Judge Kenneth Abraham (Ret.)
Ken has been practicing law since 1970, and was an associate judge in DuPage County, Illinois for 15 years. In 2008 Ken was appointed to the Illinois Judicial Conference of the Supreme Court of Illinois. In 2008, he chaired the Illinois Supreme Court's Technology Committee. Ken was Supervising Judge of Mandatory Arbitration in DuPage County from 2001 to 2009. He presided over more than 300 jury trials and 900 bench trials.
Elana teaches appellate advocacy, advanced legal writing, and legal research and writing at the University of Texas School of Law. She also has a solo civil appellate practice in the Texas courts. Elana graduated Order of the Coif from the U. of T. School of Law and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1989. She has served as a law clerk in federal and state courts, and was a staff attorney at the Texas Supreme Court. Elana is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Justice Margaret O'Mara Frossard (Ret.)
Margaret formerly served as a justice in the Illinois Appellate Court. She was Presiding Justice of the First Division of the First District from 1999 to 2000, of the Sixth Division from 2002 to 2004, and of the Fourth Division from 2009 to 2010. She was a member of the Executive Committee of the Illinois Appellate Court from 2006-2007. Margaret has written hundreds of civil and criminal judicial orders and opinions. She presently is Director of Professionalism and Engagement at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
Ross is the founder and president of Legal Writing Pro, an advanced legal-writing training and consulting firm. He has conducted more than a thousand programs on three continents for many of the largest and most prestigious law firms and for dozens of state and federal agencies and bar associations. Ross is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School, where he teaches an advanced seminar on drafting and writing strategy. Ross's book, Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation's Top Advocates, was published in early 2011 by the Oxford University Press.
Christopher concentrates his practice on appellate litigation. Christopher clerked in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. He has handled appeals in the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the Illinois appellate courts, and has written writs of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Chris's continuing legal education presentations include Effective Legal Writing; Civility in Brief Writing; and An Insider's View on Effective Appellate Advocacy. Chris has been published in numerous law reviews and bar journals. His writing has been cited in national news stories. He graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Order of the Coif from DePaul University College of Law. Chris is a shareholder at the Chicago-based law firm Querrey & Harrow.
Ann is a Professor at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She is the pre-eminent expert on the Illinois Constitution and has published a treatise on the subject. She was Parliamentarian of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1973 to 1975. Since then, she has also concentrated on the Uniform Commercial Code, her teaching specialty.
Peter has a wealth of trial and appellate courtroom experience. He has been lead plaintiff's or defense counsel on numerous class-action lawsuits with national impact, and has handled a variety of complex business litigation. Peter received an AB from Dartmouth College in 1980, and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1983. He teaches trial and litigation skills at the University of Chicago Law School's Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. Peter was selected by the then Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to be one of the founding members of the Markey-Wigmore Inns of Court, and received commendations from the DuPage Legal Assistance Foundation for providing the Foundation with substantial awards.
Joseph is a senior partner and trial attorney at international law firm Nixon Peabody. His practice focuses on providing critical litigation and business solutions to publicly-traded companies. He is the leader of NP Trial and the firm's Trial Division, and is Chair of the firm's Products: Class Action, Industry & Trade Representation practice group. Joe has litigated cases for major corporations ranging from financial institutions to automotive and chemical companies in state and federal courts throughout the country. Joe is a well-known instructor for the ABA TIPS Trial Academy and for NITA. Joe was Director of the ABA Trial Academy in 2011. He is the author of numerous articles and is on the editorial board of The Practical Litigator.
Beverly operates the Law Offices of Beverly A. Pekala in Chicago. She has been litigating in trial and appellate courts throughout Illinois for more than 25 years. Beverly is a nationally recognized expert in divorce and family law. For seven years, Beverly was an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University, teaching family law and business organization courses. She has a Masters of Law in Taxation, and is author of the best-selling book, Don't Settle for Less (Doubleday/Bantam), which gives guidance on understanding the divorce process and on how to obtain a divorce and custody settlement.
Lara has been an Appellate Advocacy professor at Seton Hall Law School in Newark, NJ for seven years. She also gives private legal-writing consultation to New York and New Jersey law firms. She conducts seminars and gives individual instruction on writing content, style, and organization. Lara is a magna cum laude graduate of the Chicago-Kent School of Law.
Judge Barbara Riley (Ret.)
Barbara was a judge in the Cook County, Illinois trial court for 15 years. Before that, she spent 11 years as a prosecutor in the Cook County State's Attorney office, doing trial and appellate litigation. Barbara also has a medical background; she is a registered professional nurse with significant experience in general medicine, obstetrics, psychiatry, and adolescent psychiatry. Barbara has completed programs in comprehensive mediation and in family law mediation.
Kirsten practices appellate litigation in state and federal courts. After receiving her law degree from Georgetown University, Kirsten served for 13 years as a law clerk at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where she helped write more than 200 published opinions. Kirsten writes On the Docket, a blog on appellate practice and procedure, and has created a CLE presentation on The Ten Commandments of Appellate Brief Writing. Kirsten is a member of the appellate litigation group at Nexsen Pruet in South Carolina.
Todd leads the Smith Law Group, an appellate boutique based in Austin, Texas. He is certified as a specialist in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Todd is the creator and publisher of the Texas Appellate Law Blog, which has developed a loyal following among practitioners, in-house counsel, and sitting justices. Todd previously practiced in the Dallas and Austin offices of Fulbright & Jaworski, and completed a two-year judicial clerkship with the Texas Supreme Court. In addition to Texas, he is admitted to practice in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Lisa devotes her law practice exclusively to legal research and writing. As a freelance attorney, she researches and drafts appeals and dispositive motions in a variety of practice areas for lawyers nationwide. Through her consulting practice, Legal Research & Writing Pro, she teaches lawyers how to write more persuasive briefs. Lisa has published a number of articles about appellate practice and procedure. A nationally-known speaker, she frequently presents continuing legal education courses about legal writing to lawyers around the country. Lisa is a member of Scribes, The American Society of Legal Writers and of the Legal Writing Institute.
Formerly a clerk at the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Charles now runs a solo practice, Wentworth Law Offices P.C., where he focuses on commercial, property, and appellate litigation. He has written appellate briefs for the Illinois, California, and Indiana appellate courts, and the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuit appellate courts. Charles is Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee for the ABA's Council of Appellate Lawyers, and Chair of the DuPage County (Illinois) Bar Association's Professional Responsibility Committee.