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Jennifer T. Beach is Special Counsel at Jenner & Block LLP, in Chicago, where she focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, appellate issues, and ERISA. Ms. Beach is a Steering Committee Member of Jenner & Block’s Women’s Forum, a Member of the Chicago Bar Association, and a Board Member of the Girls in the Game Auxiliary Board. She earned her J.D. magna cum laude from Washington University School of Law, where she was Order of the Coif; her M.S. from Washington University George Warren Brown School of Social Work; and her B.A. summa cum laude from Washington University, Phi Beta Kappa.
Nicole C. Berg is an attorney, in Chicago, with experience in a variety of civil litigation matters, both at the trial and appellate level. Ms. Berg served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jay S. Bybee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Berg received her J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Illinois, her M.A. from the University of Chicago, and her B.S. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before law school, Ms. Berg worked as an equity options trader in Chicago.
Laura C. Bishop is a Chicago attorney who focuses her practice on litigation. Ms. Bishop is a Board Member of the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic and a Member of the American and Chicago Bar Associations. She earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as a Managing Editor of the Harvard Environmental Law Review. Prior to law school, she served as the Chief Research Assistant to Hon. Richard A. Posner at the University of Chicago Law School.
Elizabeth P. Butler concentrates her practice in juvenile law in Cook, Lake, and DuPage Counties. She serves as a court-appointed attorney for the Cook County Juvenile Court, receiving appointments to represents parents and minors in trial and appellate proceedings. She also represents parents and foster parents in administrative proceedings conducted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She is a Member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyer’s Association, Chicago Bar Association (Past Chair of the Juvenile Law Committee), and the Illinois State Bar Association. Ms. Butler volunteers as a senior child advocate for the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. She received her J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago.
Stacy E. Crabtree is an attorney with Caterpillar Inc., in Peoria. During law school, Ms. Crabtree served as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Corrigan and interned with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. She also participated on the school’s mock trial team and was an editor for the Florida Coastal Law Review. Ms. Crabtree earned her B.A. summa cum laude from Bradley University and her J.D. summa cum laude from Florida Coastal School of Law.
Karen Kies DeGrand leads the appellate practice of Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC, in Chicago. She has extensive experience representing clients before the appellate and Supreme Courts of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the appellate and Supreme Courts of Wisconsin and Indiana. In addition, she advises trial counsel regarding preservation of issues for appeal and handles posttrial proceedings. An experienced trial lawyer, Ms. DeGrand defends attorneys and physicians in a wide range of professional liability matters. She has defended attorneys in a variety of practice areas including criminal defense, domestic relations, transactional work, estate planning, and tort litigation. Ms. DeGrand also has successfully litigated products-liability actions and business and insurance coverage disputes. She has guided her clients through insurance disputes involving contested interpretations of professional liability and commercial general liability policies. A Member and Past President of the Appellate Lawyers Association, Ms. DeGrand received her law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law, where she served as an associate editor of the University of Illinois Law Review. She received her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, where she was awarded the Bronze Tablet, the University’s highest recognition for academic excellence.
Brad A. Elward, Peoria, concentrates in appellate cases and workers’ compensation. He is a Past President of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association and an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. Mr. Elward received his B.S. from the University of Illinois and his J.D. magna cum laude from Southern Illinois University School of Law.
Sabrina N. Guenther is a litigation associate at Jenner & Block LLP, in Chicago. She has experience in complex civil litigation, privacy and information governance counseling, and international and national internal investigations. Ms. Guenther has assisted in all aspects of commercial contract and insurance coverage litigation. She also advises businesses on a variety of privacy and information governance issues. Ms. Guenther maintains an active pro bono practice. She has represented indigent clients both at the trial and appellate levels. During law school, Ms. Guenther worked in the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, where she helped research and draft petitions for certiorari and merits briefs for cases pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.
William P. Hardy is a Partner with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, in Springfield, focusing on civil appeals before Illinois intermediate appellate courts, the Supreme Court of Illinois, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He also maintains an active litigation practice and has tried cases before juries, judges, arbitrators, and various administrative agencies. Mr. Hardy is a Past President of the Appellate Lawyers Association and remains active as Cochair of the Past Presidents Committee. From 1994 to 2002, Mr. Hardy served as a contractual administrative law judge for the Illinois Department of Public Health, where he presided over more than 50 administrative hearings in cases involving alleged abuse and neglect in nursing homes. He received his J.D. cum laude from Southern Illinois University School of Law, where he served on the Law Review and as President of the Moot Court Board.
Kara Kapp is a member with Cozen O’Connor, in Chicago, where she concentrates her practice in appellate, commercial litigation, and criminal defense. Ms. Kapp is Amicus Committee Chair of Women Lawyers on Guard, has been named a 2018 Rising Star by SuperLawyers, D.C., and received a 2014 Seventh Circuit Bar Association Pro Bono and Public Service Team Award. She earned her J.D. from Stanford Law School, her M.A. from Stanford University, and her B.A. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, where she received the Downey Family Prize in environmental studies.
Jason F. Krigel is an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, in Chicago. Previously, he worked as an associate at Jenner & Block LLP, in Chicago, in the firm’s Litigation Department and Professional Responsibility Practice Group. He served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Joan B. Gottschall in the Northern District of Illinois, and he received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Before attending law school, Mr. Krigel worked as a political consultant and fundraiser.
Brett E. Legner is the Deputy Solicitor General of Illinois. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Attorney General of Illinois in the Civil Appeals Division. Mr. Legner has filed over 300 appellate briefs and presented more than 90 appellate arguments, including to the U.S. Supreme Court, Illinois Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and every Illinois appellate district. For the last 15 years, he has served as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, teaching Appellate Advocacy, Advanced Legal Writing, and State Constitutional Law. Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, he was a law clerk to the Honorable Robert V. Boharic of the Circuit Court of Cook County Chancery Division. Mr. Legner graduated from DePaul University College of Law with honors and as a member of the Order of the Coif. He earned his B.A. with honors from Northwestern University.
Barry Levenstam is a Partner at Jenner & Block LLP, in Chicago, where his practice emphasizes civil and criminal appellate litigation, as well as complex civil litigation. He has served as counsel for parties or amici in more than 100 appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals across the country, the Illinois Supreme Court and appellate courts, and various other states’ appellate and supreme courts. During law school, Mr. Levenstam served as a judicial extern for the Hon. Robert J. Steigmann. Mr. Levenstam clerked for Judge Philip W. Tone on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Mr. Levenstam is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. He maintains an active pro bono practice and undertakes appointments from the Seventh Circuit frequently. The Federal Bar Association recognized Mr. Levenstam with the Walter J. Cummings Award “for excellence in advocacy on the part of appointed counsel” before the Seventh Circuit (1995), and the Seventh Circuit Bar Association honored him with its First Annual Justice John Paul Stevens Pro Bono Award (2010). Mr. Levenstam has lectured for the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and the DuPage County Bar Association on preserving error for appeal and on appellate practice generally.
Sarah A. Palmer is an attorney focused on appellate and commercial litigation. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she served on the board of the Michigan Law Review. Ms. Palmer was an associate at Jenner & Block LLP until September 2014, when she began practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Brij B. Patnaik is an associate in Jenner & Block LLP’s litigation department, in Chicago, where he has represented clients in complex commercial litigation, securities litigation, internal investigations, and a variety of appeals. He graduated from Grinnell College and the University of Iowa College of Law with distinction.
Emily Perkins is an associate at Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, in Peoria, where she concentrates on employment/labor law, governmental law, Section 1983 civil rights litigation, and medical malpractice. Ms. Perkins was named to the Law Bulletin Publishing Company's list of Illinois Emerging Lawyers (2018) and has won the Winter National Law Review 2014 Writing Competition. She is received her J.D. from Northern Illinois University College of Law, her M.B.A. from Bradley University, and her B.S. from Illinois State University.
Hon. Clare J. Quish is a judge on the Circuit Court of Cook County in the First Municipal District. She previously was a Partner with Schuyler, Roche & Crisham, P.C., in Chicago, where she worked in the areas of appellate practice and commercial and civil litigation. Judge Quish is President of the Appellate Lawyers Association, and she previously served on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Character and Fitness for the First Judicial District. Judge Quish is a former adjunct professor of Appellate Advocacy at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a former judicial law clerk to Justice Mary Jane Theis, formerly on the Illinois Appellate Court. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her J.D. cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Michael A. Scodro is a Partner in the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice at Mayer Brown LLP in Chicago. He previously served as the Illinois Solicitor General, overseeing the civil and criminal appeals divisions in the state Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Scodro has argued dozens of cases in federal and state supreme and appellate courts, including three in the U.S. Supreme Court. He is Chair of the ABA’s Council of Appellate Lawyers, first Vice President of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility, Past President of the Appellate Lawyers Association, a Member of the American Law Institute, and a 2010 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow. Mr. Scodro teaches a seminar on U.S. Supreme Court practice as a Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School and speaks frequently on appellate practice. Mr. Scodro earned his A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was Executive Editor of the Yale Law Journal and Articles Editor of the Yale Journal of International Law. After graduating from law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brian M. Smith is a Partner at Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C., in Urbana, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of civil rights, professional liability, employment law, education, and trucking/motor carrier litigation. Mr. Smith has been named to the Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s list of Illinois Emerging Lawyers (2015 – 2018) and as an Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star (2012 – 2017). He received his B.A. from the University of Illinois and his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.
Gretchen Harris Sperry is a Partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, in Chicago. Ms. Sperry clerked for the Honorable Mary Jane Theis and the Honorable Maureen E. Connors in the Illinois Appellate Court. She was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Character and Fitness Committee of the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, and she serves as the Secretary of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association. Ms. Sperry received her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Natalie Thompson is an associate at Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C., in Peoria. She represents corporate and individual clients in the areas of tort, commercial, and contract law. She handles a variety of cases from automobile accidents to professional liability. She also practices in appellate advocacy and handles cases in the Illinois Appellate Courts and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Thompson also handles workers’ compensation appeals before the circuit courts and the Appellate Court, Workers’ Compensation Commission Division. She is on the Board of Directors of the Appellate Lawyers Association and is a member of the Appellate Lawyers Association’s Seminars Committee.
Craig L. Unrath is a Partner at Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C., in Peoria, and is Chair of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group and Vice Chair of the Professional Regulation/Licensure Practice Group. Mr. Unrath is Chair of the Amicus Committee for the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel and has been named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list (2008 – 2018). He earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois and his B.A. from Shimer College.
Nadine J. Wichern is Chief of the Office of Civil Appeals Division of the Attorney General of Illinois, in Chicago. Ms. Wichern is a member of the Appellate Lawyers Association and a writing and advocacy instructor at local law schools. She was an NAAG United States Supreme Court Fellow (2005) and was a law clerk for the Honorable William J. Bauer for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (2000 – 2001). She graduated with honors from the DePaul College of Law and from Indiana University.
Jonny A. Zajac is a fourth-year associate at Jenner & Block LLP in its Chicago litigation department. Mr. Zajac has experience in all stages of litigation with a focus on commercial litigation and white collar practice. He also maintains an active pro bono practice in both civil and criminal proceedings. Mr. Zajac received his law degree cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Law and his undergraduate degree with high honors and high distinction from the University of Michigan.
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