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Ray J. Koenig III

Member
Office

Chicago

130 E. Randolph St.
Suite 3900
Chicago, IL 60601
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Fax: +13129855985
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Education
J.D., DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 1999
B.A., Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 1995
State Bar Licenses
Illinois
Court Admissions
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois
Super lawyers 2015
Best lawyers

Ray J. Koenig III

Member

Ray Koenig represents individuals, families, financial and medical institutions, charities and governmental agencies in probate, trust, and guardianship controversies, including complex matters which require practical solutions.

Ray continually provides quality, responsive, and efficient representation to his clients.  Ray is dedicated to the needs of his clients, whether that requires aggressive advocacy in a courtroom, skilled negotiations to prevent or conclude litigation, or effective counseling to avoid future trust and estate controversies. 

Ray seeks ways to resolve difficult issues in the most effective manner possible.  His success has resulted in appointments by judges as Guardian Ad Litem and defense counsel by judges in complicated guardianship matters, and as Special Administrator in problematic probate matters.

Ray has decades of experience in a variety of aspects of controversies involving trusts, probate, guardianships and related fiduciary issues including will and trust contests, will and trust construction and reformation actions, citations to recover, breach of fiduciary duty claims, charitable disputes, and guardianship litigation.

His years of practice have also resulted in his retention as an expert witness in matters involving guardianship and probate issues.  His depth of knowledge has been informed by and led to many speaking engagements and publications.

Ray proudly serves as Managing Member of the firm’s Chicago office and Co-Chair of the firm's Litigation practice. He spent seven years on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Awards/Achievements
Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC); previous member of the ACTEC Fiduciary Litigation Committee
Recognized by Super Lawyers magazine one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Illinois in 2018, 2019 and 2020
Recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as a Trust and Estate Litigation Super Lawyer or Rising Star for most years from 2010 through 2021
Received an “AV®” Preeminent Rating by his peers through Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating
Named among Best Lawyers in America - Trusts and Estates by Best Lawyers for multiple years
Named an Illinois Leading Lawyer in Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law from 2013 through 2020, having been nominated by his peers as one of the top 5% of practitioners in the state
Selected from over 1,350 nominations as one of the 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch in 2013 by the publisher of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer
Recognized by Crain's Business as a Notable Gen X Leader in Law
Recognized by Crain's Business as a Notable LGBTQ Executive
Memberships
City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Commissioner, 2012-Present
Chicago Bar Association, Secretary, 2019 - Present; Board of Managers 2012-2014; Founding Chair of the Leadership Development Committee; and Inaugural Chair of the Leadership Institute, 2016-2019
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Board of Directors
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow
Chicago Estate Planning Council
DePaul University College of Law Diversity Council Member
UIC John Marshall Law School, Past Adjunct Professor
Illinois State Bar Association, Member of the Special Committee on Nonlawyer Legal Service Providers
Illinois State Bar Association, Past Chair of the Trusts & Estates Section Council & Past Chair of the Section Legislation Committee; Past Member of the Task Force on Unauthorized Practice of Law
American Bar Association, Past Committee Vice-Chair within the Section on Probate (RPPT)
LAGBAC
Congressman Mike Quigley's LGBT Advisory Council, past member
Equality Illinois PAC, Past Board Member and Treasurer
Chicago House and Social Service Agency, Past Chair and past Internal Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
Pride Action Tank Advisory Council
Lambda Legal Education and Defense Fund, Co-Chair of National Legacy and Planned Giving Council
Chicago Bar Foundation, Past Board of Directors
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Past Board of Directors, Junior Board Founding Vice President and Past President
Cook County State's Attorney LBGT Advisory Council, Former Chair
Clark Hill PLC Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Clark Hill PLC PRIDE Committee Co-Chair
Clark Hill Federal PAC
Experiences

Eric Dorkin, MacKenzie Hyde and Ray Koenig obtained a significant victory in the 1st District Appellate Court. In a case of first impression, the Illinois Appellate Court granted Clark Hill’s emergency appeal in favor of Nina L., a minor seeking to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status to stay in the United States following her 18th birthday.  The trial court had denied Nina L.’s request for the judicial findings necessary for her to apply to remain in the United States after being abandoned by her natural parents.  The trial court held that it was not proper for it to enter findings pursuant to federal statute.  The Appellate Court reversed and entered the required findings itself on an emergency basis so that Nina L. could timely file the required documents with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as her 18th birthday was just days away.  

As reported in the local legal press, “This is a case that really mattered,” said Dorkin, who represented Nina L. “If the case was decided the other way, she was going back to Taiwan with no known family or connections and just a high school degree, and I think that’s a recipe for lifelong disaster.”

Estate of Donald Howell v. Donald Brenard Howell, 2015 IL App (1st) 133247 and 1140810 (cons.)

The Raymond W. Pontarelli Trust, et al. v. Michael Pontarelli, et al., 2015 IL App (1st) 133138

In re Estate of Leonard Koenen, 2014 IL App (1st) 140080-U

In re Guardianship of Florence Pontarelli, 2014 IL App (1st) 122782-U

Articles
Co-Author, Advice on Creating Advanced Directives and a Living Will, Expert Beacon, 2014Co-Author, The Legal and Governmental Response to Domestic Elder Abuse chapter, Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, Volume 21, Issue 2, May 2005Co-Author, Disappointed Would-Be Legatees: Who Has Standing to Contest a Will?, Illinois Bar Journal, June 2005Author, Legal Issues Faced by LGBT Seniors, Windy City Times, July 27, 2005Co-Author, Removal of a Guardian, ISBA Trusts and Estates Newsletter, August 2005Co-Editor, Update of Chicago Lawyer's Court Handbook, Chapter 7: Circuit Court Probate DivisionCo-Author, Will Contests chapter in IICLE 2009 Handbook: Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable BequestsCo-Author, Wishes Aren't Enough: Why the Five Wishes Document May Fail in Illinois, Illinois Bar Journal, June 2009Co-Author, Equal Protections, Equal Responsibilities: The Impact of HB 1826 on Probate in Illinois, Chicago Bar Association Record, September 2009Author, Proactive Measures and Key Concerns for the Trust and Probate Attorney chapter, Inside the Minds: Trust and Probate Litigation book, Aspatore Publishing, 2010"Estate Suit Revived on Code Error," Chicago Daily Law BulletinCo-Author, Guardianship Litigation chapter in IICLE’s 2020, 2016, 2012 and 2009 Handbook: Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable BequestsCo-Author, “Effectively Employing the Tools Provided by a Decedent,” Fiduciary & Investment Risk Management Association’s publication FIRMA FORUM, December 2018Co-Author, Claims Against Decedent’s Estate chapter in IICLE’s 2017 Handbook: Causes of Action, Probate ActionsAs Vaccines take hold the task of calculating office space needs begins now, Crain's Chicago Business, February 5, 2021“The Pandemic Is Bad Enough: How to Avoid Creating Post-Death Controversies During the Current Crisis,” Illinois Bar Association Trusts & Estates Newsletter, 2020Ray Koenig Interviewed in Chicago Lawyer - December 2016“A Fierce Advocate for LGBT Rights,” Leading Lawyers Magazine – Consumer Edition for 2016Adding Lawyers Just One Part of Koenig's Job in Chicago Daily Law BulletinClark Hill Attorney Ray Koenig Comments on Parental Leave for Same Sex CouplesDefending Your Principals: Suing Agents Under the Revised Illinois Power of Attorney Act By Ray Koenig & MacKenzie Hyde in Illinois Bar JournalCo-Author, Defending Your Principals: Suing Agents Under the Revised Illinois Power of Attorney Act, Illinois State Bar Journal, October 2012Inside the Minds - Trusts and Probate Litigation By Ray Koenig in Inside the Minds – Published by Aspatore Books Couples Planning and the New Civil Liberties Act By Ray Koenig & MacKenzie Hyde in Windy City TimesTrusts and Probate Litigation: Leading Lawyers on Managing Client Expectations, Handling Complex Cases, and Navigating Recent Legal DevelopmentsEstate-Planning, Other Implications of the Civil Union LawHow Civil Union Law Would Work: Illinois Senate Vote Seals the Deal on Historic Legislation, Which Now Goes to the Governor
Presentations
“Perspective of the Corporate Fiduciary: The Role of the Bank “ Co-Presenter, IICLE Elder Law Short Course, October 2020“Do As I Say, Not As I Write: Perspectives on Drafting, Administration, and Beyond,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 63rd Annual Estate Planning Short Course, May 2020, and Chicago Estate Planning Council, January 2020“Judicial Perspectives on Guardianships,” Co-Moderator, IICLE Elder Law Short Course, November 2019“Lending as a Creative Planning Solution: Understanding the Bad and Avoiding the Ugly, So All Is Good,” Co-Presenter, ACTEC 2019 Fall Meeting, October 2019“Expanding the Litigator’s Toolkit: Ever-Expanding No Contest Clauses and the Growing Use of Arbitration Clauses,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 62nd Annual Estate Planning Short Course, May 2019“Trust and Estate Disputes Involving Children” Co-Panelist and Moderator, ACTEC Summer Meeting, June 2018“Preventing Post-Death Administrative and Probate Nightmares” Presenter at IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, May 2018“Visitation Issues in the Context of Guardianships and POA’s’” Co-Presenter at IICLE Elder Law Short Course, December 2017“Dealing With Decision-Makers in a Health Care Setting: Identifying Red Flags and Avoiding Pitfalls,” Co-Presenter at Loyola University Summer Institute on Aging, May 2017“Key Developments in Guardianship,” Co-Presenter at IICLE 60th Annual Estate Planning Short Course, May 2017“Non-Traditional Families and Estate Planning,” Co-Presenter to the DuPage County Estate Planning Council, April 2017“Representing Principals in Difficult Situations," Co-Presenter at IICLE Elder Law Short Course, November 2016“Disabled Persons: Planning for and Implementation of Special Needs Trusts and Guardianships,” Co-Presenter to Chicago Estate Planning Council, October 2016“Dealing with Behavioral Disorders Exhibited by Clients and Beneficiaries,” Co-Presenter to Greater North Shore Estate & Financial Planning Council, March 2016“Rights of Third Parties in Guardianships,” IICLE Elder Law Short Course, November 2015“POA & Guardianship Litigation,” IICLE Powers of Attorney and Guardianship seminar, June 2015Presentation on financial and tax planning at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Smart Week, April 2015"What You Can Do in Guardianship That You Might Not Know," IICLE Elder Law Short Course, November 2014"Navigating Public & Private Benefits Post-DOMA," National Conference of Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, St. Louis, September 2014 “Guiding Principles of Elder Law,” IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, May 2014“Defending Your Principals: Litigation and Removal of Bad Agents,” NAELA Comprehensive Review, February 2014"To Probate or Not to Probate: Opening the Estate,” ISBA Estate Administration Boot Camp, October 2013Presentation on trust and estate beneficiary issues at the IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, April/May 2013Guest, NPR/Vocalo The Barber Shop radio show, "What's at Stake in the Gay Marriage Debate Impacts Families," January 2013Panelist with physician and social worker on elder rights issues, Governor's Conference on Aging, December 2012Panelist at "IICLE Practice Academy: Essentials of Estate Planning," December 2012Presentation on suing and defending agents under powers of attorney using the revised Act, CBA, November 2012Presentation on powers of attorney and decision-making, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, October 2012Presentation on planning and family fights in the age of civil unions, CBA, October 2012Panelist at presentation on the confident modern family, Center on Halsted, October 2012Presentation on Access to Benefits post-DOMA/Windsor to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ Annual Council of Advanced Practitioners Conference, August 2013Panelist at presentation on diversity and affinity fraud, Illinois CPA Society, September 2012Presentation on advanced guardianship litigation, IICLE, June 2012Presentation on the financial aspects of aging, CBA, May 2012Presentation on representing trust & estate beneficiaries, IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, May 2012Presentation on “Contested Guardianship Estates” at ISBA Guardianship Boot Camp, February 2012“Dealing With Decision-Makers,” Governor’s Conference on Aging, December 2011"90 Days Before Trial” panelist, CBA, December 2011"The New Illinois Power of Attorney Act,” Rush University Medical Center, July 2011"Short Act, Big Impact: A Practical Guide to Civil Unions in Illinois,” Office of Governor Pat Quinn, June 2011"Planning to Prevent or Defeat Estate Contests: What Must Be Done Now,” IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, May 2011Presentation on Citations in Decedent’s Estates, Lake County Bar Association, November 2010"Red Flags from Clients’ Lives: Pitfalls to Avoid When Drafting an Estate Plan,” ISBA, May 2010Presentation on Contesting and Defending Wills, CBA, November 2009Presentation on the use of the Five Wishes document as an advance directive, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, August 2009Presentation on Mental Health Treatment Declaration Act, Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health, November 2008"Inside Justice" CBA television show about adult guardianships, WYCC, September 2008"Guardianships for Adults: What is it?", ISBA television show, CAN TV-21, August 2007"Responsibilities of the Guardian of an Adult", ISBA television show, CAN TV-21, August 2007Presentation on Powers of Attorney and Guardianship, American Medical Director's Association, March 2007“Elder Abuse and Law: A Discussion of the Past and Proposals for the Future,” Governor’s Conference on Aging, December 2005Presentation on Will Contests, CBA, November 2005Presentation on Elder Mistreatment, Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November 2005
News
Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Featured in HuffPostClark Hill attorney Ray J. Koenig III selected for 2020 Illinois Top 100 Super LawyersClark Hill Lawyers Named 2020 Leading LawyersRay Koenig to Co-Present at The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel 2019 Fall MeetingClark Hill’s Chicago Estate & Trust Litigation Team Earns Significant Victory in Appellate CourtClark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2020 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Chicago Member in Charge Ray J. Koenig III Recognized as 2019 Notable LGBTQ Executive by Crain’s Chicago BusinessClark Hill Chicago Member in Charge Ray J. Koenig III Sworn In as Secretary of the Nearly 18,000 Member Chicago Bar AssociationClark Hill Chicago Member in Charge Ray J. Koenig III Recognized as 2019 Notable Gen X Leader in Law by Crain’s BusinessClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Received Chicago House & Social Service Agency 2019 Service AwardClark Hill’s Ray J. Koenig III to Speak at IICLE’s 62nd Annual Estate Planning Short CourseClark Hill Attorneys Named 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers & Rising StarsClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig Named One of Illinois Top 100 Super Lawyers 2019Clark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III, Ashley T. Kisner and Christopher S. Hopkins Published in FIRMA FORUM, “Effectively Employing the Tools Provided by a Decedent”Clark Hill Attorneys MacKenzie A. Hyde, Ashley C. Coppola, and Melissa N. Turk Hosted Annual Women in Probate Event to Support Women Entering the Workforce Clark Hill’s Chicago Office to Host Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Pride Action Tank Breakfast, December 19, 2108Clark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III to Present at the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Probate Practice Committee Seminar, November 7, 2018 Clark Hill Joins the Exclusive Illinois Equality Council for Equality Illinois as an Inaugural MemberClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Appeared on NBC Chicago’s, “Making a Difference” on September 9, 2018Clark Hill’s Ray J. Koenig III featured in ACTEC’s Podcast, “Litigation Issues Involving Children in Estate Planning”143 Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2019 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill’s Ray J. Koenig III to Speak at ACTEC’s 2018 Summer Meeting Stand Alone ProgramClark Hill’s Ray J. Koenig III to Speak at IICLE’s 61st Annual Estate Planning Short CourseClark Hill’s Chicago Office to Host National Bar Association’s Prestigious Heman Sweatt Awards Reception April 20, 2018Clark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Named One of Illinois Top 100 Super Lawyers 2018Nineteen Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers & Rising StarsClark Hill’s Ray J. Koenig III Elected to IICLE’s Board of DirectorsSixty-Seven Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2018 Leading LawyersSeventy-Four Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Chicago Sponsored LAGBAC’s 30th Anniversary Gala on July 27, 2017Clark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III, MacKenzie A. Hyde, and Angelo D. DiBartolomeo Presented at Loyola University Chicago Summer Institute on Aging May 23, 2017Clark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III to Present at ICLE 60th Annual Estate Planning Short Course in May 2017Clark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III and Ryan M. Holmes to Present at DuPage County Estate Planning Council Meeting on April 12, 2017Clark Hill Chicago Hosted a Federal Legislative Breakfast Organized by Pride Action Tank, Equality Illinois, and AIDS Foundation Chicago Seventeen Clark Hill Attorneys Named to the 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers & Rising Stars List Clark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III, Eric Dorkin and Christopher S. Hopkins to Present at the IICLE® 12th Annual Elder Law Short CourseClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III to Speak on “Disabled Persons: Planning for and Implementation of Special Needs Trusts & Guardianship” at the Fall Chicago Estate Planning Council Luncheon Clark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Reappointed to Chicago Commission on Human RelationsClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Elected to Chair of the Board of the Chicago House Board of TrusteesClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Received the Vernita Gray Lifetime Achievement Award