Who I Am and Where I Come From

I am Chicago, and I have the great Midwest in me.

My ancestors emigrated from Europe and found their way to Illinois and Minnesota.  With East German, Irish and Polish running in me, I am a slice of Chicago.

Born in Ohio and raised in small New England town, I returned to my roots here and have lived on the South Side of Chicago ever since.  There is no place I would rather be.

I love and respect the Law, and my Clients.

I am not one of the many politicians, business-people, lawyers and others who want to take whatever they can wherever they can.  I don't want to make more money than I need, and I don't crave fame.

What I do strive for is to practice law before the courts in the most effective, efficient and honorable way possible.  I love the law, and like to get to know my clients and help them achieve their goals cost-effectively.

My Professional Experience in Big Law Firms

Bryan Cave, Chicago, Illinois 2004-2009


Bryan Cave is a gigantic international firm based in St. Louis, with about 1,000 lawyers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  I was one of seven lawyers Bryan Cave hired in January 2004 to establish its office in Chicago.  In five years, we helped build the office from a temporary office using boxes for furniture into a high-profile office of glass walls and 70 lawyers - and ranked 14th in Crain's Business Chicago's recent "Best Places to Work."

McGuireWoods (formerly Ross & Hardies), Chicago, Illinois 1997 – 2004


Ross & Hardies was a highly-respected Chicago-based law firm established in 1903.  It helped People's Gas incorporate in its earliest days, and survived for 100 years before being acquired by McGuireWoods, a Virginia-based law firm.  I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best litigators and trial lawyers in Chicago during my seven years at Ross & Hardies.

My Education

Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana, summa cum laude J.D., 1997

Executive Article Editor, Notre Dame Law Review, 1996 – 1997

Selected as special tutor for Civil Procedure, 1996 – 1997

Judge Roger Kiley Fellowship (3-year full tuition merit scholarship)

William T. Kirby Award for Excellence in Legal Writing, 1995

Honors recognition for Moot Court brief, 1995

Dean’s Awards (best exam): Antitrust, 1995; Contracts, 1994

Assisted Professor Joseph P. Bauer with research and writing the multi-volume
legal treatise, Federal Antitrust Law, by Earl W. Kintner and Joseph P. Bauer

Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, magna cum laude B.A., 1991

Honors thesis: “An Evolutionary Model of the Concept Berith (Covenant)
in the Hebrew Bible,” 1991

Phi Beta Kappa National Honorary, inducted 1991

Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honorary, inducted 1991

Edward Welton Prize in Ancient History, 1990

Samuel Thurman Scholarship Fund, 1990

I Am Admitted to Practice in:

All Illinois Courts (Illinois Supreme Court), 1997

Northern District of Illinois, 1997 (admitted to trial bar, 2005)

Southern District of Illinois, 2003

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 2004

I Am a Proud Member of the Following Associations:

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 2004

American Bar Association (1997- )

Illinois State Bar Association (1997- )

Chicago Bar Association (1997- )

American Library Association, Lawyers for Libraries (2002- )

Lawyers for the Creative Arts (2007- )







312.278.0599 fax

888.278.7644 toll-free

Skype: zieskelaw

 Member since 1997


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Photo by Denise R. Halverson