Thursday, June 19, 2014

Steven Pflaum Installed as Association's 47th President

By Charlie Ingrassia
Law Clerk to Hon. Susan F. Hutchinson, Illinois Appellate Court, Second District

Association President Steven Pflaum with Illinois Supreme Court
Justices Mary Jane Theis (L) and Thomas L. Kilbride (R).
On June 13, 2014, the Association gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago for the Installation luncheon of Steven F. Pflaum as the Association's 47th President. Attendees included ALA members as well as judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Circuit Court of Cook County. Also in attendance were a number of special guests, including President Pflaum's wife and children and attorneys from Pflaum's law firm, Neil, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP.

Outgoing president Brad Elward began the festivities by providing welcoming remarks and recounting a successful bar year, which included holding events within every appellate district. Pursuant to its bylaws, the Association also elected a new slate of Officers and Directors. The newly elected Officers are Michael Scodro of Jenner & Block LLP as Vice President; JoAnne Driscoll of Forde Law Offices LLP as Secretary; and Evan Siegel of the Illinois Attorney General's Office as Treasurer. Newly elected Directors, who will serve a two-year term, are E. King Poor of Quarles & Brady LLP; John Fitzgerald of Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC; Natalie Thompson of Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C.; and Matthew Elster of Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP.

Thereafter, Elward introduced Justice Michael B. Hyman of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, to administer the oath of office. Justice Hyman began his remarks by thanking Elward and the Association for promoting education and professionalism within the legal profession.

Outgoing Association President Brad Elward (L) and Pflaum
at the Installation luncheon held at the Union League
Club in Chicago.
Justice Hyman then, as he phrased it, began his "roast" of incoming President Pflaum by quipping that Pflaum shares many of the same physical characteristics as Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage. Drawing a large laugh from the audience, Justice Hyman remarked that the similarities did not end with appearance. For example, Pflaum is a member of the California bar, while Cage frequents many bars in California. Turning to a more serious note, Justice Hyman recounted Pflaum's many achievements within the legal profession and commented that Pflaum is a "meticulous and forthright" attorney who has a reputation for handling high-stake and complex matters.

After taking the oath of office, President Pflaum performed his first official act by thanking Elward, the judges in attendance, and his family. Pflaum shared his vision for the Association. Noting that the ALA is the "hardest working Association in show business," Pflaum stated that the Association will be "Rock Steady," in reference to a famous Aretha Franklin song. That is, the Association will remain steady by continuing to present luncheons, brown bag luncheons, and advanced appellate advocacy seminars throughout the state, but will also "shake things up" by implementing new initiatives started by his predecessors.

ALA President Steven F. Pflaum addresses the Association
after taking the oath of office.

Pflaum discussed the Association's effort to expand its social media presence by transitioning The Brief publication into a publicly available blog. The Association also created a members-only LinkedIn page, which provides members a forum to discuss issues related to appellate advocacy, and plans to revamp its website. In addition, the Association plans to celebrate the Illinois Supreme Court sitting in Chicago this upcoming October. Pflaum noted that the celebration dinner will provide yet another opportunity to facilitate communication between the bench and bar - a core Association principle - and that the legal profession depends upon judges and attorneys working together.

The ALA thanks Past President Elward and the outgoing Directors for a successful and enjoyable bar year, and congratulates the new Officers and Directors.

Recommended Citation: Charlie Ingrassia, Steven Pflaum Installed as Association's 47th PresidentThe Brief, (June 19, 2014),

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