Passing of Robert E. Schell
Robert E. (Bob) Schell passed away on Monday, January 25, 2021. In his own way, he was an institution at the then Industrial Commission and later Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.
He was known to most attorneys that practiced at the Commission for 30 years. Bob was a non-attorney representative of the then Martin Boyer Company. He appeared at the Commission every day and was charged with the task of resolving claims with both attorneys and pro se litigants.
Bob was a graduate of DePaul University, in Chicago. He attended on a basketball scholarship and played under Hall of Fame Coach Ray Mayer. He was a member of the US Army Reserves and was great sports enthusiast, with an encyclopedic knowledge of all sports.
Bob will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Donations in his name may be made to the DePaul University Scholarship Fund, 1 E. Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604, Phone: 312-362-8666, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to donate online: DePaul University - Make a Donation
Governor Pritzker has announced these two Arbitrator appointments:
ARBITRATOR FOR THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
Rachael Sinnen will serve as an Arbitrator for the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Currently, she is the Associate Attorney at Elfenbaum, Evers & Zielinska, P.C. where she represents the majority of the firm’s Spanish-speaking clients in their workers’ compensation claims. Previously, she worked at a variety of law firms as an Associate Attorney and Law Clerk, in addition to serving as an Adjunct Professor at her law school alma mater. In addition, Sinnen is the Vice Chairwoman of the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and her Master of Business Administration in Finance from Loyola University Chicago. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor from Chicago Kent College of Law.
Raychel Wesley will serve as an Arbitrator for the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* She serves as the Domestic Violence Staff Attorney at Prairie State Legal Services where she covers issues such as orders of protection and civil no-contact. Previously, she was an attorney at a variety of law firms in Illinois. Wesley is a founding member of the Black Bar Association of Will County and is active in giving back to her community. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Education from DePaul University, her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law, and a certification in Paralegal Studies from Roosevelt University.
Please see the update issued by the Commission below:
Update on Emergency Procedures.
Please be advised that the November 16, 2020 Notice of Special Process Procedures for In-Person 19(B) Hearings and Pro Se Settlement Contracts are hereby extended through December 31, 2020. Please refer to the November 16, 2020 posted links for the procedures.
Additionally, the November 13, 2020 Notice regarding In-Person Hearings Suspension is hereby extended until December 31, 2020. Please refer to the November 13, 2020 posting for details of the procedures.
Please note the following, published by the ISBA today:
Illinois Supreme Court amends Rule 23 to allow citation of unpublished appellate court rulings
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced the amendment of Rule 23, which will allow litigants to cite unpublished opinions from the Illinois Appellate Courts for persuasive purposes.
Amended Rule 23 is effective Jan. 1, 2021.
The Bar News
Pease take notice that as of the close of business, 5:00 p.m., on Friday, November 13, 2020, all in person Hearings, of any kind, will be discontinued at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, at ALL venues.
There will be no in person Arbitration or Review hearings of any kind.
- Laura D. Hrubec
In the Covid World, the Commission has been constantly pivoting to make certain that we keep operating. As the Bar is aware, the Commission has faced great difficulty in the receipt and redistribution of mail.
The USPS has not always been able to deliver mail on a consistent basis. To alleviate some of the mail issues, Arbitrators will consider all Motions and Petitions that are received by them, by e-mail, at least two business days prior to the Monthly Status Call. This has been posted on our website for the last several weeks.
Because of Covid, and in accord with our Rules, we have temporarily abandoned the requirement that a purple ink Commission stamp be affixed to all Motions and Petitions. Section 9015 of our Rules allows the Chairman to set procedures that provide for the electronic filing of documents with the Commission. We believe that this action is consistent with our Rules and that it will alleviate difficulties with the USPS.
Please also remember that all of this presupposes that your opponent has been properly served with any documents in accord with our Rules. This only applies to the requirement of Notice to the Commission.
WCLA is a proud supporter of Kids’ Chance of Illinois and recently donated $5,000.00 to this incredible organization. Kids’ Chance of Illinois provides need-based scholarships to the families of seriously injured workers in our state. Kids’ Chance organizations across the country have awarded over 7,300 educational scholarships since their inception, with over $24,000,000 in scholarship funds to workers’ families. If you know of an applicant who may be interested in applying for a scholarship through Kids’ Chance, please visit their website to review the criteria: https://www.kidschanceofillinois.com/apply-for-scholarship.html
As we indicated in our email last week, WCLA is proud to donate to many worthy organizations and we hope you will also consider supporting Kids’ Chance. To make a donation or consider sponsorship, please visit their website or refer to the attached application: https://www.kidschanceofillinois.com/donate.html
Kids' Chance 2020 Corporate Sponsor Packet
The WCLA recognizes the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on everyone in Illinois. The current crisis has resulted in the cancellation of our holiday party and several other in-person events. Since we will not be paying for those events this year, we have decided to donate the money we would have spent on these events to those in need.
For years, the WCLA has been a proud sponsor of the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). This organization provides places to stay for families of hospitalized children. It provides rooms, food and overall support. This organization has made a crucial difference in the lives of so many families. As you can all imagine, charitable donations overall have been down this year, everywhere. The RMHC, and the kids and families they provide for, need our help. The WCLA has donated $50,000 to this organization. We encourage anyone that is able to follow this link https://www.rmhc.org/ and provide what you can to help. Every little bit helps these kids.
As a result of COVID -19, many families are also going hungry and we would like to help. We will donate $3,500 to three Illinois Food banks, listed below. By donating to each food bank, we are helping feed those in need throughout the entire state. Below are the names of the organizations and a link for you to follow should you wish to contribute to this worthy cause:
It is a credit to our membership and sponsors that the WCLA is able to donate at this level during times like these. We are honored to be a part of such an amazing organization. Thank you to all of you who have sponsored and supported us. We could not do this without your help.
Resources for CLE:
IL Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, https://www.2civility.org/programs/cle/free-online-cle//
Lawyers’ Assistance Program of IL, https://illinoislap.org/
Resources for the Public:
Resources for Families:
Vitas J. Mockaitis, President | Michelle Lafayette Vice President | Catherine Doan, Treasurer | Christine M. Jagodzinski, Secretary
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