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John L. Barger

Certificates: CELA

Services Offered: Attorney, Legal, Financial or Insurance

Mr. Kenneth Werts has been appointed by Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman Joann Fratianni-Atsaves to the Workers’ Compensation Commission Rules Committee. It is anticipated that the Committee will review the current Commission Rules and submit proposed amendments to same to further the work of the Commission and those who appear and practice before it.

During the week of October 14, 2014, John F. Watson prosecuted a Contribution action as counsel for the Plaintiff, Kent Family Inc., under the Illinois Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act in Sangamon County, Illinois, case number 2008-L-272. Circuit Judge John Schmidt presided over the trial. At the conclusion of the trial the jury assessed 75% fault against the Defendant, and 25% fault against Mr. Watson’s client. Judgment was entered in favor of Mr. Watson’s client in the amount of $487,500, plus costs.

Mr. Kenneth Werts presented for the Illinois State Bar Association to its members at the Advanced Workers’ Compensation seminar held October 13, 2014. Mr. Werts presented the case law update for the attendees.

John F. Watson and R. Sean Hocking have received “AV Preeminent” Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings. Reviewers are lawyers and judges across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations and are listed on They are from similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated, who know or have worked with the lawyer under review, and are able to rate them on their professional ethical standards and legal ability. An AV Preeminent certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment and reflective that a lawyer’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence.

Mr. Kenneth Werts presented for the Illinois State Bar Association to its members at the ISBA’s annual Solo and Small Firm Practice Institute held September 19, 2014 on the topic Best Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Practice Tips.

On September 17, 2014, John Watson, a Partner with the Matton office, made a presentation in Bloomington, Illinois, sponsored by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), on issues relating to identifying and resolving conflicts of interest created under the tripartite relationship. The discussion was presented as continuing legal education to Central Illinois attorneys focusing on Peppersconflicts, independent counsel, and the duties of counsel (and the insurance company) in the event of certain conflicts of interest.

John F Watson, Partner in the Mattoon office, has been recognized as a 2014 Member of the Leading Lawyers Network in the fields of

Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law, Medical Malpractice Defense Law and
Personal Injury Defense Law: General

Mr. Watson was recommended as a Leading Lawyer in a state wide survey. Fewer than 5% of the lawyers in Illinois receive the distinction as being the Leading Lawyer.

On the recommendation of Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, Paul R. Lynch of the Mt. Vernon office of Craig & Craig, LLC, has been appointed to the Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence. The purpose of the Committee is to monitor, review and study Illinois cases and, to the extent relevant, cases from around the country, that impact evidence law generally and the Illinois Rules of Evidence specifically. The Committee will meet periodically each year to discuss relevant cases impacting evidence law, and produce an annual report to the Supreme Court at the end of each year on the status of evidence law in Illinois. The members of the Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence are Judges and practicing attorneys located in each of the five Appellate Districts of the State.

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