker formerly worked as chief administrator for the Peoria County States Attorney’s Office. She will begin official duties starting January 2, 2014. However, she will be at the courthouse during the transition period meeting people and reviewing matters. – Michael E. Brandt, Chief Judge Tenth Judicial Circuit

Peoria County Pro Bono Plan

By Sandra Crow, Pro Bono Coordinator, scrow@pslegal.org

We would like to thank the following attorneys and their staff who have recently closed pro bono cases: Lou Benassi, Kirk Bode (2 cases), Aaron Brakke, Susan Dawson-Tibbits, Courtney Dean (Caterpillar), Jeff Krumpe, Robert Muir Michael Nordwall, Robert Parker, Linda Watson, Sadiq Shariff, Michael Sposato (Caterpillar) and Steven Wakeman.


Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone. It is a time to thank you for all the time and commitment to help those less fortunate. The hours are not yet fully tabulated for the year, but to date there are approximately 1,800 hours of pro bono time.  You have represented 158 clients and two wills clinics have been held. This is yet another successful year for our program. We have begun a project with the Public Interest Law Initiative under the leadership of Judge Lisa Wilson and Judge Paul Gilfillan. This will result in new and innovative ways to help people in our community. The Peoria County Pro Bono Plan began its Expungement/Sealing Project. The goal is to assist clients in being self-sufficient by increased ability and opportunity to seek better employment. We will be moving into the technology age this year as we start to post volunteer opportunities online and sending those opportunities directly to you. More information will be coming to you in the months ahead.

As we begin a new year, I ask for your input on what you would like to see in this small article each month. Are you interested in hearing about a specific case each month? Would you like to see a volunteer highlighted? I want to use this opportunity to inform everyone as to what is going on in your program. I am the Coordinator, but I am not the person who directly helps the clients. I want to find better ways to serve you, also, as you are what make this great program work. Please email your thoughts.

Access to Justice… After Hours 2013

Prairie State Legal services, Inc. wishes to thank everyone who made the October 17, Access to Justice…After Hours 2013 auction fundraiser an enormous success! The event raised $11,940! The money raised will be used to help fund civil legal services to the poor in our community. A special thank you to the PCBA for donating the auction booklets for the event, musicians Derel Monteith, John Cheek, Mike Nellas and Jason Brannon for providing the music, our live auctioneer Jim Nelson, Prairie State’s Campaign Committee for organizing the event and donating many of the auction items, and to Jerry and Nancy Weaver of Weaver Ridge Golf Club for partnering with Prairie State to provide the venue, desserts and auction items.

Prairie State Legal Services is the only not-for-profit legal services law firm in the Peoria area. Prairie State provides civil legal services to the poor to protect the client’s basic human needs, including helping the client maintain public benefits, shelter and physical safety. Prairie State never charges its clients a fee for these services and relies solely on grants and private donations to provide these services. Thank you for your support of Prairie State Legal Services.
Access to Justice photo montage below:  Brian Seckler and John Bathke; Ashley Miller and Marwin Spiller; Athena and Joshua Herman; Nathan and Nicky Bach and Ron Hanna; Bob Jennetten, Deana Denny and John Kamin; Tim Bertschy, Sonni Williams and Angela Evans; Jennifer Bonesteel, Vincent Boyle and Jeffrey Bach.


















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Prairie State Legal Services

Prairie State Legal Services offers free legal services for low income persons.