Congratulations to seven graduates of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law (UIC Law) who were named 2021 Notable Gen X Leaders in Law by Crain’s Chicago Business. Michael Bonamarte IV (JD 2005), Kevin Coyne (LLM 2009), Barbara Dunn (JD 1992), Gary Gassman (JD 1993), Robert “Bobby” Gerber (JD 1998), Tia Ghattas (JD 1999) and Kerryann Haase Minton (JD 1996) were recognized for their leadership and ability to effect change.
Released each year, Crain’s Chicago Business’s Notable Gen X Leaders in Accounting, Consulting and Law list comprises honorees from the Chicago area who were born between 1965 and 1980. Honorees are selected from nominations reviewed by Crain’s editorial board.
“These professionals are generous in providing time to pro bono cases, such as advising clients seeking help in immigration or gaining political asylum. Their civic work runs from serving on the boards of top cultural institutions to supporting anti-poverty organizations on the South and West sides. They are sure to continue their influence for many years.”
The 2021 law school alumni honorees include:
Michael Bonamarte IV (JD 2005), a Partner at Levin & Perconti, became the firm’s youngest partner in 2014. His practice focuses on catastrophic injury and wrongful death matters, and he’s currently working on cases related to a COVID outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home. He and his team are working on cases that test the “civil immunity” granted under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s April 2020 emergency order. In 2020, he achieved an $8.1 million verdict in a failed cancer diagnosis and wrongful death case. He serves on the ISBA Steering Committee on Racial Inequality.
Kevin Coyne (LLM 2009), Principal with Chuhak & Tecson, leads the firm’s real estate practice group and represents clients in food service, hospitality and national franchises. He joined Chuhak in 2018 from Momkus where he was a Partner. He served two terms on the Naperville City Council and was on the DuPage County Stormwater Commission. Coyne recently founded Safe Suburbs USA, a political action organization promoting public safety initiatives that support first responders and candidates for office. He speaks on career strategies at the law school.
Barbara Dunn (JD 1992), a Partner at Barnes & Thornburg, is Co-Chair of the firm’s Associations & Foundations Practice Group, advising nonprofits on laws that impact tax-exempt organizations and how to update their policies for virtual meetings and online voting. In 2018, she established a women’s forum to support female-identifying attorneys at the firm. Dunn supports brain tumor patients and their caregivers and has helped manage local fundraisers for the American Brain Tumor Association.
Gary Gassman (JD 1993), a Member with Cozen O’Connor, is Co-Chair of the firm’s Professional Liability Practice Group, which concentrates on insurance coverage counseling and litigation. He also leads the LGBTQ Attorney Resource Group. Gassman recently represented an insurer in a wrongful death action worth more than $30M and negotiated a six-figure settlement for an insurer in the coverage dispute component of a class action. Gassman was named Chair-Elect of the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section and will assume Chair for 2022-2023.
Robert “Bobby” Gerber (JD 1998), Managing Partner at Neal Gerber Eisenberg, was named the third managing partner in the firm’s 35-year history in June. He’s a member of the executive committee and a Partner in the Corporate & Securities Practice Group. Gerber’s efforts to hire, retain and advance under-represented groups among the firm’s attorney ranks resulted in a Mansfield Rule 4.0 certification this year. He is a member of the Chicago Legal Aid Clinic Development Committee.
Tia Ghattas (JD 1999), a Member with Cozen O’Connor, is Co-Chair of the Transportation and Logistics Litigation Industry Team. She’s tried more than 30 trials to verdict and is a skilled mediator. She’s represented pro bono clients in transgender rights and personal-identity matters. Ghattas is a member of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Steering Committee and the New Business Committee. Last year, she published prescriptive pieces on how the trucking industry should respond to policy and regulatory changes. A former Division II college basketball player, she coaches basketball for Chicago Public Schools.
Kerryann Haase Minton (JD 1996), a Managing Partner at Michael Best & Friedrich, is the Chicago office Managing Partner. Under her leadership, the office is now more than 68% diverse. Minton serves on the firm’s Management, Compensation, DEI and Women’s Development Committees. She counsels financial institutions, manufacturers, logistics companies and higher education institutions on a spectrum of employment issues, including discrimination, staff and leadership training, succession planning, board governance and harassment avoidance. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.