In a February 22, 2018 article entitled, “What could make divorces more contentious? The new tax law,” Berger Schatz Founding Partner David Levy explains how (for new divorce agreements starting next year) ex-spouses will no longer be able to deduct alimony from their taxable incomes—and what this means for settlements. To read the full article, click here.
Congratulations to Founding Partner Barry Schatz and Founding Partner/former Managing Partner David Levy on being named to the 2018 edition of the Super Lawyers “Top 100 Illinois Attorneys” list as well as to the additional 17 Berger Schatz partners and associates who were selected for the 2018 Super Lawyers and 2018 Rising Stars lists.
Illinois 2018 Super Lawyers
Illinois 2018 Rising Stars
Appearing in the February 2018 issue of Town & Country magazine, “A Guide to Divorcing Well” surveyed Karen Krehbiel (principal), Alex Jacobson (partner), and other leading family law attorneys from across the nation for insights into the unique issues that wealth can bring to the divorce process—and the best strategies for solving them.
Berger Schatz was proud to be a platinum sponsor of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago’s 30thAnniversary Lawyers for Diversity Gala, benefiting the LAGBAC Foundation. The LAGBAC Foundation supports law students pursuing opportunities with non-profit organizations serving the LGBTQ+ community. Berger Schatz attorneys, Leon Finkel, Andrew Eichner, Eric J Schwab, Myra Foutris, David Kirsh, Claudia Gallo, Peter Sullivan and Zachary Cohen enjoyed the gala, on July 28, 2017, at Chicago’s Peninsula Hotel.
Berger Schatz Partner Craig M. Mandell gave a presentation entitled: “Beyond Child Support: Allocation of Medical, Child Care, Educational and Extracurricular Costs,” discussing how the implementation of the new, “income-shares” child support statute, effective July 1, 2017, will affect the approach of Illinois courts to the division of financial responsibility for “direct pay” child expenses.
J. Alex Jacobson, named to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s prestigious list of Forty Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch, joined an “all-star panel” of the 2016 class of top forty attorneys at the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section CLE event. The discussion included advice for career development and work-life balance. Click here for a link to the CBA Report. For more about Alex, click here.
In a unanimous decision issued on March 23, 2017, the State’s highest Court ruled in favor of Donna and reversed the appellate court on two issues. It restored (increased) Donna’s maintenance to the amount ordered by the trial court and affirmed the trial court's award of attorneys’ fees to Donna to defend against her former husband’s attempts to lower her maintenance payments.
The ruling is a victory for parties whose former spouses have a superior ability to finance divorce litigation and makes the playing field more even for financially disadvantaged spouses seeking to protect their rights.
The Supreme Court’s ruling provided welcome relief to Ms. Tuke, who has spent more than ten years defending her maintenance rights with Berger Schatz at her side.
To access the Supreme Court’s Opinion, click here.
Berger Schatz Partner, Brendan Hammer, was recently quoted across multiple network print and television platforms. Please follow the links below to view the stories.
In divorce case, Jesse Jackson Jr.'s lawyer alleges mysterious 'acts' by Sandi Jackson
Former top cop Garry McCarthy subpoenaed in Jesse Jackson Jr. divorce case
Jesse Jackson Jr. puts halt to Garry McCarthy divorce deposition — for now
Chicago Sun Times
Jackson Jr.’s lawyer: Wife committed ‘acts’ to spur divorce
Garry McCarthy subpoenaed about gifts, trips in Jackson divorce
McCarthy has ‘nothing to do’ with Jackson divorce: attorney
McCarthy: Nothing to provide on subpoena in Jacksons’ divorce
CBS 2 Chicago
McCarthy Subpoenaed In Jackson Divorce Case
At the 2017 Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s seminar on Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues in Divorce, Berger Schatz Managing Partner Leon Finkel presented on the subject “The New-ish IMDMA: Using New Features of the Statute to Benefit Your Clients.”
On January 12, 2017, Berger Schatz Managing Partner Leon I. Finkel argued before the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield, Illinois. At issue before the state’s highest court in the case of In re the Former Marriage of Heroy were two questions: first, whether a party must prove an “inability to pay” in order to be awarded attorney’s fees from the other party -- a significant question that could clarify an important inconsistency in Illinois matrimonial law; and second, whether an appellate court has the power to recalculate a trial court’s maintenance finding. To access the Illinois Supreme Court’s audio and video recordings of Finkel’s argument, click here and select the first matter, “Tuke.”
The November 2016 issue of Emerging Lawyers featured a profile of Berger Schatz Partner Lauren Goodkin Roth. An attorney with Berger Schatz since 2010, the article describes how Roth’s early legal work in business law prepared her for a career in family law and her “bright future” as a partner at Berger Schatz. To view the entire article, click here.
Berger Schatz Principal Andrew D. Eichner, in furtherance of his commitment to providing pro bono legal services, has joined the Highland Park Legal Aid Clinic as a volunteer attorney.
Berger Schatz Principal Andrew D. Eichner and Associate Gregory S. Klapman gave a presentation entitled, “A Divorce Primer: Asset and Wealth Protection” at the recent Chicago Bar Association Asset Protection Committee meeting. For more information on Andrew Eichner, click here. For more information on Gregory Klapman, click here.
Cubs Fan Petitions for World Series Tickets in Divorce Proceedings. For more, click here for the article.
Berger Schatz is pleased to announce that Partner J. Alex Jacobson was recently named to the Law Bulletin's prestigious annual “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” in 2016. The “40 Under Forty” program recognizes attorneys whose professional reputations have won the respect of their professional peers. Other Berger Schatz attorneys named to the “40 Under Forty” list in recent years include Karen Krehbiel, Brendan Hammer, Claudia Gallo, Brian Blitz and Jason Adess.
For more information on J. Alex Jacobson, click here.
Berger Schatz Principal David H. Levy presented a discussion of “Case Law Update” at the AAML Illinois Chapter 2016 Columbus Day Seminar. For more information on David Levy, click here.
Berger Schatz Partner Craig M. Mandell was a program moderator at a continuing legal education seminar for children’s representatives and guardians ad litem presented by the Lake County Bar Association. Craig led a Q & A session with a panel of family law attorneys who had personally experienced divorce as either a child or parent.
The Illinois State Bar Association has presented The Board of Governors Award to David H. Levy, in recognition and appreciation of his service and contribution to the Association and the Bar of Illinois. David was instrumental in the drafting of both the new IMDMA effective 1/1/2016 and the “trailer” bill (also known as the “clean-up bill” to the new IMDMA,) that is awaiting the Governor’s signature. David has served on the council repeatedly over the course of 23 years, and has also served as chair of the council. He has been reappointed to the family law section council of the ISBA for the 2016-17 term.
Berger Schatz partner Craig M. Mandell was a guest on “Everyday Law,” a talk show on WRLR 98.3 FM. The mission statement of Everyday Law is to demystify local proceedings for non-attorney listeners. Craig appeared as an expert in family law. The discussion focused on attorney approaches to the representation of clients in complex legal and emotional situations. Click here to listen to the podcast.
Berger Schatz Principal David H. Levy was on the planning committee and participated in a panel discussion during the Bi-Annual AICPA/AAML National Divorce Conference in May 2016. For more information on David Levy, click here.
The ISBA’s Board of Governors of the elected Craig Mandell to serve on the supreme policy-making body of the Association as a delegate from the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit (Lake County, Illinois). The Assembly has 203 attorney members from across the State.
In the appeal of a dissolution of marriage case before the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, the panel unanimously affirmed the trial court’s determinations regarding the division of the parties’ assets, imposition of a child support trust, imputation of income to the husband for purposes of determining child support, award of retroactive child support to the wife, and contribution to the wife’s attorneys’ fees and costs. Berger Schatz principal, Michael S. Sabath, and partner, Craig M. Mandell, were successful in their representation of the appellee. Full opinion available here.
Andrew D. Eichner, a principal at the firm, is proud to have been invited to join the Nextlaw Global Referral Network, an initiative instituted by Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, to create the world’s most sophisticated referral network, bringing together the world’s best lawyers from all practice areas.
Leading Lawyers Magazine reports “Leon I. Finkel is a rare divorce lawyer who considers the courthouse to be a last resort when more amiable approaches to ending a marriage do not yield an agreement. But when court is necessary, the managing partner of Berger Schatz brings serious skill and commitment to the proceedings.”… Read the rest of the article here.
Congratulations to Berger Schatz Principal Leon I. Finkel and Law Clerk Katelyn A. Blanchard, whose article “Dating, Maintenance, and Miller” was published in the April 2016 Illinois Bar Journal. To read the complete article, click here.
Berger Schatz Principal David H. Levy was a program coordinator and moderator during continuing legal education seminars at the AAML Mid-Year Meeting. The topics included were “Show me the money! Uncovering fraud and tracing off shore assets” and “How lawyers can use social media to make it rain.” For more information on David Levy, click here.
At the 2016 Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s seminar on Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues in Divorce, Berger Schatz Managing Partner Leon Finkel presented on the subject “Non-Marital Business: Pre-Nups” discussing how current Illinois law impacts an owner of a non-marital business in a divorce, and strategies to address this issue in a premarital agreement before it ends up in court. For Leon’s bio, please click here.
Congratulations to Berger Schatz Partner Myra Foutris on her appointment to the Human Relations Commission for the Village of Lincolnwood. The Human Relations Commission was created to encourage understanding and respect among residents of Lincolnwood with various racial, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. The Commission sponsors human relations activities throughout the year. These activities provide an opportunity for all residents to celebrate the community’s ethnic and cultural diversity.
For the second year in a row, Berger Schatz Founding Partner Barry Schatz, Founding Partner and former Managing Partner David Levy and Managing Partner Leon Finkel were all named to Super Lawyers® “Top 100 Illinois Attorneys.” Barry, David and Leon were all three named to the “Top 100 Illinois Attorneys” list in 2015 as well, and each has been named to the list multiple times. Berger Schatz remains the only matrimonial and family law firm in Illinois to place three attorneys on the list in the same year.
Twenty Berger Schatz Attorneys Were Named to 2016 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists
2016 Super Lawyers
Jason Adess, Michael Berger, Andrew Eichner, Leon Finkel, David Levy, Sharon Mobley, Zora Ristanovic, Norman Ruber, Michael Sabath, Barry Schatz, Peter Sullivan, and Dina Warner
It is especially noteworthy that Michael Berger, Andrew Eichner, Leon Finkel, David Levy, Barry Schatz and Michael Sabath, have all been named to the Super Lawyers listing for ten or more years.
2016 Rising Stars
Brian Blitz, Molly Haunty, Alex Jacobson, Karen Krehbiel, Craig Mandell, Kathleen McNamara, Melissa Saffer, and Eric Schwab
Congratulations to Berger Schatz Partner Karen R. Krehbiel on her selection by Crain’s Chicago Business for inclusion in its prestigious “40 Under 40” list of Chicago’s noteworthy young professionals for 2015. To read about Karen in Crain’s 40 under 40 listing, click here.
Congratulations to Berger Schatz Partner Craig Mandell, whose chapter “Pretrial Motions” was published with the LexisNexis Practice Guide: Illinois Family Law. The practice guide addresses marriage and dissolution, child support, custody and parenting time, adoption, premarital and post-nuptial agreements.
Berger Schatz Principal Brian J. Blitz was a panelist for the University of Illinois College of Law conference on November 13, 2015. The conference, “Conversations on the Family: When Economic Struggles Constrain Family Choices. Bringing together the Judiciary, Legislators, Practicing Bar and Family Law Scholars,” addressed the topic of what family law can do to provide needed support to families. For more information about the conference, click here.
At the Lake County Bar Association’s Family Law Legislative Update in November 2015, Berger Schatz Partner Craig Mandell presented on the subject “It’s Only Temporary: Interim Relief Under the New 750 ILCS 5/501.” Craig’s presentation discussed how the legislative revisions to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, which became effective January 1, 2016, impacted critical areas of pre-trial motion practice such as temporary maintenance and interim attorney’s fees, use of the marital residence, and petitions for injunctions and temporary restraining orders. For Craig’s bio, click here.
In a November 12, 2015 Entrepreneur magazine article entitled “Personal Finance Tips for Those Couples Who Live Together But Aren’t Married,” Berger Schatz Principal Brian J. Blitz discussed how moving in with a romantic partner can affect a divorced person’s alimony status. To access the entire article, click here.
During the Illinois Bar Admission Ceremony on November 5, 2015, Berger Schatz Principal David H. Levy was honored with the privilege of being one of three attorneys in the state to move and “second” the motion to admit new attorneys to the Illinois Bar. Of particular pride to David was that his son, Michael Levy, was among those being sworn in. Congratulations to David and Michael.
In an August 27, 2015 article on the subject, “Can Social Media Hurt You in a Divorce?,” Fox Business spoke with Berger Schatz Principal Brian J. Blitz about the use of social media and the increasingly important role it can play in divorce litigation. To access the entire article, click here.
This July, Berger Schatz was proud to co-sponsor the 10th annual Shawn Marion Basketball Camp, a co-ed youth basketball camp run by recently retired NBA star Shawn Marion. Mr. Marion and his sister, Quinnisha Marion, organized the camp as a service to the North Chicago community where he attended grade school.
The basketball camp took place in early July at North Chicago High School, providing three-days of instruction, practice and a tournament, free of cost, for children ages 6 to 16.
Berger Schatz and co-sponsor SunTrust Bank funded the camp, with Nike providing equipment and t-shirts for the children who participated. Berger Schatz partner Brian Blitz volunteered at the camp – coaching, playing, and refereeing (or in Brian’s terms, “arguing”). According to Brian, it was “an enriching experience spending time with families that have appreciated the generosity that a special guy and his family have now provided to this community for 10 years.”
For more information on Brian Blitz, click here.
Continuing a tradition of professional excellence, Berger Schatz is proud to announce that 17 of its attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers listings.
Also named to the listing of Illinois Super Lawyers were partners Jason Adess, Michael Berger, Andrew Eichner, Sharon Mobley, Zora Ristanovic, Norman Ruber, Michael Sabath, Peter Sullivan, and Dina Warner.
Notably, Andrew Eichner, Leon Finkel, David Levy and Barry Schatz all have been included in the Illinois Super Lawyers listing for 10 consecutive years.
In addition, the following Berger Schatz attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in the Super Lawyers list of Illinois Rising Stars for 2015: partners Brian Blitz, Brendan Hammer and Karen Krehbiel; and associates Meg Ledebuhr and Eric Schwab.
Berger Schatz is proud to announce the addition of three new associates.
Kathleen McNamara joined Berger Schatz in May 2014 as a lateral hire. Katie, a graduate of Northwestern Law School and the University of Michigan, began her legal career as a securities litigator at Sidley Austin LLP, before making the decision to become a matrimonial lawyer. All of us at Berger Schatz are pleased to add an experienced family lawyer and seasoned litigator to our team.
Berger Schatz is also pleased to announce the addition of associates Zachary Cohen and Gregory Klapman, both 2014 law school graduates. Zach graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School and DePaul University; before joining Berger Schatz, Zach clerked in the civil, criminal and family law divisions of the 19th Judicial Circuit in Waukegan, Illinois. Greg graduated with honors from John Marshall Law School, where he served as an editor of the Law Review and received numerous awards for academic excellence. Greg received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University.
Berger Schatz proudly announces that fourteen of its attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015. Congratulations to partners Jason Adess, Michael Berger, Brian Blitz, Leon Finkel, Andrew Eichner, David Kirsh, David Levy, Sharon Mobley, Zora Ristanovic, Norm Ruber, Barry Schatz and Tracey Wertman, and associates Meg Ledebuhr and Melissa Saffer.
Best Lawyers utilizes a peer review selection process, asking previously selected attorneys in the same geographical and practice areas: “If you were unable to take a case yourself, how likely would you be to refer it to this lawyer?” With thanks to our peers for this recognition, we congratulate our attorneys who exemplify the firm’s high standard of excellence.
Berger Schatz partner Barry Schatz and associate Brendan Hammer made a presentation and led a discussion at the 77th Annual National Conference of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges held in Chicago in July 2014. The presentation, titled “Williams v. Illinois and Forensic Evidence: The Bleeding Edge of Crawford,” addressed the United States Supreme Court confrontation clause case and its wide ranging implications for family law judges and for possible revisions to Rule of Evidence 703 which deals with bases for expert opinions and the fact experts can rely on inadmissible evidence in forming an opinion.
The Chicago Tribune interviewed Berger Schatz Managing Partner Leon I. Finkel for perspective on the impact of Illinois’s recent recognition of same-sex marriages on Chicago businesses. In a May 29, 2014 article entitled “At dawn of same-sex marriage, wedding business is booming,” Leon discusses the practical legal implications of the legislation for same-sex couples getting married, as well as Berger Schatz’s marketing efforts in the LGBT community. To read the full article, click here.
Berger Schatz is proud to announce that 19 of its attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2014 Illinois Super Lawyers listings.
Also named to the list of Illinois Super Lawyers were partners Michael Berger, Barry Schatz, Jason Adess, Andrew Eichner, Sharon Mobley, Zora Ristanovic, Norman Ruber, Michael Sabath, Peter Sullivan, and Dina Warner.
Additionally, the Super Lawyers list of Illinois Rising Stars for 2014 included partners Brian Blitz, Myra Foutris and Claudia Gallo and associates Brendan Hammer, Meg Nemeth Ledebuhr, Craig Mandell, and Eric Schwab.
Berger Schatz warmly congratulates partner David H. Levy, who has been selected by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Samuel S. Berger Award.
The Samuel Berger Award is given in honor of the late Judge Samuel S. Berger. The award is given to attorneys and judges who, like Judge Berger, exemplify the highest standards of integrity, courtesy, knowledge of family law and have demonstrated an extraordinary ability to solve human problems.
David has practiced matrimonial law for over 30 years and is one of Berger Schatz’s founding partners. In addition to his vast experience representing clients, he has a remarkable record of professional and community leadership, including multiple chairmanships and executive roles with the Illinois Bar Association and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, as well as appointments to special task forces on legislative reform for the State of Illinois and the Circuit Court of Cook County. David is also a widely published author and educator on matrimonial and family law issues. To view David’s full bio, click here.
David received the Samuel S. Berger Award at the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation 2014 Gala on May 3, 2014.
We hope you will join us in congratulating David for this well-deserved honor!
Congratulations to Berger Schatz Principal Leon I. Finkel, whose article, “Addressing Prenups in the Age of Same-Sex Couples,” was published in the May 8, 2014 issue of Chicago Lawyer Magazine. To read Leon’s complete article, please click here.
Since its founding in 1987, Berger Schatz has become one of the largest and most respected law firms in the country for matrimonial and family law. Key to that success has been the firm’s addition of lawyers like Jason Adess, a principal at the firm who has exclusively handled divorce law for nearly two decades. ... Read the rest of the article here.
A film titled “Divorce Corp,” along with a companion book, debuted across the nation earlier this month. In my 37 years of practicing law, I have yet to come across such a biased and misleading portrayal of the many attorneys, judges and other professionals involved in matrimonial and family law. The so-called “documentary” paints a distorted picture, focusing on anomalous divorce cases that – as sometimes happens in any legal case – have gone badly for everyone... Read the rest of the statment here.
On February 10, 2014, Meg Nemeth Ledebuhr will speak at the Northwest Suburban Bar Association Matrimonial Law CLE. Her topic is “LGBT Family Building in Illinois.” For more information about the seminar, click here.
At the 2013 “What’s New” seminar sponsored by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), partner Michael S. Sabath teamed up with Illinois matrimonial attorney Gunnar Gitlin to present a discussion of recent Illinois Appellate and Supreme Court cases in the field of family and matrimonial law. Mr. Sabath is a Fellow of the AAML and the managing partner of Berger Schatz’s Lake Forest office. For Mr. Sabath’s firm bio, click here.
Berger Schatz congratulates partner Marcy Kott and associate Brendan Hammer, who join partners Dina Warner and Andrew Eichner as Fellows of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois (CLII) and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). Marcy and Brendan both completed extensive training in alternative dispute resolution practices and are qualified to assist couples in resolving matrimonial disputes through Collaborative Law. Marcy, who is a principal of Berger Schatz, also is a certified divorce mediator. In addition to their practice in alternative dispute resolution, Marcy and Brendan both represent clients in traditional divorce litigation.
Berger Schatz congratulates partner David H. Levy, who recently completed training and earned certification from the AAML in matrimonial law arbitration. Mr. Levy, who is an experienced litigator and recognized authority in the field of matrimonial law, is now part of a select group of approximately 300 AAML-certified matrimonial law arbitrators nationwide. For more information on Mr. Levy’s practice, click here.
Berger Schatz proudly congratulates partner Andrew D. “Drew” Eichner, who recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with the Firm. Mr. Eichner joined the Firm in 1988 and has been a partner since 1996. For more information on Mr. Eichner’s practice, click here.
Berger Schatz congratulates partners Andrew D. (“Drew”) Eichner and Dina Warner on being named Fellows of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois (CLII) and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). Drew and Dina have completed extensive training in alternative dispute resolution practices and are highly qualified to assist couples in resolving matrimonial disputes through Collaborative Law and Mediation, in addition to representing clients in traditional divorce litigation. To read an article profiling Drew’s Collaborative Law practice, click here. For more detailed descriptions of Collaborative Law and Mediation, see our Services.
Mr. Eichner has been with Berger Schatz since 1988, and has been a partner in the firm since 1996. To read more about Mr. Eichner, click here. Ms. Warner joined the firm in 2002 and has been a partner since 2009. To see her profile, click here.
Congratulations to Berger Schatz Managing Partner Leon Finkel, whose article, co-written by law clerk Danielle Ahlzadeh, “The Road Less Travelled: Using Illinois Courts as a Vehicle to Award Unallocated Maintenance and Child Support,” was published in the April 2013 Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Newsletter. The Newsletter of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Section on Family Law Vol. 56, No. 10. To read Leon’s complete article, please click here.
Congratulations to Associate Brendan J. Hammer, who completed Divorce Mediation Training program at Northwestern University and in June 2013 achieved certification as Certified Divorce Mediator. To learn more about Berger Schatz’s Mediation practice, click here. For Brendan’s profile, click here.
Furthering the firm’s commitment to serve our clients in all aspects of Matrimonial and Family Law, Berger Schatz now offers legal services and representation in the Collaborative Law and Mediation process. Our practice in these fields is led by partners Andrew (“Drew”) Eichner and Dina Warner, who are both Fellows of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois (CLII) and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP); and associate Brendan Hammer, who is a Certified Divorce Mediator. To learn more about this area of our practice, please click here for our Services or for the profiles of Mr. Eichner, Ms. Warner, and Mr. Hammer.
Berger Schatz proudly congratulates partner Michael J. Berger, who for the second consecutive year has been featured on the cover of Chicago’s Best Lawyers Magazine, 2013 Edition. Michael has earned the distinction of being named one of Chicago’s Best Lawyers for each of the past five years. To see the full article or review Michael’s profile, click here.
Berger Schatz is proud to welcome Marcelle (Marcy) Kott as a Principal of the firm. Berger Schatz is also pleased to announce the promotion of Peter Sullivan, and J. Alex Jacobson to the position of Partner. To read the announcement, click here.
Berger Schatz is pleased to announce that attorneys Andrew Eichner, David Levy, and Barry Schatz have been named to the Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyers list. In addition, 11 other Berger Schatz Partners have been recognized on the 2013 Super Lawyers list, and 12 Berger Schatz attorneys were named to the Rising Stars list. To read the announcement, click here.
Furthering our commitment to serving our clients in all aspects of family law, Berger Schatz recently launched its Family Building practice. Led by associate Meg Ledebuhr, our Family Building practice provides prospective parents with the expert advice and legal support they need when considering any type of adoption or assisted reproduction.
We also launched our Berger Schatz Family Building website, which answers questions and provides links to resources that will assist our clients with making informed decisions as to such complicated issues as domestic adoptions, international adoptions, adult or co-parent adoptions, egg donations, sperm donations or surrogacy.
To learn more about our new Family Building practice, please visit our website or contact Meg Ledebuhr directly.
Berger Schatz is proud to congratulate its partner, David H. Levy, who effective November 7, 2012, has accepted the position of Editor in Chief of the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The Journal is the largest, most widely circulated, and highly regarded scholarly publication on matters of matrimonial and family law in the country. To read the rest of the announcement, click here.
In 2012 associate Brendan J. Hammer was named to the Law Bulletin's prestigious annual "40 Under 40" list, which recognizes attorneys whose professional reputations have won the respect of their professional peers. Other recent Berger Schatz attorneys named to the "40 Under 40" list include Claudia Gallo (2011), Brian J. Blitz (2010) and Jason G. Adess (2008). To access the entire article, click here.
In a case closely watched by matrimonial law practitioners statewide, Berger Schatz won a victory for its client in a case involving child custody and the right of parents in a divorce to make binding agreements permitting one parent to “remove” (i.e., move away with) a child permanently from the State of Illinois.
In an opinion filed on September 20, 2012, the Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Illinois Appellate Court and held that when both parents have entered a joint parenting agreement that is incorporated into the judgment of dissolution and authorizes the custodial parent to remove the children after a certain date, removal is permitted under Illinois law. To prevent removal after that point, the non-custodial parent must meet the standard for modifying a child custody agreement, which requires clear and distinct evidence of a substantial change in circumstances since the prior custody judgment was entered. Click here to read the full opinion.
Undeterred by wind, rain, rush-hour traffic, and the many twists and turns it took to reach the finish line, a dauntless team of 18 Berger Schatz attorneys and legal staff competed in the 19th annual Race Judicata on September 13, 2012. Way to go team!
The Race Judicata is an annual 5k race/walk that benefits the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation. Law firms and legal professionals from all over Chicago send teams to participate, compete and raise funds to ensure equal access to justice for everyone. For more information, click here.
This August, Berger Schatz commemorated twenty-five years of outstanding family-law practice in Chicago, the North Shore and throughout Illinois. Berger Schatz attorneys, paralegals, staff and their families gathered for a party whose theme was “Family”: our families and our clients’ families, but also the firm itself: a “family” of legal professionals dedicated to working together and supporting each other to provide the best possible service to our clients and their families.
In a June 15, 2012 article, entitled “Easing the Sting of Divorce,” the Wall Street Journal spoke with Partner, Brian J. Blitz, about whether couples should consider a prenuptial agreement. To access the entire article, click here.
In an article entitled “Domestic Abuse: The not so uncommon secret that no one wants to talk about” (Western Suburban Living Magazine, May/June 2012), Partner Jason G. Adess is quoted in a discussion about the civil and criminal remedies available to victims of domestic abuse, and the “flexibility” in Illinois law when it comes to protecting spouses from their abusers. To access the entire article, click here.
Berger Schatz partner David H. Levy is co-chairing the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)/American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) National Divorce Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, taking place on May 10-11, 2012. The conference, which offers a unique spectrum of legal and financial perspectives on divorce-related issues by bringing together matrimonial attorneys and CPAs, will be held at the Aria Resort and Casino.
Mr. Levy, who currently also serves on the AAML National Board of Governors, will also speak on a panel at the conference entitled, “Ethical Conundrums: ‘What Do You Mean I Can’t Do That?’ How to Avoid the Letter from the Disciplinary Authorities.”
In an article in the April 2012 issue of Chicago Lawyer Magazine, entitled “Firms, courts adapt to changing social media world,” Partner Jason G. Adess discusses the growing role of social media evidence in family law proceedings. Adess discusses how new social media sites such as Facebook have impacted the behavior of spouses in a marriage, and also have become a new source of evidence during divorce actions. To access the entire article, click here.
Super Lawyers Magazine rated Berger Schatz founding partners Michael J. Berger, David H. Levy, and Barry A. Schatz among the Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyers for 2012. The Super Lawyers rating service is based on a blue-ribbon review process that includes peer nominations and evaluations as well as independent research; the “Top 100” list includes the highest-rated attorneys in all practice areas. In 2011, Michael J. Berger and partner Leon I. Finkel were chosen for inclusion to the Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyers list.
Partner Michael J. Berger was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Illinois® 2012 in the field of matrimonial law. (© 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC.)
Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”
Super Lawyers Magazine™ selected for inclusion nine Berger Schatz attorneys to its 2012 Illinois Rising Stars list, which recognizes the most promising up-and-coming lawyers who have been practicing law for 10 years or less, based on peer nominations and peer reviews. Those chosen for Illinois Rising Stars for 2012 are partners Brian J. Blitz, Myra A. Foutris, Claudia Gallo, and Karen Rose Krehbiel, and associates Brendan J. Hammer, J. Alex Jacobson, Lauren Goodkin Roth, and Melissa D. Saffer.
The Illinois Appellate Court (Fourth Division) reversed a Cook County trial court’s decision terminating the maintenance of a Berger Schatz client. In a unanimous decision, the Appellate Court concluded that the trial court abused its discretion by terminating the former wife’s maintenance without taking into account the full value of her former husband’s property holdings, and by improperly considering the availability of public assistance when assessing her financial needs. In addition, the Appellate Court remanded the case for consideration of whether the former husband should be held in contempt of court for stopping maintenance payments in bad faith. The former wife was represented by Berger Schatz Partner Michael S. Sabath. To read the Appellate Court’s decision, click here.
In a unanimous decision, the Illinois Appellate Court (Second District) affirmed a trial court’s award of summary judgment to a Berger Schatz client, classifying as non-marital the client’s shares in a family business worth tens of millions of dollars, which were acquired before the marriage. Prevailing in a complex and unresolved area of Illinois law, Berger Schatz attorneys Barry A. Schatz, Dina Warner, Brian J. Blitz and Brendan J. Hammer also won affirmance from the Appellate Court regarding the trial court’s determination that the retained earnings from that business was non-marital, and that funds used to purchase some of the client’s shares in that company, as well as other companies, during the marriage had not been commingled with marital funds merely because they were deposited temporarily in marital bank accounts. To read the Appellate Court’s decision, click here.
Leading Lawyers Magazine™ named Berger Schatz partner David H. Levy to the list of “Top 100” Illinois lawyers as well as “Top 10 Family Law” practitioners. The Leading Lawyers list utilizes peer nominations and ratings to identify the attorneys whose professional peers regard them as among the top practitioners in Illinois and in their practice areas. For more information on David H. Levy, click here.
Leading Lawyers Magazine™ named 15 Berger Schatz partners to its list of Illinois “2011 Leading Lawyers,” which recognizes attorneys who are regarded by their professional peers as among the top practitioners in Illinois. The partners named to the 2011 list are: Jason G. Adess, Michael J. Berger, Andrew D. Eichner, Leon I. Finkel, David P. Kirsh, Marcelle Kott, David H. Levy, Sharon S. Mobley, Zora Ristanovic, Norman Ruber, Michael S. Sabath, Barry A. Schatz, Dina Warner, Tracey A. Wertman.
In 2011 partner Claudia Gallo was named to the Law Bulletin’s prestigious annual “40 Under 40” list, which recognizes attorneys whose professional reputations have won the respect of their professional peers. Other recent Berger Schatz attorneys named to the “40 Under 40” list include Brian J. Blitz (2010) and Jason G. Adess (2008).
The justices of the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, recently affirmed a lower court’s permanent maintenance award for a Berger Schatz client, making it the highest maintenance award ever upheld on appeal in Illinois. For a link to the appellate court judgment, click here. For more information on Mr. Finkel’s successful client representation, click here.
Berger Schatz partner David H. Levy was nominated to serve on the National Board of Governors for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Levy has served on the AAML Board of Governors since 2007; in 2013 Mr. Levy will serve as AAML Governor-at -large. To visit the AAML website, click here.
To better serve the firm’s many North Shore/ North Suburbs clients, in Spring 2010 Berger Schatz opened a new office in downtown Lake Forest, at 300 Illinois Road, Suite 200 (above the Chase Bank). To view a map, click here.
More than half of Berger Schatz’s attorneys are women. Our record speaks for itself. Click here to read more about Berger Schatz’s team of outstanding attorneys in the Women’s Edition of Leading Lawyers Network.