Resume

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE 

Principal attorney with thirty-five years of experience advising individuals and corporate clients on matters involving complex commercial litigation, labor & employment, civil rights, and corporate transactions. Trusted advisor to craft legal strategy, manage risk, and resolve cases timely and efficiently within budget. Agile business partner with experience working directly with clients, regulatory authorities, third-parties, and support staff in order to bring strategic solutions to complex legal problems. Impactful team player with strong written and oral advocacy skills, leadership experience, and outstanding interpersonal skills.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS 

  • Represented African-American activists and a non-profit organization in a federal preliminary injunction proceeding regarding their First Amendment right to assemble and demonstrate at the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago; injunctive relief was granted in favor of plaintiff
  • Successfully appealed a federal district court ruling which affirmed the denial of an insurance claim by Mt. Calvary Baptist Church for a fire that destroyed the church and school; argued the appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Northern District of Illinois; the case was reversed and remanded
  • Successfully defended lower court decision to void an unauthorized real estate sale contract for an elderly, disabled person’s home at below-market rates; achieved a favorable result for the Ward on appeal

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

A.Y. Coleman & Associates, P.C., Chicago, IL   

Principal, 1996 – Present  

  • Manage all aspects of complex civil litigation in state and federal courts including case analysis, developing case strategy, drafting and arguing substantive motions, negotiating settlements involving commercial, labor & employment, discrimination and civil rights matters
  • Advise and counsel individuals and corporate clients on litigation strategy at all stages, including early case assessment, probability of litigation/outcome, and opining on issues regarding resolution/settlement
  • Direct every stage of the discovery process from pleadings, to propounding and responding to interrogatories, conducting expert and fact witness depositions in preparation for trial
  • Execute trusts, estates, and probate cases involving contested decedents, minors and have represented the interests of disabled persons in such maters
  • Represent clients in transactional cases including real estate, contract negotiations, and matters including school, church and business law

Representative Matters:

  • Served as outside general counsel for Rose Garden Community Services, United Independent Workers International Union, and United Services of Chicago
  • Second-chaired trial resulting in successful prosecution of breach of Fraudulent Transfer Act claim against president of real estate investment firm

Witwer Poltrock & Giampietro, Chicago, IL

Senior Litigation Associate, 1987 – 1996

  • Practice included insurance defense litigation, union-side labor & employment law, and alternative dispute resolution for the Chicago Teachers Union
  • Successfully represented a religious institution in an appellate case involving an insurance dispute before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Propounded and answered written discovery, prepared for and attended numerous depositions, and drafted opinion letters for various civil litigation matters
  • Represented clients in disciplinary, discharge, and arbitration proceedings

EDUCATION

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL 

Juris Doctor, 1987

Spelman College, Atlanta, GA

Bachelor of Psychology and Pre-Lawcum laude, 1981

ADMISSIONS

  • State of Illinois, 1987
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 1997
  • Federal Bar, Central District Illinois, 2014
  • Federal Bar, Northern District Illinois, 1997
  • Trial Bar, Northern District Illinois, 1997

AFFILIATIONS

  • National Conference of Bar Examiners, Board Member, 2020 – Present
  • Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar
    • Secretary, 2019 – Present 
    • Board Member, 2016 – Present
  • Cook County Bar Association
    • President, 2015 – 2016 
    • Member, 1987– Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association
    • Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screenings
      • Investigator and Evaluator 
      • Alliance Co-Chair, 2007 – 2019
  • National Bar Association, 2013 – Present
  • African-American Employment Plan Advisory Council, Past Chair & Member, 2011 – Present
  • State of Illinois, Cook County Mandatory Arbitration Program, Chair Qualified, 1990 – Present

CIVIC LEADERSHIP 

  • Bernie Mac Foundation, Board Member, 2020 – Present
  • Vernon Park Church of God
    • Director of Justice and Legal Education Ministry, 2015 – Present
    • Member of Scholarship and Education Committee, 2017 – Present