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On Wednesday, November 27, Arbitrator Pritzker appointed six new Arbitrators to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The new Arbitrators will begin serving in the near future, although the appointments will ultimately be subject to Senate approval. The new appointments will hopefully help relieve some of the recent difficulties in moving cases to hearing at the IWCC.
The newly appointed Arbitrators are:
Joseph D. Amarilio of Buffalo Grove – Mr. Amarilio currently works as a partner at Elfenbaum, Evers, Amarilio and Zielinska, representing injured workers and their families. In addition, he has worked as an attorney at Amarilio and Weinstein, Jack Ring and Associates, McKenna, Storer, Rowe, White and Farrug, as well as his own namesake firm. Amarilio also spent time at the Cook County Mandatory Arbitration Program as the Chair Qualified Arbitrator. He is a member of Workers' Injury Law and Advocacy Group, Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers' Association. Amarilio earned his Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and his Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School.
Deborah J. Baker, of Chicago – Ms. Baker currently serves as Assistant Deputy Chief Legal Counsel and Ethics Officer for the Illinois Department of Corrections. Previously, she worked at UpRight Law as Litigation and Compliance Counsel, and Goldberg, Weisman and Cairo as an associate attorney. In addition, Baker has served as Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General from 2016 to 2017 and worked for the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission as an administrative appeals staff attorney. She is a member of the Black Woman Lawyers Association, Salt and Light Coalition, Cabrini Green Legal Aid Board of Directors, Chicago Bar Association and Loyola University Chicago School of Law Diversity Council. Baker earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Mexico, Master of Arts from Loyola University Chicago, and Juris Doctor from Loyola University.
Adam Hinrichs, of Geneseo – Mr. Hinrichs spent eight years practicing law and now manages a multi-unit vacation rental property and volunteers at the Genesco Community Center. He most recently served as an equity partner at Elfenbaum, Evers and Amarilio from 2007 to 2014, where he handled every aspect of case management, including appeals and arbitrations with the Workers' Compensation Commission. He previously worked as a contract attorney for Legal People. Hinrichs was a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and Workers Compensation Lawyers Association from 2008 to 2014. Hinrichs earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics and management from Beloit College and his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law.
Elaine Llerena, of Chicago – Ms. Llerena currently works as a staff attorney for Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Previously, she worked as a staff attorney for the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, associate for Beaulieu Law Offices, law clerk for the City of Chicago and research assistant for the John Marshall Law School. Llerena earned her Bachelor of Science from Florida State University and her Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School.
William J. McLaughlin, of Tinley Park – Mr. McLaughlin currently works as an attorney for his namesake firm McLaughlin Law Group. Previously, he worked as a staff attorney at the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, an Assistant State's Attorney at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and an associate at Delano Law Offices. In addition, McLaughlin is a member of the Southwest, Chicago, Illinois State, South Suburban and Northern District of Illinois Bar Associations. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from St. Xavier College and his Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law.
Dennis S. O’Brien, of Springfield – Mr. O'Brien currently works as Vice President and Secretary of Livingston, Mueller, O'Brien and Davlin. Previously, he worked as an Assistant State's Attorney for the Felony Division of Lake County, Assistant State's Attorney for Sangamon County, and a reporter for the Capitol Information Bureau. O'Brien is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, Sangamon County Bar Association, Leading Lawyers Network, Illinois Industrial Commission Downstate Committee, Lincoln-Douglas American Inn Court and the Board of Trustees for the Springfield Municipal Opera. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dominican University and his Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago.