Jesse G. Reyes, President — Jesse G. Reyes is an Illinois Appellate Justice for the First District. Prior to his election to the appellate court, Justice Reyes was assigned to the Chancery Division’s Mortgage Foreclosure/Mechanics Lien Section. His previous judicial assignments have included presiding over various matters in the First Municipal and Sixth Municipal Districts. He has served on a number of Circuit Court committees. Justice Reyes also assisted in the production of the Circuit Court’s educational DUI Video “Que Precio Tiene La Vida.”
Before his election to the bench, Justice Reyes was employed with the Law Department of the Chicago Board of Education and represented the Board in litigation matters, and was responsible for the development and implementation of policies and procedures pertaining to school reform. Prior to joining the Board of Education, he was a Senior Supervising Attorney with the Corporation Counsel’s Office representing the City of Chicago in complex civil litigation matters.
He has lectured and authored for the Asian American Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago, Chicago Bar Association, Circuit Court of Cook County, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Hispanic National Bar Association, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Illinois Judicial Conference, Illinois State Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and other community and professional associations in the areas of civil litigation, criminal law & procedure, domestic violence, trial practice, motion practice and mortgage foreclosures.
Justice Reyes is an honorary member of the Asian American Bar Association, DuPage County Bar Association and the Filipino American Bar Association. He is a Master of the Bench of the Chicago Inn of Court. He is the past President of the Illinois Judges Association, John Marshall Law School Alumni Association and the Latin American Bar Association, past Regional President of the Hispanic National Bar Association. He served as Secretary of the Chicago Bar Association and is a former member of the Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association. Judge Reyes has also served on the boards of Leadership Greater Chicago, Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago and the Coordinated Advice Referral Program for Legal Services.
Justice Reyes has received various awards and recognitions throughout his legal career. He received the Distinguished Service Award from John Marshall Law School. He was presented with the Judge of the Year Award by the North Suburban Bar Association. He was named Person of the Year by the Latin American Police Association. He was awarded the Mentor of the Year Award from the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and was inducted into the Thomas Kelly High School Hall of Fame. He received the Advocate for Diversity Award from the Filipino American Bar Association. Judge Reyes was the recipient of the Justice Anthony Scariano Award from the Justinian Society of Lawyers. He was also recognized by the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Little Village Chamber of Commerce for his service to the community. He was presented with the Recognition Award from the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois for his victory in the 2008 Primary Election establishing him as the first Hispanic to win a county-wide judicial election in Cook County. Additionally, he received the Hispanic Leadership Award from Illinois Secretary of State. This year Judge Reyes was a 2009 recipient of the Vanguard Award. He received his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his J.D. from John Marshall Law School.
Jennifer Sender, Vice President — Jennifer Sender is a partner in the Chicago office of Robbins, Salomon & Patt. Jennifer’s risk management and litigation practice focuses on counseling corporations and individuals in complex business risks, claims and litigation (trials and appeals). Jennifer represents multinational and national clients in contract disputes, distributor disputes, product defect, personal injury, civil rights, construction and environmental litigation. She has assisted clients in the uniform handling of national and regional class action litigation, involving claims of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, of product liability, and environmental issues. Jennifer represents clients in a variety of industries, including petroleum, telecommunications, agricultural and construction equipment, manufacturers, hotel, and consumer food products industries. She regularly represents foreign corporations in litigation involving contract disputes and product defect claims. She has experience in defending foreign officials in claims brought under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, the Alien Tort Statute and the Torture Victim Protection Act.
Additionally, Jennifer counsels corporations in effective handling of product recalls; in implementing various risk management programs, including employee training, corporate risk management protocols, and protocols for document and electronic information management in anticipation of litigation; and in providing environmental due diligence.
Jennifer was also the past President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and is a member of the American Bar Association, National Association of Women Lawyers, Illinois State Bar Association, and Society of Women Environmental Professionals.
Carol Y. Sales, Treasurer — Carolina Y. Sales is a partner at Bauch & Michaels, LLC, where she concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation, business workouts and reorganizations. In 2005, Ms. Sales obtained her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. During law school, Ms Sales was a lead articles editor for the John Marshall Law Review and a Distinguished Scholar Award recipient. Ms. Sales obtained an LL.M. in real estate law, with honors, in 2010. Ms. Sales is a board member of the John Marshall Law School Alumni Association and a board member of the Filipino American Lawyers Association – Chicago. She is also a member of the Auxiliary Committee of the Illinois Judges Foundation and the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation.
Ms. Sales was chosen to participate in the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ) Next Generation Program for the 88th annual meeting. She has been involved in several chapter 11 cases for businesses and individuals, and she co-authored the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE)’s chapter on individual chapter 11 cases. She is licensed to practice in Illinois, is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, is a member of its trial bar, and is a member of the bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Abigail Sue, Secretary — Abigail is a law clerk at the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. She graduated cum laude from The John Marshall Law School in 2009. While attending law school, Abigail was a member of The John Marshall Law Review. Abigail also received numerous CALI Excellence Award for the highest grade in a course in: Remedies; Intellectual Property Law Survey; Intellectual Property Litigation; and Patent and Trade Secret Law. Upon graduating law school, Abigail served as a law clerk in the Circuit Court of Cook County’s chancery division, mortgage foreclosure mechanics liens section. Abigail is licensed to practice law in Illinois and California.
Floyd D. Perkins is a partner at Ungaretti & Harris LLP in Chicago. He concentrates his practice primarily in litigating commercial disputes, fraud actions, contested probate matters and chancery and trust contests. He also serves as counsel to not-for-profit corporate boards.
Perkins served for 14 years as the bureau chief for the Charitable Trust Division at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office where he was responsible for litigating all the financial, trust and probate actions initiated or defended by the Illinois Attorney General. His duties included trying hundreds of cases, and supervising teams of attorneys and accountants conducting numerous financial investigations and financial fraud matters. He has presented matters before the Supreme Court of Illinois and the Supreme Court of the United States. His work has included presentations to Illinois legislative committees and other government agencies.
In addition to practicing law, Perkins shares his expertise with fellow lawyers as a presenter for CLE programs and various not for profit and legal organizations, he recently co-authored the “Charitable Litigation” section for an IICLE handbook.
He serves on the boards of several charitable organizations and he is chair of the Illinois CPA Society’s Not-For-Profit Committee. He has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer from 2005 through 2009 by Law & Politics.
Board of Directors
Aurora Abella-Austriaco — Aurora Abella-Austriaco, Principal of Austriaco & Associates, Ltd., concentrates her practice in the areas of real estate litigation, construction litigation, mechanic’s liens, mortgage foreclosure, mortgage fraud, title insurance claims and other special chancery remedy cases. Prior to joining Peck Bloom, she served as Corporate Counsel and Managing Attorney for the Indiana operations for Attorney’s Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. Aurora graduated from De Paul University with a B.S. in Finance (1987) and J.D. (1990).
Aurora currently serves as Secretary of the Chicago Bar Association and currently serves on the board of the Chicago Bar Foundation. She serves as Vice-President of the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) and served as the first female and minority President of the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers’ Association (IRELA), an organization of approximately 1,200 real estate lawyers throughout Illinois. She is a founding board member of the Filipino American Bar Association, past board member and current member of the Asian American Bar Association and the ISBA Real Estate Section Council. Aurora also served as board member of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) and was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., a bar related title insurance company. Aurora is the first female minority elected to the ATG board.
Aurora is serving her 2nd year as Chair of the Tellers Committee of the ABA House of Delegates. She is an appointed member to the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers Title Guaranty Fund as we as an appointed member to the ABA Standing Committee on Meetings and Travel. She was appointed Chicago Bar Association delegate to the ABA House of Delegates.
In addition to her bar association involvement, Aurora is also active in the community. She is currently serving her sixth term as Chair of the Cook County States Attorneys Asian Advisory Council and her ninth year as Commissioner for the Cook County Human Rights Commission. She also serves as a Commissioner for the Park Ridge Building and Zoning Commission. Aurora recently served as President of the Asian American Institute and was elected to the Board of Governors of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Illinois. She is a member of the Governors’ Asian Advisory Council, the Attorney General Asian Advisory Council and Illinois State Treasurer’s Asian Advisory Council. Aurora was a 2004 Fellow of the Leadership of Greater Chicago. She served as a member of the Filipino American Voters League from 1996-98 and as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Chicago. Aurora just got appointed to the Board of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
Aurora has spoken at various CLE conferences with the CBA, ISBA Real Estate Section, ISBA General Practice Section and ABA Real Property Section. She co-authored the House Closing Repairs article published in the July 1998 issue of the ABA Journal and the Dream Home Nightmares article published in the February 2004 issue of the ABA Journal. Aurora also authored The New Federal Lead Based Paint Regulations, which was published in the 1996 Dec/Jan issue of the DCBA Brief.
Aurora was named twice as one of A100 Women Making a Difference by Today’s Chicago Woman. In May 2006, Aurora was the recipient of the CBA Alliance for Women AAlta Mae Hulett award, a prestigious award given to women lawyers who have significantly contributed to the advancement of women in the profession. Aurora was also the recipient of the 2006 Philippine Chamber of Commerce AExcellence in Law award. Aurora also received a Distinguished Service Award from Cook County states Attorney, Richard Devine for service as chair of the Asian Advisory Council and Aurora will be receiving the ABA Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) Legacy Justice Fund Award on June 5, 2008. The CLEO award recognized members of the legal community whose efforts and activities serve to advance the cause of diversity within the legal profession.
Hon. Israel A. Desierto began his career in 1990 as an assistant state’s attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, practicing in the criminal and civil areas of the law. As a criminal prosecutor, he primarily handled gang-related murder cases. In a gang-related murder trial, he tried one of the few triple-juried cases heard in Cook County wherein three juries sat simultaneously to hear evidence regarding three separate defendants. He became a civil litigator in 2001, practicing in the area of medical malpractice defense. He defended doctors and other health professionals in a number of multi-million-dollar cases. As a supervisor at the State’s Attorney’s Office, he trained felony assistant state’s attorneys on trial skills and criminal law and procedure. In 2005, Desierto was elected as associate judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, First District, becoming the first Filipino American judge named to the court. Throughout his career as an attorney, Desierto tried more than 70 juried cases to verdict and hundreds of bench trials.
Judge Desierto continues to be active in the legal community. He is a member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area; founding member, past president, and current board member the Filipino American Bar Association; former secretary of the Filipino American Voters League of the Midwest; former member and lecturer of the Filipino American Police Association of Illinois; and former member of the Filipino American Foundation for the Homeless. He works with both the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professionalism and the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. In addition, he is active with the Illinois Judicial Council, and serves on the board of directors for the Illinois Judges Association.
Since 2000, Judge Desierto has been a trial advocacy coach—a subject that he teaches at IIT/Chicago–Kent College of Law. He is also an adjunct professor at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, where he teaches Criminal Law and Procedure. His honors include: recipient of the 2007 Community Service Award from Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Devine, the 2003 Award for Excellence in Law by the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Chicago, and induction into the Chicago Filipino American Hall of Fame for his work in the profession of law. Judge Desierto received a Bachelor of Arts, with honors, in both English and biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1984, and earned his Juris Doctor from IIT/Chicago–Kent College of Law in 1990.
William A. “Bill” Von Hoene, Jr., leads finance, legal, communications and public affairs, Federal governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy, audit and controls, investments and strategy for Exelon, one of the nation’s largest public utilities and the owner of the largest and best-performing fleet of nuclear plants in the nation. He also serves on Exelon’s Executive Committee. Bill joined Exelon in February 2002, as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in charge of litigation. In March 2004, he was promoted to Senior Vice President; in January 2005 to Acting General Counsel; in February 2006 to General Counsel; and in February 2008 to Executive Vice President and General Counsel. He assumed his current position in June of 2009.
In 2009, Bill was named one of the 20 most influential general counsel in the United States by the National Law Journal. In 2008, Bill received the Vanguard Award from the Chicago Bar Association, recognizing his contributions to making the legal profession more accessible and reflective of the community at large. In 2009, he received the Spirit of Excellence award from the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. Bill also received the 2009 Advocate for Diversity Award from the Diversity Scholarship Foundation, and the 2010 Chicago Appleseed Corporate Leader Award.
Bill has overseen a very successful diversity program for Exelon’s law department and its outside counsel. Under the Exelon program, preferred provider law firms are measured and ranked annually on the percentage of Exelon fees paid to them attributable to work performed by lawyers of color and women. During Bill’s tenure as general counsel forty-two percent of Exelon’s preferred firms had a “relationship partner” with Exelon who was female, of color or both. Within the Exelon Legal Department, 38 percent of the lawyers were female and 19 percent were persons of color. Upon becoming responsible for Exelon’s finance department, he has initiated a similar program for that group and its outside vendors.
Bill was recognized by Corporate Counsel Magazine in December 2006 as one of four outstanding general counsel nationwide for development and oversight of Exelon’s pro bono program. In 2007, he and Exelon’s Legal department received the Association of Corporate Counsel/CPBO Pro Bono award for having the premier corporate pro bono program in the country.
Prior to joining Exelon, Bill was a senior partner at Jenner & Block, specializing in complex civil and white-collar criminal litigation. While at Jenner & Block, Bill served on the Management Committee and, at various times, as Hiring Partner and chairperson of the firm’s Pro Bono and Diversity committees.
Bill is a member of the Board of Directors of Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, and has served on numerous civic and public interest boards of directors. He is past President of the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc., and past General Counsel to the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities. Bill currently serves as a director of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation, and previously served on the boards of directors of the Chicago Legal Clinic, the Chicago Bar Foundation and the Joffrey Ballet. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.
Bill received his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1976 and in 1980 graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served on the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
He is married to Nikki Zollar and has three children, William L. Von Hoene, Branden Zollar and Grant Sanders.
Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr.