With 50 years of experience providing high quality, free legal services to low-income Chicagoans, CVLS and its volunteers are often recognized for their outstanding work.

Board News

Governing and Junior Boards hold elections

Left to right, top to bottom: Monique Bhargava, David Chernoff, Kate Dennis Nye, Corey Sealy, Matthew Schiltz, Laura Buchanan, Rob Crawford, Jamie Davis, Sharief El-Gabri, Kyle Fahey, Michael Kuiken, Donald Moon, Benjamin Nellans, Malerie Roddy, Lindsay Scheidt

Congratulations to Mark Bina, Quarles & Brady LLP, Katie Miler Schilling, Jones Day, Joe Seder, The Kenrich Group LLC, Dan Winters, and Tom Woodrow, Holland & Knight LLP. Each were reelected for another three-year term on CVLS’ Board of Directors. Thank you to retiring board members R. Cantrell Jones, Amanda Jones, Arnold Gough, Jr., Brion Doherty, Rawn Reinhard, and Joseph Tylutki for their service.

Monique (Nikki) Bhargava, Loeb & Loeb, David Chernoff, Kate Dennis Nye, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, Corey Sealy, Dentons US, and Matthew Schiltz, Schiff Hardin, were elected to serve their first terms on the board. Both Nikki and Matthew previously served two three-year terms on our Junior Board, with Nikki acting as Chair before her retirement.

Appellate Win for CVLS!

Contentious guardianship case goes the distance

Gregory P. Hawver, McGuire Woods LLP

Debi Filipovich, CVLS

Andre was thirteen years old and had been raised by his aunt and uncle since he could remember. Although originally an informal arrangement between aunt, uncle, and Andre’s mother, the aunt and uncle needed to establish a legal relationship with Andre to better care for him. They petitioned for legal guardianship. When Andre’s mother appeared in court and objected, CVLS was appointed as Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to advocate for Andre’s best interests.

child representative training

New and Improved Child Representative Training

On April 24, 2018, CVLS will present a live, updated version of our Child Representative Training Seminar. Deputy Director Phil Mohr and Staff Attorney Rob Zielinski will help interested volunteer attorneys learn about and explore the world of serving as a Child Representative and Guardian ad Litem in the Cook County Domestic Relations Division. Following the three-hour training, volunteers will be prepared to take Child Rep cases on a pro bono basis through CVLS.

a pro bono star is born

A New Generation

Jonathan Adair, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP held their Pro Bono Reception on March 1st to honor their associates who have gone above and beyond in their pro bono work in the past year. CVLS Board Member, Jordan Heinz, metaphorically passed the torch on to Jonathan Adair who was given the Associate Pro Bono All-Stars award for his ongoing work with CVLS. Jordan formerly served on the CVLS Junior Board and Jonathan is a current Junior Board Member.

Court update

Court update - Local Rule 39

Starting March 1, lawyers filing electronically with the 1st District Appellate Court will have to submit six duplicate paper copies of briefs and appendices with the circuit clerk’s office within five days.

Local Rule 39 was entered on January 30 and is intended to be “temporary”.

Extremely execrable ex

Working Together to Ensure Safe Living Environments for Our Elderly Clients

Matthew Hulstein, CVLS Supervising Attorney, Access to Justice Program

Rob Zielinski, CVLS Staff Attorney, Child Rep Program

Archangel’s husband abandoned his family, drained their bank accounts, and stopped paying the mortgage. The lender wouldn’t talk to Archangel because the house and loan were in her husband’s name. They divorced and Archangel was awarded the house along with the mortgage. But, her ex refused to sign a deed and the lender still wouldn’t talk to her. Foreclosure loomed.

Mental Health Pro Bono Pilot Program to Launch

Every year, nearly one in five Americans will experience a mental health crisis or concern, and countless more will watch a loved one struggle with mental illness. Working to ensure access to appropriate care and services for someone with mental illness can be overwhelming. Friends and family often receive conflicting information and struggle to understand the medical, legal, and supportive services that are available, how they intersect, and how they can be accessed by or on behalf of a loved one.

Setting the Record Straight

Don't Mess with This Guardian Angel

Sebastien Angel, Schiff Hardin LLP

Disabled from two massive strokes, Patricia relies on her Section 8 voucher to keep her family safely housed. Last year, police pressured her landlord to evict her because they thought she was harboring criminals. The landlord complied, despite having no evidence of any crime. Then, because an eviction violates Section 8 rules, the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) moved to terminate her voucher. Although she did her best to defend herself at the HACC hearing, the Hearing Officer ruled against her.

e-filing Drama continues

Mandatory e-filing pushed to June 30, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has approved a six-month extension of mandatory e-filing in response to a petition from Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown. The petition was made due to information received by the Circuit Clerk’s office that the some central functions of the new Odyssey EFileIL system would not be ready for operation by January 1, the high court’s original deadline.