OUR PARTNERS

THOMAS G. GARDINER

THOMAS G. GARDINER

TGardiner@gkwwlaw.com

JAMES B. KOCH

JAMES B. KOCH

JKoch@gkwwlaw.com

LYNN N. WEISBERG

LYNN N. WEISBERG

LWeisberg@gkwwlaw.com

JOHN R. WRONA

JOHN R. WRONA

Jwrona@gkwwlaw.com

JENNIFER N. AIRATO

JENNIFER N. AIRATO

JAirato@gkwwlaw.com

BARRY C. OWEN

BARRY C. OWEN

Bowen@gkwwlaw.com

MICHELLE LAGROTTA

MICHELLE LAGROTTA

MLagrotta@gkwwlaw.com

KELLIE J. SELLMAN

KELLIE J. SELLMAN

KSellman@gkwwlaw.com

OUR TEAM

SUSAN ROGERS

SUSAN ROGERS

SRogers@gkwwlaw.com

VINCENT A. LAVIERI

VINCENT A. LAVIERI

VLavieri@gkwwlaw.com

RICHARD GLEASON

RICHARD GLEASON

RGleason@gkwwlaw.com

MICAH HUGHES

MICAH HUGHES

MHughes@gkwwlaw.com

SHANNON V. CONDON

SHANNON V. CONDON

SCondon@gkwwlaw.com

WILLIAM DYRCZ

WILLIAM DYRCZ

WDyrcz@gkwwlaw.com

PAULA E. PITRAK

PAULA E. PITRAK

PPitrak@gkwwlaw.com

ANDREW COSTA

ANDREW COSTA

ACosta@gkwwlaw.com

MAX WESSELS

MAX WESSELS

MWessels@gkwwlaw.com

PATRICK MOLINARI

PATRICK MOLINARI

PMolinari@gkwwlaw.com

DONALD D. GARDINER

DONALD D. GARDINER

DGardiner@gkwwlaw.com

JULIE BLATTNER

JULIE BLATTNER

JBlattner@gkwwlaw.com

KARIN SANDMAN

KARIN SANDMAN

KSandman@gkwwlaw.com

JOHANNA ACEVES

JOHANNA ACEVES

JAceves@gkwwlaw.com

ALLYSON SCHAUL

ALLYSON SCHAUL

ASchaul@gkwwlaw.com

RONALD J. GARDINER

RONALD J. GARDINER

RGardiner@gkwwlaw.com

ELIZABETH IZAGUERRE

ELIZABETH IZAGUERRE

EIzaguerre@gkwwlaw.com

JACKIE BULMER

JACKIE BULMER

JBulmer@gkwwlaw.com

MICHELLE NOVELLI

MICHELLE NOVELLI

MNovelli@gkwwlaw.com

Thomas G. Gardiner

Leadership

  • Leading Lawyer, 2016-present
  • Illinois Super Lawyer, 2007-present
  • Niagara Foundation (traveled with a delegation of judges and lawyers to Turkey, promoting US/Turkish relations)
  • President (2001), Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Director, South Suburban Bar Association
  • Trustee, Village of Glenwood (Chairman of Police, Judicial and Building Committees), 1985-1994
  • Trustee, Prairie State College, 1981-1993 (Chairman, 1984-1989)
  • Badger High School District board member, 2006-07
  • Town of Linn Plan Commission, 2008-present
  • General Counsel, Southland Chamber of Commerce, 2014-present
  • Other Positions: Board member for two non-profits; on church council at two churches; advisory boards of other organizations

Educator

  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Certified Trial Instructor, National Institute of Trial Advocacy
  • Former Supervisor of Trial Lawyers, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Guest Instructor at various Chicago-area law schools.
  • Judge, John Marshall Law School Thirtieth Annual International Moot Court Competition in Information Technology & Privacy Law

Published Author & Speaker

  • Articles published in Illinois Municipal League Journal, Illinois Tax Financing publication, Chicago Tribune, Screen Magazine, American Bar Association Journal, Association of Community College Trustee Quarterly, and Southland Chamber of Commerce Magazine; forthcoming article on Substitution of Judges in DuPage County Bar Journal
  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology
  • Speaking Engagements: Expert Disclosures in Personal Injury Litigation before the South Suburban Bar Association; “Employment Issues” before the Will County Bar Association; The Implications of the Nichols Case Before the Illinois Waste Water Treatment Association; speaking on various subjects before the Illinois Municipal League; Open Meetings Act before the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, “When It Rains, It Pours” held by Horton Insurance Group
  • “Consent to Search in Response to Police Threat to Seek or Obtain Search Warrant: Some Alternatives,” 71 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 175 (1980)

After graduating from the Northwestern University School of Law in 1981, Tom worked at a series of important positions before launching GKWW with Jim Koch in 1992. Tom Gardiner has successfully represented individuals, municipalities and business entities in an exceptionally encyclopedic variety of contexts, all the way up to the Supreme Court, where he collaborated with his GKWW partners on the case of Illinois v. Wardlow.

Tom’s myriad other accomplishments have not gone unrecognized. Every year since 2007, Tom’s peers have selected him as an Illinois Super Lawyer, placing him as one of the top lawyers in his practice areas. He has also been chosen as a Leading Lawyer by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and his peers. Tom holds membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum–a distinction limited to trial lawyers who have demonstrated exceptional skill, experience, and excellence in advocacy by achieving a trial verdict, award or settlement in the amount of $1 million or more.

Tom’s work on behalf of injured individuals covers matters from medical malpractice, personal injury, products liability, wrongful death litigation and nursing home litigation to civil rights actions. Over the course of his sterling career, Tom’s efforts have resulted in the awarding of many millions of dollars to his clients: for instance, the Richmond case. In this case, John Wrona and Tom achieved a $2.75 million settlement for a motorist who had to drive off the interstate to avoid colliding with an overturned 18-wheeler.

Tom’s scope of expertise extends far beyond the advocacy he engages on behalf of individuals. Tom has also demonstrated remarkable success representing municipalities in matters of housing and employment discrimination, retaliatory discharge claims, police brutality, malicious prosecution, harassment, false arrest and constitutional rights. An excellent example: the summary judgment that Barry Owen and Tom secured in Nichols v. City of Chicago Heights, a multi-million dollar class action suit brought against the city. The case, which was brought in connection with a record rainfall that took place across the Chicago area in April of 2006, hinged on questions of municipal responsibility and immunity. GKWW’s defense of the city carried the day in both the trial and appellate courts.

In representing a person wrongfully convicted, Tom was part of a team of lawyers that won a $21 million dollar jury verdict. Tom is also certified in collaborative divorce. Private entities also seek Tom’s counsel in matters involving both transaction and litigation. From the formation of new companies to navigation of the thorny corporate issues that mark a successful company’s day-to-day, Tom’s advice keeps many of Chicago’s wealthiest businesses on a steady course. Tom’s expertise covers contracts, acquisitions, sales of shares, real estate, business asset purchases and sales and succession, as well as general contract and employment matters. On the litigation side, Tom’s representation has supported his corporate clients in matters ranging from contract disputes to complex commercial, employment, restrictive covenant and intellectual property cases.

Tom also feels strongly about his role as an educator outside the halls of GKWW–both of law’s next generation and of the public at large. He has served for many years as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at his alma mater, the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and welcomes the opportunity to teach on a guest basis at other institutes of higher learning. A prolific author, Tom’s work has been extensively published in industry journals, magazines, and newspapers.

James B. Koch

Leadership

  • New Trier School Board, Winnetka, IL, 2003 – 2011; President-2005-06;2008-09; 2009-10
  • Executive Committee and Board of Governors, North Suburban Special Education District, 2003 – 2011 (President 2008 – 09)

Educator

  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Northwestern University Graduate School of Education and Social Policy

Over the course of more than three decades as a trial and appellate attorney, GKWW co-founder James B. Koch has brought scores of clients to resoundingly successful resolution in both settlement and litigation. Jim’s straightforward, practical approach and comprehensive trial experience conspire to position him as one of the most effective, respected securities and commodities attorneys in the country.

This respect is by no means unfounded. Jim has, after all, successfully defended over $500 million in claims in state and federal courts across a wide range of entities: individuals; institutional and individual investors; owners; upper management; employees of securities firms and brokerages.

He has argued two cases before the United States Supreme Court and briefed a third. Jim has also successfully tried hundreds of trials in state and federal court–as well as before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodities Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC), the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). As a lawyer in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Unit, Jim handled dozens of high-profile jury and bench trials. He was also specially appointed as a special United States Attorney in connection with the prosecution of a former Chicago alderman.

In addition to representing his clients before these regulatory organizations, Jim also counsels them on compliance policies and related issues (such as statutory interpretation of regulatory issues, including fraud and racketeering). For example, Jim obtained a permanent injunction–and a $652,000 judgment–in the Southern District of New York for an international securities firm in a case of first impression brought under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Jim is frequently called into court to deal with the most contentious of divorce cases.

For his successes in these diverse areas, Jim enjoys membership in Elite Lawyers of America. This distinction is strictly limited to prosecutors and trial lawyers who have tried more than 100 bench and 25 jury trials, argued more than 25 cases in the appellate court, argued before the United States Supreme Court, have practiced law at least 25 years and have successfully tried more than 100 arbitrations and reparations. These are rarefied ranks indeed.

Outside the work he engages for clients, Jim is a powerful voice in the sphere of higher education. Having earned several degrees (an undergraduate degree from Loyola University, a law degree from the IIT-Chicago-Kent College of Law and a Master’s Degree in Education from Northwestern University), he’s passionate about contributing to the growth of the next generation of attorneys. He serves as an adjunct trial advocacy professor at Northwestern University School of Law and has taught part-time at the Northwestern University Graduate School of Education and Social Policy (as well as The Latin School).

Lynn N. Weisberg

Leadership

  • Executive Vice President and Board Member, Community Foundation for Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago, 2001
  • Member, Board of Directors, The Enterprising Kitchen, 2003-2005
  • Member, Board of Directors, American Judicature Society, 1997-1999 Published Author
  • Illinois Super Lawyer, 2013 & 2014
  • Leading Lawyer, 2016 to present
  • First-prize winner: Lowden-Wigmore Prize for Legal Scholarship, 1993

Advocate

  • Appointed as Child’s Representative in the Circuit Court of Cook County in more than 75 cases.

Published Author

  • Drafted brief in U.S. Supreme Court case of Illinois v. Wardlow
  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology
  • Co-Author: “Shared Parenting in the Determination of Child Support,” Inside the Minds: Strategies For Family Law in Illinois

GKWW Partner Lynn N. Weisberg joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona in 1993 as the firm’s very first associate. Lynn joined the firm after graduation from the Northwestern University School of Law, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern University Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Prior to attending law school, Lynn graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and subsequently earned a Master’s from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Upon joining us at GKWW, Lynn quickly established herself as the firm’s family law expert, wielding her considerable experience in a diverse scope of related matters: divorce, custody, spousal support and visitation matters, adoption, paternity actions, and pre- and post-marital agreements, as well as other areas affected by divorce: estate planning, real estate, and general litigation. She is certified in Collaborative Divorce and has been trained and approved as a mediator by the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Lynn is on a court-approved list of child’s representatives and is appointed by judges to represent the interests of children in cases involving contentious custody and visitation litigation. So far, she has logged over 75 child rep appointments by over one dozen judges.

John R. Wrona

Leadership

  • Leading Lawyer, 2016-present  
  • Illinois Super Lawyer, 2012-present
  • Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Co-Executive Director, Naperville Jaycees 2008 Last Fling Labor Day Festival ($200,000 raised for local charities)

Educator

  • Adjunct Professor of Law in Trial Advocacy, Northwestern University School of Law, 2007-present

Partner John R. Wrona focuses his practice on righting wrongs. In doing so, he represents severely injured persons and their families, bringing longed-for closure to some of the most trying circumstances one can imagine facing.

John established himself as a seasoned trial lawyer at a young age. After graduating from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and earning his law degree from the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, John began his career with other firms from 1997-1999. John joined GKWW in 2000–the same year in which he brought the first of his many million-dollar resolutions. Based upon his tremendous record of success, John was made partner in the firm in 2005 and became a named partner in 2008.

During his tenure with GKWW, John has played the lead role in obtaining over $50 million in recoveries on behalf of clients in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases (as well as business, municipal and commercial litigation cases). The content of these cases extends from negligence, medical malpractice, wrongful death, stillbirth, nursing home neglect, vehicular accidents and battery to product liability, prison medical staff malpractice and excessive force.

To all these cases, John brings not only the force of his comprehensive experience but a sense of steadfastness and empathy where these qualities are direly needed. For example: in Farissier vs. Northwest Oncology, John obtained a jury verdict of $5.42 million representing the family of a 55-year-old woman who died due to medical negligence during the treatment of her cancer. In Egan vs. Clune Construction, a young electrician sustained significant and permanent injuries as a result of a fall from the second floor at a Chicago commercial building; John obtained a $2,325,000 settlement in cash for him, in addition to the waiver of a $400,000 workers compensation lien. In Louis Prosecky v Peterson, John Wrona won a $2.75 million dollar settlement for an electrician who suffered serious burns on his arms in the workplace. Recently, John filed Roeder vs. Casey Transportation, on behalf of the estate of a 17-year-old boy who was killed when he was rear-ended by a semi.

Outside client advocacy, John is proud to share his extensive knowledge and experience in the academic setting. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law in Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law for more than ten years and enjoys many opportunities to teach as an invited lecturer at continuing legal education seminars.

Jennifer N. Airato

Published Author

  • Editor, Annals of Health Law
  • Co-Author: “Shared Parenting in the Determination of Child Support,” Inside the Minds: Strategies For Family Law in Illinois

Jennifer N. Airato joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona as an associate attorney in 2006 and was made partner six years later. Ms. Airato practices exclusively in the area of family law and handles all aspects of dissolution of marriage and parentage proceedings, including the allocation of parental responsibility (colloquially known as “custody”), parenting time, child support, maintenance, division of assets, orders of protection and post-judgment proceedings.

Ms. Airato is a wife and mother of three. The valuable resultant insight into family dynamics helps her to guide healthy custody arrangements–as well as parenting schedules that are practical, and which place the children first.

Ms. Airato’s mentality is always settlement-oriented; she firmly believes that, if possible, it is better to resolve issues outside of the courtroom rather than having a judge decide. After all, the involved parties know their family better than anyone else. Moreover, settlement allows the client to craft their own agreements and remain in control of their lives. With that being said, sometimes settlement is not possible; in those situations, Ms. Airato confidently represents her clients in the courtroom.

Ms. Airato was named as an Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers in 2015 and 2016. Emerging Lawyers have been identified by their peers as the top lawyers who are age 40 or younger. Less than 2% of all lawyers licensed in Illinois have earned this distinction.

Ms. Airato received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 2006. While in law school, she participated in the Civitas Child Law Clinic, where she represented children in custody proceedings and child protection cases.

Barry C. Owen

Leadership

  • Founder and President, Loyola University of Chicago American Constitution Society
  • Contributing Member, Loyola University of Chicago Business Law Clinic
  • St. Ignatius Parish
  • Concern Worldwide
  • Director, Chi City Music Makers

Partner Barry C. Owen concentrates his flourishing practice in municipal litigation and civil rights litigation in state and federal courts. He joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona in August 2009, and we were proud to name him as a partner just five years later.

Barry’s accolades are considerable and well-earned: For instance, he was recently recognized by Leading Lawyers Magazine as an Emerging Lawyer, an honor that fewer than 2% of lawyers under the age of 40 receive.

Such honors owe in great part to Barry’s hard-driving determination to achieve the best possible result for his clients–and he does just that, with an extensive list of examples thereof. Recently, Barry led a team that successfully defended a multimillion-dollar class action flooding suit in the case Nichols v. The City of Chicago Heights.

Barry earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Marquette University in May 1999, graduating with a double major in Classical Studies and Political Science. Barry went on to work in politics and publishing in Chicago and London before tackling the demanding program at the Loyola University Chicago Law School. There, he made Dean’s List, earning his Juris Doctorate degree and a Certificate in Trial Advocacy. After graduation, Barry clerked for Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael J. Hogan and was an extern for United States District Court Judge Ronald A. Guzman.

Prior to joining us at GKWW, Barry practiced law at a boutique civil litigation firm in Chicago. There, he defended government employees in civil rights litigation at the trial and appellate levels, represented corporations involved in complex commercial litigation and employment disputes and represented companies and individuals before various local government agencies.

Michelle Lagrotta

Published Author

  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act: Solution or Mere Paper Tiger?, Loyola University Chicago International Law Review, Volume 4, Issue 2 (co-author).

Representative Matters

• Obtained appellate decision in favor of municipality on issue of first impression after oral argument and successfully obtaining two summary judgments at the trial court level.
• Successfully represented healthcare company regarding fraud and embezzlement matters against executive director.
• Successfully represented trading firm in investigation by regulator regarding disruptive trading activity.
• Successfully represented trader in investigation regarding high frequency trading.

Michelle M. Lagrotta is an attorney with extensive experience litigating commercial, municipal and securities matters. Her experience includes the representation of municipalities on a range of issues including contract, surety, and TIF Act disputes. She defends individuals and trading firms in investigations and enforcement actions before regulatory agencies such as the CFTC, SEC, FINRA, FINCEN, the United States Attorneys’ Office, and the Department of Justice. Additionally, she represents individuals and businesses in commercial disputes and business torts.

Michelle received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she graduated cum laude and earned a Certificate in Child and Family Law. During her law school career, Michelle participated in the Civitas Child Law Clinic, where she represented children in child custody and child protection cases. Ms. Lagrotta also interned at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office and Family Defense Center.

Michelle received her Bachelor’s of Science in psychology from Loyola University Chicago, where she graduated summa cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Kellie J. Sellman

Published Author

  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act: Solution or Mere Paper Tiger?, Loyola University Chicago International Law Review, Volume 4, Issue 2 (co-author).

Kellie J. Sellman joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona as an associate attorney in August 2011 and practices in the areas of family law, condominium law, and real estate and business litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Kellie practiced law at a boutique family law firm, where she spent four years handling family law litigation matters. In addition to family law, Kellie now devotes much of her practice to real estate and business litigation matters and has significant experience in the representation of condominium and homeowners associations.

Kellie received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in May 2007, where she earned a Certificate in Child and Family Law. During her law school career, Kellie was a member of Loyola’s Family Law Moot Court team, where she received the 8th place Best Oralist Award in the National Moot Court Competition in Child Welfare & Adoption Law, and published an article in the Loyola University Chicago International Law Review.

Prior to her earning her law degree, Kellie received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, graduating with a double major in Political Science and Sociology.

Susan Rogers

Susan R. Rogers is a graduate of Northern Illinois University College of Law, DeKalb, Illinois and received her undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. A member of the Illinois State Bar since 1991, Attorney Susan Rogers has concentrated her practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Trust Administration, Estate Administration, Probate, Guardianship and Income Tax planning and preparation.

She is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association and Kane County Bar Association. She is also admitted to the United States Federal Court, Northern District of Illinois and US Tax Court. She has also received her Certified Financial Planner designation from the College for Financial Planning, Denver, Colorado. Susan joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona in the fall of 2011.

Vincent A. Lavieri

Vincent A. Lavieri has over 30  years experience representing clients in state and federal courts in general real estate, corporate, business, and commercial litigation. He also provides general representation to condominium and homeowners association. Vince also has significant experience in prosecuting and defending appeals. He has represented clients before federal and state agencies including the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

Vince also served on the Hearing Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (2004 – 2013). Vince graduated with high honors from the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he was a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review. After graduation, he served as a law clerk to Justice Calvin C. Campbell of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, before entering private practice.

Richard Gleason

Dick joined GKWW in October of 2012, as a senior associate. He has over 25 years experience in the field of personal injury and has concentrated his time, efforts and litigation skills representing injured persons, workers, their spouses and families in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois. He was born and raised in the Chicago area. He graduated from DePaul College of Law with Honors in 1985, while employed full time as a union worker. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar that same year.

Dick has successfully represented clients at the trial level in Cook, DuPage, Lake, and Will Counties. He has prosecuted appeals on behalf of his clients before the Illinois Appellate Court for both the First and Second Districts, and he has argued successfully before the Illinois Supreme Court.

Dick has been married for 34 years and is the proud father of four grown children.

Micah Hughes

Micah J. Hughes is a litigation associate at Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona. He joined the firm as a law clerk after his second year of law school and became an associate after being admitted to the Illinois Bar in November 2011. Micah earned his Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law, graduating cum laude. Micah served as an Editor of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology during law school.

Prior to law school, Micah received an M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. in economics from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and a B.A. in economics from Oberlin College.

Shannon Condon

Shannon V. Condon joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona as an associate attorney in March of 2013. Ms. Condon concentrates her practice in the areas of medical malpractice,  personal injury, and general civil litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Condon practiced law at a boutique commercial litigation firm.

Ms. Condon received her Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School in May of 2012. Throughout her law school career, Ms. Condon spent several semesters working for Judge James E. Sullivan, a trial judge in the Law Division at the Circuit Court of Cook County. While there, she helped manage the adjudication of over 400 consolidated cases and supervised other externs assigned to the courtroom.  During law school, Ms. Condon also interned with the Homicide Task Force at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office and worked as a law clerk at several civil ligation firms. Ms. Condon was on Dean’s List throughout law school and she received CALI awards in both her White Collar Crime and Professional Responsibility classes.

Prior to her earning her law degree, Ms. Condon received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, graduating with a major in Communication and a minor in Spanish.

Donald Gardiner

Donald D. Gardiner joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona in 2004 after serving as a suburban police officer and with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He frequently handles real estate, personal injury, general court cases and estate planning matters. Don graduated from The John Marshall Law School and holds degrees from Lewis University (Master of Science) the University of Illinois Police Training Institute (Law Enforcement Certification) and Illinois State University (Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice).

He is a former secretary and a former member of the board of directors of the South Suburban Bar Association.

William Dyrcz

Bill Dyrcz is an associate attorney who has concentrated his practice in the areas of estate planning, business, real estate and tax law. A graduate of the John Marshall Law School, Bill has distinguished himself since launching his career as a lawyer in 1988. He earned his L.L. M. in Real Estate Law from The John Marshall Law School in 2005. Bill represents a broad array of clients, including business owners and entrepreneurs, executives, individuals and families with inherited wealth. Bill handles transactional matters for clients helping them form companies and advise them on the pros and cons of various corporate structures including family limited partnerships, limited liability companies and trusts. He combines business and estate law to advise owners of family-owned and closely held businesses on a wide variety of business and succession issues.

Paula Pitrak

Paula comes from a boutique law firm where she focused her practice exclusively on family law matters. Her aggressive approach to pre-trial litigation and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for her clients have made her successful in reaching amicable, creative settlements outside of court. Paula is actively involved in the legal community as a member of the American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, and Illinois State Bar Association and sits as a member of the Developing Committee for The Lilac Tree, Young Law Section Family Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, and the Indiana University Maurer Young Alumni Association.

In her free time, Paula enjoys giving back to the community and recently has volunteered as a mentor for Project Law Track for the Girl Scouts and as an evaluator for the Chicago Coalition for Law-Related Education’s (CCLRE) Mock Trial Competition for CPS High Schools. While attending law school at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Paula was an Articles Editor for the Indiana Law Journal, President of the Women’s Law Caucus, Practice Group Advisor for the first year students, and a certified mediator in the Viola J. Taliaferro Family Mediation Clinic. Paula also graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago—where she majored in Philosophy and Political Science—and from Hinsdale Central High School.

Andrew Costa

Andrew D. Costa is an associate attorney who concentrates his practice on Municipal Law, Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, Probate, Guardianship, and Residential and Commercial Real Estate. Andrew is also involved in the firm’s Civil Litigation practice. He is a member of several bar associations, including the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and Will County Bar Association. Andrew became an associate after being admitted to the Illinois Bar in November of 2014.

Andrew graduated cum laude with a certificate in Business Law from DePaul College of Law in May 2014. Prior to and during his law school career, Andrew worked as a law clerk here at Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona where he gained knowledge of a broad range of areas in which the firm practices.

Prior to earning his Juris Doctorate degree, Andrew received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, conferred cum laude, from DePaul University in 2011. During his time as an undergraduate student, Andrew was an active member of the United Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, an international Sociology honor society.

Max Wessels joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona as a law clerk after his final year of law school and became an associate attorney in November of 2016 after being admitted to the Illinois Bar. Max concentrates his practice in the areas of general civil litigation, commercial litigation, business law, employment law, transactional and securities matters and personal injury law.

Max received his Juris Doctorate from The University of Wisconsin Law School in May of 2016.  Max clerked with a criminal defense firm and a labor and employment law firm. In addition, Max was a judicial extern in Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Prosser’s chambers during his final year of law school. Max was also a Managing Articles Editor on the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society.

Prior to earning his law degree, Max received his Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with majors in International Studies-Global Security and Political Science.

Max is admitted to practice law in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Patrick Molinari

Patrick Molinari joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona as an associate attorney in 2016 and practices in the areas of municipality litigation, personal injury, and general civil litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Patrick spent two years working in appellate practice, researching and drafting briefs filed in the Illinois Appellate Courts.

In 2015, Patrick received his Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School. While at John Marshall, he focused on Trial Advocacy and competed in several competitions (which included ranking in the top four Finalists in the John Marshall Mock Trial Tournament and winning “Best Brief” in the Dean Fred Herzog Moot Court Competition). He was a member of the Moot Court Honors Program where he represented John Marshall at the Greenberg Moot Court Tournament at UCLA.

Prior to earning his law degree, Patrick received his Bachelor’s Degree from Grand Valley State University, graduating with a major in Advertising. During this time, he spent a year abroad at University College London studying Linguistics.