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ballard, desai & miller

ATTORNEY PROFILES

desaiNidhi Desai practices both in adoption and in the areas of gamete donation, embryo donation and surrogacy; her emphasis is in the area of collaborative reproduction.  In 2004, Nidhi worked closely with Illinois House Representative Barbara Currie in a successful legislative effort to enact "The Gestational Surrogacy Act", the first law of its kind in the nation to recognize the enforceability of contracts between parties in gestational surrogacy arrangements. In addition to being one of the principal authors of the Gestational Surrogacy Act, she testified on behalf of the Illinois State Bar Association in front of both the state House and Senate judiciary committees and was instrumental in gaining unanimous support for this legislation. 

Nidhi currently serves as the Deputy Director of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Law Attorneys and is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. She serves on the executive council for the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Kevin J. Lederer Life Foundation, a foundation that helps individuals and couples struggling with infertility through education and financial assistance. She is also a member of the American Bar Association's Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.

Nidhi has been appointed to and currently serves on the Illinois State Bar Association's Genetics and Human Reproduction Task Force, formed to examine and develop policy recommendations for the myriad issues that arise surrounding these new technologies. Her peers have also selected her as a member of the Leading Lawyers network.

Nidhi authored the chapter on surrogacy and assisted reproduction for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) Practice Handbook on Illinois Adoption Law, and has been appointed to several committees throughout the years to provide education and recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding federal embryo donation policy. She is a frequent speaker on infertility legal issues, both locally and nationally, addressing medical and legal professionals including the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. Nidhi obtained her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She received her law degree from Loyola University Chicago, where she served as an articles editor for the Loyola Annals of Health Law.

 

millerMARCY MILLER began her practice in the field of reproductive law while maintaining a thriving estate planning practice at a small Chicago firm.  In 1999, Marcy left her law firm and established the law firm of Marcy B. Miller & Associates, LLC, in order to cultivate a specialty practice in reproductive technology, one of only a few firms in the Chicago area focusing solely on helping individuals build their families through all forms of assisted reproductive technology.  For over a decade, the firm represented thousands of clients, including intended parents, donors, surrogates and fertility centers, providing legal and practical advice in all types of reproductive arrangements.
 
After practicing law for a number of years, Marcy's own experience with infertility and in vitro fertilization has enabled her to understand the emotional and practical issues facing patients pursuing infertility treatment from a different, more personal perspective.  Her experiences have furthered her commitment to aiding her clients in all aspects of the third party reproductive process. 

Marcy has presented to reproductive endocrinologists and fertility center managers of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine regarding the legal aspects of reproductive technology with a focus on how these medical providers can help guide patients through not only the medical, but also the non-medical aspects of their reproductive arrangements. Marcy is a Fellow in the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, as well as a member of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Family Law Section and the American Bar Association’s Assisted Reproductive Technologies Committee and the Chicago Bar Association.  Marcy graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 1992 with honors in political science and from Georgetown University Law Center in 1996.

 

ballardJANELLE SKALOUD focuses her practice on reproductive technology law and represents clients in all aspects of gamete donation and gestational surrogacy arrangements.

Prior to joining the firm, Janelle served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Sophia H. Hall of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Honorable Geraldine Soat Brown of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the Honorable Morton Denlow of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.  As a judicial clerk, Janelle worked on a variety of cases arising under state and federal jurisdiction, including contract disputes, insurance actions, and declaratory judgments.

Janelle is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, where she currently serves on the executive committee of the Alliance for Women, and a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.  Janelle graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2009, where she served as a lead articles editor for the Loyola Law Journal and as staff writer for the Public Interest Law Reporter.  Janelle also holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

 

ATTORNEY PROFILES - OF COUNSEL

VICTORIA (VICKY) BUSH-JOSEPH, a co-founder of the firm who retired in 2003, played a critical role in shaping the Illinois law that mandates insurance coverage for infertility. Vicky served as the Chair of Advocacy for RESOLVE of Illinois, and was a member of its Board of Directors for many years. Vicky, along with Terri Finesmith Horwich, drafted the Illinois Family Building Act and co-directed RESOLVE's lobbying campaign to pass the law, which requires insurance coverage for medical treatment of infertility. RESOLVE’s all-volunteer effort to pass the Family Building Act was hailed by then-Governor Edgar and legislative leaders as the single most successful grassroots legislative effort they had witnessed. Vicky and Terri were also primarily responsible for helping the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services design the Putative Father Registry, improving the adoption process in the wake of the Baby Richard case by making it easier to identify birthfathers.

Vicky is a Lecturer of Graduate Legal Studies at Loyola University Chicago's School of Law, where she teaches a seminar on adoption law, and is also a retired Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. She wrote the chapter on “Practical and Financial Aspects” for IICLE’s 2011 Illinois Adoption Law Practice Handbook. Before beginning the practice of law concentrating on adoption and infertility issues, Vicky practiced law as in-house counsel for AT&T and Ameritech for ten years. Vicky graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Chicago in 1978. She also received her law degree in 1982 from Loyola, where she was a member of the law review. Vicky became Of Counsel to the firm in 2003.

 

TERRI FINESMITH HORWICH is a founding partner and also Of Counsel to the firm. Terri, along with Vicky Bush-Joseph, was a principal drafter of the Illinois Family Building Act requiring insurance coverage for medical treatment of infertility. She has served as a member of several prominent advisory groups that recommended standards for the field of reproductive technology and is a retired Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

Terri completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Distinction in the Major (Psychology) and was also a Special Student in Social Policy Studies at Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate School of Social Work. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern University’s School of Law in 1984, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the law review.


 

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