Board Members

The Supreme Court of Illinois appoints the 9 members of the MCLE Board. The members are volunteers and include attorneys of varied backgrounds from around the state; one non-attorney with experience in designing professional development opportunities for educators, and a Circuit Court judge.

James A. Rapp, Chair
A charter member of the MCLE Board, James A. Rapp is a partner of the Quincy law firm, Schmiedeskamp, Robertson, Neu & Mitchell LLP. As an attorney, he engages in a general practice with an emphasis in estates and trusts, real estate, business, banking, and education law. He is the author of the seven-volume treatise Education Law published by Lexis/Nexis. He has also authored a number of other publications and articles on varied topics including victims' litigation, tax law, legal rights of students with diabetes, and medical malpractice, among others. He is a consultant to various agencies and individuals regarding education issues. He serves as an arbitrator and hearing officer in commercial and education matters. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.S., 1971). He received his law degree in 1974 from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
Michele M. Jochner, Vice Chair
As an experienced practicing lawyer, judicial clerk, legal scholar, expert writer, educator and bar leader, Michele brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the MCLE Board. Ms. Jochner is a partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, focusing on advocacy in the area of family law.

In her 15 years as a judicial law clerk to two Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court, the late Hon. Mary Ann G. McMorrow and the Hon. Charles E. Freeman, she worked on numerous high-profile matters involving cutting-edge issues of first impression. This experience provided her with a unique breadth and depth of knowledge in all areas of substantive and procedural law combined with a keen understanding of the mechanics of our trial and appellate courts.

A recognized legal scholar, expert writer and educator to law students and attorneys, Ms. Jochner has been honored by her peers in “Best Lawyers in America,” as a Super Lawyer, as a “Leading Lawyer” who ranks in the top 100 Women Consumer Lawyers in Illinois, and as the recipient of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ 2015 Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award. She also has authored nearly 200 articles on a wide array of legal topics appearing in publications nationwide, and her two columns, “Law from a Different Perspective” and “On Appeal,” appear regularly in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Ms. Jochner regularly speaks on legal issues to various groups across the State, including seminars on effective legal writing, appellate advocacy, and family law. In addition, for the last decade, she has appeared as part of the “Illinois Law” television broadcasts as a panelist for that series’ annual review of United States Supreme Court decisions. She has also served as an adjunct professor at both DePaul University College of Law and The John Marshall Law School.

As a well-known leader in the Chicago legal community, she has taken leadership roles with the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) and several other organizations:

  • For the CBA, she serves as a member of both the Executive Committee of the Alliance for Women and of the Editorial Board of the CBA Record, and chairs the Committee on Public Affairs.
  • For the ISBA, she is a past member of the Board of Governors and the Editorial Board of the Illinois Bar Journal. Currently, she is a co-editor of the Bench & Bar Newsletter, serves as a member of the Family Law Section Council and the Standing Committee on Women in the Law, and is an elected member of the ISBA Assembly.
  • For IICLE, she serves on the Board of Directors.

She also serves on three panels at her alma mater, DePaul University College of Law: the Dean’s Council, the Advisory Board of the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center and the Advisory Board for the Center for Public Interest Law. She also holds several leadership positions within the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, and serves on the Leader Council for Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.

Recognizing the importance of ensuring that the future of the legal profession is in good hands, Ms. Jochner also actively mentors numerous law students at DePaul, as well as through Phi Alpha Delta. Her mentoring efforts were recognized by The Chicago Lawyer Magazine in naming her one of 2013’s “Women Making an Impact.”
Patrick B. Mathis, Treasurer

A founding shareholder of Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd.  Patrick Mathis focuses his practice in business law, taxation, estate planning and banking.


With more than 35 years’ experience, Pat has an extensive background in providing legal counsel related to business mergers, sales and acquisitions, shareholder litigation, trusts and wills, probate, federal and state tax audits and appeals, Tax Court litigation and criminal tax defense. He has provided a full range of legal services to clients in the Southern Illinois and St. Louis Metropolitan areas for more than three decades.


Pat has been active in legal continuing education for more than 25 years having served as an author, speaker and as a member and chairman of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He has written several definitive articles in his areas of practice. He has held leadership positions on taxation sections and committees for the American Bar Association and Illinois State Bar Association and has lectured extensively for both. He is also a member of the Missouri Bar Association, St. Clair County Bar Association, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.


Pat is involved in his community, having served on the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes, Southern Illinois District; the Board of Trustees for Illinois College of Jacksonville; the board of the Southwestern Illinois College Foundation; on the board of directors of Camp Ondessonk of the Catholic Diocese of Belleville; and as a Southern Illinois University Foundation Planned Giving Council member. He has also served on the boards of the St. Clair County Greenspace Foundation, Signal Hill Neighborhood Association, Signal Hill Education Foundation and Signal Hill School District. Pat has also served on Special Children, Inc.’s Finance Committee for Mamie O. Stookey School and as chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Clair County’s Annual Fund Drive. He is very involved in Blessed Sacrament Parish, having served in various roles, including as parish council president, Finance and Parish Council member, and Parish School of Religion teacher. Pat is also currently a member of the Missouri Athletic Club, St. Clair Country Club, Alpha Sigma Nu and Eta Sigma Phi.

Hon. Jean M. Cocozza, Secretary
Hon. Jean M. Cocozza. Effective January 1, 2015.
Mike Cetina

For more than 25 years, Mike Cetina has advocated for those injured or killed through the negligence, neglect or wrongful conduct of others. A partner with Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered, he began his career trying felony and misdemeanor cases as a DuPage County Assistant State’s Attorney. He entered private practice as an insurance defense attorney for a 300+attorney firm in Chicago where he gained valuable insight into the operations and litigation approach of insurance companies. Since 1990, he has concentrated his practice in medical malpractice, wrongful death, nursing home neglect, motor vehicle & trucking collisions, institutional sexual assault and slip & fall cases, securing multiple millions in settlements and jury verdicts for his clients.


Mike has contributed to his profession through bar association involvement, teaching and writing. He currently serves on the judiciary committee for the DuPage County Bar Association , is the past Chair of the Civil Law and Practice Committee for the DCBA and has taught at the multi-week trial advocacy program sponsored by the DCBA. He has been a speaker at several Bar Association seminars and has authored many articles. He was a founding member of the Robert E. Jones Inn of Court and served as the Vice President. He has also presided over Mock Trial competitions. In recognition of his skills, he was trial attorney of the year in the DuPage State’s Attorney’s office and, based on reviews by his peers, he has been awarded an AV Preeminent Rating, the highest rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.


Mike’s community involvement includes teaching at the College of DuPage as an Adjunct Professor and an invited lecturer at Benedictine University, coaching various sports through the Wheaton Park District, coaching football in Wheaton for 15 years and serving on the Board for Wheaton football.


A law graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Mike earned his undergraduate degree from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. He enjoys spending time with his wife and four children.

Vincent F. Cornelius
Vincent F. Cornelius. Effective January 1, 2015.
Hon. Joseph G. McGraw

Chief Judge Joseph G. McGraw is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A. - 1978) and Northern Illinois University - College of Law (J.D. - 1985).   Judge McGraw was appointed as a Circuit Judge by the Illinois Supreme Court in January 2002 and was elected to his position in November 2002.  He was the Presiding Judge in Boone County from 2002 - 2003.  He has served as the Presiding Judge of the Felony Division from 2004 to present.  Judge McGraw was elected to serve as Chief Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court effective January 1, 2012.


Judge McGraw currently serves as the Chairman of the Illinois Conference of Chief Judges, having been elected on January 1, 2015. He is Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Equality, and an active member of the Illinois Supreme Court Special Committees on Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) and Judicial Ethics.


Judge McGraw is a regular instructor for the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor’s Trial Advocacy Program, a previous ED CON instructor on Post-Conviction Matters and Extended Media Coverage and a former faculty member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Capital Litigation.

Catherine Marienau
Catherine Marienau is a professor at DePaul University and is a member of DePaul’s School for New Learning Resident Faculty.

She earned a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction, with emphasis in Adult Higher Education from the University of Minnesota. She writes, teaches and consults in areas concerning higher education for adults (competence-based, assessment, curriculum design, program development, practice-based inquiry, brain-aware facilitation) and in women’s development. She is coordinator of the Master of Arts in Educating Adults (MAEA) program, serves on the leadership team of the Center to Advance Education for Adults, and chairs the graduate student program review committee (GSPRC).

Justice Stuart E. Palmer

Justice Stuart Palmer joined the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1994, served in the Criminal Division and was a supervising judge there until 2005. He then moved to the Chancery Division and presided over a call of complex civil matters until 2012. In January 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court assigned him to the Appellate Court, where he served until his retirement from the bench in 2016. He is currently assisting parties as a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS in Chicago.


Justice Palmer has frequently served as a lecturer and faculty member for judicial education seminars as well as various CLE programs. He also has taught trial advocacy at DePaul College of Law and is a frequent guest lecturer at local area law schools. Justice Palmer has served on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Education, where he was Chair of the Criminal Law Benchbook Committee. He has also served on the Special Supreme Court Committee on Capital Cases and on the faculty for that committee’s capital case training seminars, as well as the Legislation Committee, the Special Committee on Courthouse Security, and the Committee on Evidence. Judge Palmer is also a Science and Technology Fellow of the Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center (ASTAR) and was awarded a Diploma of Judicial Skills from the American Academy of Judicial Education. Prior to his retirement from the bench he was a member of the American College of Business Court Judges. Justice Palmer is also a commission member of the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Commission and a member of the MCLE Board.


Prior to his judicial career, Justice Palmer worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County, serving as a felony trial assistant. He also worked in private practice concentrating on civil and criminal litigation prior to taking the bench. During that time he also served as a hearing officer for the Illinois State Police Merit Board.


Justice Palmer received his B.A. in 1976 from the University of Illinois, graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He received his juris doctor from Northwestern University School of Law in 1979.

Jerome (Jerry) E. Larkin, Administrator, Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, ex officio
Jerry Larkin is Administrator of the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) , responsible since his appointment to that position in March 2007, for administering the agency which registers Illinois lawyers and investigates and prosecutes allegations of ethical violations. Mr. Larkin is a graduate of Niles College of Loyola University and the Loyola University School of Law. After he was licensed to practice law in 1978, he joined the ARDC as staff counsel. He investigated, litigated and appealed countless attorney disciplinary cases. He later served as Senior Counsel, Chief Counsel, Assistant Administrator, and then Deputy Administrator from 1988 until his appointment as Administrator.

He is a past President of the National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC), the bar association of lawyer regulators. In 2003, he received the ARDC's 25-year leadership and service award. In 2006, he won the NOBC President's Award for lifetime achievement in the field of lawyer regulation. In 2009, he was a recipient of an ABA CoLAP Meritorious Service Award. He was also given the Robert Bellarmine award for distinguished service to the Loyola Law Alumni Association in 1992. Mr. Larkin is the fourth Administrator of the ARDC. He follows the late Carl H. Rolewick (1973-1988), John C. O'Malley (1988-1992) and Mary Robinson (1992-2007).
Jayne R. Reardon, Executive Director, Commission on Professionalism, ex officio

As Executive Director of the Commission on Professionalism, Jayne develops and coordinates programs that increase the professionalism and well-being of attorneys, creating more opportunities for inclusiveness and promoting the administration of justice. The role provides her with opportunities to collaborate with representatives of bar associations, law schools, legal and civic organizations regarding professionalism outreach programs and initiatives. She is responsible for the development of a statewide lawyer mentoring program and for promoting professional responsibility educational programs that result in changed attorney behavior, which is the overall mission of the Commission.


Jayne’s success in increasing professionalism in the state can be credited to her nearly thirty years as a practicing lawyer, during which she gained knowledge of various practice settings and the ability to relate to a wide variety of lawyers. As counsel to the Review Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission for more than a decade, she gained knowledge of ethical and disciplinary matters involving attorneys, which she draws upon when developing professionalism programs. Jayne’s extensive trial and civil litigation practice at the law firms of Kelley Drye & Warren and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon (now known as Edwards, Wildman Palmer) provided her with first-hand understanding of the challenges facing attorneys in both large and small firms. Her expertise in firm management issues such as recruiting, diversity, and continuing legal education serves as the basis for many of the Commission’s programs and initiatives. Jayne is a frequent and motivational speaker and presenter of programs on the work of the Commission and the challenges facing the legal profession.


A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Notre Dame, Jayne is active in numerous bar and civic organizations, including the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism, the ABA Consortium of Professionalism Initiatives, the National Lawyer Mentoring Consortium Steering Committee, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the Chicago Bar Association.

The Supreme Court Liaison to the MCLE Board: Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier

Lloyd A. Karmeier was born January 12, 1940, in rural Washington County, where he attended a one-room grade school and graduated as valedictorian in 1958 from Okawville Community High School. He received his B.S. degree in 1962 and his J.D. degree in 1964, both from the University of Illinois.


Justice Karmeier clerked for former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Byron O. House from 1964 to 1968, served as state’s attorney of Washington County from 1968 to 1972, and clerked for former U.S. District Court Judge James L. Foreman from 1972 to 1973. He was engaged in the general practice of law with the firm of Hohlt, House, DeMoss & Johnson from 1964 to 1986. He was resident Circuit Judge of Washington County from 1986 to 2004, when he was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court.


Justice Karmeier is a member of the Illinois Judges' Association, the Washington County, St. Clair County, East St. Louis and Illinois State Bar Associations, and past member of the American Bar Association and the American Judicature Society. He served as a member of the Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association from 1996 to 2002, and as chair of the Bench and Bar Section Council. He also served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases, chairing the committee from 2003 to 2004. He is a member of the Southern Illinois American Inn of Court and served as President of the Executive Committee from 2003 to 2007. Justice Karmeier and his wife, Mary, reside in Nashville, Illinois. They have two children and six grandchildren.

Former Board Members

Jack Brooks
Board service 2005-2014
Board chair 2005-2012

 

Hon. Michael J. Chmiel
Board service 2005-2011
Board treasurer 2005-2011

 

Hon. Diana L. Embil
Board service 2005-2013
Board secretary 2005-2013

 

Paula H. Holderman
Board service 2012-2017
Board treasurer 2016-2017

 

Patrick M. Kinnally
Board service 2005-2015
Board chair 2013-2015

 

John G. O'Brien
Board service 2005-2016
Board secretary 2014-2016

 

George R. Ripplinger
Board service 2005-2015
Board treasurer 2011-2015

 

Phillip Rock
Board service 2005-2012

 

Faye Terrell-Perkins
Board service 2005-2014
Board secretary 2013-2014

 



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