Skip to main content

Bridge-the-Gap: Basic Skills for Newly Admitted Illinois Attorneys 2012

Speaker(s): Anne R. Garr, Bradley Hergott, Jamal M. Edwards, Jay Jaffe, John R. Storino, Melissa M. Root, Michelle Wetzel, Peter J. Roberts, Tiffany L. Amlot, Ursula A. Taylor
Recorded on: Nov. 14, 2012
PLI Program #: 40103

Bradley Hergott joined Scandaglia & Ryan in 2006 after working as an associate at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP (formerly, Lord, Bissell & Brook LLP) for several years. He has represented clients nationwide in a broad range of complex litigation contexts, including insurance and reinsurance coverage, insurance defense and bad faith, professional liability, trademark infringement, technology and internet law, breach of contract, products liability, and personal injury defense.


  • “Rules for Depositions,” a three-part series, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (August 3, 10 and 17), Author.
  • “Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions,” Chapter 9, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Business & Commercial Litigation 2012 edition, Contributor.
  • "How to Avoid (Even ‘Accidentally’) Committing Fraud on the PTO: Trademark Owners and Practitioners at Risk,” BNA’s Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal (October 15, 2010), Co-author.
  • Served as an advocacy coach during a mock mediation at Northwestern University School of Law’s Mediationand Advocacy class.

  • Federal Bars: Seventh Circuit, Northern District of Illinois and Eastern District of Michigan
  • State Bar: Illinois
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Legal Prep Charter Academies, Member of the Board of Directors (2011)
  • Erie Neighborhood House, Member of the Board of Directors (2008—present)
  • Erie Neighborhood House, TEAM Mentor of the Year Award (2007)
  • Child Advocacy Law Clinic, Ann Arbor, MI, Chaired court hearings (2002)
  • U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington, D.C., Researcher (2001)


University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
   Juris Doctor, 2003

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
   Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, May 1999
   Cum laude, honors distinction

Jay Jaffe is a general business lawyer who concentrates his practice in financial distress situations, which involves creditors' rights, loan workout and restructuring, and business reorganization and restructuring. Jay represents debtors and creditors with respect to financially distressed business, both in and out of bankruptcy proceedings and has been a standing panel trustee for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Jay has represented a variety of interests, including buyers and sellers of property and businesses, financial institutions, insurance companies, unsecured creditors, creditor committees, trustees, lessors, corporate debtors and individual debtors in large, non-consumer bankruptcies. In addition, Jay prosecutes and defends commercial contract litigation, foreclosure and replevin proceedings. Jay has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America - Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency & Reorganization Law, every year from 1995 to 2013, and as Indianapolis lawyer of the year for Bankruptcy Litigation, 2012-13.

Tiffany Amlot is a member of SNR Denton's Litigation and Arbitration practice. She has represented clients in a variety of complex commercial disputes, primarily in the areas of contracts, business torts, media law, class action, financial services and insurance matters.

Tiffany has provided legal counsel to newspapers, publishers and the broadcast media. Her representation has covered a range of corporate media and First Amendment law, including defamation and privacy claims, open records and open meetings disputes, and subpoenas and media access litigation.

Tiffany has represented financial institutions in a diverse array of lender liability claims and provides guidance with respect to compliance and security threats. She has defended health care companies in a number of federal antitrust class actions and represented insurance clients in numerous product liability and toxic tort cases.

Tiffany also has substantial experience in managing large electronic discovery projects, as well as internal reviews of company practices, including the development of comprehensive document retention policies and procedures.

Tiffany's pro bono work has included successfully briefing and arguing the Seventh Circuit appeal of a criminal counterfeiting conviction. The Seventh Circuit vacated the counterfeiting conviction, finding that the district judge improperly limited the defendant's constitutional right to testify. United States of America v. Canty, 499 F.3d 729 (7th Cir. 2007).

Tiffany previously was with two other law firms.

While attending the University of Michigan, Tiffany served as a legal extern for the Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and completed a portion of her legal studies at the University College London.

Honors and Awards

  • Named a "Rising Star" in Litigation, Illinois Super Lawyers, 2010, 2012

  • The Chicago Inn of Court

  • University of Michigan Law School, 2004, J.D.; associate editor and membership coordinator, Michigan Journal of Gender & Law; associate editor, Michigan Journal of International Law
  • Yale University, 2000, B.A. with distinction

Bar Admissions / Qualifications
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Michelle Wetzel is currently the General Counsel for Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) in Chicago, Illinois. Michelle joined HBHC in
February 2012 to become the Health Center's first in-house counsel. 

Michelle brings a wealth of legal and non-profit management experience to her position at HBHC.  Prior to joining HBHC, Michelle was the Chief Executive Officer for the Alexian Brothers AIDS Ministry (Bonaventure House, The Harbor, Bettendorf Place) in Chicago. During her tenure there she doubled the organization's budget and more than doubled the agency's housing and supportive services. 

Before her position as CEO, Michelle worked for ten years as a legal aid attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF) in the HIV/AIDS Project and at Prairie State Legal Services. Michelle litigated all types of civil matters but specialized in preserving subsidized housing for people living with HIV/AIDS. While at LAF Michelle served as co-counsel on Cotton v. Bonaventure House - a case that changed the way federal funding for HIV/AIDS housing were monitored throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.

Prior to law school Michelle co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the AIDS Pastoral Care Network of West Michigan. She also managed a west Michigan resort.  Prior to that, she worked as the Manager of Marketing and Administration for McKids - a children's specialty retail chain that was a joint venture between Sears Roebuck and Co. and McDonalds Corp.      

DePaul University College of Law, Juris Doctor, 1999
Aquinas College, Grand Rapids Michigan, Bachelor of Arts, 1994

John R. Storino is a litigator who focuses on commercial litigation, professional responsibility and construction matters. He has experience in issues ranging from breach of contract, civil rights litigation and election law to insurance coverage, pension fund litigation, product liability and employment disputes. Mr. Storino is the co-chair of the Professional Responsibility Practice Group and he represents lawyers and law firms in various different matters, including malpractice litigation, conducting internal investigations at law firms and representing attorneys before disciplinary agencies. He represents owners, developers, subcontractors and engineers in a variety of construction law actions and counsels them regarding general business practices.

In 2008, the Law Bulletin Publishing Company named Mr. Storino one of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch.” Illinois Super Lawyers has regularly recognized him in the areas of business litigation and professional liability defense. Mr. Storino has managed all phases of litigation in federal and state courts. He has tried jury and bench trials and has successfully argued cases before the United States Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit. He has represented clients in criminal and civil investigations instituted by various governmental entities. For several years, he served as a special assistant attorney general for the State of Illinois representing the governor and other state officials in First Amendment cases, political discrimination cases, and retaliatory discharge claims.

Mr. Storino is also a member of the Real Estate and Construction Litigation, and Labor and Employment practices. He is a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee. He is the chair of the Chicago Bar Association Attorney Malpractice Committee, and he routinely lectures on professional responsibility matters. He has written and lectured on construction law and real estate issues, as well as election redistricting issues. He maintains an active pro bono practice and is active in national, state and local politics. He served on Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Transition Team in 2002 and on Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias’ Transition Team in 2006. He participated in the Florida 2000 presidential recount. Mr. Storino was a member of the Notre Dame Soccer Team.


Albert E. Jenner Pro Bono Award, 2012

Illinois Super Lawyers

"Rising Star" - Business Litigation, 2009

"Rising Star" - Professional Liability: Defense, 2010, 2012, 2013 Professional Liability: Defense, 2014-2016

Law Bulletin Publishing Company

“40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch," 2008


Labor and Employment Litigation

Professional Responsibility

Real Estate and Construction Litigation


University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 2000; cum laude

University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1997; Hesburgh Program in Public Service


Illinois, 2000


U.S. Supreme Court, 2005

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2001

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2000

U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2004

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2005

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar), 2010

Anne Garr is a Partner and serves as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group, and is a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.

Anne has a broad range of experience in general real estate matters and is responsible for the day-to-day counseling of the Firm’s real estate and banking clients. A significant portion of her practice involves the representation of developers of commercial and mixed-use developments. Anne’s experience includes operating entity formation and capitalization, project financing, construction contracting, investor relations, project planning and project documentation. She also represents clients, on a national basis, in the acquisition, financing and leasing of office properties, retail centers and other real property assets.

During the past several years, Anne has represented clients in connection with the acquisition, disposition and repositioning of distressed real estate assets.  She has advised clients on transactions involving note sales and purchases, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, fraud investigation and resolution and asset protection.

Practice Areas
Real Estate
Acquisition, Disposition and Asset Management
Management, Brokerage and Other Real Estate Consultancies
Tenant and Corporate Real Estate


J.D., St. Louis University School of Law, cum laude
B.A., The American University

State Bar Admissions

Honors and Awards

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer – 40 Under Forty Illinois Attorneys to Watch – 2008
Leading Lawyers - Land Use, Zoning and Condemnation Law; Real Estate Law: Commercial; and Real Estate Law: Finance -2009

Professional Activities
Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Co-Chair, Scholarship Committee
International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
Real Estate Investment Association (REIA)
Mentor for the Goldie B. Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative

Melissa M. Root is a bankruptcy attorney experienced in sizeable bankruptcy cases.  She frequently represents parties in large complex bankruptcy litigation matters and also frequently represents debtors and trustees in Chapter 11 cases.  Ms. Root is a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy, Workout and Corporate Reorganization, Bankruptcy Litigation and ERISA Litigation practices.  In addition, she is the co-chair of the firm's Hiring Executive Committee, a member of the Women’s Forum Steering Committee and served as co-chair of the firm’s 2013 Summer Program.

In addition to her corporate restructuring and bankruptcy litigation practice, Ms. Root devotes significant time to pro bono work, including recently representing a federal habeas petitioner before the Seventh Circuit and a domestic violence community organization in its bankruptcy.  She is also active in many professional organizations, including the Chicago Network of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, for which she served as a member of the board of directors for many years, including holding the position of chair.   Ms. Root also serves as the programming chair of the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association and as a member of the Bench/Bar Liaison Committee for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  In 2011, Ms. Root was selected to participate in the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judge’s inaugural Next Generation program.  In 2009, she was part of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s planning committee for the inaugural Mid-Level Professional Development Program in Chicago.

Bankruptcy, Workout and Corporate Reorganization

Complex Bankruptcy Litigation

ERISA Litigation

University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 2003; cum laude

Bowling Green State University, B.A., 2000; magna cum laude

Illinois, 2006

Indiana, 2003

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2005

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2003

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2003

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court, 2013

    Pete Roberts is a Member of the Chicago law firm of Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin LLC.  He concentrates his practice in bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights.   

    In over twenty years of practice, Mr. Roberts has represented and advised debtors, trustees, financial institutions, trade creditors, landlords, equipment lessors, creditors’ committees, and prospective buyers in a variety of insolvency contexts and in virtually all aspects of bankruptcy.  His experience includes the development of workout strategies for debtors and creditors, the formulation and consummation of plans of reorganization, the sale of assets in distressed situations, the litigation of contested matters in state and federal courts, and appellate practice before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

    Mr. Roberts is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law, receiving his J.D. degree in 1990, and he is also a cum laude graduate of Boston College, receiving his A.B. degree in history in 1987. 

    Mr. Roberts is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.  Since 2005, he has also been consistently named a “Super Lawyer” in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights by the publishers of Law & Politics and Chicago Magazine.

    Mr. Roberts is a member of the Turnaround Management Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Lawyers Club of Chicago. 

    Practice: Complex Business Litigation, including Reinsurance Litigation and Arbitrations

    Experience: Ursula litigates reinsurance and complex commercial litigation disputes and advises and assists clients with respect to a wide variety of business and litigation problems.  In the insurance and reinsurance areas, she has experience litigating disputes concerning coverage issues, bad faith allegations, duty to defend issues, obligations to follow settlements, access to records and notice issues.  Ursula also has experience representing and counseling clients with respect to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), conspiracy claims, fraud allegations and contract and quasi-contractual theories of recovery. 

    Before joining Butler Rubin in 2007, Ursula was a litigation associate in the Chicago office of Vedder Price.  While at Vedder, she litigated and counseled clients with respect to distributorship disputes, construction law disputes, employment law issues, bankruptcy problems and complex contract disputes in the course of AAA arbitration proceedings and within state and federal court.

    Ursula is an Associate Board member of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation and a co-chair the firm’s Women in Reinsurance initiative.

    A former President and CEO of Howard Brown Health Center, Jamal M. Edwards brings a wealth of business and legal insight to one of the nation's and Midwest's largest healthcare and research organizations, primarily serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning community and its allies (LGBTQA) and persons affected by HIV/AIDS. 

    Edwards accepted the CEO position at Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) at a time when the organization faced a financial crisis after a federal investigation revealed mismanagement of millions of dollars in grant funds by past leadership.  

    After his first year, HBHC regained the trust of its major stakeholders, overcame five (5) years of record deficits, and was out of the red (FY2011 results yielded a surplus of over $1M). And the positive performance continues as HBHC is restructuring to focus on its core competencies, navigates changes in healthcare, and is expanding its clinical and research services to meet growing demand. 

    Under Edwards' leadership, HBHC is served more people than ever and its budget has grown from $16M and is forecasted to exceed $22M at the conclusion of FY2013. HBHC now serves nearly 40,000 people through several operating entities, including its Triad Health Practice (a collaborative primary care health practice with and on the campus of Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center), the Broadway Youth Center (serving nearly 5,000 homeless and at-risk youth), and Lesbian Community Care Project (women's health and cancer prevention/treatment program).  As CEO, Edwards is also responsible for the Brown Elephant Resale Shops (a multi-site thrift store and social enterprise based in Chicago and Oak Park), with gross revenue of $4M and more than 100,000 customers, annually.

    His leadership has received significant local and national acclaim, including from Crain's Chicago Business who named Jamal to its coveted "40 under 40" list for 2011. Mr. Edwards' work at HBHC was also featured on the cover page of the Chicago Tribune's Red Eye Magazine on January 25, 2012, where he was dubbed "Dr. Do Good" and "The Fixer." 

    Mr. Edwards also serves on a number of prestigious boards, including serving as Treasurer of the Board of Managers for the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Centers, L3C, a Trustee of the Ravenswood Healthcare Foundation, Chairman of the Alliance for Community Research, Engagement and Support, on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association and the Social Enterprise Alliance-Chicago Chapter, and on the External Advisory Committee for Northwestern University's Community Engaged Research Center.
    Edwards is a licensed attorney and was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP (one of the nation's largest and most prestigious law firms) where he also served as pro bono general counsel to HBHC, prior to becoming its CEO. Edwards is a proud alumnus of Morehouse College, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Outside of his professional career, Mr. Edwards is just as committed. He is an active philanthropist, plays piano and is civically and politically active. Above all, he is a very proud parent of his 3-year old adopted son.