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Gretchen Harris Sperry focuses her practice in government and appellate law. She is involved in all phases of the litigation process, including conducting and defending discovery depositions and writing and arguing substantive and procedural motions in addition to providing legal counsel and written opinions at client request. She also has served as a hearing officer in school district administrative proceedings.

Professional Background

Prior to joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in March 2014, Ms. Sperry was a Judicial Clerk in the Illinois Appellate Court to the Honorable Mary Jane Theis and the Honorable Maureen E. Connors. During her time in the court, Ms. Sperry assisted in researching and drafting judicial opinions and dispositional orders in all areas of the law, including insurance coverage, contract disputes, corporate and partnership formation, fiduciary duty, personal injury, professional liability, declaratory judgment actions, appellate jurisdiction, evidentiary issues, and criminal matters. Prior to her service in the court, Ms. Sperry was an associate in a boutique law firm specializing in the representation of school districts and other municipalities.

Among her law school accomplishments, Ms. Sperry served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Michael T. Mason, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  She was also the publication editor for the Annals of Health Law and a senior research fellow for Dean Michael J. Kaufman.  She was a member of the Dean's List and earned the CALI Award for the highest grade in Legal Writing and Education Law.  Ms. Sperry's team placed fourth in the Giles Sutherland Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court Team and she was a semifinalist in the Loyola Intraschool Moot Court competition. 

Ms. Sperry is an active member of the legal community. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola Law School and The John Marshall Law School, teaching appellate advocacy. She serves on the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association Board of Directors and is actively involved in the leadership of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Supreme Court (2014 – 2017)
    • Character and Fitness Committee
  • Appellate Lawyers Association, Board of Directors (2013 – 2015)
    • Cases Pending Committee, Co-Chair

    • Seminars Committees
  • Women's Bar Association of Illinois
    • Nominating Committee (2013 – 2014)
    • Mary Heftel Hooton Fund Committee
    • Co-Chair, Annual Golf Outing (2014)
    • Judicial Evaluation Committee (2013 – present)
    • Newsletter Committee (2011 – 2014)
  • Chicago Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation Committee (2013 – Present)

Representative Matters

A selection of Ms. Sperry's representative matters includes:

  • Serving as second chair counsel in a bench trial that resulted in the successful defense of a school district in an eminent domain action.
  • Assisting with successful lobbying efforts to amend the Eminent Domain Act and secure expansion of a south suburban tollway and interchange as part of the State's $750 million tollway plan.
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts for the acquisition and development of school sites.

Coordination of construction managers, contractors and engineers, as well as all government approvals, for a school district's $450 million school building initiative.

Presentations

  • "Motion Practice in Civil Court," IICLE program, April 21, 2016.
  • "Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar," emcee and presenter, Appellate Lawyers Association's, April 18, 2016.
  • "3L Practical Skills Training Seminar,"  Loyola Law School, 2013–present
  • "Appellate Lawyers Association Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar," master of ceremonies and moderator, April 2015.

  • "Real Talk on Women in the Law: Grit and the Growth Mindset," facilitator, American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, April 2015.

  • "Insurance Coverage Issues," panelist, Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, October 2013.
  • "Law Practice Management Seminar," panelist, Chicago-Kent Executive Program for Chinese Law Practitioners, Chicago, Illinois, June 2013.

Publications

Ms. Sperry is the author of a bimonthly column in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin titled "On The Docket," in which she analyzes cases that will be heard by the Illinois Supreme Court in its forthcoming term. She also contributes regularly to The Brief and Cases Pending, both publications of the Appellate Lawyers Association. She authored the introduction, case analysis and discussion questions for "Education Law and Policy," (Aspen 2004), written by Michael J. Kauman. Following is a selection of her articles and other publications:

  • "Record on Appeal," chapter 20, and "The Appendix," author, chapter 24, IICLE's Civil Appeals (Illinois): State and Federal, 2015 edition.

  • "Supreme Court to address med-mal privilege, administrative hearings," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, January 8, 2015.

  • "Two state high court cases have lawyers and employers on alert," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, June 19, 2014.
  • "Illinois Supreme Court looks at self-critical analysis, insurance case," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, May 1, 2014.
  • "Supreme Court takes on duty of care in two new cases," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, February 27, 2014.
  • "Illinois Supreme Court to address Frye, property rights," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, On the Docket, December 24, 2013.
  • "The Value of Flexible Work Arrangements," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 17, 2013.
  • "Panel Discusses Communication Styles," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, July 3, 2012.
  • "Illinois Supreme Court Expands Legal Duty for Employers," WBAI Newsletter, Fall 2012.

Community/Civic Activities

Ms. Sperry served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for Ravenswood Community Child Care Center, a nonprofit preschool and day care center benefitting teen mothers. She has volunteered as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chicago.

Education

J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 2005

 • Publication Editor, Annals of Health Law

B.S., Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1999

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