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 O&S Chronicle

February, 2018

Mike Stillman named as one of Leading Lawyers' Top Suburban Business Lawyers
Congratulations to Mike Stillman who was chosen as a Leading Lawyer as part of the Top Suburban Business Lawyers. Mike was recommended by his peers to be among the top Lawyers in Illinois for his work in many areas, including governmental, municipal, land use, personal injury defense, and general school law. Great job Mike!!


Click here to see the list.

February 19, 2018

Burt Odelson receives ILGL's Longevity Award for 42 years as Village Attorney in Orland Hills

Burt's Longevity AwardWe are proud to announce Burt Odelson received the Longevity of Service Award for 42 years of continuous service as the Village Attorney for Orland Hills. This award is a milestone award that recognizes the significant achievement of having the political and legal skills necessary to represent the same community for at least 25 years. Way to go Burt!

January, 2018

Partner Michael Stillman recognized by his peers as a 2018 Leading Lawyer

MBS Leading LawyerCongratulations to Partner Michael Stillman on being chosen as a Leading Lawyer for 2018!  Nominated by his peers, Mike joins the less than 5% of licensed lawyers in the state to receive the distinction of Leading Lawyer.  His reputation, experience and legal abilities are well-recognized in the areas of Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law; Land Use, Zoning and Condemnation Law; Personal Injury Defense Law; and School Law.  Mike is an integral part of our firm, and we are very proud of his accomplishments.

Click here to see more.

January, 2018

Ross Secler named as one of the 2018 Rising Stars of Illinois by Super Lawyers

RDS Rising StarsSuper Lawyers has named Associate Ross Secler as one of 2018's Rising Stars.  Ross was nominated by his peers for this honor and was recognized in the category of State, Local and Municipal Law as one of the state's up and coming attorneys based on his professional achievement and evaluations by those who nominated him.  We are proud to have Ross as part of our team and are excited for his future.

Click here to see more.

December 22, 2017

Happy holidays from Odelson & Sterk!

Click here for a special message from all of us.

October 5, 2017

Matt Byrne named as a member of the Law Bulletin's Forty under 40 - Class of 2017

We are very proud of Partner, Matt Byrne, on his inclusion in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin's Forty under 40 Attorneys to Watch in 2017.  Matt is a skilled litigator and municipal attorney who was one of 40 lawyers selected to receive this honor out of over 1,500 nominees.  Congratulations, Matt, on this well-deserved accomplishment!

Click here to see the Law Bulletin's write up on Matt.

October 1, 2017

Team Brian Sterk celebrates its 25th year in JDRF walk

Team Brian Sterk is celebrating their 25th year walking in the Annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for A Cure.  This year the walk will be held on Sunday, October 1st. If you wish to walk with Team Sterk, go to the JDRF website at www.jdrf.org to register. Look for the Team Sterk tent at MVCC. The walk begins at 9:30 am.

November, 2016

Liz Shine Hermes named as member of Law Bulletin's 40 Under 40 - Class of 2016

ESH Headshot

Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. is proud to acknowledge our partner,
Elizabeth Shine Hermes,
as a member of Law Bulletin’s 40 Under 40-Class of 2016. 
Success at any age is impressive. But to achieve it at an early age is even more of a feat. This award is given to the 40 most outstanding, up and coming attorneys in Illinois. Liz was nominated for this award by her peers and we are very proud of Liz. Liz has been a key component in strengthening our firm culture- a culture that inspires those who work within it to be supportive of the firm and its goals.
What It Takes
Over 90,000 licensed attorneys are currently practicing in the state of Illinois.  Over 1,500 nominations were received this year alone. To practice law successfully, you must do so in a way this is not only ethical, but also smart. Liz practices what she calls “practical” law.  Liz appreciates the competitive nature of law and is quite modest when speaking of her accomplishments. 
The strength of the nomination is based upon the reputation of the nominator, the professional relationship between the nominator and nominee, and the nominator’s first-hand knowledge of the nominee’s experience, skill, and character. Intelligence, passion, success in the office, a desire to help community and, most importantly, a willingness to work hard at one of the country’s most important professions are all common practices and strengths of members of the 40 Under 40. This award is not bought or paid for. This award is achieved and recognized through the votes and opinions of peers.
Click here to see the Law Bulletin's write up on Liz.

July 26, 2016

Claire Stillman sings national anthem in front of 38,000 at Fenway Park

We are very proud of Partner, Mike Stillman’s, daughter, Claire Stillman (who also happens to be a member of our team).  She sang the national anthem at Fenway Park in front of 38,000 at the Red Sox game on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, against the Tigers.  Check out the photos and video below to hear Claire’s beautiful voice.


July 8, 2016

O&S supports 3rd Annual Papa Hops Softball Tournament on 7/15/16

Odelson & Sterk is proud to sponsor the 3rd Annual Papa Hops Softball Tournament which will be held next Friday, July 15, 2016, at Kennedy Park.  The proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Tom Hopkins Memorial Foundation formed after the passing of Tom “Papa Hops” Hopkins from cancer.  The tournament is a great event for families and youth.  See below for more details about the tournament and sponsorship opportunities.

Papa Hops Tournament 7.15.16

June 30, 2016

Burt Odelson passes the gavel to new Chairman of the Board of Brother Rice High School, Steve Rosenbaum

June 30, 2016, marked the end of Burt’s tenure as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Brother Rice High School.  Burt served as a Board member for 11 years, as Chairman the past 6 years.  Just a couple of the many achievements during his tenure include fundraising efforts and the implementation of new technology, including the Odelson Production Studio and new broadcasting equipment.  More importantly, his work with school leadership helped to ensure students received an outstanding education and had a variety of extracurricular activities in which to participate, all of which would ultimately mold them into responsible and successful young men after their time at Brother Rice. 


Aside from his time as Chairman, Burt holds a special place in his heart for the school for personal reasons.  His two sons are alums and to this day participate in many alumni activities; three of the attorneys at his firm are also alums (Mark Sterk, Michael Stillman and George Robinson) as well as several current and past summer clerks; and Brother Rice High School is only a few blocks away from his Evergreen Park office. 


Although it may be the end of Burt’s official time with the school, he will still be involved and will continue to support students – prospective, current, future and alumni.  Furthermore, he is excited for the school’s future under the care of new Chairman, Steve Rosenbaum.  Steve has served on the Board for many years and will be an excellent Chairman – one who will always keep the needs and wellbeing of the students – both academic and beyond – at the forefront of his mission.  In this, he will carry on Burt’s legacy. 


Below are some photos from the final graduation ceremony at which Burt handed out diplomas and the annual Brother Rice golf outing held on June 17, 2016.


June 29, 2016

Sox win!  Odelson & Sterk in the Cell on 6/29/16 cheering them on

The summer fun continues at Odelson & Sterk.  We had a firm outing with employees and their family members at the Sox v. Twins game, and it was a blast!  Not only did the Sox win but everyone enjoyed rooting for the Good Guys in Black – even the Cubs’ fans among the group!  Check out some of the moments from the game.

June 22, 2016

Claudia Castro begins her term as President of the HLAI

Many congratulations to Claudia Castro on becoming the President of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.  We are very proud of her for this very admirable achievement.  We wish her success during her term of office.  Below are photos of the induction ceremony.

June 7, 2016

Mary Ryan Norwell helps Mercy Home for Boys and Girls celebrate the graduating class of 2016

On June 7, 2016, Mary Ryan Norwell attended the 14th Annual Graduates’ Celebration for the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, Class of 2016 at the Conrad Hilton, Chicago.  The 38 students have overcome many obstacles to  graduate from all levels of school, from Elementary School  to Master’s Degrees.  Mary Lou is pictured with Fr. Scott Donahue, President of the Mercy Home; Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor; and her lifelong friends, Pat Walsh Howe, Diane Jaskulski Gannon,  Sue McCarthy, Elizabeth Reidy, Jean Cuthbert, Janie Corkery Byrne, Karen Walsh, Margie O’Connor, Debbie Nelson and Kim Maloney.

June 3, 2016

Odelson & Sterk treats employees to manicures and pedicures

In continuing with the wellness focus, on Friday, June 3, 2016, Odelson & Sterk treated its employees to manicures and pedicures.  The employees loved the relaxation time away from the office, and as evidenced below, everyone's fingers and toes are summer ready!  

May 26, 2016

Mike Smith and Mary Lou Norwell attend fundraiser for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

MKS, MRN, Sheriff Dart


Mike Smith and Mary Lou Norwell attended a fundraiser Thursday, May 26, 2016, at Square Celt Ale House in Orland Park for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.  Mary Lou and Mike are former State's Attorneys, and Mike was Chief Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff Dart.  The Sheriff maintains a close working relationship with Burt Odelson and the firm.

May 24, 2016

Odelson & Sterk is Red Nose Day ready!

Even lawyers can get silly for a good cause!  This Thursday, May 26, 2016, is National Red Nose Day.  The event was created in an effort to help fight poverty-stricken children throughout the world.  A portion of every red nose purchased at your local Walgreens goes to several charities and organizations working to end child poverty, to ensure safe and educational activities are available for all children, and for other programs benefiting the well-being of children world-wide.  More information can be found at the following link:




We encourage others to support this incredible cause and to show how every child is important and deserving of a bright future.  Check out our show of support in the photos below.


May 19, 2016

Felicia Frazier featured in "Women in Law" edition of Chicago Lawyer Magazine

Congratulations to Felicia Frazier for her feature in this month’s edition of the Chicago Lawyer Magazine entitled “Women in Law.”  


May 12, 2016

Law Bulletin "In the News" Section features Claudia Castro

Check out Claudia’s appearance in the May 12, 2016, edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulleting announcing her election as President of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.  Claudia’s inauguration will be held on June 22, 2016.  Congratulations to Claudia!


CEC Law Bulletin - President HLAI

May 7, 2016

Odelson & Sterk group enjoys Derby Day at Arlington Race Track!

Several team members from the firm finished out a great and relaxing week celebrating Derby Day at Arlington Race Track on Saturday!  From the food to the excitement of watching your horse cross the finish line, Derby Day was as big of a hit as the hats at the Kentucky Derby.  Check out some of the photos from this fun event. 


May 6, 2016

Odelson & Sterk hosts on-site massage event for employees

At Odelson & Sterk, we recognize the daily stresses and hectic schedules of our employees.  We strongly believe that a happy and healthy employee is the best employee.  That is why we strive to make the office a less rigid environment and offer the employees some wellness perks.  Today, as a way to show appreciation and help reduce some of the stress, we hosted an on-site massage event for all team members.  Great job by Infinite Massages!

May, 2016

Odelson & Sterk's newest attorneys appear in the Chicago Lawyer Magazine
Claudia Castro, Mary Ryan Norwell and Michael Smith made an appearance in the May 2016, edition of the Chicago Lawyer Magazine in the "News and notes from the legal community" section.


Click here to see the article.

April 28, 2016

Claudia Castro presents at the ISBA on concealed carry in Illinois

On Thursday, April 28, 2016, Claudia Castro, former Chief Legal Counsel for the Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board, gave a presentation on concealed carry laws in Illinois at the Illinois State Board Association Chicago Regional Office.  Her presentation included an overview of gun laws, how these laws affect Illinois, the application process for obtaining a concealed carry license and important legislative updates affecting concealed carry rules.

April, 2016

Northwestern College's "Alumni News" features one of our own

Our very own Cathy Antolec, legal assistant and certified paralegal, was featured in Northwestern College’s “Alumni News” Spring 2016 edition.  The article highlights Cathy’s career path leading her to become an Odelson & Sterk team member.  It also covers her love for working in the legal field, in particular at Odelson & Sterk.  


Click here to read the entire article.

March 21, 2016

Recent Kent graduates join Odelson & Sterk team
Odelson & Sterk is proud to announce that two recent graduates of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law who recently passed the bar exam will be receiving their initial training here at the firm. A big welcome to Nicole Wilmet and Mike Graham. We hope your experience here with us gives you a good start into the legal world.

March 17, 2016

Odelson & Sterk's newest attorneys appear in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
Claudia Castro, Mary Ryan Norwell and Michael Smith made an appearance in the March 17, 2016, edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in the "In the News" column by Christine M. Pusateri.  The three newest members of the firm bring decades of experience and are a welcome addition to our legal team.


Click here to see the article.

March 11, 2016

Burt Odelson discusses discovery recounts and 2016 Primary Cycle at 03/11/16 CBA Election Committee
Click on the links below for copies of the materials distributed at Burt's speech, as well as complete copies of the decisions in the election cases covered during the speech.

Presentation Outline
Relevant Statutes
Significant Cases referred to in Speech
Cases from 2016 Primary Cycle
ISBE Canvass and Proclamation Info
Sample Recount Forms
Sample Petition for Discovery Recount
Sample Verified Petition for Election Contest


March, 2016
Gordon School in Posen, IL participates in Jump Rope for Heart
Check out the amazing thank you card and photos from Gordon School participants in this year's Jump Rope for Heart.  Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. was proud to support these jumpers in their efforts to promote healthy heart activities - including jumping rope - and as partners with the American Heart Association.


Thank you card


February 24, 2016


Burt Odelson to speak at the March 11, 2016 Chicago Bar Association Election Law Committee on a variety of election topics, including discovery recounts

Burt will speak to the attorneys who are members of the Election Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association as to the procedures necessary for a successful discovery recount.  He will also recap recent election law cases.  The speech will be given at the Chicago Bar Association located at 321 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago.

February 16, 2016
Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. welcomes Michael K. Smith as its newest attorney
Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. is proud to welcome Michael K. Smith as the newest member of our team.  Mike is the retired Deputy Chief of Police for the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department and former Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau and Supervisor of the Gang Prosecutions Unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.  Mike received his Bachelor’s Degree from Western Illinois University in 1978 and his Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School in 1985.

Throughout his 30 year career, Mike has dedicated himself to public service and to the citizens of Cook County.  He is an accomplished litigator and trial attorney and is also a certified instructor for the Illinois Local Government Law Enforcement and an instructor for North East Multi-Regional Training.  Mike is a member of the Federal trial bar, the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association.

At the firm, Mike will devote his practice to litigation, labor and municipal work.  His years of experience working with suburban municipalities and law enforcement will be of great value to our municipal clients, especially with respect to labor negotiations, police matters and emergency service issues.

February 5, 2016
Odelson & Sterk sponsors Brother Rice High School 23rd Annual Alumni Night
Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. was honored to sponsor Brother Rice High School’s 23rd Annual Alumni Night held on February 5, 2016.


December 11, 2015
Odelson & Sterk Christmas holiday party a success
Our firm celebrated the holidays and another great year at the beautiful Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook.


December 4, 2015
The firm is ready for the holiday festivities

Check out the holiday window painting and decorations in Burt’s office below.

October 5, 2015
Welcome to the firm Claudia Castro and Mary Ryan Norwell

Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. is pleased to announce that Claudia E. Castro, Chief Legal Counsel for the Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board and President-Elect for the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, and Mary Ryan Norwell, Program Director at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Legal Assistance Department, and retired Assistant State’s Attorney, have joined the firm as Associates.

July 1, 2015
Odelson & Sterk congratulates Michael Hayes and Elizabeth Shine Hermes on their Partnership

Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. is proud to announce that Michael J. Hayes, Jr. and Elizabeth Shine Hermes have been named as Partners.

June 19, 2015
Burt Odelson awarded honorary citizenship of Templeton, IA

Templeton, IA, known for its rye whiskey dubbed “The Good Stuff”during prohibition, has made Burt an honorary citizen. Tried and true, Templeton boasts some of the “best rye whiskey in the land.”A piece of this historic town and claim to fame can be found right in Burt’s office. Check out this picture of a whiskey barrel brought back from Templeton.


Honorary Citizen Letter