Caring and Compassionate Legal Help in Family Law Matters and Civil Litigation (Negotiation and Settlement, Trials, Appeals)
BACKGROUND MICHAEL A. FLEMING grew up in Monmouth, Illinois, about 60 miles northwest of Peoria. He is a 1967 graduate and valedictorian of Monmouth High School. He received his B.A. with honors from DePauw University, a liberal arts college in Greencastle, Indiana, in 1971. He then earned his law degree in 1974 from the University of Illinois College of Law, in Champaign. During law school he worked for the Public Defender's office in Champaign County, and later the State's Attorney's office in Logan County (Lincoln).
MR. FLEMING clerked for Justice Jay J. Alloy of the Third District Appellate Court of Illinois from 1974-1976. He then was an associate with the Peoria firm of Sours, Newell & Nicol from 1976-1980, and during that time a part-time assistant city attorney for Peoria. He opened his own law practice in Peoria in 1980; and in 1984 he formed a partnership with Dan Cusack under the name of Cusack & Fleming. As the firm grew and added attorneys, it became Cusack, Fleming, Gilfillan & O'Day. After more than 22 years, in early 2007 Mr. Fleming separated from his old firm and again began a solo practice.
ATTORNEY FLEMING has long been active as a committee member, committee chairman, and director of the Peoria County Bar Association, and also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, where he is an active member of the Family Law Section. He has written and lectured on family law topics at both PCBA and ISBA seminars. He is a member and Past President of the Abraham Lincoln (Peoria area) chapter of the American Inns of Court. He is a life member, Past President, and Keyman of the Peoria Jaycees, and a member of the Illinois Jaycees and Jaycees International Senate.
EXPERIENCE Mr. Fleming commenced his active practice of law in 1976, just before the most sweeping change in the history of Illinois divorce law: the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. His family law practice has developed along with that Act and the various amendments and judicial interpretations of the Act that have occurred over the years. He has had an active and growing divorce and family law practice throughout his career. Mr. Fleming initially had a broad general practice, and gradually narrowed it down primarily to the family law practice and to a variety of civil litigation areas, primarily outside the field of personal injury. As a trial lawyer, Mr. Fleming has appeared in court in many counties in Illinois, particularly in central Illinois. He enjoyed his time as an appellate law clerk, and has maintained an active and successful appeals practice throughout his career. He has handled appeals on his own cases but also on cases from his law firm and from other attorneys and clients. Mr. Fleming appeared before the First District Appellate Court as a law student during Moot Court competition. Since then, as a practicing lawyer, he has appeared in front of all four other districts of the Illinois Appellate Court, and before the Illinois Supreme Court. Attorney Fleming has been admitted to the bar of the State of Illinois since 1974, and has been admitted before the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois for some 30 years.
COMPASSIONATE AND UNDERSTANDING APPROACH Divorce is usually a very difficult time, no matter what the circumstances (and this is often true of much of the litigation we do). Our role is to learn about YOUR situation and provide you with expert legal advice and guidance during this difficult time. We try to do this in a caring and compassionate way. Most experienced divorce practitioners in Illinois and across the country have realized that the adversarial nature of court proceedings is not always the best means of resolving the issues that arise in a divorce or a related case, but it is almost always the most expensive. Whenever possible, we try to use an amicable approach and collaborative techniques to try to make the process as effective as possible. Mediation may be useful in many cases, and is required now in Illinois on custody and visitation issues in any kind of case if the parties are not able to come to a prompt agreement on those issues. Nevertheless, some cases can only be settled, if at all, after some initial "battles" between the parties and the attorneys...and some simply cannot be settled. In order to effectively assist our clients in such cases, we provide fair but tough and assertive representation. We prepare thoroughly, draft necessary documents properly, and develop appropriate legal positions and arguments effectively.