Mr. Atwell began his practice with his father in the City of Aurora, after graduating in 1973 from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. In the mid 1970’s, he was employed as an Assistant Attorney General under Bill Scott and prosecuted consumer fraud cases within the mid-state area. He also worked as an Assistant Kane County Public Defender involved with juvenile and mental health cases. Mr. Atwell’s representation of public pension funds initiated in the mid 1980’s when he was requested to represent the City of Aurora Police and Firefighters’ Pension Fund Boards. In 1990, he represented the Aurora Boards in the case of United States of America v. State of Illinois, City of Aurora and the Board of Trustees of the City of Aurora Police Pension Fund in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Dist. of Illinois, Eastern Division. This action was the first Federal case filed against public pension funds in the U.S. under the newly enacted Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This litigation was the catalyst which resulted in the modifications to the State Police and Firefighters’ Pension Codes, eliminating the “fitness” requirement for membership into the respective pension funds. Mr. Atwell’s practice is limited to the representation of Police and Firefighters’ Pension Boards throughout the State of Illinois. He has been representative counsel in numerous matters of pension litigation in the State and Federal Courts, many of which have involved matters of “first impression”, respecting interpretations of the respective pension statutes. He has served as Deputy General Counsel for the IPPFA for over fifteen (15) years and has assisted the Association in seminar presentations and at the Annual Training Conference. He has lectured on Police and Firefighter Pension matters throughout the State of Illinois and has also presented at other national and international conferences including, “Guns and Hoses” 2006 Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada and “Investment Management Institute” (IMI) Global Investment Forum 2001-2009, Quebec City, Canada, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in 2005-2006.
Mr. Atwell is licensed to practice law in the State Courts of Illinois, the Federal Courts for the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of many professional organizations and associations including the local and State Bar Associations and the National Association of Public Pension Fund Attorneys (NAPPA).
He and his wife Barbara have two adult married children and reside in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
Atwell & Atwell
70 South Constitution Dr
Aurora, IL 60506