Michaeline Gordon, Elizabeth Lazzara, Blooma Stark and Sharon Zaban Named in "Chicago's Notable Women Lawyers 2018" by Crain's Custom Media
Aronberg Goldgehn members Michaeline Gordon, Elizabeth Lazzara, Blooma Stark and Sharon Zaban have been named to the 2018 list of “Notable Women Lawyers in Chicago” by Crain’s Custom Media, a division of Crain’s Chicago Business. They are among 150 women lawyers featured on the list.
Previously known as the “Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago” and now in its second year, the list recognizes women lawyers from across the Chicago area who have demonstrated professional distinction, involvement in their community and a commitment to mentoring other women lawyers. The list is published in the July 30 edition of Crain’s Chicago Business, as well as online at ChicagoBusiness.com.
Michaeline focuses her practice on all aspects of trust and estate planning, asset protection, generational planning and wealth preservation. Her clients include business owners, professionals, real estate developers and individuals. She also regularly works with entrepreneurs through the full business cycle, from initial planning for entity selection, to asset protection, and finally to business sale and succession planning. Michaeline counsels families, unmarried couples and individuals through the development of holistic estate plans that are structured for tax efficiency while addressing unique family circumstances, which may include elder law issues, special needs planning and blended family issues. Also, experienced in probate and trust administration, Michaeline works with fiduciaries to administer trusts and decedents' estates. In addition, she has represented large and small banking institutions as outside trust counsel. Outside of the office, she is committed to raising awareness about planned giving to benefit organizations for the empowerment of women, children and their families. She has served on many Charitable Boards and currently serves on the advisory board for Advocate Charitable Foundation and the Illinois Masonic Hospital Donor's Council. She is also past President of the Advisory Board for Roosevelt University, Heller College of Business Administration.
Elizabeth has devoted her 27-year practice to assisting families in conflict. She is Co-Chair of Aronberg Goldgehn’s Family Law practice and Co-Chair and initial founding member of the firm’s Women’s Initiative. Elizabeth has extensive experience representing parties in all phases of divorce or family conflict, including domestic violence intervention, child custody and custody evaluations, shared, unrestricted and restricted parenting time, special needs evaluations, and drug and alcohol assessments. Similarly, she has extensive experience determining income for purposes of support and maintenance, including self-employed earnings, contract and salaried wage earners, recipients of disability and social security benefits, unemployed and underemployed and high wage earners. She works closely with accountants and financial experts to determine the value of assets and liabilities, including marital and non-marital tracing, valuation of closely held corporations, retirement interests, commercial, residential and investment real estate, employee stock options, and complex tax scenarios. Elizabeth is a, an internal network of female attorneys who provide mentoring and guidance to other female attorneys in connection with their business development, work/life balance, community involvement and overall professional growth. Elizabeth is a certified mediator, having received her certificate in Divorce Mediation Skills Training through the Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies. She serves on the list of approved mediators for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Domestic Relations Division.
Blooma Stark is Co-Chair of the firm’s Trusts and Estates practice. A lawyer and a CPA, she focuses her practice on estate planning and probate law with particular emphasis in the areas of tax planning, asset protection planning and elder care planning. Among the most interesting cases that Blooma Stark has worked on is the estate of a decedent who was a prominent Chicago philanthropist. She also worked on an estate plan for the owner of a large privately held business and on the sale of a minority interest in a number of medical device companies. An experienced speaker on the subjects of estate and trust administration, estate planning, elder law and Medicaid planning, asset protection planning and other estate planning topics, Blooma has been invited to present before many organizations. These include the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), Illinois CPA Society and Foundation, American Bankers Association, Attorney Alliance, Financial Planning Association, ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company, several Estate Planning Councils (Chicago, DuPage County, Northwest Suburban and Lake County), and numerous community groups. Blooma has been a member of the CBA Trust Law Committee for more than 30 years and she served as its chair in the 1990s. She has been a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago for many years. She also has been a volunteer pro bono attorney in the Chicago Volunteer Legal Service Probate Court Assistance Program (“PCAP”) since its inception. Blooma served on the Board of Directors of Council for Jewish Elderly and Temple B’Nai Israel of Aurora, Illinois. She is currently a Trustee of Temple B’Nai Israel.
Sheri is Co-Chair of the Banking Law Group as well as Co-Chair of the Real Estate Group at Aronberg Goldgehn. She concentrates her practice in all aspects of real estate law, with a particular emphasis on real estate financing. Sheri represents institutional banks, life insurance companies and other financial institutions nationwide in a variety of secured real estate loan transactions. One of the more complex transactions she handled recently involved a multimillion-dollar loan secured by a portfolio of industrial properties located in several states, which necessitated a complex document structure to avoid unnecessary mortgage taxes and enforceability restrictions due to state specific laws. Sheri also represents real estate owners and developers in connection with the development, acquisition, leasing, disposition and financing of all types of real estate. In the last couple of years, she has represented buyers of entire condominium buildings that she has then de-converted for clients to multi-family rental buildings. Her work involved handling objections raised by unit owners who voted against the sale but were required by law to sell under the Illinois Condominium Property Act. Sheri also represents banks in loan workouts, restructurings, modifications, forbearance documentation, note-sales and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions. When her banking clients have taken back property, she has handled the sales of the various categories of real estate owned by banks to third-party purchasers. Sheri is Co-Chair of the Women’s Initiative at Aronberg Goldgehn.