WWM Elects Stephen Venable and Hires Four New Associates

Chicago, Illinois, March 19, 2015 – Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP (WWM) announces the election of Stephen O. Venable to Partner in the firm’s Houston office and the hiring of four new associates in the firm’s Chicago office: Bridget M. Curry, Kevin A. Lahm, Scott T. Stirling and Alla Cherkassky.

Stephen O. Venable represents domestic and international insurers in property, general commercial liability and professional liability matters.  Stephen has litigated cases in more than 50 counties throughout Texas as well as Texas federal courts.  He is a 2001 graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, and a 2006 graduate from South Texas College of Law. For more information on some of Stephen’s recent highlights, please see his bio: http://wwmlawyers.com/attorney/stephen-venable/

Bridget M. Curry graduated summa cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law (2010). Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as an extern for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Appellate Litigation Group in Washington, D.C. and at the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation for the State of Michigan.  Bridget focuses her practice in the areas of litigation, appeals and insurance coverage. 

Kevin A. Lahm graduated cum laude from Chicago-Kent College of Law (2011).  While in law school, Kevin represented Chicago-Kent in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.  He concentrates his practice on insurance coverage and litigation over a wide range of areas including cyber and privacy risks.

Scott T. Stirling graduated cum laude from Washington University School of Law (2011), where he served as an Associate Editor of the Washington University Global Studies Law Review.  After law school, he completed a fellowship serving low-income Chicagoans at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.  He is admitted to both the Illinois and Arkansas bars, and practices in the areas of commercial litigation and insurance coverage.

Alla Cherkassky is a Notre Dame Law School graduate (2014) and served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Jon E. DeGuilio of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.  She also interned with the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois.  Alla practices in the areas of insurance coverage and general litigation.

Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP is proud of their continued growth and is looking ahead as they celebrate their 10-year anniversary on April 18th of this year.  What started as an 8 person firm in 2005 has grown to 40 attorneys providing clients with effective and innovative legal services that deliver value and solutions.

WWM Participates in SkyRise Chicago 2014

On Sunday November 2, more than 3,000 participants including 22 from the WWM family participated in SkyRise Chicago.  The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) hosts this annual fundraising event that challenges participants to use either foot or hand power to climb 103 floors of Willis Tower in Chicago.

WWM Participates in SkyRise Chicago

RIC provides the nation’s #1 ranked comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world. It is the leader in research and cutting-edge treatments. This annual fundraiser helps provide care for more than 50,000 RIC patients from around the world. For more information about RIC go to www.ric.org.

Celeste King will Moderate Panel at the 2014 Crittenden Medical Insurance Conference

Walker Wilcox Matousek Partner Celeste King will moderate a panel on cyber and privacy threats to the medical profession and developments in cyber/privacy insurance for the medical professions during the 2014 Crittenden Medical Insurance Conference.  The session, “Updates on Cyber and Privacy Threats to the Medical Profession and Developments in Cyber/Privacy Insurance for the Medical Professions,” will take place on March 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm.  For further information click here(PDF) or visit the Crittenden website: http://www.crittendenmedical.com/medical-schedule.html

Giving Back at YMCA & Greater Chicago Food Depository Produce Day

00661352On Friday October 11, staff and attorneys from WWM volunteered to work the YMCA’s Produce Day at Arthur A. Libby Elementary School.  The monthly event is a collaboration between the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, created to bring fresh produce to this area of the city known to be a “food desert”.  WWM joined with YMCA workers and other volunteers in unloading, sorting, packaging and distributing donated produce and other perishable items to the area’s low-income seniors and families.  It was hard but rewarding work and WWM was privileged once again to be assisting the YMCA and GCFD in this worthy cause.


WWM participates in 20th annual Race Judicata

CVLS_Tagline_lowresOn Thursday September 12, WWM participated in the 20th annual Race Judicata® 5K Run/Walk benefiting Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation. CVLS is recognized as the most comprehensive, efficient and cost-effective civil legal aid provider in Chicago. Its over 3,000 volunteer attorneys donate free legal services to thousands of low-income Chicagoans each year.

WWM takes its commitment to pro bono seriously. WWM and its attorneys have consistently demonstrated their commitment to the surrounding communities both by providing pro bono legal services in association with pro bono organizations like CVLS, and through financial support. 2013 was the fifth consecutive year that WWM sponsored CVLS’s Race Judicata®. WWM subscribes to CVLS’s mission of providing high quality legal service at no cost to the poor and working poor of Chicago, “Because equal access to justice is everyone’s fight.”

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Giving Back at YMCA & Greater Chicago Food Depository Produce Day

On Friday May 10, volunteers from WWM once again participated at the Libby Community School Program’s Produce Day.  WWM joined Y workers and volunteers to sort and distribute donated produce and other perishable items from the Greater Chicago Food Depository to the area’s low-income seniors and families.

Click here for a letter (PDF) from Linda Dean, Director of Volunteerism of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, thanking WWM for volunteering at the Libby Community School Program’s Produce Day, which is co-sponsored by the YMCA and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Illinois Supreme Court Finds TCPA is Remedial and Not Punitive

Standard Mutual Insurance Co. v. Lay (Ill. May 23, 2013)

By:      Arthur J. McColgan

Insurance companies should take note of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Illinois, in which the Court determined that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) (47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(3) (2006)) is a remedial and not a punitive statute.  The Court did not reconsider the policy changing issue of whether punitive damages should be held to be insurable in Illinois, as it was unnecessary to reach the issue to resolve the appeal.  Currently, punitive damages are uninsurable in Illinois as a matter of public policy.  This ruling means that TCPA statutory damages of $500 per violation are insurable in Illinois. Continue reading

Joyce Noyes will Speak On The Duty to Settle in Good Faith at the Chicago Bar Association

Walker Wilcox Matousek Partner Joyce Noyes will speak on “The Duty to Settle in Good Faith” as part of the Chicago Bar Association CLE presentation “Insurance Law: Keeping The (Good) Faith.”  The live presentation will take place May 20, 2013 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at 321 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago, IL.  The presentation will also be available as a Webcast, West LegalEdcenter Webcast and DVD rental.  For further information, please see the CBA May 2013 CLE Catalog.

IL Appellate Court Finds No Controversy Over Duty To Defend When Defending Under ROR

By: Joyce F. Noyes & Kyle T. Geiger

Byer Clinic and Chiropractic, Ltd, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., et al. (Ill.App. Mar. 12, 2013)

Insurance companies should take note of a recent decision by the First District of the Illinois appellate court, in which the Court held that a declaratory judgment action filed by an injured party against an insurer is not ripe during the time the insurer is defending the insured tortfeasor subject to a reservation of rights.  The decision is noteworthy because the Court adopted a standard that an actual controversy over insurance coverage does not arise until an insurer denies a defense or otherwise denies coverage, even if it is defending under a reservation of rights.  This ruling will allow insurers to pick the forum for coverage fights because insurers in effect have been granted the authority to determine when a coverage dispute arises. Continue reading