Honorary Board

Ann Chen

Ann Chen is Abbott’s Senior Counsel for social media and digital assets, supporting the company’s social and digital objectives globally, including on issues including digital marketing, social media strategy and communications, e-commerce, mobility, and governance.  Prior to joining Abbott, Ann was global trademark counsel for a global consumer goods company working in the chocolate, confectionery, food, and beverage industries, focusing on counseling, enforcement, licensing, domain names, copyright, and social media.  She previously worked at the law firms of Kirkland & Ellis and Goldberg Kohn.  

Ann attended Yale University and the University of Michigan Law School, and clerked for Judge Adalberto Jordan in the U.S District Court in the Southern District of Florida (now on the 11th Circuit).  She was named one of National Law Journal's "Top 40 Under 40 - Chicago's Rising Stars."

Robert

Robert F. Harris

Robert F. Harris is the Cook County Public Guardian. The Office of the Cook County Public Guardian is the only law office of its kind that combines the legal representation of abused and neglected children, children in divorce and custody cases, and adults (mostly elderly) with cognitive disabilities. His office has more than 100 lawyers who primarily litigate cases in the Juvenile, Probate, and Domestic Relations Divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Robert began with the office as an entry-level attorney rising through the ranks to become the Chief Deputy Public Guardian before his appointment as Public Guardian by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans in 2004. Before pursuing his passion to advocate as an attorney for the voiceless and underserved, Robert worked as a manufacturing, quality control, and sales engineer. On a local and national platform Harris advocates and serves as an expert on issues regarding children and the elderly. In 2015, he testified before a U.S. Congressional Sub-Committee in its hearing, "Fighting Fraud Against the Elderly," regarding his office's successful recovery of more than $40 million in assets stolen from the people it serves.

In 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed him as Chairperson of the Illinois Judicial College Committee on Guardian ad litem Education. He presently serves on the Chicago Bar Association Board of Managers, Chicago Bar Foundation Board of Directors, the Southland Juvenile Justice Council, DePaul University College of Law’s Schiller DuCanto and Fleck Family Law Center Advisory Board, and is a member of the Cook County Bar Association. Robert was honored with the Chicago Bar Association’s Earl Burris Dickerson Award (2017), Center for Law and Social Work’s Spirit Award (2016), National Association of Elder Law Attorneys John J. Regan Writing Award (2010), Cook County Bar Association’s Ida B. Platt Award (2008), Reclaim a Youth Foundation of Illinois Humanitarian Award for Youth Advocacy (2005), and DePaul College of Law’s Outstanding Contribution to Public Service Award (2006) and Outstanding Service to the Profession (2005). Robert is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign College of Engineering and DePaul University College of Law.

Binal J. Patel

Binal Patel is a senior shareholder at Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. He actively manages patent programs for large and medium-sized corporations in the U.S. and internationally. He also devotes a significant portion of his practice to handling inter partes review proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and has significant experience managing complex litigation matters involving the enforcement and defense of intellectual property rights. Prior to becoming an attorney, Binal progressed through engineering positions at Andersen Consulting, Baxter Healthcare Corporation, and PSG Engineering Associates, Inc.

He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he graduated, with highest honors, as a James Scholar, and as a member of the Senior 100. He earned his J.D. from Northwestern University. He is a co-founder and board member of the Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago, and a co-founder and former member of the executive committee of the North American South Asian Bar Association.

Kerry

Kerry R. Peck

Kerry R. Peck is the managing partner of the Chicago law firm Peck Ritchey, LLC. His clients include families, hospitals, banks, the State of Illinois, County of Cook, and City of Chicago. For ten consecutive years, he has been selected by his peers in statewide surveys of Illinois attorneys as a “Super Lawyer,” an attorney to whom other attorneys would refer their family, and he was named a member of the Leading Lawyers Network. Mr. Peck is the recipient of the 2014 Justice John Paul Stevens Award, the Chicago Bar Association’s highest honor. He was also selected by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law as one of their 125 Alumni of Distinction.

Mr. Peck was retained by the City of Chicago Department of Aging to rewrite the State of Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act. Mr. Peck is the co-author of Alzheimer’s and the Law, published by the American Bar Association. Mr. Peck has written articles for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Chicago Bar Association Record, Illinois State Bar Journal, and various other journals and newspapers. He teaches attorneys and healthcare professionals across the country, and is a former adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School’s Elder Law Studies program where he taught a guardianship course.

Kerry Peck has been appointed Guardian Ad Litem in the Circuit Court by the Probate Division, Chancery Division and County Division, involving complex cases including health care, tax issues, real estate and medical issues. Mr. Peck has been appointed Special Administrator, Successor Administrator and/or Successor Trustee in contested trust and estate cases all by Court order.

Anshuman

Anshuman Vaidya

Anshuman Vaidya is a prosecutor at the Attorney General's Office for the State of Illinois, specializing in white-collar crime and tax evasion.  As a Unit Supervisor in the Special Prosecutions Bureau, Anshuman manages grand jury investigations and criminal prosecutions throughout the state and also serves as counsel to the Illinois Department of Revenue. 

Anshuman is an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and a past AABA board member.  Anshuman received his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 2002 and his law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2005.