PLI PLUS 2.0 is now available – click here to test drive the new platform.
Skip to main content

Illinois Professional Responsibility MCLE Marathon 2021

Speaker(s): Christine P. Anderson, Christopher R. Heredia, Destiny Peery, Jefferey O Katz, Jeremy N. Boeder, Lea S. Gutierrez, Mark C. Palmer, Martin J. O'Hara, Melissa A. Smart, Robin Belleau, Stephanie L. Stewart, Steven F. Pflaum
Recorded on: May. 5, 2021
PLI Program #: 305978

Destiny Peery is a social psychologist and legal scholar who studies identity, bias and discrimination, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, including their intersections with the law and the legal profession. Destiny has been on the faculties of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and Duke University School of Law. She regularly facilitates workshops on cognitive, implicit biases and DEI-related topics across the legal profession and other professional communities. She has also conducted research on diversity in the legal profession with the American Bar Association and the National Association of Women Lawyers. She holds a JD and a PhD in social psychology from Northwestern University. She is currently the Interim Managing Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School.

LEA S. GUTIERREZ is the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the American Lung Association and serves as a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Prior to joining the American Lung Association, Gutierrez served as the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office where she was responsible for leading the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives designed to optimize organizational culture and align the organization’s DEI goals with organizational outcomes. 

Prior to joining the State’s Attorney’s Office, Gutierrez was the founding Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC). For six years, Gutierrez pioneered the ARDC’s efforts to recruit diverse attorneys, promote a culture of inclusion, and create methods for increased public accessibility to the ARDC. While serving as Director of D&I, Gutierrez also held concurrent roles as Senior Litigation Counsel and Litigation Manager, supervising a litigation team responsible for investigating and prosecuting allegations of lawyer misconduct.  

She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Hampton University in Virginia, her law degree from Temple University School of Law in Pennsylvania and her Master of Forensic Sciences from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. She also received her Executive Certificate in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management from Georgetown University in Washington D.C and her Graduate Certificate in Organizational Behavior from Harvard Extension School.  

Gutierrez serves on multiple committees dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession including the Illinois State Bar Association’s Special.

Christine Anderson is a 1986 graduate of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.  In 1988, Ms. Anderson joined the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission as counsel and currently holds the position of Director of Probation and Lawyer Deferral Services, Intake Manager and Senior Litigation Counsel.  During her employment with the ARDC, Ms. Anderson has investigated and prosecuted hundreds of cases of attorney misconduct and has argued several disciplinary cases before the Supreme Court of Illinois.  She currently monitors the attorneys placed on diversion, supervision status by the Inquiry Board and probation and conditional admission by the Supreme Court of Illinois.  She is also a frequent presenter at continuing legal education programs on topics related to professional responsibility and lawyer regulation.  She is also on the advisory board to the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs.

Christopher Heredia is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Chicago office, where he focuses his practice in legal ethics and risk management for lawyers and law firms,  as well as commercial litigation. As a member of the firm's Legal Profession Team, Mr. Heredia advises and represents lawyers, law firms and in-house counsel on all aspects of professional responsibility matters, including firm organization, dissolution, disqualification, lawyer mobility, regulatory compliance, and bar disciplinary defense at the state and federal levels, including before the Office of Enrollment and Discipline of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Heredia also represents students and other professionals before regulatory authorities in licensing, admissions, and character and fitness matters.

In the community, Mr. Heredia is active in local and national bar associations, and frequently presents to law schools, legal organizations and media outlets on professional responsibility matters. As a faculty member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), he teaches lawyers successful deposition techniques during NITA’s annual deposition skills training program. Mr. Heredia also previously taught Ethics and Advocacy as an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law Ethics and Advocacy, which combined elements of professional responsibility with trial advocacy.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Heredia served as Litigation Counsel for the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), where he investigated hundreds of charges of attorney misconduct, and litigated formal proceedings before the Commission’s Hearing Board and Illinois Supreme Court. His tenure with the ARDC allowed Mr. Heredia to become intimately familiar with the law governing lawyers and professional responsibility matters. Mr. Heredia also worked as a criminal prosecutor for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, where he gained extensive litigation experience prosecuting complex fraud, theft, and vehicle-related felonies.

Jefferey Ogden Katz is a leading professional liability litigation lawyer.  Mr. Katz has handled hundreds of professional liability cases throughout the country, both of behalf of Plaintiffs and Defendants.  Mr. Katz and his firm regularly represent individuals, private and public corporations and law firms in litigation, trials and alternative dispute resolution involving professional liability and disciplinary issues.  

Mr. Katz has been a frequent speaker on professional liability issues and has presented to the Chicago Bar Association, American Association for Justice and American Conference Institute, among others, on professional liability issues.  Mr. Katz has frequently been cited by the media, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Law 360 on issues relating to professional liability.

Mr. Katz is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Case Western Reserve University School of Law.  He is admitted to practice full time in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky.

Mark C. Palmer serves as Chief Counsel under the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism to facilitate the promotion of professionalism, civility, and integrity among our lawyers and judges in Illinois. Mark supports the legal and judicial systems to better provide equitable, efficient, and effective service to the public through education and outreach initiatives.

Mark collaborates with legal mentoring stakeholders across Illinois and the nation to bring the Court’s professionalism-based mentoring program to new and experienced attorneys. He further supports the development and delivery of educational programming to lawyers, judges, and law students, and performs outreach across the state on behalf of the Commission.

Before joining the Commission, Mark spent a decade in private practice as a trial attorney primarily focused on commercial litigation, banking law, and municipal law. During such time, he handled civil and criminal cases in the state and federal courts, including the appellate courts.

Mark serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign since 2009. Additionally, he has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers in Illinois at the University of Illinois Police Training Institute, lecturing on topics such as use of force and police liability.

Mark received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his law degree from UIC John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He is active in numerous bar and civic organizations including on the Board of Governors for the Illinois State Bar Association and as the chair of the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) 6th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee.

Melissa A. Smart is the Director of Education at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC) where she develops, implements and presents programs and materials to educate lawyers regarding their professional responsibilities, and supervises a team of lawyers and paraprofessionals dedicated to helping lawyers serve their clients effectively within the bounds of the Rules of Professional Conduct.  She also investigates and prosecutes lawyer disciplinary cases, including cases involving allegations of conversion, billing fraud, conflicts of interest and public corruption. 

Ms. Smart obtained her B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She received her law degree from The John Marshall Law School, graduating cum laude.  Ms. Smart began working at the ARDC as a law clerk in 1997 and became Counsel for the Administrator in 1999.  As a member of the Commission’s staff for over twenty years, she has investigated thousands of charges of professional misconduct and has been responsible for over 100 different formal disciplinary proceedings filed in the Supreme Court of Illinois or before various Commission Boards.  She has tried dozens of matters before the Commission Hearing Board. 

Ms. Smart is past Chair of the YLS Professional Responsibility Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and currently serves on the Illinois State Bar Association Standing Committee on the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.  She has lectured and presented workshops regarding professional responsibility and disciplinary law to numerous bar association groups, government agencies, law firms, private organizations and law schools.  She has appeared as a guest on various radio programs to discuss her knowledge of the Rules of Professional Conduct and issues related to professional responsibility.  She has been selected to work on pilot programs for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, which have developed model courses on professional responsibility and CLE course facilitation.  She was named a Member of the Joint Illinois State Bar Association/Chicago Bar Association Special Committee on Ethics 2000 which reviewed existing Illinois ethics guidelines and suggested changes to the Illinois Supreme Court, which formed the basis for the New 2010 Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.  Ms. Smart is the Editor of the National Organization of Bar Counsel Current Developments Project.  In that capacity, she summarizes professional responsibility statutory changes and case law throughout the United States and analyzes and summarizes developments and trends at national conferences held twice a year.  Ms. Smart was also recently appointed to serve as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee of the National Organization of Bar Counsel to review and make recommendations regarding the Report from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. 

Robin Belleau is the Firm Wide Director of Wellbeing at Kirkland & Ellis. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and an attorney.

Prior to joining Kirkland & Ellis in March of 2019, she was the Executive Director of the Illinois Lawyers’ Assistance Program (LAP), which provides substance use and mental health services to Illinois Judges, lawyers, and law students. Previous to her role as Executive Director, Robin was LAP’s Clinical Director. As Clinical Director, Robin supervised clinical services provided to members of the Illinois legal community.

Robin practiced law for 8 years. During her tenure in the law, Robin was a Senior Assistant Public Defender, an Assistant State’s Attorney, and an associate in a general practice firm.

Robin is currently on the Advisory Commission for the American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyers’ Assistance Programs.

Steven F. Pflaum is a partner in Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP and the co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. He represents clients in complex civil litigation matters before state and federal courts throughout the country, with a focus on commercial disputes, constitutional challenges, hospital tax exemption controversies, and defamation and invasion of privacy suits. A substantial portion of his practice involves appeals in state and federal courts concerning a broad range of civil and criminal issues, often serving as lead appellate counsel or consulting counsel following an unfavorable result in a lower trial or appellate court. He is a past President of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and a past General Counsel of The Chicago Bar Association.

Steve devotes a substantial amount of time to activities intended to improve the administration of justice and the regulation of the legal profession. He served for ten years on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility and was the chair of that committee when the Court promulgated the 2010 Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. He was recently appointed by the Supreme Court to chair the Statutory Court Fees Task Force, a group of Illinois judges, legislators, court clerks, and lawyers tasked with evaluating the implementation of legislative reforms and related Supreme Court Rule changes intended to improve the fairness and transparency of court fees and costs, and to reduce their impacts on access to justice. He is the long-time chair of the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee and has served on that committee since it was founded in 1992. Although primarily intended as a form of public service, Steve’s involvement with professional ethics and liability issues has increasingly led to his retention by lawyers and law firms as an expert witness or as counsel regarding those issues.

Steve has been selected by his peers on three occasions as the “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America in the category of Chicago Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy; 2015, 2017, and 2019 editions). He is also listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Leading Lawyers Network, and Illinois Super Lawyers.

Steve is the chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. In that capacity, he collaborates with the members of the Committee and lawyers throughout the firm to implement the firm’s innovative and ambitious pro bono policy. He has been recognized for his career-long dedication to pro bono activities by the Chicago Bar Foundation, which awarded him the Edward J. Lewis II Pro Bono Service Award in 2019.


Marty O’Hara, Vice Chair of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice group, concentrates his practice on commercial litigation and the defense of professionals in malpractice actions.


Earlier in his career, Marty served as a law clerk for the Honorable Michael B. Getty of the Cook County Circuit Court, Chancery Division.

A frequently published author, Marty contributed the chapter “Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Seek Significant Recoveries Through Professional Liability Claims,” to the book, Best Practices for Addressing Professional Liability Claims. Marty currently writes the "Professional Liability" column for the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel's IDC Quarterly. He has also published articles in the John Marshall Law Review and the ABA’s Judges’ Journal. Other recent publications include the following:

  • “What’s Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander,” IDC Quarterly (Fourth Quarter 2013)
  • “A Split of Authority Regarding Whether Section 13-214.3 Applies to a Claim for Aiding and Abetting a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Brought by a Non-Client,” IDC Quarterly (Third Quarter 2013).

As a faculty member for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Marty speaks regularly at the “Basic Skills” seminar for new Illinois lawyers. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel and the Society of Trial Lawyers. Marty also serves as a delegate of Much Shelist to the Ally Law and serves on the organization's Policy and Member Services Committee. While in law school, he served on the John Marshall Law Review, and won a Graduate School Scholarship Award and the Dean Herzog Scholarship. Marty has been designated an Illinois Super Lawyer (2012-2016), an honor given to the top 5% of attorneys in the state.


Marty is past president of the St. John Fisher Athletic Association.


The John Marshall Law School
J.D., 1995

Illinois State University
B.A., 1990

Marty is admitted to practice in Illinois, and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Concentrating his practice on counseling and representing clients in professional liability and disciplinary matters, Jeremy Boeder works closely with attorneys, insurance agents and brokers and other professionals. He also represents clients involved in commercial disputes, insurance coverage matters and general tort litigation. Mr. Boeder has achieved favorable results for his clients through mediation and arbitration, as lead counsel in numerous jury trials and as appellate counsel.

Mr. Boeder is a frequent speaker and author on topics relating to professional liability, risk management and legal ethics. He has been frequently honored for his work, having been named by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Rising Star in Illinois in the area of professional liability defense by Super Lawyers Magazine, by Law Bulletin Publishing Company as an Illinois "Emerging Lawyer" and a "Leading Lawyer" in the areas of commercial litigation, professional malpractice defense and personal injury defense, and by the American Society of Legal Advocates in 2017 as one of the top 40 litigation lawyers under the age of 40 in the State of Illinois.

Recognized by her peers as a "Super Lawyer" and/or “Leading Lawyer” in professional liability since 2007, Ms. Stewart has established a successful practice concentrating in the areas of ARDC defense, legal malpractice, commercial litigation, and representation of other professionals before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

After graduating from Northwestern University Pritzker Law School in 1994, Ms. Stewart served as a prosecutor at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (“ARDC”) where she investigated and litigated hundreds of attorney disciplinary cases. In 1999, she was promoted to Senior Counsel to the Administrator of the ARDC, a position she held until leaving the ARDC for private practice in 2002.

Ms. Stewart has served as both a consulting and a testifying expert in the legal ethics field and regularly advises and represents governmental entities, corporations, law firms, and individual lawyers in ethics matters. For example, she has conducted internal ethics investigations, including Himmel investigations, for some of the largest law firms in Chicago. She has also represented attorneys and law firms in relation to motions to disqualify and for sanctions, fee disputes, and partnership matters.  Ms. Stewart was appointed as a Special Assistant State’s Attorney in both Cook and Winnebago Counties with respect to ethics matters, and previously chaired the CBA’s Committee on Professional Fees.