Written by Gunnar J. Gitlin:
My father, H. Joseph Gitlin, passed away December 2, 2016. See: www.gitlin.com in honor of my father. My father was tremendously respected for his tireless work in advancing the practice of family law — here in Illinois and nationally. I worked with my father from 1988 through to 2002 (and he and I were partners for nearly a decade). I was able to have my father work from my office in from March 2015 through March 2016 (when my father retired from the practice of law in March of 2016). I was able to receive the award by the Illinois Bar Foundation honoring my father (and Herb Franks) on June 27, 2017 at Woodstock Country Club.
My father, known as Joe Gitlin, he was listed every year in Best Lawyers in America since 1983. The National Law Journal named my father one of the nation’s top 43 matrimonial lawyers. My father was an original member of the group that he had a hand in naming “the Dirty Thirty.” He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers until his passing.
My father had been on the cutting edge of family law. He chaired the American Bar Association’s Surrogacy Committee during the time of the famous “Baby M” case, and had founded and chaired the ABA Laws of Reproduction & Genetics Committee. This committee led ultimately the current state of the laws regarding advanced reproductive medicine.
My father appeared over the years on national and local television and radio shows, being frequently quoted in the media. He founded the Illinois State Bar Association Task Force on Genetics and Human Reproduction.
- Gitlin on Divorce: A Guide to Illinois Matrimonial Law, Third edition, published by Lexis, with Cumulative Supplement published annually. That publication will soon be published in its 4th edition which honors my father’s legacy and completely updates the book with:
- The collection of rewrites to Illinois Family Law stemming from the maintenance guidelines in 2015;
- The rewrite of the family law statutes generally in 2016; and
- The income shares statute regarding child support in 2017.
- My father was a monthly Columnist with the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, family law topics through to 2015.
- Frequent columnist, Illinois Bar Journal.
- Gitlin on Divorce Reports, which were published twice per month through to my father’s death.
- Child Custody Litigation, published in 1998 and 2004 by IICLE with H. Joseph Gitlin as General Editor (and Gunnar J. Gitlin as author of two chapters).
- Illinois State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education seminars
- Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education Continuing Legal Education seminars
- Divorce Law Education Institute
- Several state and local bar associations and civic groups
- Chair, American Bar Association Laws of Reproduction & Genetics Committee, 1987-2000
- Chair, Illinois Bar Association Genetics & Human Reproduction Task Force, 2005 – 2009
- Chair, American Bar Association Committee on Surrogacy 1987-1990
- Chair, American Bar Association Committee on Adoption 1985-1987
- Former Co-Chair, American Bar Association Trial Advocacy Institute
- Former Chair, Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Section Council
- Former Public Defender, McHenry County
- Former Member, Woodstock High School Board of Education
- Delegate to Presidential Convention, 1980
- Mayor, Woodstock, Illinois, 1973-1977.
- City-Counsel, Woodstock Illinois, etc.
- Recognized by the Illinois Bar Foundation on June 27, 2017 at the Woodstock Country Club. My father was honored as a “Laureate” by the Illinois State Bar Association, for “exemplary legal career and public service.”
- I was pleased to present to my father the Michal Berger award, by the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Illinois Chapter, “for his exemplary career in matrimonial law.”
- Distinguished Service Award by the McHenry County Bar Association “for exemplary services to McHenry County and the legal profession.”
- Illinois State Bar Association, John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Award, for continued commitment to providing free legal services to the poor.