CDEL’s staff is committed to public interest law, serving our clients, and supporting our volunteers with professionalism and integrity.
Susan M. Keegan, Executive Director, B.A.,cum laude, Juris Doctorate
Susan joined CDEL in February, bringing with her more than 30 years of legal experience, primarily focused on plaintiff’s litigation, including her partnership with the international human rights firm D’Amato Keegan & Duggan LLC in Chicago. Prior to that, she practiced in the area of business litigation, and was trial counsel in three multi-million dollar cases, as well as a multi-district commodities fraud case. While in private practice, Susan was a pro bono volunteer attorney for CDEL. Susan also served as a Policy Advisor for the State Treasurer, Patrick Quinn, acting as counsel to the Treasurer in litigation and interaction with the Attorney General. She also researched and assisted in drafting legislation related to the State investment statute, a college prepaid tuition program, as well as consumer issues. During that time she drafted a new Code of Ethics for the Office.
Susan is admitted to practice in Illinois, including the Trial Bar of the Northern District of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit, the United States Court of Claims and the United States Supreme Court, where she was an attorney of record on a case reversing a federal criminal tax conviction.
Susan has served on several community service boards, including the Local School Council for Lincoln Park High School, chairing the Board for four years. She is a former Commissioner and Chair of the Special Service Area for Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. She is presently the President of the Mid North Association, a Lincoln Park neighborhood organization. Susan also served on the Financial Advisory Committee for the Illinois State Scholarship Commission “College Illinois” program.
Susan is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Illinois, where she graduated with honors. She is married to Mark Furlane and they have two college age children.
THOMAS WENDT, Legal Director, B.A., J.D.
Thomas earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2001, where he served as Notes and Comments Editor for the Journal of International & Comparative Law, and President of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Thomas earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Loyola University Chicago. Thomas is a member of the CBA, ABA and National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
Mark Hellner, Director, Senior Tax Opportunity Program, B.A., J.D.
Mark Hellner, Attorney and Director of the Senior Tax Opportunity Program (“STOP”)
Mark joined CDEL in November of 2012 after 35 years of practice. He was a partnerat Schwartz & Freeman before establishing his own practice. He has also served asGeneral Counsel of the Illinois Department of Revenue and since 2008 has taught a Stateand Local Tax course at the University of Illinois College of Law. Mark was a CDELvolunteer during while in private practice. He first volunteered at CDEL in 1986.
Mark is admitted to practice in Illinois, is a Trial Bar member of the Northern District ofIllinois, and is admitted before several Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal together with the U.S. Supreme Court.
He graduated from Illinois State University, with honors, and from the University ofIllinois College of Law.
CAROLINE MANLEY, Equal Justice Works Fellow, Sponsored by The Chicago Bar Foundation, B.A., J.D.
Caroline Manley joined CDEL in 2011 through the support of the Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging. As a Borchard Fellow, Caroline implemented legal clinics in four of Cook County’s suburbs to ensure that seniors outside of the Chicago city limits are able to access CDEL’s services. In 2012, Caroline continued her work in the suburbs, and began expanding the clinic model to high-need Chicago communities through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship sponsored by The Chicago Bar Foundation.
Previous to joining CDEL, Caroline interned with a wide range of legal organizations that serve seniors including the Cook County State’s Attorney, the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian and AARP Foundation – Litigation. Before attending law school, Caroline worked as a Program Coordinator for socially isolated seniors at Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly.
Caroline earned her Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University in 2011 where she was an active member of the Center for Public Interest Law and the Article Selection Editor of the DePaul Journal for Social Justice. Caroline attended the University of Illinois for her undergraduate degree in Sociology. While at the University of Illinois, Caroline studied abroad in Ghana and Italy.
ROSEMARY P. SHEEHAN, ADMINISTRATIVE CLERK, Paralegal
Rosemary (Mary) Sheehan recently joined CDEL following thirty years of professional employment as a paralegal and legal assistant with law firms including Corboy & Demetrio, P.C. and Vedder, Price P.C. She brings a wealth of experience to CDEL with a background in a wide range of legal practice areas. She volunteers at Misericordia, a residential community for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Mary attended MacCormac College and DePaul University in Chicago.