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Center for Governmental Studies
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115





The Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association recognizes the professional achievements of local government lawyers through its Awards Program. The Association began this practice in 2001, presenting awards to attorneys who foster professional education, interaction, and exchange among other governmental attorneys, as well as those who have made outstanding contributions to local government law in the field of litigation, innovation, and over their lifetime in their careers.


The first awards were given at the Association’s Annual Conference in February of 2001 and have been given continuously since then.

Awards are given for the following categories: Litigation, Innovation, and Distinguished Service for both current year and lifetime achievement, Longevity of Service, and Listserver of the Year.

Nominate a colleague today!


Litigation Award

The Litigation Award is presented to a firm or attorney who has established favorable legal precedent for local governments during the preceding year.

Award Year



2001 Tim Bishop Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 531 U.S. 159
2002 Joan Fencik and Steven A. Weiss Thomas v. Chicago Park District, 534 U.S. 315
2003 Mara Georges City of Chicago’s successful litigation throughout the year 2002
2005 John M. Mullen Village of Lake Villa v. Stokovich, 211 Ill.2d 106
2007 Mathias W. Delort Marconi v. Chicago Heights Police Pension Board, et al., 225 Ill.2d 497
2009 Ken Florey and Nanci Rogers Napleton v. Hinsdale, 229 Ill.2d 296
2010 John B. Murphey Walker v. Calumet City, 565 F3d 1031 (7th Cir., 2009) and Mann v. Calumet City, 588 F3d 949 (7th Cir., 2009)
2011 Sarah B. Jansen Koehler v. Illinois Liquor Control Commission, 405 Ill.App.3d 1071 (2nd Dist., 2010)
2011 Julian Henriques, Jr. Portis v City of Chicago, 613 F3d 702 (7th Cir., 2010) and American Beverage Assn. v City of Chicago, 404 Ill.App.3d 682 (1st Dist., 2010)
2012 John B. Murphey Christian Assembly Rios de Agua Viva v. City of Burbank, 408 Ill.App.3d 764 (1st Dist., 2011) and Nowak v. City of Country Club Hills, 2011 IL 111838 
2013 Margo Ely, Patricia Johnson Lord, and Mark Antonio Scarlato Patrick Engineering v. City of Naperville, 2012 IL 113148
2014 Benna Ruth Solomon, Myriam Zreczny Kasper, and Christopher S. Norberg Palm v 2800 Lake Shore Drive Condominium Association, 2013 IL 110505
2015 Robert J. Long, Lawrence R. Moelmann, and Nancy G. Lischer Lake County Grading Company v. Village of Antioch, 2014 IL 115805
2016 Victor P. Filippini, Jr. Gurba v. Community School District No. 155, 2015 IL 118332
2017 Michael W. Condon and Yordana Sawyer Burrell Trust v. City of Kankakee
2018 Lorilea Buerkett, Brown, Hay and Stephens, LLP Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 v The Attorney General of Illinois
2019 Kristen Foley and Robert R. Wilder Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v City of Naperville, 11 C 9299 (7th Cir. 2018)
2020 Suzanne M. Loose

LMP v. City of Chicago, 2019 IL 123123 and Labell v. City of Chicago, 2019 IL App (1st) 181379

2021 James L. Simon, James A. Martinkus, Thomas S. Yu, and Frederick Stavins

I-57 and Curtis, LLC v. Urbana and Champaign Sanitary District, City of Urbana and City of Champaign, 2020 ILapp(4th) 190850

2022 Hal R. Morris, Elizabeth A. Thompson, and Thomas A. Laser

McCaffrey v. Village of Hoffman Estates, 2021 IL App (1st) 200395

2023 Dawn Didier

Village of Downers Grove v. Village Square III Condominium Association, 2022 IL App (2d) 210098


Innovation Award

The Innovation Award is given to a firm or individual attorney who has developed a new or novel way of approaching a local government legal issue, either through the development of an ordinance, legislation or procedure designed to solve a problem or create an opportunity for a unit of local government. Past Innovation Award winners include:

Award Year



2001 Steve Mahrt Development of a pay-by-mail city court system
2004 Joseph E. Hooker and Rhonda Olds Development of an ordinance prosecution networking group
2005 Wayne Karplus, Ann Marie Lampariello-Perez, and Steven J. Holz Established a seminar devoted completely to municipal prosecution.
2008 Jack Waaler, Sonni Williams, Ann Marie Perez, Wayne Karplus, Rhonda R. Olds, and Stephen Holz Championed and assisted in the development of the Supreme Court Rules revisions for Ordinance violations.
2012 Frederick C. Stavins  Development of the ILGL Info Share networking site.


Distinguished Service Award

An Annual Distinguished Service Award is made to an attorney who has, during the previous calendar year, exemplified the Mission Statement of the Illinois Institute for Local Government Law, and the attorney or firm has promoted professional education, information, exchange, and interaction among local government attorneys. Recipients of the Annual Distinguished Service Award include:

  • Justice Tom Kilbride (2001)
  • Thomas A. Thanas (2002)
  • Ronald G. Matekaitis (2010)
  • Mara S. Georges (2011)
  • Julie A. Tappendorf (2021)


Robert J. Mangler Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement

A Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement may also be made to an attorney or firm who has promoted the ideals of the Institute over a career for a period of 25 years or longer. In 2011 the board voted to rename the ILGL Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of Robert J. Mangler, the Association’s first President and first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is now known as the Robert J. Mangler Lifetime Achievement Award.IMG_20170220_132140178_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg









Recipients of the Robert J. Mangler Lifetime Achievement Award include:

Award YearName
2001 Robert Mangler
2001 Jack Waaler
2002 Murray Ross Conzelman
2003 John Zimmermann, Bill Quinlan, and Jack Siegel
2004 Chapman and Cutler, LLP - Kelly K. Kost, Patricia M. Curtner, and Timothy McGree
2005 Patrick A. Lucansky and Kurt Froehlich
2006 Robert E. Becker
2007 Dr. James M. Banovetz and Thomas W. Kelty
2008 Richard Williams
2009 Terry Barnicle
2010 Barry L. Moss
2012 Ronald N. Schultz
2013 William G. Raysa
2014 Ronald S. Cope
2016 John B. Murphey
2017 Honorable Russell W. Hartigan
2017 James A. Rhodes
2018 Frederick C. Stavins
2019 Steven Mahrt
2020 Justice Mathias W. Delort
2022 Thomas P. Bayer
2023 Charles (Chuck) Hervas


Longevity of Service Award

In 2014, the ILGL Board established the Longevity of Service Award which is presented to an attorney who has represented a municipality or unit of local government for a continuous period of over 25 years.



Award YearNameMunicipality
2015 Everette "Buzz" Hill Villages of Northfield and Mount Prospect
2015 William G. Raysa Village of Buffalo Grove
2015 Frederick C. Stavins City of Champaign
2016 Earnest R. Blomquist III Village of Arlington Heights
2016 Thomas W. Good Village of Woodridge
2017 Stanley Pagorek Villages of Burnham, IN and Crete
2017 James Stevenson Village of Crete
2018 Thomas P. Bayer Village of Lombard
2018 Burton S. Odelson Villages of Orland Hills and Merrionette Park
2019 Wendy Morthland City of Decatur
2023 Stanley Pagorek Golden Longevity Award for 50 Years with the Village of Burnham, IN


Listserver of the Year

In 2018, the ILGL Board created an award for “ILGL Listserver of the Year” will be presented at the Annual Conference to an ILGL member based on the following criteria:

(1) quality of responses to questions posed on the Listserv; and

(2) number of responses to questions posed on the Listserv. 


Award Year


2019 Brian Day
2020 Robert J. Long

Lenoard "Jamie" Snyder

2022 Robert J. Long
2023 Jeffrey Jacobson
  • Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association
    Alli Hoebing, Executive Director, Center for Governmental Studies
    148 North 3rd Street
    Northern Illinois University
    DeKalb, IL 60115
  • Phone: 815-753-5333 | Email: | Fax: 815-753-7278