Meet the Attorneys of The Law Offices of Edward R. Jaquays in Joliet, IL

Edward R. Jaquays

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Edward R. Jaquays (“Jake”) opened The Law Offices of Edward R. Jaquays in 1992 at our present location of 5 W. Jefferson Street, in Joliet. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Jake graduated from the State University of New York in 1971. After relocating to Illinois, Jake graduated from the John Marshall Law School, located in Chicago, with honors in 1975, and was admitted to practice law in Illinois and the Northern District of Illinois that same year. In 1982, Jake was admitted to practice law in the United States Supreme Court.

Jake’s long years of practice has come with an extensive and varied knowledge of all areas of litigation including appellate, criminal, civil, and family law. Presently, his practice is concentrated in complex family law matters involving divorce and business valuations, support and maintenance, and contested custody and visitation.

Along with his practice, Jake also has been a Will County Public Defender on a part-time basis for over 30 years. With the Public Defender’s Office, Jake was a felony supervisor as well as being involved in over 20 death penalty cases in Will County. Jake also has been an attorney for the Will County Merit Commission for over 20 years. His active participation in not only his practice, but also the needs of the Will County area has shown his dedication to the local community.

Throughout his years of practice, Jake was a former member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He was also a former member of the Capital Trial Bar Screening Committee and the former Chairman of the Will County Family Law and Criminal Law Committees. Jake has been married to his loving wife for 45 years and they have raised three wonderful daughters. Both he and his wife enjoy traveling together and spending time with their family.

Vincent J. Cerri

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Vincent J. Cerri grew up on the far south side of Chicago in the Roseland area. He graduated from DePaul University in 1967 with a bachelor degree in finance and from the John Marshall Law School in June of 1970. His first employment as an attorney was with the Cook County Public Defender’s office. He started in appeals, followed by misdemeanors, and then the felony division of the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th in California in the City of Chicago.

In 1973, he joined the Joliet law firm of Cirricione, Block & Krockey where he specialized in family law, civil litigation, and criminal litigation. H also represented the city of Crest Hill in both litigation and at city council meetings.

In January of 1979, he was appointed as an Associate Circuit Judge for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit in Will County, Illinois and served that position until retirement in November of 2002. During his time on the bench, he served on practically every judicial call with extensive time in family law and lengthy periods of time on civil jury and motion calls.

After a brief retirement, Judge Cerri opened his own practice in the summer of 2003. While a sole practioner, he engaged in the general practice of law. When Judge Cerri’s practice grew to where additional attorneys were needed, he joined the Law Offices of Edward R. Jaquays in May of 2005.

For the Jaquays law firm, Judge Cerri has primarily concentrated in family law, probate, and civil litigation. His family law expertise includes property division, child support and maintenance, custody and visitation disputes, as well as business valuations for both divorce and civil litigations.

Judge Cerri has been married to his wife, Frances (née Lonergan) for over forty-two years. They have three adult children. Judge Cerri is a member of social, charitable, and cultural organizations including the American Italian Cultural Society and the Irish American Society of Will County.

Martin Rudman

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Following graduation from Joliet Township High School and Joliet Junior College, Martin Rudman received a J.D. degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1962.

He was the first assistant state’s attorney for both a Democratic and Republican state’s attorney for eight years. During that time he received an “A” rating, the highest rating available from Martindale-Hubbell, the lawyer rating service. From 1972 to 1976, he was the elected state’s attorney of Will County, after which he spent ten years in private practice, concentrating in trial litigation (divorce, business, and criminal).

In 1986, he was appointed an Associate Judge for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit (Will County) and served in that position until he retired as a judge on December 31, 1999. For half the time he served as a judge, he presided over contested Dissolution of Marriage cases. Other assignments included civil jury cases and criminal cases.

Following his retirement from the judiciary, he resumed private practice and has been a member of the Edward Jaquays law firm since 2002.

In August 2015, Marty and his wife, Yarol, will have been married for 54 years. They have a daughter in Los Angeles and a son in Kansas City, both lawyers and married. They have 2 grandchildren.

Mark Ellis

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Mark was born and raised in the far south suburbs of Chicago. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998. After college, Mark worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was involved in the administration of several areas involving women’s health, including the resident’s and private clinics, clinical research, and the initiation of the Center for Excellence in Women’s Health.

Mark received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2003. In March 2004, Mark was appointed as an Assistant Public Defender with the Will County Public Defender’s Office where he gained experience trying all levels of criminal cases, including felony trials, while serving as an Assistant Public Defender on a felony call. In August 2007, he joined The Law Offices of Edward Jaquays where he continues to have a passion for criminal defense work and has expanded his practice to include civil trial matters with a concentration on family law.

Mark is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois and the Northern District of Illinois and is a member of the Will County Bar Association. Mark is a member of the Federal Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois. In addition to his experience trying criminal cases, Mark has experience drafting appeals and practicing before the Appellate Court and trying complex dissolution of marriage proceedings, including matters involving contested custody, support, visitation, and the valuation/allocation of business interests.

Dana Jakusz

Dana Jakusz

Dana was born and raised in Lemont, Illinois and attended high school at Providence Catholic H.S. in New Lenox, Illinois. She received a scholarship to play softball at DePaul University, where she participated in two Women’s College World Series tournaments and was recently inducted into the DePaul University Athletic Hall of Fame. Dana also received her law degree at DePaul University’s College of Law, graduating in 2004.

Dana began her legal career at the Will County Public Defender’s Office and moved quickly into the felony unit within two years. Her aggressive and competitive reputation led to her being recruited into private practice at Reich, Orloff and Jumbeck, LLP, where she gained knowledge and experience in divorce litigation, child custody, and complex family law matters. Dana returned to the Public Defender’s Office after starting a family and had the opportunity to practice in all manners of misdemeanor, juvenile and felony law. In 2014, Dana was named the felony supervisor of the Domestic Relations Division, where she took part in many adversarial hearings, including felony bench and jury trials.

Dana joined The Law Offices of Edward Jaquays in January 2017, where she is excited to combine and expand her courtroom capabilities and skill sets in criminal and civil law. Throughout her career, Dana’s personal and professional experiences have enabled her to provide zealous advocacy and guidance through emotional and difficult legal processes.