Awards all around for Kane legal types

Posted6/21/2010 12:01 AM

A longtime employee of the Kane County state's attorney's office was recognized this month for her efforts to teach those of us with nonlegal backgrounds about the law.

Sue Norris, supervisor of training, branch court and bond call, was honored June 10 with the Kane County Bar Association's prestigious Liberty Bell Award.


"It was a tremendous honor and extremely humbling to receive this recognition from the members of the bar," said Norris, who thanked State's Attorney John Barsanti for "continuing to afford me the opportunity to serve the criminal justice system and the people of Kane County."

According to a news release, the Liberty Bell Award is presented annually to a "non-attorney individual or community organization who has promoted a better understanding of the rule of law, encourages a greater respect for law and the courts, stimulates a sense of civic responsibility, and contributes to good government within the community."

The state's attorney's office said Norris, whose career there dates back to 1967, most recently was responsible for overseeing changes in bond call procedures to accommodate the opening of the new Kane County jail, as well as a new scheduling system.

She also is on hand daily at Aurora Branch Court, where she assists newcomers who have questions about bond call procedures.

The state's attorney's office said she also has committed much of Illinois Criminal Code to memory, and is an "invaluable" expert when it comes to the court's JANO computer system.

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"But Sue's greatest asset to the office also is the greatest benefit reaped by the public, who Sue views as her true employer," Barsanti said. "And that is that Sue has been devoted for decades to her community and to helping the criminal justice system make the community better for everyone."

Leadership change: Also on June 10, the bar association underwent its annual changing of the guard with the swearing in of Patrick M. Kinnally as association president for 2010-11.

A partner at the Aurora law firm of Kinnally, Flaherty, Krentz & Loran, the new president has been a member of the bar for seven years and also is the vice chairman of the Illinois Supreme Court's Minimum Continuing Education Board. In addition, he's on the court's Commission on Professionalism.

Kinnally was sworn in by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas.

Another winner: Batavia attorney Roman Seckel of the Drendel & Jansons Law Group also was recognized as the bar association's Outstanding New Lawyer of 2010.


Seckel is a 2002 graduate of the Honors Program at St. Norbert College and the John Marshall Law School, where he finished in the top 8 percent of his class.

He was admitted to practice in Illinois in 2005 and, in 2007, received the Lincoln Award from Illinois' State Bar Association for legal writing.

Seckel's current practice areas include civil and commercial litigation, business planning, and family and municipal law, according to a news release.