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Jenner & Block and Partner Catherine L. Steege were presented with the 7th Circuit Bar Association’s Pro Bono and Public Service Award for 2012, on May 7. Awards were given for work in the Northern District of Illinois District Court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The award that the Firm received recognized Ms. Steege and the Firm for pro bono work representing indigent individuals before the Bankruptcy Court.
Several years ago, the Bankruptcy Court created a panel of volunteer attorneys to accept assignments in adversarial proceedings and contested matters before the Court where the judge has identified a party who would not otherwise have counsel (generally a debtor, but occasionally a creditor) and appears to qualify for and would benefit from representation. Since the program began, Jenner & Block has taken nine of these cases. In addition to Ms. Steege, other members of the Bankruptcy, Workout and Corporate Reorganization Practice, including Partners Christine L. Childers, Melissa M. Hinds, and Andrew J. Olejnik and Associates Angela M. Allen, Lauren Sylvester Berheide, David H. Hixson, Michael J. Kelly and Landon S. Raiford have also worked on the matters.
The presentation of the award took place at a reception and dinner during the 61st Annual Meeting of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association and Judicial Conference of the Seventh Circuit. United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan was the keynote speaker for the dinner.
Ms. Steege is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Bankruptcy Litigation Practice and a member of the Firm's Bankruptcy, Workout and Corporate Reorganization Practice. A Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, an honorary organization of the country’s top insolvency lawyers, she is regularly recognized by leading legal directories such as Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America. In addition to her practice, Ms. Steege teaches bankruptcy as an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School and is a contributing editor to the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s Commentaries to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. She is also Co-Chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Bankruptcy Litigation Committee.