If you are going to entrust an important legal matter to me, you should know something about me.
I was born in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1945, the son of a drugstore owner and a grade school teacher. When I was in eighth grade, my parents, my younger brother and I moved to Peoria, Illinois, where I finished grade school and attended high school (Spalding Institute, 1963).
After high school, I went away to college, and returned to Peoria in 1968 to teach grade school and high school students. Here, I met my wife, Mary Ellen, and we had our daughter.
After teaching school for five years, I decided to change careers, and my wife and our young daughter moved to Champaign-Urbana Illinois, where I enrolled in the University of Illinois College of Law.
I graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1977, and returned to Peoria to practice law. Early in my legal career, I served as an Assistant State’s Attorney, Assistant Public Defender, Assistant City Attorney, and Village Attorney. For over 35 years, I have been engaged in the private practice of law in central Illinois.
I am admitted to practice in all Illinois courts, the Federal District Court for the Central District of Illinois, and the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
While I was teaching, I acquired a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Bradley University. In 1990, I participated in a program in Columbus, Ohio, sponsored by the Ohio Bar Association, and designed to train attorneys in the special skills needed to effectively mediate family issues. Later, I received additional mediation training at conferences sponsored by the Academy of Family Mediators in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and by the Mediation Council of Illinois in Bloomington, Champaign, Chicago, Urbana, and Lake Forest, Illinois. I was an instructor in the “Family Mediation” training program sponsored by Bradley University, and used to train mediators for certification by the Circuit Court of the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Illinois. Additionally, I served on the faculty of the Tenth Judicial Circuit training for Guardians ad Litem under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 900.
In addition to teaching these mediation and Guardian ad Litem courses, I have served on various Bar Association committees, lectured at several legal seminars, and served on the boards of various community organizations (Peoria Downtown Kiwanis, Tri-County WomenStrength [now the Center for the Prevention of Abuse], the Friends of the Children of Haiti, and the West Peoria Fire Protection District Board of Trustees. I was one of the founders of Heart of Illinois Big Brothers / Big Sisters.