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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: 312.985.5985
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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 badge 2018
Best lawyers

Ray J. Koenig III

Member

Ray J. Koenig III is a member in Clark Hill’s Litigation and Personal Legal Services Practice Groups. Ray also serves in leadership roles within the firm, which includes serving as the Managing Member of Clark Hill’s Chicago office and on the firm’s Executive Committee. His areas of emphasis and experience include:

• will contests
• will construction
• citations to recover
• probate litigation
• trust contests
• trust reformation
• trust construction
• total return trusts
• trust litigation
• breach of fiduciary duty claims
• fiduciary litigation
• claims for fiduciary and legal fees 
• guardianship litigation
• elder law
• estate planning
• probate estate administration

Ray has represented individuals, families, financial institutions, medical institutions, and governmental organizations in all areas of his practice. Ray has extensive trial, appellate and mediation experience in state and federal courts. Ray is frequently appointed Guardian Ad Litem and defense counsel by judges in complicated guardianship matters; he is also appointed Special Administrator by judges in problematic probate matters.  Ray has also been retained as an expert witness in multiple guardianship and probate matters.

Ray is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and previously served as a member of its Fiduciary Litigation Committee. Ray has been recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as a Trust and Estate Litigation Super Lawyer or Rising Star for most years from 2010 through 2018, and was named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Illinois in 2018.  Ray was also named an Illinois Leading Lawyer in Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law from 2013 through 2017, having been nominated by his peers as one of the top 5% of practitioners in this state. Ray also received an “AV®” Preeminent Rating by his peers through Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating.   Finally, Ray was 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.

Ray was profiled in an article titled “A Fierce Advocate for LGBT Rights” written by Dustin J. Seibert in Leading Lawyers Magazine – Consumer Edition for 2016.

Select Community Activities

  • City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations: Commissioner 2012-Present
  • Lambda Legal Education and Defense Fund: Co-Chair of National Legacy and Planned Giving Council
  • Chicago House and Social Service Agency: Current Chair and past Internal Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Pride Action Tank Advisory Council
  • Congressman Mike Quigley's LGBT Advisory Council
  • Cook County State’s Attorney LGBT Advisory Council: Former Chair
  • Adjunct Professor, Elder Law, The John Marshall Law School
  • 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
  • Equality Illinois PAC: Past Board Member and Treasurer

Select Publications

  • Co-Author, Claims Against Decedent’s Estate chapter in IICLE’s 2017 Handbook: Causes of Action, Probate Actions
  • Co-Author, Guardianship Litigation chapter in IICLE’s 2016, 2012 and 2009 Handbook: Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests
  • Co-Author, Advice on Creating Advanced Directives and a Living Will, Expert Beacon, 2014
  • Co-Author, Defending Your Principals: Suing Agents Under the Revised Illinois Power of Attorney Act, Illinois State Bar Journal, October 2012
  • Author, Proactive Measures and Key Concerns for the Trust and Probate Attorney chapter, Inside the Minds: Trust and Probate Litigation book, Aspatore Publishing, 2010
  • Co-Author, Equal Protections, Equal Responsibilities: The Impact of HB 1826 on Probate in Illinois, Chicago Bar Association Record, September 2009
  • Co-Author, Wishes Aren't Enough: Why the Five Wishes Document May Fail in Illinois, Illinois Bar Journal, June 2009
  • Co-Author, Will Contests chapter in IICLE 2009 Handbook: Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests
  • Co-Editor, Update of Chicago Lawyer's Court Handbook, Chapter 7: Circuit Court Probate Division
  • Co-Author, Removal of a Guardian, ISBA Trusts and Estates Newsletter, August 2005
  • Author, Legal Issues Faced by LGBT Seniors, Windy City Times, July 27, 2005
  • Co-Author, Disappointed Would-Be Legatees: Who Has Standing to Contest a Will?, Illinois Bar Journal, June 2005
  • Co-Author, The Legal and Governmental Response to Domestic Elder Abuse chapter, Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, Volume 21, Issue 2, May 2005

Select Presentations and Appearances

  • “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 2015
  • Presentation 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 2013
  • Presentation on Access to Benefits post-DOMA/Windsor to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ Annual Council of Advanced Practitioners Conference, August 2013
  • Presentation on trust and estate beneficiary issues at the IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, April/May 2013
  • Presentation on “Contested Guardianship Estates” at ISBA Guardianship Boot Camp, February 2012
  • Guest, NPR/Vocalo The Barber Shop radio show, "What's at Stake in the Gay Marriage Debate Impacts Families," January 2013
  • Panelist with physician and social worker on elder rights issues, Governor's Conference on Aging, December 2012
  • Panelist at "IICLE Practice Academy: Essentials of Estate Planning," December 2012
  • Presentation on suing and defending agents under powers of attorney using the revised Act, CBA, November 2012
  • Presentation on powers of attorney and decision-making, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, October 2012
  • Presentation on planning and family fights in the age of civil unions, CBA, October 2012
  • Panelist at presentation on the confident modern family, Center on Halsted, October 2012
  • Panelist at presentation on diversity and affinity fraud, Illinois CPA Society, September 2012Presentation on advanced guardianship litigation, IICLE, June 2012
  • Presentation on the financial aspects of aging, CBA, May 2012
  • Presentation on representing trust & estate beneficiaries, IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, May 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 2011
  • Presentation 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 2010
  • Presentation on Contesting and Defending Wills, CBA, November 2009
  • Presentation on the use of the Five Wishes document as an advance directive, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, August 2009
  • Presentation 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 2007
  • Presentation 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 2005
  • Presentation on Will Contests, CBA, November 2005
  • Presentation on Elder Mistreatment, Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November 2005
Memberships
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Fellow
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)
Chicago Bar Association: Board of Managers 2012-14, founding Chair of the Leadership Development Committee, and inaugural Chair of the Leadership Institute, 2016-present
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education: Board of Directors
LAGBAC
Chicago Estate Planning Council
Clark Hill PLC Diversity & Inclusion Committee
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

News
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 AwardClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Co-Authored the Guardianship Litigation Chapter in IICLE’s 2016 Edition of the “Litigation Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships and Charitable Bequests.” Clark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III and MacKenzie A. Hyde Presented “Dealing with Behavioral Disorders Exhibited by Clients and Beneficiaries” for the Greater North Shore Estate & Financial Planning Council Clark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III and Timothy R. Herman Instrumental in Inaugural Chicago Bar Association Leadership Institute Sixteen Clark Hill Attorneys Named to Illinois Super Lawyers & Rising Stars 2016 ListClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Quoted in Windy City Times About Recent Supreme Court Decision on Same Sex Couples and Their Families Clark Hill PLC Among Illinois Law Firms Honored for LGBT EqualityClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III to Present at Citywide Pride Event “To Have & To Hold” Same Sex Marriage after Obergefell v. Hodges July 28, 2015 in Chicago, ILClark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III, MacKenzie A. Hyde and Eric Dorkin to Present at the IICLE® Powers of Attorney and Guardianship SeminarClark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III and MacKenzie A. Hyde to Present at the 58th Annual IICLE® Estate Planning Short Course Clark Hill Chicago and City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations to Host On the Table 2015 Event Focused on LGBTQ Youth Homelessness – What More Can Be Done? Clark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III to Present at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Smart Week on the Impact of Marriage EqualityClark Hill Chicago Highlighted in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on Recent GrowthClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III to Present on the Financial and Tax Planning for Same-Sex Couples Twelve Clark Hill Attorneys Named to Illinois Super Lawyers & Rising Stars 2015 ListClark Hill Chicago Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Selected As Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s New Leadership Development Committee Fifty-Seven Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2014 Leading LawyersClark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III and Leslie Gutierrez to Present on The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the Lifecare Planning Law Firms Association Annual Conference in St. LouisClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III to Present on the Financial and Estate Planning Ramifications of Marriage EqualityClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III to Present at the 57th Annual IICLE® Estate Planning Short CourseClark Hill is Proud to Honor the Memory of Bon FosterClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Reappointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Serve On the Chicago Commission on Human RelationsClark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III and MacKenzie A. Hyde Presented at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ CELA Review Course – February 6Clark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Quoted in Chicago TribuneClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Quoted in Crain’s Chicago BusinessClark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III, Eric Dorkin and MacKenzie A. Hyde to Present at the IICLE® 9th Annual Elder Law Short Course – November 21Nine Clark Hill Chicago Attorneys Named Illinois Leading Lawyers 2013Clark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Selected as an ACTEC FellowClark Hill Attorneys Ray J. Koenig III and Leslie Gutierrez to Present at the Retirement Post-DOMA: What You Need to Know Seminar – November 9Bretz, Dee and Koenig elected to Clark Hill’s Executive CommitteeClark Hill Attorney Ray J. Koenig III Selected as One of 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch