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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.
Ronald S. Cope is a Partner at Schain, Banks, Kenny & Schwartz, Ltd., in Chicago, where he focuses his practice on complex land use matters and litigation in trial and appellate courts and municipal finance. He is a frequent writer and speaker for numerous organizations, including IICLE®, the American Bar Association, and the Illinois Municipal League, and has taught business law courses at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is a member of the American, Illinois State, and Chicago Bar Associations. Mr. Cope received both his B.A. and his 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 focuses her practice on real estate and title insurance. She has served as an advisory member of the Forms Committee of the American Land Title Association and was a member of the ISBA Real Estate Law Section Council (2016 – 2018). 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.
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.
Keith W. Groebe is a Principal at Masuda Funai in Chicago, where he focuses on real estate. He is a member of the American and Chicago Bar Associations and Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent in Real Property Law. Mr. Groebe received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Illinois and his J.D. from the DePaul University College of Law.
Timothy J. Hammersmith, Jr., is a Principal at Masuda Funai in Chicago, where his primary areas of practice include a broad spectrum of real estate disciplines. 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 University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. 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 University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, where he was a member of the law review.
R. Kymn Harp is a Shareholder and Chair of the Business and Real Estate Transactions Practice Group at Robbins, Salomon & Patt, Ltd., in Chicago, where he focuses his practice on commercial real estate. Mr. Harp is a prolific writer and frequent speaker on a wide range of topics related to his practice including publications for IICLE® and his publication of ILLINOIS COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: DUE DILIGENCE TO CLOSING WITH CHECKLISTS. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, Indiana State Bar Association, and State Bar of New Mexico and serves on the ISBA Real Estate Law Section Council. Mr. Harp earned his B.A. from Wabash College and his J.D. from UIC John Marshall Law School.
Joel M. Hurwitz is Of Counsel to Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP in Chicago, where he focuses his practice on real estate, commercial lending, trusts, and estate planning. He is a former Chair and current member of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Professional Conduct Committee, a Highland Park Public Library Trustee, and a member of the University of Pittsburgh Honors College Board of Visitors. He has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer for over ten years. He received his B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Jennifer Katherman is an associate with Greensfelder Attorneys at Law, in St. Louis, Missouri, where she focuses her practice on business services and real estate. Before joining Greensfelder, Ms. Katherman handled corporate transactions as an associate at a Providence, Rhode Island, law firm. She previously interned with the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Security, and Banking and spent a decade living in Shanghai, China. She earned her B.A. magna cum laude from Emory University and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.
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 at Scott & Kraus, LLC, in Chicago, where he focuses his practice on banking, commercial, and real estate litigation. He has tried bench and jury cases to verdict in both state and federal courts and 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.
Jason R. Sleezer is a Partner with Scott & Kraus, LLC, in Chicago, where he concentrates his practice in commercial litigation. He is a member of the DuPage County, Chicago, and Illinois State Bar Associations. Mr. Sleezer received his B.A. with honors from North Central College, where he was a College Honors Scholar and a Richter Fellow, and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law, where he was a Sullivan Fellow.
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.
Robert J. Taylor is a Shareholder at Roetzel & Andress in Chicago, where he focuses his practice on real estate and commercial lending and leasing. He is a member of the Chicago and American Bar Associations and has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer (2019 – 2021). Mr. Taylor received his B.S. from the University of Illinois and his J.D. and Certificate in Environmental Law from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
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