Birnbaum Haddon Gelfman & Arnoux Chicago's Leading Divorce Lawyers Thu, 11 Apr 2019 18:36:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Francis A. Gembala Updates Chapter in IICLE Treatise on Marriage Dissolution Proceedings Thu, 25 Jan 2018 16:23:31 +0000 As in prior years, Francis A. Gembala has again updated Chapter 3 of the IICLE treatise currently titled Family Law: Dissolutions of Marriage Court Proceedings – 2017 Edition. A copy of this 70-page chapter, “Obtaining Orders of Protection,” can be viewed in pdf format.

Gembala entered private practice in 2003 after retiring from nearly 20 years of service as an associate judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County. During his last 12 years on the court, he successively served as supervising judge in the Domestic Violence Section and as judge in the Child Protection Division and the Domestic Relations Division.

Gembala was profiled in a March 2016 article in Leading Lawyers Magazine titled “Former Judge Enjoys ‘Return’ to Serving Clients and the Public.”

To learn more about the professional credentials of Francis A. Gembala, please view his professional biography page.

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Angela Buttitta Featured in Inaugural Edition of Emerging Lawyers Magazine Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:05:52 +0000 An editorial profile of Angela M. Buttitta recently appeared in the inaugural edition of Emerging Lawyers Magazine, an Illinois publication produced by Law Bulletin Publishing Company and dedicated primarily to the state’s most successful lawyers age 40 or younger.

Released in November 2016, the 436-page edition features Buttitta in an article titled, “Shining a Light Through the Darkness of Divorce.”

Angela Buttitta began practicing law in 2005. She joined Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux in 2012 and eventually set up the firm’s satellite office in Roselle, Illinois. She has been recognized not only by Emerging Lawyers, but also by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star and by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys as among the “10 Best” Attorneys for Illinois for Client Satisfaction in the practice of family law.

For more on Angela M. Buttitta’s credentials, please read her professional biography. For the December 2016 story featuring Buttitta in Emerging Lawyers Magazine, please view the pdf reprint.


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Latest Edition of Leading Lawyers Magazine Profiles Former Judge Francis A. Gembala Fri, 15 Apr 2016 22:29:50 +0000 Francis A. Gembala

Francis A. Gembala

The March 2016 Leading Lawyers Magazine Consumer Edition profiled Francis A. Gembala in an article titled “Former Judge Enjoys ‘Return’ to Serving Clients and the Public.”

The article describes the evolution of Gembala’s life from childhood and his education at Notre Dame High School in Niles, Illinois, to his life as a young professional, then a judge, and finally as a lawyer returning to private practice, most recently at Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux, LLC.

Among his stories and the photos contained in the piece are images with his high school classmate James Pankow of the band Chicago, his weekends spent at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the likes of Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan, and personal meetings with such Polish heroes as Lech Walesa and Saint John Paul II the Great.

In the article, Gembala says, “I’m happy to pursue what is important to me. So I find myself selectively doing what I enjoy and where I find I can help.”

The entire copyrighted Law Bulletin Publishing Company article is available on the BHGA website.


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Cannizzaro Honored by Justinian Society Wed, 01 Jul 2015 18:17:56 +0000 Sam F. CannizzarojustinianThe Chicago-based Justinian Society of Lawyers has honored Sam F. Cannizzaro, a partner in Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux, LLC, during a recent dinner ceremony.

Anita DeCarlo, who then served as president of the Justinians, presented Cannizzaro with a plaque honoring his years of mentoring. The recognition is awarded every few years to an attorney who has shown “exceptional efforts on behalf of young lawyers and law school students” in trying to mentor and guide them.

Cannizzaro has been a member of the Justinian Society for 31 years.

The plaque’s recitations recall the dedication of the organization and of one of its past presidents, the late Cook County Circuit Court Judge Gerald L. Sbarboro, to mentoring and civility among lawyers. Sbarboro also served as a professor at DePaul University College of Law and was a member of the Chicago Board of Education.

The event took place during the society’s annual swearing in ceremony at Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse in Chicago on May 13, 2015.

The Justinian Society of Lawyers originated with 30 lawyers of Italian American descent meeting in 1921 near Clark and Randolph streets. To learn more about the organization, please visit its website.

To learn more about Sam F. Cannizzaro, please view his professional credentials included in his biography on this website.

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Ex Tries to Abandon Petition to Modify Support, BHGA Still Secures $36K Arrearage Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:41:07 +0000
Jonathan J. Bereman

Jonathan J. Bereman

Matthew C. Arnoux

Matthew C. Arnoux

The March 2015 edition of Divorce Digest reported on a Cook County case decided by Judge Raul Vega where Matthew C. Arnoux and Jonathan J. Bereman of Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux, LLC represented an ex-wife who was responding to the ex-husband’s Petition to Modify Support.

In her response, the ex-wife claimed an arrearage of $36,223.00 and a failure of the ex-husband to provide tax returns. Three days before the scheduled hearing, the ex-husband filed a Notice of Withdrawal of his Petition to Modify and served it upon opposing counsel and delivered it to the judge’s chambers. Neither the ex-husband or his attorneys appeared at the hearing, and Judge Vega held the notice was a “nullity.”

The hearing proceeded and the ex-husband was found to be in arrears in the amount claimed. The judge entered a modified Uniform Order. To learn more about this Cook County Domestic Relations case, please read the Divorce Digest synopsis.

To learn more about Illinois Trial Court Divorce Digest, a subscription service, visit the Divorce Digest website.

For more information about Matthew Arnoux, please view his professional credentials on the BGHA website. More details about Jonathan Bereman, who joined Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux, LLC in 2014, can be found in his website biography.

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Will County Judge Sides With BHGA, Dismisses Petition to Terminate Maintenance Mon, 02 Mar 2015 22:21:30 +0000 Matthew C. Arnoux

Matthew C. Arnoux

The February 2015 edition of Divorce Digest reported on a Will County case decided by Judge Matthew G. Bertani that involved Matthew C. Arnoux of Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux, LLC.

Arnoux represented an ex-wife who was divorced in early 2012 after 20 years of marriage. The ex-husband petitioned the court to terminate maintenance payments, arguing that the ex-wife was cohabitating with someone on a continuing, conjugal basis.

In dismissing the ex-husband’s petition after reviewing the totality of the circumstances, Judge Bertani found the case involved limited, almost nonexistent domesticity and no de facto husband and wife relationship.

As a result, BHGA’s client continued to receive about $215,000 per year from her ex-husband. To learn more about the Will County case, please read the Divorce Digest synopsis.

To learn more about Illinois Trial Court Divorce Digest, a subscription service, visit the Divorce Digest website. For more information about Arnoux, please view his professional credentials on the BGHA website.

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Appellate Court Hears Arnoux Argue on Employer Child Support Withholding Penalty Tue, 17 Feb 2015 19:48:31 +0000 Matthew ArnouxOn Feb. 11, 2015, Matthew C. Arnoux of the family law firm of Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux, LLC, argued before the First District Appellate Court on behalf of a client who was adversely affected when Provident Hospital incorrectly withheld child support she was due.

The court, which took the matter under advisement, posted a recording of the court proceedings on its website.

BHGA represents a single mother who is raising two children. A child support order was entered when she was divorced in June 2010. Her ex-husband worked at Provident Hospital.

Provident Hospital failed to remit two child support payments to her, and BHGA succeeded in getting the hospital to pay the back child support to the single mother.

At issue in the original trial, however, was whether Provident Hospital should be penalized for not withholding correctly under the Illinois Income Withholding for Support Act. Arnoux has settled several cases over the course of the last year involving improper child support withholding by employers.

The trial court denied the request for Provident Hospital to pay BHGA’s client a penalty. Arnoux argued that the trial court applied an incorrect standard when weighing the strength of evidence needed to rebut a statutory presumption in the case — that the hospital’s failure to withhold was a “knowing” action which triggers a penalty.

Arnoux characterized the hospital’s position as an insufficient “I made a mistake” defense.

Another issue argued was whether the actions of Provident Hospital of Cook County — whether “knowing” or not — were immunized from penalty by the state’s Tort Immunity Act. BHGA argued that the issue had been waived and that the act does not cover such penalties arising from improper child support withholding.

To learn more about his professional credentials, please view the website biography of Matthew C. Arnoux.

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Arnoux to Speak at CLE Session on International Child Custody Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:00:05 +0000 Matthew ArnouxMatthew C. Arnoux will speak Jan. 27, 2015, at a Continuing Legal Education event titled “A Deeper Look at International Child Custody Issues.” The intermediate CLE session, presented by the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association, takes place at 321 S. Plymouth Ct. in Chicago from 3 to 6 p.m.

A total of 2.75 credits will be offered for the day. The program takes a deeper look at international issues in child custody actions, how they arise, what laws apply, and the basics that practitioners should know when approaching and handling these kinds of cases.

Topics will include a review of the basics of the Hague Convention, important trends and case law to know in practice, and reflections from behind the bench on issues unique to these international cases in domestic relations practice.

Other speakers taking part in the session include Hon. Helaine L. Berger of the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County and Jon Neuleib of The Law Offices of Jon Neuleib. The Young Lawyers Section Family Law Chairs, Melissa Caballero of The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., and Mallory O’Connor of Reed, Centracchio & Associates, LLC will moderate the event.

To register, attorneys must have an account with the Chicago Bar Association, join the CBA or sign up for a non-member online account.

To learn more about Birnbaum Haddon Gelfman & Arnoux’s experience in this area of law, please view Arnoux’s professionial credentials and other related news items.

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Divorce Digest Reports on BHGA Hague Case Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:57:23 +0000 Matthew C. Arnoux

Matthew C. Arnoux

The July 2014 issue of Divorce Digest reported on a case involving Matthew C. Arnoux and the law firm of Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux, LLC.

Arnoux represented the father of two children who were taken by their mother without notice from South Africa to the United States. The judge ruled in favor of BHGA’s client that, pursuant to the Hague Convention, the two children be returned to South Africa where any future proceedings would be heard.

To learn more, please follow the links to the Divorce Digest synopsis and the redacted memorandum opinion and order in the successful Hague Convention case.

To learn more about Illinois Trial Court Divorce Digest, a subscription service, please visit the Divorce Digest website. For more information about Arnoux, please view his professional credentials on the BGHA website.

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Arnoux Settles Case Against Employer for Improperly Withholding Child Support Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:47:58 +0000  

Matthew C. Arnoux

Matthew C. Arnoux

Matthew C. Arnoux recently settled a case for a client who sued the employer of the ex spouse for failing to withhold the proper amount of child support. It was the third time in the last two years that Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux has secured a recovery against an employer for improper child support withholding.

The Illinois statute involved, 750 ILCS 28/, the Illinois Income Withholding for Support Act, allows custodial parents to recover substantial sums if an employer misses a withholding for child support or improperly withholds the amount it is obligated to withhold.

To recover against an employer, a child support order and notice to withhold must have been served on the employer. If the employer fails to withhold the proper amount as directed in the notice to withhold, the employer is put on notice to cure the defect within one year. If the defect is not cured, the employer is liable for a penalty of $100 per day for each day after 10 days from the date the initial withholding was due until reaching a maximum $10,000 limit per missed or malformed payment.

The penalty is independent of any amount of child support withholding the custodial parent is owed in arrears. Custodial parents also may request statutory interest owed on the past support as well as the attorney’s fees and costs incurred to prepare and present the petition to the court.

Because the law is extremely technical and includes a statute of limitations provision of only one year, any custodial parent who does not receive child support in a timely fashion from their ex spouse’s employer should contact Matthew C. Arnoux of Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux at (312) 863-2802 without delay to determine whether a recovery is possible under the statute.

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