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David J. Alexander is a Principal in the Real Estate Practice Group at Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd., in Chicago, where he advises clients in regard to complex real estate transactions, including the acquisition, disposition, financing, and leasing of shopping centers, retail, office, a industrial buildings, and residences. Prior to joining Masuda Funai, Mr. Alexander was in-house counsel for a publicly traded real estate investment trust in the Chicago area. Mr. Alexander is a member of the American, Illinois State, and Chicago Bar Associations, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Real Estate Investment Association. He has authored numerous articles on various real estate matters in publications such as the Illinois State Bar Association’s Real Estate Law Newsletter. Mr. Alexander received his B.A. from Eastern Illinois University and his J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
William J. Anaya is an Officer at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., in Chicago, where he focuses on environmental, administrative, and real estate law. He has written and spoken for organizations including the American and Illinois State Bar Associations and IICLE®. He was named an Illinois Leading Lawyer in Environmental Law in 2018 and an Illinois Super Lawyer in 2006 – 2009 and 2013 – 2018. He is a former Chair of the IICLE® Board of Directors. Mr. Anaya received his B.A. from Purdue University and his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
Richard F. Bales is Assistance Regional Counsel at Chicago Title Insurance Company in Lisle. He concentrates his practice in real estate law. He is a member of the American Land Title Association/National Society of Professional Surveyors liaison committee that drafts the national land title survey standards, was recognized as Northern Illinois University College of Law’s 2015 Alum of the Year, and is the author of THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE AND THE MYTH OF MRS O’LEARY’S COW. Mr. Bales received his B.A. from Illinois College and his J.D. from Northern Illinois University College of Law.
Scott R. Borstein is a Partner with Neal & Leroy, LLC, in Chicago, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate transactions and finance, development and land use, and zoning. His land use experience is wide ranging, including appearances before municipal and county boards, commissions, and committees on matters such as zoning, landmarks, vacations and subdivisions. In addition, Mr. Borstein possesses significant experience in a broad range of real estate matters, including the acquisition and disposition of commercial properties and the negotiation of construction documents and lease agreements — including serving as lead zoning counsel on one of the largest planned developments in the City of Chicago’s history. He represented the City of Chicago and the Chicago Music and Dance Theater in the Planned Development and Lakefront Protection Ordinance process for Chicago’s Millennium Park, represented North Park University in all phases of the development of its Master Plan for its 18-acre campus on the city’s northwest side, and represented Comcast in connection with the development of its Regional Technical Facility in Homewood. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Chicago Bar Association. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of land use and zoning matters. Mr. Borstein received his B.A. cum laude from Miami University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was Associate Editor of the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal.
Matthew E. Cohn is an Officer at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., in Chicago, where he focuses on environmental law. He is the Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Environmental Transaction and Brownfields Committee and a member of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section Council. Mr. Cohn received his B.S. in geology with honors from Bucknell University, his M.S. in geology from Indiana University, and his J.D. with honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Ronald S. Cope is a Partner at Nixon Peabody, LLP, where he focuses on complex land use matters such as local government zoning and annexation approvals and litigation in trial and appellate courts. He also works on the creation of finance tools such as tax increment financing (TIF) districts, special service areas (SSA), and redevelopment agreements. He is a member of the Chicago, Illinois State, and American Bar Associations. Mr. Cope received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Chicago.
Karen G. Courtney is a commercial underwriting attorney with Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., in Chicago, where she works with attorneys and lenders in underwriting all aspects of commercial real estate transactions. She is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars offered by ATG. From 2011 to 2016, Ms. Courtney also served as Managing Attorney of ATG’s Short Sale Coordination Department. Ms. Courtney has been a Member of the Real Estate Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association since 2016. Prior to joining ATG, Ms. Courtney practiced law as an associate attorney with the Law Offices of Smith, Rickert & Smith. She received her B.A. from the University of Central Arkansas and her J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law.
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Paul J. Evans is the Principal Attorney of the Evans Law Firm, P.C., in O’Fallon, where concentrates his practice in the areas of agricultural law, real estate, and estate planning. Mr. Evans is a member of the Illinois State, Missouri, and St. Clair County Bar Associations and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. He has served on the Agricultural Law Section Council of the ISBA since 1995 in various capacities, including serving as Council Chair in 2002 – 2003. Mr. Evans has written articles for the ISBA Section Council’s Agricultural Law newsletter and has been a presenter for ISBA. His clients include private landowners and local land trusts, and he has spoken to nonprofit organizations on issues of land preservation. Mr. Evans earned his B.S. and J.D. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
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David A. Fernandes is a Staff Attorney and Office Supervisor for First Community Title Services, in Champaign, where he focuses his practice on real property and title insurance. Mr. Fernandes has been in private and corporate practice for more than 30 years. He is also a certified trust and financial advisor (CTFA). Mr. Fernandes is a member of various professional organizations, including the Champaign County and Illinois State Bar Association (Past Chair of the ISBA Professional Conduct Committee and committee member for more than 15 years). He earned his B.S. from the University of Tulsa, his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law at Champaign-Urbana, and is a graduate with Honors of the ABA National Trust School and National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University.
Michael Filipski is the President and Founder of Compass Surveying, Ltd., in Aurora, where he has been practicing as a professional land surveyor in northeastern Illinois for over 30 years. He focuses on construction surveying, land boundary problems, right-of-way determination, and land development for residential, commercial, and municipal projects. Having founded the company in 1983, Mr. Filipski has served as President of the Northeast Chapter of the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association and has been a member of the Illinois Land Title and the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Associations, the Missouri Association of Registered Land Surveyors, and the National and Wisconsin Societies of Professional Land Surveyors. Mr. Filipski served as Editor of the book ILLINOIS LAWS RELATING TO SURVEYS, TITLE AND REAL PROPERTY and has also contributed to ILLLINOIS LAND BOUNDARIES and IICLE®’s RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE (2011).
Joseph P. Gattuso is a Partner with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, in Chicago, where he concentrates in the areas land use, zoning, historic preservation, and other regulatory matters; development incentives; acquisition of publicly owned property; liquor and business licensing issues; building and life-safety code compliance; right-of-way adjustments; and subdivisions. He has obtained land use, subdivision, and license approvals for a broad range of land uses, from single-family homes to major industrial facilities. He has obtained a variety of government approvals for numerous significant developments in Chicago and surrounding municipalities. Mr. Gattuso also has considerable experience in affordable and supportive housing developments. Prior to practicing government regulatory law, he served as a Zoning Planner with the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals, from 1978 to 1987. He is a member of the Chicago and American Bar Associations. He provides pro bono counsel for a number of civic and social service organizations and holds leadership positions in municipal governance organizations, including Woodstock Plan Commission (member, 1994 – 1995), Advisory Committee on the Historic Woodstock Square, the Chicago Mayor’s Business License Reform Committee, and the Chicago Permitting and Inspection Task Force. Mr. Gattuso has been awarded an AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law, where he was a member of the law review.
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Keith W. Groebe is a Principal at Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd., in Chicago, where he represents clients throughout the United States in connection with industrial, commercial, corporate, agricultural, residential, entertainment, and hospitality real estate. His clients include developers, lenders, investors, buyers and sellers, and represent all sectors of the real estate business. He is nationally recognized in the field of site selection, economic development incentive procurement, and foreign direct investment (FDI), having been personally involved in over 300 FDI projects. Mr. Groebe has authored numerous articles and spoken locally and internationally on real estate issues, such as site selection, economic development incentives, and foreign investment in U.S. real estate. Mr. Groebe has served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Illinois. He was selected as a Super Lawyer (2005 – 2008, 2017), a Top Lawyer in Illinois (2016), and a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent in Real Property Law for 25 consecutive years (2017). He is a member of the Chicago (Past Chair of the CBA Subcommittee on Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate), Illinois, and American Bar Associations. He earned both his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Illinois and his J.D. from DePaul University.
Jack Guthman is Partner Emeritus at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, in Chicago, where he focuses his practices in land use and zoning. He often represents developers requiring zoning changes, planned development ordinances, and other relief as a precondition to the development process. Mr. Guthman’s experience also includes landmark, vacation, dedication and easement, traffic and transportation, water and sewer, aviation, and legislative matters as they relate to development. Mr. Guthman lectures widely before professional groups and at law schools on the administrative and regulatory process. Additionally, he served as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (1990 – 2011) and the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (2010 – 2014). He has written chapters on the interface of government and development for texts published by Dow Jones-Irwin and Wiley Law Publications. For 17 years, he was a member of the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals, acting as its Chair for the last 12 of those years. He was inducted into the Chicago Association of Realtors’ Hall of Fame in 1992, in recognition of his achievements in the real estate industry, and has been described by Crain’s Chicago Business as “zoning’s number 1 lawyer.” He serves on the boards of numerous civic, arts, and philanthropic institutions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art. Mr. Guthman earned his B.A. from Northwestern University and his J.D. and L.L.B. from Yale Law School.
Timothy J. Hammersmith, Jr., is a Principal at Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd., in Chicago, where his primary areas of practice include a broad spectrum of real estate disciplines with particular focus on the sale, purchase, new construction and leasing of commercial, industrial, retail, multifamily dwelling, and other type properties. He represents both landlords and tenants with respect to various leasing matters, not only including lease negotiations but also negotiating complex construction/tenant build-out contracts. Mr. Hammersmith also handles various real estate litigation matters related to disputes over title to real estate, property boundary disputes, easements rights and rights of ingress and egress, landlord-tenant contract disputes, and title insurance claims. A further significant area of focus of Mr. Hammersmith’s practice concerns real estate taxation matters. This work includes contesting real estate tax assessments on commercial, industrial, and multifamily investment grade properties, representing not-for-profit entities in the area of real estate tax exemptions, representing industrial use clients in obtaining real estate tax incentives, and tax increment financing, as well as real estate tax leasehold issues. He is a frequent author and lecturer on real estate issues such as taxation, site selection and real estate development incentives, and landlord/tenant matters. For two years, he also served as an adjunct professor for The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He has served on the Illinois State Bar Association’s State and Local Taxation Section Council, serving as Chair of the Section Council from 1997 – 1998. Mr. Hammersmith earned his B.S. from the University of South Florida and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School, where he was a member of The John Marshall Law Review.
R. Kymn Harp is a Shareholder with Robbins, Salomon & Patt, Ltd., in Chicago, where he focuses his practice on commercial real estate and business. Mr. Harp has been Chair of the Business and Real Estate Transactions Group at Robbins, Salomon & Patt, Ltd., since 2013. He is a frequent presenter at IICLE® programs, including the Annual Real Estate Short Course, and is the author and moderator for www.Harp-OnThis.com, a commercial real estate and business blog. Mr. Harp has received awards and recognitions, including the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review (Rated AV – Preeminent, for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability), a multiyear selection as an Illinois Super Lawyer, and the Illinois Lincoln Award for Excellence in Legal Writing. He is a member of the Illinois, Indiana, and New Mexico State Bar Associations. Mr. Harp earned his B.A. from Wabash College and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School.
Joel M. Hurwitz is of Counsel at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP, in Chicago, with a broad-based practice focusing on the representation of corporations, high net worth individuals and financial institutions, pertaining to real estate transactions; development and leasing; trust and estate administration; corporate formation and operating issues; elder law matters; and lending related matters, including asset-based lending, letters of credit, mortgage lending and workouts. Mr. Hurwitz taught real estate drafting at Chicago Kent Law School. Mr. Hurwitz formerly served as the chairman of Arnstein & Lehr’s Commercial and Real Estate Finance Transactions Group and as co-chairman of the firm’s Real Estate Department. He attended the University of Oslo, Norway, and earned his B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
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Lowell B. Krahn has worked for Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG since 2002), first as a law clerk and then as an attorney for the Commercial Department. He currently works with ATG member attorneys, lenders, closers, and non-ATG attorneys in underwriting all aspects of both commercial and residential transactions. Mr. Krahn also works closely with parties on post-foreclosure transactions and has experience underwriting properties that have been through the foreclosure process. He is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and is also a licensed attorney in the State of Florida. Mr. Krahn received his B.A. with distinction from the University of Colorado, his L.L.M. with honors and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School.
Eugene S. Kraus is a Partner with Scott & Kraus, LLC, in Chicago, where focuses his practice on the areas of products liability and commercial litigation matters, and he represents financial institutions in the areas of bank fraud, workouts and foreclosures, and trust issues. He has tried bench and jury cases to verdict in both state and federal courts. Mr. Kraus is a member of the American, Illinois State, and Chicago Bar Associations. He received his B.A. from Lake Forest College and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.
Dean W. Krone is a Partner at Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP, in Arlington Heights, where he represents municipalities, school districts, and other units of local government. He divides his time between corporate work and litigation on issues including zoning and planning, annexation and disconnection, eminent domain, finance, code enforcement, and taxation. He has spoken to the Illinois Municipal League, the Municipal Clerks of Illinois Association, the Illinois Government Finance Officers Association, and other professional associations on issues concerning local government and has coauthored articles for the Illinois Municipal Review and IICLE®. He is a member of the American and Illinois State Bar Associations. Prior to entering private practice, he served as law clerk to Judge William T. Hart of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Krone received his B.S. and J.D. from the University of Chicago, where he served as a member of the University of Chicago Law Review.
James S. Levi is a Partner at Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP, in Arlington Heights, where he serves as general counsel to school districts, municipalities, park districts, and other units of local government with a concentration in construction, real estate, and finance matters. Mr. Levi has extensive experience with public and private sector clients in these areas, within the realm of judicial and administrative proceedings, as well as alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Mr. Levi is the former Chair of the School Law Committee of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. He is the coauthor of Selecting and Contracting with Construction Managers, From the Ground Up: Legal Issues in School Construction, a publication of the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys. Mr. Levi served on the Fort Sheridan Joint Plan Commission from 2010 to 2011 and as an Alderman to the City of Highwood from 2011 to 2015. While in law school, he served an externship for the Honorable Ruben Castillo, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Prior to entering law school, he worked for Kemper Financial Services in equity management. Mr. Levi previously was associated with the law firm of Arnstein & Lehr, where he was a Member of the commercial real estate practice group and concentrated his practice in the area of commercial lending. Mr. Levi is licensed to practice law in both Illinois and California. Mr. Levi earned his B.S. cum laude from Loyola University-Chicago and his J.D. with honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Brian Patrick Liston is a Partner at Liston & Tsantilis, P.C., in Chicago, where he concentrates his practice in land use. He has been ranked a Leading Lawyer in Land Use for nine consecutive years, is President of Liston Equities, and is a member of the John Purdue Club. He received his B.S. from Purdue University, his M.B.A. from Saint Xavier University, and his J.D. from UIC John Marshall Law School.
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Jeffrey A. Mollet practices at Silver Lake Group, Ltd., in Highland, where he focuses his practice on banking and finance, real estate, and agriculture. He represents numerous financial institutions, providing support for general and complex loan transactions, employment matters, secured transactions, and commercial litigation. He also provides representation in bankruptcy matters and advises and counsels clients with respect to loan work-outs and general business and operational issues. Raised on a livestock and grain farm in Bond County, he is a lifelong resident of southern Illinois. Mr. Mollet is a frequent speaker and published author on agricultural topics. He is a Coeditor and chapter author for ILLINOIS LAW AND AGRIBUSINESS (IICLE® 2003, Supp. 2005; available in some law libraries). He served as Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Agricultural Law Section Council (2005 – 2006) and has been the Council’s newsletter editor for many years. He was also a speaker on venture capital and financing at the Illinois Coalition for Animal Agriculture Symposium (2002) and spoke on the topic of “Organizing New Generation Cooperatives” for the American Agricultural Law Association (2001). He earned his B.S. from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and his J.D. from St. Louis University Law School.
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Dennis J. Powers is a Partner at DLA Piper LLP (US) in Chicago, where he focuses on construction law and real estate and commercial litigation. He has been selected to Best Lawyers in America in the area of construction law, been designated an Illinois Super Lawyer in construction litigation, and is a member of the American and Chicago Bar Associations and the Construction Law Forum. Mr. Powers received his B.S. from Western Illinois University and his J.D. from the DePaul University College of Law.
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Sharilee Kempa Smentek is a Partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP, in Chicago, where she concentrates her practice in commercial litigation, employment litigation, and products liability defense. She has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer Rising Star (2010, 2013 – 2017), an Emerging Lawyer (2015, 2016), and received Corporate Vision Magazine’s 2017 Legal Excellence Award. Ms. Smentek earned her B.S. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her J.D. summa cum laude, Order of the Coif from DePaul University College of Law.
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Jack H. Tibbetts is the Assistant Village Attorney for the Village of Oak Park, where he concentrates his practice in real estate law. Mr. Tibbetts has written for previous editions of IICLE®’s REAL ESTATE LITIGATION and RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE. He is a current member and former Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Real Estate Law Section Council, was one of the drafters of the 1987 Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law, and has lectured on the subjects of defense of mortgage foreclosure, land use, and zoning issues at many programs. He received both his B.A. and his J.D from Northwestern University.
Peter Tsantilis is a Partner at Liston & Tsantilis, P.C., in Chicago, where he concentrates his practice in real estate tax appeals and incentives, land use/zoning, complex industrial and commercial real estate transactions/leasing, and eminent domain litigation. He is a member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the NAIOP Chicago Legislative Committee. Mr. Tsantilis was named one of the 40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch (2013), an Emerging Leading Lawyer (2015 – 2017), and a Leading Lawyer (2018 – 2020). He earned his B.B.A. summa cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Business Administration and his J.D. cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
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