Our Team

The AGHL Law team is made up of seasoned professionals who have decades of experience delivering real value to our clients. In addition to being attorneys,  our professionals hold other advanced degrees (MBAs) and have extensive experience in running and developing businesses.

Through our  depth and breadth of expertise and adherence to industry best practices, we are confident in our ability to deliver powerful, timely, and cost-effective solutions.

aghl4

JAMES M. ALLEN
PARTNER

815.414.5517
jallen@aghllaw.com

James M. Allen focuses his practice in the areas of business torts and business litigation, including an emphasis on injunctive relief proceedings, construction litigation, condemnation matters, commercial lease disputes, enforcement and defense of mechanic’s liens, insurance agent and broker disputes, real estate litigation, creditors’ rights and employment litigation.

Mr. Allen represents several contractors, subcontractors, developers and manufacturers, and assists them with various contract disputes, including workmanship issues, payment issues, mechanics liens, claims involving public jobs, and failure to meet contract specifications.

Mr. Allen also represents several lenders with a focus on commercial workouts and commercial foreclosure proceedings, as well as parties in farm property and estate and trust disputes.

He has extensive experience in special remedy proceedings, including replevin, specific performance, and injunctive relief proceedings. Mr. Allen’s practice also involves the collection of commercial and consumer debts and general business transactions.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • American Bar Association
  • Winnebago County Bar Association
  • Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce

 

Honors & Awards
  • Rated by Martindale-Hubbell for ethics and legal ability

“Wage Assignments, Wage Deductions, and Support Orders,” at AGHL’s 2005 Breakfast Seminar Series, in Rockford, Illinois, March 2005.

  • J.D., cum laude, John Marshall Law School, 1999
  • B.S., Illinois State University, 1995
RyanA

Ryan T. Armour
Partner

815.414.2729
rarmour@aghllaw.com

Ryan T. Armour focuses his practice on insurance defense, including medical negligence and transportation/trucking cases. Additionally, Ryan has extensive experience in product liability, construction, and healthcare transactional litigation.

While in law school, Ryan was a recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship and served as the External Publications Editor and a member of the Board of Editors for the Northern Illinois University Law Review.

 

Distinctions
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star (Thomson Reuters)
  • Northern Illinois University, J.D.

  • University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, B.A.

generic

Jerrod L. Barenbaum
PARTNER

 

Jerrod L. Barenbaum’s litigation practice emphasizes the representation of healthcare professionals in medical malpractice litigation. He also provides guidance to healthcare institutions on issues involving risk management, HIPAA, and record production.

Mr. Barenbaum has substantial trial experience before Northern Illinois juries. In addition to his practice at the federal court level, he appears in State Circuit Courts throughout Illinois, including Winnebago County. He has represented defendants, including healthcare institutions, as primary counsel, in jury trials in Winnebago County, Boone County, Ogle County, Whiteside County, DeKalb County, and McHenry County.

Mr. Barenbaum has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 1994. He is an active member of the Winnebago County Bar Association and has served as Chair of its Medical-Legal Committee, which acts as a liaison between the local bar and local physicians. Mr. Barenbaum’s professional memberships also include the Defense Research Institute and the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel.

Mr. Barenbaum’s representative cases include the following:

  • Secured a defense verdict for a multispecialty clinic and its employed surgeons in a case alleging negligent post-operative care resulting in the death of a 57-year-old female.
  • Secured a verdict for a Rockford hospital and its employed cardiologist in a case alleging a failure to diagnose an impending MI resulting in the death of a 67-year-old male.
  • Secured a defense verdict on behalf of clients—a physician and a large healthcare system. Plaintiff sought non-economic damages of $1.75 million, alleging Defendants failed to initiate appropriate DVT and PE prophylaxis after a skin graft operation and prematurely discharged him without such prophylaxis, resulting in Plaintiff’s decedent, age 56, dying from a pulmonary embolism.
  • Secured a swift defense verdict in a medical malpractice trial that had formerly been appealed, reversed, and remanded for a new trial. The claim against our client alleged failure to diagnose cancer and sought $1.25 million in damages.
  • Secured a defense verdict in a rare negligent credentialing trial against a large healthcare system arising out of alleged injuries to a patient following a procedure by a neurosurgeon Plaintiff alleged had been improperly credentialed.

Mr. Barenbaum has been selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in the areas of Medical Malpractice Defense Law, and Personal Injury Defense Law: General.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Honors & Awards
  • Recognized as a “Rising Star” by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine (2008, 2009)

 

Presentations
  • “Documentation and Depositions 101,” OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford, Illinois, June 2015
  • “Medical Malpractice Crisis,” Rockford Health System’s Department of Medical Education’s Scientific Session, Rockford, Illinois, February 2005
  • “Potential Liability for Improper Disclosures of Personal Health Information,” Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford, Illinois, February 2005
  • “Primer on the Litigation Process,” Saint Anthony College of Nursing, Rockford, Illinois, 1999
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1994

  • B.A., Lake Forest College, 1991

aghl3

EVAN J. BONNETT
PARTNER

Evan J. Bonnett concentrates his practice on helping employers and businesses navigate labor and employment issues, as well as commercial litigation and transactions.

Evan’s practice includes federal and state labor law on behalf of employers, on such issues as labor relations, union organization and elections, collective bargaining, defending against unfair labor practices, and union welfare and pension fund obligations. Evan also offers counseling and advice in the ever-changing employment law arena, including discrimination and harassment, leaves of absence, OSHA and workplace safety, employment contracts and restrictive covenants, wage and hour issues, workplace standards and policies, and employee training. 

Evan’s diverse counseling and litigation experience offer employers full-spectrum support: from providing early guidance to mitigate problems to guiding employers through litigation. 

Prior to entering private practice in Rockford, Illinois in 2015 with a national AmLaw 200 firm, Evan practiced law for six years as a judge advocate (JAG) on active duty with the United States Air Force. Evan held multiple assignments as a JAG: in addition to the prosecution of criminal matters, Evan practiced federal labor and employment law, advising management on the discipline of federal employees, discrimination law, and labor issues. Evan also served as an Ethics Counselor and lead administrative law attorney for the largest joint base in the Department of Defense, and as a regional medical law attorney for all Air Force medical facilities in Texas and New Mexico. In his medical law capacity, Evan also gained experience in medical risk management, privacy, credentialing and privileging licensure, and regulatory compliance. 

Evan continues to serve as a reserve officer in the Illinois Air National Guard.

During law school, Evan clerked in the office of the general counsel for an international manufacturer of trucks, buses, engines, and defense vehicles, where he assisted in matters including labor and employment, franchise law, and securities law. 

 

Community Involvement
  • Officer, Illinois Air National Guard
  • Rockford Promise Board Member
  • J.D., magna cum laude, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2008
      • External Publications Editor, Law Review Board
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Political Science and German, Bradley University, 2005
  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District
  • Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Eileen12

EILEEN M. CAVER
PARTNER

815.414.5561
ecaver@aghllaw.com

Eileen M. Caver offers clients counseling, guidance, and representation in all areas of labor and employment law. For nearly a decade, Eileen has dedicated her career exclusively to labor and employment law, including the litigation and arbitration of disputes involving sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, reasonable accommodation, wage claims, improper discipline, and wrongful termination. Eileen regularly counsels employers in the formation, negotiation, and enforcement of employment policies, non-compete agreements, severance agreements, and employment contracts. Eileen also assists clients in navigating unemployment disputes, understanding and enforcing labor agreements, administering leave entitlements under the Family and Medical Leave Act and other federal and Illinois leave laws, formulating affirmative action programs and understanding federal contractor regulations, and assessing whistleblower complaints and concerns.

Throughout her career, Eileen has demonstrated a dedication to excellence and advocacy on behalf of her clients. After graduating fourth in her law school class from Loyola University Chicago, Eileen began her career as a law clerk for the Honorable Frederick J. Kapala in the Second District of the Illinois Appellate Court. There she analyzed Illinois law and provided guidance as to the proper application of the law by the Illinois Circuit Courts. Thereafter, Eileen served for nearly five years as Judge Kapala’s law clerk in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. During this time, Eileen gained experience and expertise in federal employment law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Family, and Medical Leave Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as the Illinois Human Rights Act. As a law clerk, Eileen observed and participated in the litigation, settlement, and mediation of employment law claims from the unique perspective of those who decide such cases.

Following her State and federal clerkships, for nearly nine years Eileen practiced labor and employment law at a national AmLaw 200 firm. In this position, Eileen represented employers in industries including health care, education, finance, insurance, manufacturing, and transportation. Eileen litigated many labor and employment cases in State and federal court and represented clients in cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the Illinois Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, the United States Department of Justice-Civil Rights Division, the State Universities Civil Service Commission, and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. In addition, Eileen vigorously advocated for clients at labor arbitration and in mediation. She also regularly drafted, reviewed, analyzed, and counseled clients regarding employer policies, non-competition agreements, employment agreements, and separation agreements. Eileen also assisted federal contractors in drafting and executing affirmative action plans and fulfilling the requirements of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Leading Lawyers named Eileen as an Emerging Lawyer, in the top 2% of lawyers under 40 years old, for five years in a row (2015-2019).

  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Loyola University School of Law, JD 2005, Magna Cum Laude
  • LeMoyne College, BA 2001, Summa Cum Laude
  • Illinois and New York Bars
greg-cox

GREGORY E. COX
PARTNER

815.265.6237
gcox@aghllaw.com

Gregory E. Cox focuses his practice on business transactions, health care law, and civil litigation. He has practiced in the Rockford area for more than 35 years. Mr. Cox has represented clients in mergers and acquisitions and other major business ventures.

He has initiated and shepherded the passing of legislation on behalf of several clients at both the state and federal level, has acted as general counsel to several businesses, and has been lead counsel in major civil litigation, primarily representing health care institutions and physicians, including multiple jury trials. He has argued numerous times before the appellate courts in Illinois and in Wisconsin and argued before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

He has acted as general counsel for several health care practices including a large multi-specialty practice and has advised on labor and employment issues, credentialing, and Q/A Q/I issues. He has been general counsel to a number of communities in Illinois and has acted as special counsel to counties in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Mr. Cox has participated in alternative dispute resolution, both as a party representative and as an arbitrator. Additionally, Mr. Cox is also an arbitrator and mentor for Illinois 17th Judicial Circuit, having been chosen as a charter member of each program.

Greg has previous experience as a partner in a national AmLaw 200 Law firm where he practiced for many years.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • Wisconsin Bar Association
  • Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association

 

Honors & Awards
  • Elected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois

 

Community Involvement
  • President, Jeremiah Development Board
  • Volunteer EMT, Durand Fire Department
  • Business and Commercial Transactions
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Government and Municipal Law
  • Health Care
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Labor Law
  • J.D., Northern Illinois University College of Law, 1985
  • B.A., Ripon College, 1982
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
c2

CASSANDRA CRANDALL
ASSOCIATE

Cassandra Crandall concentrates her practice in the areas of business litigation, transactions, and corporate law. Cassandra has a special interest in trademark law.

Cassandra graduated summa cum laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law, where she also served as the Symposium Editor for the Northern Illinois University Law Review. During her legal studies, Cassandra held a graduate assistant and law clerk position at the Northern Illinois University Students’ Legal Assistance Office where she focused on landlord-tenant and criminal matters.

 

Honors & Awards
  • Women’s Bar Foundation Scholarship Recipient, Women’s Bar Foundation of Illinois, 2019
  • APPLE Assistantship Recipient, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2018
  • Recipient of the Dean’s Merit Scholarship, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2017
  • Business & Commercial Transactions
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Municipal & Licensing law
  • Trademark Law
  • Labor & Employment
  • Real Estate & Lending
  • J.D., summa cum laude, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2020
  • B.A., cum laude, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2018
  • A.A., with honors, Rock Valley College, 2017
  • Illinois
aghl1

THOMAS R. CROSS
PARTNER

815.414.5521
tcross@aghllaw.com

Thomas Cross maintains a broad corporate practice advising clients—from large corporations to privately held businesses and individual landowners—on commercial transactions and complex real estate matters. His extensive experience includes drafting, negotiating, and counseling clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, corporate formations, reorganizations, and regulatory compliance.

Tom’s real estate practice involves the negotiation and drafting of commercial purchase, sale, and leasing agreements, as well as advising clients on complex title matters, easement disputes, and zoning issues.

His background further includes assisting with the creation and development of estate and tax plans, probate and trust administration, and drafting estate planning documents.

Prior to joining AGHL, Tom practiced at a national AmLaw 200 Law firm where he was part of the firm’s Business and Commercial Transactions, Real Estate and Lending, and Estate Planning Practice Groups.

Tom graduated with High Distinction from The University of Iowa College of Law, where he was involved in a number of activities and associations, including serving on the Editorial Board for the Iowa Law Review.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Winnebago County Bar Association

 

Honors & Awards
  • Recognized by his peers as an “Emerging Lawyer” in the areas of Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Commercial Litigation; Employment Law: Management; Health Law; and Real Estate Law: Commercial, 2017 – 2019
  • Jurisprudence Award for Academic Excellence, Recipient, Fall 2010, Non-Profit & Philanthropic Organizations

 

Community Involvement
  • Saint Anthony College of Nursing, Board Member (Finance Committee, Member)
  • Rockford Coronado Concert Association, Board Member
  • NW HomeStart, Board Member
  • J.D., with high distinction, The University of Iowa College of Law, 2011
  • B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008
gg

Jenna L. Ewing
PARTNER

 

815.414.2738
jewing@aghllaw.com

Jenna L. Ewing focuses her practice on the defense of medical negligence cases. She regularly represents hospitals and healthcare providers in complex civil litigation alleging professional negligence. With a background that includes everything from pre-suit investigation through trial and verdict, Jenna provides thorough representation to physicians, surgeons, and nurses of all specialties.

In addition, Jenna counsels clients on the issues surrounding growing, infusing, transporting, and dispensing cannabis within the State of Illinois.

Prior to joining Allen Galluzzo Hevrin Leake, Jenna was a Partner at a large national law firm. She has a background in both prosecuting and defending cases involving catastrophic injuries.

She has also served as an Arbitrator for the State of Illinois 17th Judicial Circuit for nearly a decade.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • Illinois Defense Counsel
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Winnebago County Young Lawyer’s Association
  • Juris Doctor, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2013

Research Assistant to Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Parness

  • B.A., Communication Studies, Florida State University, 2007
nathanf

Nathan W. Friedman
ASSOCIATE

 

Nathan (Nate) W. Friedman is a litigator focused on complex areas of malpractice and governmental liability matters. Nate is experienced in arguing dispositive, discovery, and pretrial motions, in addition to taking and defending depositions. With the ability to handle every stage of an adversarial proceeding, Nate takes a creative approach to achieve successful results for clients.

Prior to joining AGHL, Nate was an associate at a litigation boutique firm in Louisiana with a statewide reputation for being meticulous and aggressive litigators in the areas of medical malpractice, insurance defense, and complex commercial litigation.

While in law school, Nate clerked for the Honorable Judge Dawn Amacker of the 22nd Judicial District Court, St. Tammany Parish. 

 

Honors & Awards
  • Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center
    • CALI Award in “Wills, Trusts & Estates”
    • Graduate Editor, Journal of Civil Law Studies
    • Chancellor’s Scholar
  • Health Care
  • J.D., Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, 2017

  • M.F.A., McNeese State University, 2014

  • M.A., McNeese State University, 2014

  • B.A., Virginia Commonwealth University, 2010

gg

GINO GALLUZZO
PARTNER

Gino Galluzzo represents businesses, their owners, non-profit and governmental entities. He works closely with his client’s leadership team applying his business acumen to the law, thereby providing his clients with practical and contextual advice. Mr. Galluzzo counsels business clients through entity selection, financing, business acquisitions, and dispositions, including buy-sell agreements, mergers, succession planning, shareholder/partner relationship issues, and other day-to-day business issues that arise. He has extensive experience in commercial real estate development matters, advising his clients through facility construction, mechanic’s liens, leasing, real estate purchases, sales, and other related issues. His experience in real estate includes providing site selection services to clients, procuring economic incentives, and negotiating appropriate incentive terms to maximize the value of those incentives. He regularly works on incentive deals in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, working with clients’ finance departments to assist in the comparison of the overall cost of doing business analysis of different states.

On behalf of our municipal clients, Mr. Galluzzo has successfully directed a number of sizable and complex multi-million-dollar public-private partnership projects from concept through all phases of execution. He has counseled municipalities and school districts through infrastructure and facility expansion projects, entitlement issues, and the identification, negotiation, and implementation of various economic development tools, state and federal grants. His clients value his knowledge of tax increment financing, abatement agreements, enterprise zones, special taxing districts, sales tax rebate agreements, impact fees, and the use of available state and federal tax credits.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • Illinois Tax Increment Association, Executive Member
  • Illinois Municipal League, Resolutions Committee
  • Business & Commercial Transactions
  • Real Estate Development & Financing
  • Site Selection & Incentives
  • Municipal and Licensing Law
  • Government Contracts and Procurement
  • J.D., The John Marshall Law School, 1997
  • B.S., Northern Illinois University, 1993
  • llinois
matthew-hevrin

MATTHEW M. HEVRIN
PARTNER

815.414.5518
mhevrin@aghllaw.com

Matthew Hevrin defends the interests of his clients in virtually all manner of business transactions and commercial litigation matters. He focuses the majority of his practice on banking-related litigation. Recognizing the ever-evolving complexity of the financial industry, Matthew helps clients navigate legal and regulatory developments.

Over the course of his career, Matthew has worked with many national and state financial institutions and businesses. In addition to advising on all areas of workout and debt collection—including complex commercial foreclosures, secured transactions, replevins, and general collection litigation—Matthew has substantial experience representing creditors in Chapters 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy proceedings, including preference claim defense and adversary litigation contesting discharge. He has also advised clients on Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) issues and defends financial institutions in litigation involving alleged regulatory violations.

Leveraging his extensive and diverse experience, Matthew strives to assist clients with all their litigation, transactional, and corporate needs—including corporate, real estate, and lending matters. In addition to drafting complex loan documentation, he represents condominium associations and counsels clients concerning residential and commercial real estate purchases, sales, financing, and leasing, as well as mechanics liens and eminent domain issues.

Matthew’s background further includes working with businesses on transactions involving stock and asset sales. He also handles probate matters, including will and trust contests.

Prior to establishing Allen Galluzzo Hevrin Leake, LLC, Matthew was a partner in charge of a national AmLaw 200 law firm’s second-largest office.

  • J.D., cum laude, Northern Illinois University, 1998
  • B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995
Kelly Hintzsche

KELLY E. HINTZSCHE
ASSOCIATE

Kelly Hintzsche focuses her practice in the areas of business and corporate transactions, estate planning, and administration, residential and commercial real estate. Ms. Hintzsche advises corporate clients on the various formation and governance matters in addition to handling estate planning and probate and trust administrations. Her commercial real estate practice includes property development, leasing, economic incentives, and zoning matters. Her residential real estate practice includes preparing real estate contracts and assisting clients throughout the closing process.

Ms. Hintzsche also represents municipalities in the formation and administration of tax increment financing districts and other municipal financing mechanisms in addition to serving as general counsel on day-to-day governance matters.

  • Business & Commercial
  • Transactions
  • Business Formation
  • Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation
  • Government
  • Government Contracts and Procurement
  • Municipal and Licensing Law
  • Real Estate & Lending
  • J.D., Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2008
  • B.S., Criminal Justice, Illinois State University, 2005
tim-j-leake

TIMOTHY J. LEAKE
PARTNER

815.414.5522
tleake@aghllaw.com

Timothy J. (T.J.) Leake is a partner in the office of Allen Galluzzo Hevrin Leake, LLC. His practice involves both the business and private wealth/estate planning practice areas in his representation of individuals, businesses, and their owners. He focuses on private company ownership and governance matters and serves as an outside general counsel for his corporate clientele on a wide variety of general corporate matters.  T.J. also has a robust mergers and acquisitions practice, with well over a half of a billion dollars in collective transactions successfully closed.

T.J. is also an ally to owners of companies and successful entrepreneurs in private business through his extensive estate planning practice. He serves as “general counsel” to his estate planning clients, developing and implementing wealth preservation strategies that serve their financial and social goals. This model is ideal for handling the needs of family and closely-held business owners. T.J. understands that the foundation of good estate planning is built through a team effort. He works with clients’ financial advisers, accountants, and insurance consultants to develop and perpetuate a strategic estate planning agenda.  By devising and implementing various strategies, he and his team help clients achieve their wealth preservation and asset protection goals and navigate complexities that arise with securing their legacy. T.J. has helped clients pass millions of dollars to future generations through tax minimization and wealth transference strategies.

For many years, T.J. has focused on the multidisciplinary needs of family-held business enterprises. He is a member of the Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises (AFHE). The studies and discussions that have been advanced at the association’s meetings have helped T.J. develop the necessary skill set to manage a range of generational transition problems.

Prior to establishing Allen Galluzzo Hevrin Leake, LLC, T.J. was a partner in a national AmLaw 200 law firm.

T.J. speaks to many organizations on a number of topics, including estate planning, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as well as medical practice issues, and record keeping. Some of his presentations, include:

  • Co-Presenter, “Business Succession Planning: ‘Where do I start?'” Blackhawk Bank, Webinar, September 24, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “Understanding the Main Street Lending Program,” RAEDC Webinar, Rockford, Illinois, June 30, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “How Small Businesses Can Navigate the Pandemic,” Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) Webinar, May 27, 2020
  • “Learn about Succession Planning for your Business,” Rock Valley College, Rockford, Illinois, April 2016
  • “Estate Planning,” Wells Fargo LaLoggia Group Investment Discussion Series Seminar, Illinois, February 2016
  • “Business Succession Planning,” Winnebago County Bar Association, Estate Planning Section, Rockford, Illinois, February 2016
  • “Estate Planning Update for Financial Advisors,” Monarch Solutions, Rockford, Illinois, 2015
  • “Estate Planning Workshop,” Rockford University, Rockford, Illinois, September 2014
  • “Wills vs. Trusts,” Edward Jones, Roscoe, Illinois, November 2008
  • “Asset Protection in Estate Planning to Managing an Accounting Practice,” MAP Group, Rockford, Illinois, June 2008
  • “Medical Records Law in Illinois,” Lorman Education Services seminar, Rockford, Illinois, May 2008
  • “Asset Protection in Estate Planning” Winnebago County Bar Association, Estate Planning Section, Rockford, Illinois, May 2008
  • “Estate Planning Workshop,” Grand Victorian, Rockford, Illinois, April 2008
  • “Estate Planning Workshop,” Rockford Public Library Summer Reading Club, Rockford, Illinois, June 2006
  • “Current Estate Planning Issues (Including How to Prevent the IRS or Other ‘Undesirables’ from Being your Primary Beneficiaries),” AGHL’s 2005 Breakfast Seminar Series, Rockford, Illinois, April 2005
  • J.D., cum laude, The John Marshall Law School, 2002
    • Member, The John Marshall Law Review
    • Staff Editor, Review of Intellectual Property Law
    • Member, Phi Delta Phi
  • B.A., cum laude, Luther College, 1999
tom-lester

THOMAS J. LESTER
PARTNER

815.414.5530
tlester@aghllaw.com

Thomas Lester has a diverse business law and commercial litigation practice involving municipal law, bankruptcy, business torts, commercial lending, commercial litigation, injunctions/special remedies, and debtor-creditor issues.

Tom represents multiple national financial institutions in complex commercial lending relationships. He served as a bankruptcy trustee and has represented financial institutions in large workout real estate matters. Tom provides counsel and business advice to business clients including contracts, buy-sell agreements, and other day-to-day business advice. In addition, Tom represents large commercial and residential developers.

Among his municipal entity clients, Tom has a particular focus on representing school districts. He advises on school law issues, finance, and litigation. Tom is also general counsel for two of the busiest general aviation airports in Northern Illinois after O’Hare and Midway.

Tom also assists governmental entities in securing state and federal grants.

Prior to joining AGHL, Tom was a partner in a national AmLaw 200 law firm where he practiced for over 30 years.

  • J.D., with distinction, The John Marshall Law School, 1985
  • M.B.A., Keller Graduate School, 1980
  • B.S., University of Dayton, 1975
devin-noble1

DEVIN B. NOBLE
PARTNER

815.414.5524
dnoble@aghllaw.com

Devin Noble concentrates his practice in the areas of business litigation and transactions, corporate law, and bankruptcy law. He represents and advises clients from a wide array of industries in both litigation and transactional matters.

 

Professional Background

Devin’s practice spans nearly a decade. During law school, Devin served as an extern to the Honorable Philip G. Reinhard, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2010. In addition to his other academic accomplishments, he graduated first in his class from law school.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • J.D., summa cum laude, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2011
    • Member, Northern Illinois University Law Review
  • B.A., cum laude, Psychology, The George Washington University, 2008
jim-pirages

JAMES R. PIRAGES
PARTNER

James Pirages has more than 30 years of experience representing management and employers in labor and employment matters. He handles investigations of unfair labor practice charges and represents employers in proceedings of the National Labor Relations Board and Illinois State Labor Relations Board. Mr. Pirages also deals with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Illinois Department of Human Rights discrimination charges against employers, investigating charges and, when necessary, speaking on behalf of clients at hearings before those administrative agencies.

In addition, Mr. Pirages advises clients in matters involving OSHA inspections and citations and has effectively contested the agency’s citations and administrative actions.

Mr. Pirages’ vigorous advocacy of employers extends to wage and hour matters, from contesting the results of audits completed by the Illinois Department of Labor and United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, to representing clients in federal court litigation.

Mr. Pirages has extensive experience acting on behalf of employers in matters involving union representation. He advises on certification and decertification of third-party organizations and helps employers maintain a union-free working environment. He also handles charges involving claims of secondary boycotts and other illegal activity by unions.

For companies with unions, Mr. Pirages represents management in collective bargaining negotiations and advises on discipline and discharge matters (including “preventative” measures to avoid legal claims over these actions). His proactive dispute avoidance counsel includes the drafting of personnel rules, employee handbooks, and affirmative action programs that comply with employment laws and regulations.

In the area of employee benefits, Mr. Pirages handles the defense of collective bargaining agreement claims involving employer obligations to contribute to a pension, health, and welfare funds. He also helps clients resist assessments of multi-employer withdrawal liability pursuant to the provisions of the Multi-Employer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980.

 

Professional Background

Mr. Pirages is the former leader of the Labor & Employment Practice Group of an AmLaw 200 Law Firm. He is also is a past partner-in-charge of the Rockford office. Mr. Pirages joined the firm in September 1987.

 

Honors & Awards
  • Selected as a “2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment” by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in the categories of Employment Law: Management and Labor Law: Management
  • Included by Leading Lawyers Magazine Business Edition, as one of the Top 100 Leading Downstate Business Lawyers in Illinois, 2010
  • Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
  • J.D., Southern Illinois University College of Law, 1980
    • Notes and Comments Editor, Southern Illinois University Law Journal, 1979-1980
    • Ethics Committee Chair, 1979-1980
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Rockford College, 1977
mjpr

MARYJO F. PIRAGES REYNOLDS
PARTNER

Maryjo Pirages Reynolds defends the interests of employers in a range of labor and employment matters. She also counsels clients within the business sector on business and commercial transactions and assists individuals and families with estate planning and administration.

Committed to working hand-in-hand with employers, Maryjo helps businesses of all sizes navigate the ever-changing legal landscape in order to limit their liability and exposure. In addition to helping employers ensure they are complying with statutory and administrative regulations, Maryjo advises them on their contracts, policies, and the development and implementation of employee handbooks. She has defended employers against charges of discrimination and retaliation involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Illinois Department of Human Rights, as well as claims alleging unfair labor practices filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). She also has experience representing employers in immigration matters, including the filing of employer-sponsored visa petitions and in I-9 audits.

Maryjo’s background further includes counseling clients within the business sector on business formation and operations, commercial real estate transactions, and assisting with corporate drafting needs.

Before joining AGHL, Maryjo practiced with a firm based in Rockford, Illinois. She gained experience in numerous areas of the law, ultimately focusing on labor and employment law. Born and raised in Rockford, Maryjo is committed to the Rockford community.

During law school, she was involved in a number of organizations and activities, including the University of Illinois Law Review. She also served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Wayne R. Andersen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Prior to law school, Maryjo interned at the White House in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • Certified Arbitrator, 17th Judicial Circuit
  • Winnebago County Bar Association
    • Young Lawyers’ Association, President, 2016 – 2017

 

Honors & Awards
  • Selected by her peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for Labor and Employment Law – Management, 2021
  • Named a “Next Up” Young Leader by the Rockford Register Star, 2019
  • Recognized by her peers as an “Emerging Lawyer” in the areas of Employment Law: Management; Immigration Law: Employment; Labor Law: Management; and Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law, 2017 – 2019
  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Illinois College of Law, 2012
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Dayton, 2009
generic

William W. Ranard
Partner

815-414-2730
wranard@aghllaw.com

William Ranard primarily practices civil defense litigation and is a member of the Medical Liability, Health Care, Professional Liability, Products Liability, Transportation, and Construction practice groups. He has extensive experience and specializes in the field of medical malpractice defense. Bill has successfully tried many cases before juries in at least ten different counties, including cases in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri courts.

Bill’s practice also includes matters in the fields of errors and omissions, vehicular negligence, premises liability, product liability, construction negligence, municipal law, and general insurance defense. He has additional experience in civil rights and breach of contract litigation on the defense side. 

Bill’s medical malpractice defense clients include physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, medical, lab, and radiology technicians, dentists, and hospitals and clinics across Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. He has represented many local, state, and national companies in construction and contract disputes.

Bill previously served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Lawrence Crahan of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, where he obtained extensive experience in appellate law.

Bill has lectured and written on several legal topics including the use of expert witnesses in litigation, handling low-impact injury claims, common law and statutory liens, deposition preparation, and the requirements of consultant’s reports in medical negligence suits.

 

Memberships and Affiliations
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar Association
  • Winnebago County Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Bar Association

 

Distinctions
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell)
  • Leading Lawyer (Law Bulletin Publishing Company)
  • University of Missouri, J.D. Northwestern University, B.A.

KEVIN SCHAUER, MBA
PARALEGAL

Mr. Schauer holds a Master’s in Business Administration in addition to his Bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies. He skillfully uses his education, along with his project planning experience to help clients address the financial issues involved in their projects, including the ability to compare the financial impact of a wide range of optional variables to help finance capital projects. He works closely with other members of the client’s team to deliver projects on time, on budget, and in accordance with their intended use. In addition to project-based services, Mr. Schauer’s analytical skills are frequently called upon to help clients understand the financial implications to deal with terms being considered during the negotiation and structuring of legal documents. His helpful and patient involvement is a real asset.

GregS

Gregory T. Snyder
PARTNER

 

815.414.2755
gsnyder@aghllaw.com

Gregory T. Snyder has been representing physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers in medical-legal matters for more than 25 years. He regularly defends physicians, surgeons, and nurses involved in medical malpractice lawsuits at deposition and trials in state and federal courts throughout Illinois. 

Greg provides medical risk management advice and leads a team of attorneys who conduct internal investigations in response to complaints at hospitals, religious organizations, and physician groups to identify potential civil exposure. Greg has successfully defended religious institutions involved in sensitive litigation.

Greg is an enthusiastic legal teacher. He coordinates and teaches ongoing continuing legal education and trial advocacy classes for the Medical Litigation Group throughout the year.

 

Professional Affiliations

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Association of Defense Counsel
  • Illinois Association of Health Care Attorneys
  • Illinois State Bar Association

 

Honors & Awards
  • Rated by Martindale-Hubbell for ethics and legal ability
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, 2018 – 2022
  • Health Care
  • Health Care Defense
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1993

  • B.S., Southern Illinois University, 1982

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
generic

Matthew A. Turley
ASSOCIATE

 

Matthew A. Turley advises clients on a wide range of health care matters. With experience that includes legal research, drafting pleadings and motions, and client counseling, Matt is involved in all phases of litigation. He is committed to partnering with his clients to ensure they are informed throughout the process and find a solution that keeps their best interests in mind.

 

Professional Background

Matt was previously a research assistant to Professor Sarah Fox of Northern Illinois University College of Law. In that capacity, he compiled and analyzed data on issues related to environmental law and affordable housing.

Matt has performed legal research on a wide range of topics including civil rights and workers’ compensation issues. He also worked as a student attorney under Illinois Rule 711 with the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic, representing low-income individuals in Order of Protection proceedings and drafting estate planning documents. Additionally, Matt was an intern for the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois where he assisted with “Justice for Families” grant projects, including the development of language access resources.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • DuPage County Bar Association, Member, 2016–Present
  • Winnebago County Bar Association, Member, 2016–Present
  • American Bar Association, Member, 2015–Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member, 2015–Present
  • J.D., magna cum laude, Northern Illinois University College of Law, 2018
    • Staff, Law Review
  • B.A., magna cum laude, History, Rockford University, 2014
    • Phi Beta Kappa
generic

Daniel E. Wiesch
PARTNER

Daniel Wiesch has a diverse litigation practice with an emphasis on the defense of medical malpractice claims. He also has experience litigating a broad range of cases including commercial litigation matters, employment disputes, products liability claims, construction defect claims, and nursing home liability claims.

He handles all phases of litigation, from pre-suit investigation to pretrial preparation, motion practice, and settlements.

Daniel has a successful trial record, having obtained defense verdicts in more than 10 jury trials as lead counsel, and assisting as second chair counsel on several others. He has successfully resolved a number of claims through arbitration and mediation.

 

Professional Affiliations
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Illinois College of Law, 2001

  • B.A., Northwestern University, 1997