The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Civility has honored Melissa A. Cooney and three other McHenry County attorneys for their commendable work.
The four were praised for their efforts at the McHenry County Legal Aid Awards on May 26, 2015. All of the honorees rendered outstanding pro bono service to clients of Prairie State Legal Services.
At the luncheon event, Commission Executive Director Jayne Reardon gave the keynote address titled “Service: The Cornerstone of the Profession.” McHenry County Bar Association President Carlos Arévalo offered welcoming remarks and Associate Judge Robert A. Wilbrandt, Jr. of the 22nd Judicial Circuit presented the awards with Reardon and offered remarks.
Melissa Cooney was recognized for her admirable work in taking a pro bono divorce case that already was in progress.
The program for the event included comments by Cooney about why she devotes time to pro bono service, despite her busy practice.
“Making time for volunteering is not that difficult. I handle a pro bono case just like any other. When something needs to be filed or responded to, you do it in a timely fashion. You can’t put the pro bono case off to the side and get to it when you have extra time.
“I think it is everyone’s responsibility to take a legal aid client or other pro bono client and to have one such client at least once a year,” she says. “It takes time, but it reflects well on us all. We are helping someone out, and there is always enough time to take one on.”
Also acknowledged were Steve Greeley for outstanding support of Prairie State Legal Services, Peter Carroll for longtime volunteer service as a solo practitioner and Michelle Gehris for handing multiple cases in a year as a solo practitioner.
Michael J. Smoron and Jennifer J. Gibson have been honored by Law Bulletin Publishing Company and its Leading Lawyers division for being among the most accomplished attorneys in private practice in Illinois. The designation is reserved for less than 5 percent of registered Illinois lawyers.
Smoron was named a Leading Lawyer in two broad areas of law: Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law; and Land Use, Zoning & Condemnation Law. Leading Lawyers recognized Gibson, who boasts a long list of appellate litigation experience, in the field of Civil Appellate Law.
Also, Leading Lawyers named Ryan P. Farrell to its inaugural class of Emerging Lawyers. In creating the list, Law Bulletin Publishing Company asked the top attorneys in the state to name the talented up-and-coming lawyers who will lead the profession in the coming years. The designation is reserved for lawyers who have not surpassed age 40 or who have practiced law for no more than 10 years. They account for less than 2 percent of registered attorneys in Illinois.
In building its Leading Lawyers list, the company conducted extensive statewide surveys asking: “If you couldn’t take a case in your area of law, to whom would you refer a family member or friend?” Lawyers could not nominate themselves or any lawyers at their own firm. All recommendations were approved by the Leading Lawyers Advisory Board, eliminating the possibility of lawyers being selected through a popularity contest.
Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, the largest law firm in McHenry County, Illinois, now has six Leading Lawyers among its ranks. In addition to Smoron and Gibson, Richard G. Flood, David W. McArdle, David J. Loughnane and Melissa J. Cooney received the recognition previously. Additionally, both Flood and McArdle have been included on Leading Lawyers’ lists of the Top 10 Suburban Chicago Real Estate-Related Lawyers.
In early April, two Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle attorneys, Carlos A. Arévalo and Ruth Alderman Schlossberg, were appointed to prominent posts in the Illinois State Bar Association, an organization of about 30,000 Illinois attorneys.
Arévalo accepted two ISBA appointments. During the 2015-2016 year under which the association operates, he will serve as vice chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section Council. Simultaneously, Arévalo will be a member of the Employee Benefits Section Council.
The mission of the Labor & Employment Law Section Council is:
- to inform section members and the public of important developments in labor law through meetings, newsletters, public appearances, news releases, etc.;
- to review and comment on proposed legislation and regulations in the labor law field;
- to foster opportunity for informal contacts between attorneys representing labor and management to promote increased candor and less contentious relationships between them and their clients; and
- to foster improvement in the efficient and equitable administration of federal and state labor legislation.
The mission of the Employee Benefits section Council is to study, educate the profession, comment on legislation and regulation and perform other appropriate activities assigned to it by the association with respect to the following as they relate to the compensation (current or deferred, direct or fringe benefit) of persons for employment type services:
- Rights between employers and employees;
- Rights between contractors;
- Tax and estate planning;
- Reporting and disclosure;
- Benefit administration;
- Investments and fiduciary duties;
- Age and sex discrimination; and
- Other appropriate and related matters.
Arévalo currently serves as the 2014-2015 president of the McHenry County Bar Association, which is celebrating its centennial year. Arévalo, the first person of color to serve as president of that association, was profiled last summer by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and the Northwest Herald about his historic leadership role. To learn more about what Arévalo does to assist his clients, please view Carlos Arevalo’s professional credentials.
Another ZRFM attorney who is highly regarded in the field of municipal and local government law, Ruth Alderman Schlossberg, also received an ISBA appointment. During the 2015-2016 year, Schlossberg will serve as secretary to the ISBA Local Government Law Section Council. She has been a member of the section since 2012.
The mission of the Local Government Law Section is:
- to enhance the knowledge and professional capabilities of lawyers who devote time to the practice of the law relating to units of local government;
- to disseminate information and comment on legislative and judicial developments and their impact on units of local government; to make recommendations on legislation; and
- to develop and communicate ideas to improve the functioning of units of local government.
Schlossberg is widely known for co-authoring with Richard G. Flood the book You’ve Been Elected: Now What Do You Do? A Practical Guide to Local Government, now in its 3rd edition. The guide, published by the Illinois Municipal League, offers local public officials advice to help them “hit the ground running” and succeed in new leadership positions.
For Schlossberg’s professional credentials, please view Ruth Alderman Schlossberg’s biography. You may also wish to view her Illinois Municipal League conference video presentation, delivered with ZRFM local government law attorneys Richard G. Flood and Kelly A. Cahill.
As the largest law firm in McHenry County, Illinois, many Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle attorneys have been involved with the endeavors of various ISBA sections. Earlier in his career, ZRFM’s David W. McArdle was a chair of the Local Government Law Section Council.
The article, titled “Delivering the Law from the Bottom of Her Heart,” details not only Cooney’s professional career but also the history of her parents’ ties to the practice of law. Her father was a lawyer and judge and her mother worked for 40 years in the McHenry County Circuit Clerk’s office.
In addition to Cooney, who was first named a Leading Lawyer in 2012 in the field of family law, three other Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle lawyers have earned the honor.
Richard G. Flood was first recognized in 2003 as a Leading Lawyer in family law; governmental, municipal, lobbying and administrative law; land use, zoning and condemnation law; and both commercial and residential real estate law. He is a member of Leading Lawyers’ 400-member advisory board.
David W. McArdle, the firm’s managing partner, was first recognized as a Leading Lawyer in 2008 in the fields of ADR law: commercial real estate, environmental and construction; commercial litigation; construction law; governmental, municipal, lobbying and administrative law; and land use, zoning and condemnation law.
David J. Loughnane has also been recognized by his Illinois peers for several years as a Leading Lawyer in the fields of medical malpractice, products liability, health law and general personal injury law.
The distinction of being a Leading Lawyer is earned by fewer than five percent of all lawyers registered to practice in Illinois. Law Bulletin Publishing Company, through its Leading Lawyers division, conducts extensive statewide survey of Illinois lawyers asking them: “If you couldn’t take a case in your area of law, to whom would you refer a family member or friend?”
Only those lawyers most often recommended by their peers in one of 100 areas of law and approved by Leading Lawyers’ 400-member advisory board have achieved the distinction. Lawyers cannot nominate themselves or any lawyers from their own firm. The rigorous research methodology also eliminates any possibility of lawyers being selected through a popularity contest.
To learn more about the law practice of Melissa Cooney, please view her professional credentials.
A reprint of the Law Bulletin story is available on this website. Arévalo’s comments begin on the second page of the document.
The piece, titled “In union battle, Rauner looks to Supreme Court,” described Gov. Rauner’s efforts to extend the 2014 decision in Harris v. Quinn to allow some state workers to avoid paying any union fees.
The governor has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Chicago which asks that non-member union fees be declared unconstitutional and that his recently filed executive order holding non-member union fees null and void be endorsed as constitutional.
Arévalo, who currently is the president of the McHenry County Bar Association, practices in corporate labor and employment law and in municipal and local government law. He has handled collective bargaining for the villages of Lake in the Hills and Johnsburg.
To learn more, please view Carlos Arévalo’s professional credentials.
Jonathan M. Feinstein authored an article in the February edition of Boulder Ridge Life titled “New Laws for a New Year.”
- fines for parents who allow minors to drink in vehicles
- the expansion of school authority to deal with cyberbullying
- pregnancy rights in the workplace
- home seller disclosures of defects in windows and doors
- service of process in gated communities and condominiums
- speed limits on interstates and tollways
- an end to the need to surrender a license when caught for speeding
- the use of a receipt to avoid ticketing when a vehicle sticker has not yet been received
- an end of “quotas” for police officers to issue tickets and for job evaluation purposes
- the requirement of a court order for police to use privately owned drones
- the definition of beer to include hard cider and malt beverages
- the packaging and sales of electronic cigarette materials.
Boulder Ridge Life is a publication of Wilmington, North Carolina-based N2 Publishing, a company that specializes in neighborhood publications for communities across the United States. Founded in 2004, it works with homeowners associations and municipalities to customize publications with stories and photographs relevant to and provided by local residents.
Several lawyers from Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle — the largest law firm in McHenry County — reside in the vicinity of Boulder Ridge in the Illinois communities of Lake in the Hills and Lakewood.
To learn more about Feinstein’s practice in civil litigation, personal injury law, business and transactional law, construction law, and local government law, please view Jonathan Feinstein’s professional credentials.
Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle – the largest law firm in McHenry County, Illinois — recently received an award from the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce recognizing it as the “Large Business of the Year.” The “Business of the Year 2014” event took place at the Boulder Ridge Country Club on January 31, 2015. Several other individuals and businesses also were honored.
Unlike in prior years when members of the chamber alone selected the award winners to be honored at the ceremony, this year’s award winners were voted for by the community and clients. ZRFM was one of 100 local businesses nominated; it had recently been selected as a finalist.
Other businesses recognized that evening were:
- Small Office Home Office Member: Jackie Gappa, Nationwide Insurance
- Volunteers of the Year: Karen Lavorata, Mary Kay Cosmetics; Dave Rudin, Advance Leadership/Lifeline Christian Church
- Small Business: Fox River Spa & Salon
- New Member Business: Dan Hickey, Allstate Insurance
- Restaurant: Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano
- Club/Organization: Home of the Sparrow/Sparrow’s Nest
The co-hosts for the evening were Katrina McGuire of the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber and Nicole Prihoda of Dreams Do Come True Tours.
To read more coverage about the awards, please see the recent article that appeared in the Northwest Herald. For more information about the chamber, please visit its site. To learn more about Jonathan Feinstein, a ZRFM lawyer and a Lake in the Hills resident who accepted the award on behalf of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, please view his credentials.
David W. McArdle, a Crystal Lake attorney and managing partner of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, has authored another updated edition of his handbook titled Construction Law Road Map, which focuses on construction law. Partners Regan Shepley and Kelly Cahill also contributed to the new edition.
The Construction Law Road Map provides an overview of the issues contractors regularly face in the areas of contract law, employment and litigation.
The 5th edition highlights recent changes in the law regarding Mechanics Liens, the Employee Classification Act, Prevailing Wage Act, Health Insurance Offerings/Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Public Bond Claims. This edition also provides full citations of authority to assist contractors in need.
To order the handbook, call (815) 459-2050 or order here.
The Farmland Forum brings together farm owners, operators and industry investors to network and participate in discussions on a variety of industry topics. To learn more about the Farmland Forum, please visit The Chicago Farmers website or follow this event on Facebook.
Holstine recently appeared at another event hosted by the agricultural and agribusiness organization. On Jan. 12, 2015, he served as moderator of a luncheon panel discussion. Panelists at that meeting included Dr. Jay Akridge, Dean of Agriculture at Purdue University, and Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, Dean of Agriculture at Iowa State University.
Holstine is the immediate past president of The Chicago Farmers. He remains active on its board of directors. To learn more about his practice, please view Andrew Holstine’s professional credentials.
Centegra is a system of health care providers in McHenry County, Illinois. It currently comprises three hospitals (with a fourth under construction), two fitness centers, two immediate care centers (a third one is planned), nearly a dozen physician care locations and numerous specialty care services.
Farrell is a Certified Public Accountant and has been a resident of Crystal Lake for most of his life. His wide-ranging transactional experience encompasses banking, corporate business law, commercial real estate, taxation, estate planning and employee benefits. To learn more about Ryan Farrell, please view his biographical credentials.