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Michelle Ann Lawless

Michelle Ann Lawless

Practice areas:

Family

Michelle Lawless

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About Me

With finely-honed skills in both negotiation and litigation, Michelle has spent her entire career assisting high-net-worth individuals and their spouses protect and preserve their assets during divorce. She has in-depth training and experience in the analysis of executive compensation packages, valuation of closely-held businesses, and other complex, hard-to-value assets and income streams.


As co-author of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education Family Law Flash Points, Michelle is knowledgeable about the cutting edge trends in family law. She uses this insight and research to negotiate favorable outcomes for her clients and help them make the best decisions based on the current developments in the law.


Michelle works with her clients to clarify and articulate their goals by asking how they would like to see their lives after the conclusion of their family law matter. She knows that the answers will vary widely, as the goals of a business owner nearing retirement will be vastly different from those of a young mother of three children. She also explains the three primary methods of resolving disputes to the client which include mediation, the collaborative model, and traditional litigation, and works with the client to determine which is the most appropriate avenue for their individual case.


While out-of-court-settlement is the primary goal, Michelle’s talent as a litigator makes her a very effective advocate for her clients in court, if such route is necessary. She has successfully prosecuted and defended cases at the trial and appellate levels. Michelle’s representative experience includes:



  • Negotiating a settlement involving the distribution of several multi-million dollar marital business entities;

  • Achieving a favorable outcome in a high income support case where the interpretation of a compensation agreement played a pivotal role;

  • Negotiating an agreement wherein the allocation of assets focused on the most advantageous tax savings post-divorce for both parties; and

  • Litigating a jurisdictional dispute in a support modification hearing, including prevailing on appeal.


A graduate of the American Bar Association’s Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute focusing exclusively on business valuations, Michelle has been recognized in Best Lawyers of America (2015), an Illinois Super Lawyer (2013-2015), an Illinois Rising Star Attorney (2012), and by the Leading Lawyers Network (2012-2015). She is also a past recipient of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “40 Under 40” award. She is a certified Divorce Financial Analyst and also holds certifications in Collaborative Law and mediation.


Michelle is a frequent author and lecturer on family law subjects and currently co-authors the IICLE Family Law Flash Points with Donald C. Schiller. She served as liaison to the committee responsible for reviewing and redrafting the Cook County local court rules which govern domestic relations cases and is a Past-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Domestic Relations Committee.

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1999

  1. Family: 100%

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Contact Info

Schiller, DuCanto and Fleck LLP

200 N. LaSalle
30th Floor
Chicago, IL, 60601

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law199905/14/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Awards
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2015
Family LawLeading Lawyers Network2015
Illinois Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2015
Family LawLeading Lawyers Network2014
Illinois Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2014
Rising Stars, IllinoisSuper Lawyers Magazine2013
Leading Lawyers, Family LawLeading Lawyers Network2013
40 Attorneys Under 40 to WatchChicago Daily Law Bulletin2010

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
Law ClerkLaw Clerk to the Hon. Moshe Jacobius2000 - 2002

Associations
Association NamePosition NameDuration
Illinois State Bar Association, Family Law SectionN/AN/A
Chicago Bar AssociationN/AN/A
American Bar AssociationN/AN/A

Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
Vailas v. VailasSuccessfully overturned trial court's ruling and had case dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction over client.

See all Legal Cases 

Publications
Publication NameTitleDate
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - January 20152015
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - March 20152015
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - January 20142014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - February 20142014
Family Law Topics BlogThe Income Conundrum: What is and is not Income for Child Support Purposes?2014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - March 20142014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - April 20142014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - June 20142014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - July 20142014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - August 20142014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - September 20142014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - October 20142014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - November 20142014
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationTop Ten Family Law Flash Points of 20142014
Family Law Topics BlogHow to Plan for College Expenses Post-Divorce2013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - January 20132013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - February 20132013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - April 20132013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - May 20132013
Family Law Topics BlogHow to Plan for College Expenses Post-Divorce2013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - June 20132013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - July 20132013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - August 20132013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - September 20132013
Family Law Topics BlogWorkers’ Compensation Settlement is Income for Child Support2013
Family Law Topics BlogModifying Custody Post-Judgment: A Two-Step Analysis2013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - October 20132013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - November 20132013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - December 20132013
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal EducationIICLE Family Law Flash Points - December 20122012
Family Law Topics BlogFive Factors the Court Considers When Relocating Out of State With Children2010
Family Law Topics BlogRecent Appellate Court Ruling Clarifies Residency Requirements for International Custody Disputes2010
Family Law Topics BlogUnique Jurisdictional Issues in Multi-State Child Support Modification Cases2010
Chicago Daily Law BulletinAnother Tool in the Divorce Attorneys Chest2007

Education
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Saint Louis University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1999
Indiana UniversityN/AB.A.J1996

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
WebcastFamily Law Series: Children's Issues in Dual Income Families2013
DCBA Family Law CommitteeIssues when Both Divorcing Parents Work2013