Timothy J. Ritchey
PeckBloom
Wills trusts estates
40 Under Class – 2014

When it comes to probate and estate litigation, Timothy J. Ritchey provides his clients with first-class, result-driven representation.

Ritchey, 35, focuses his law practice on probate litigation at Peck Bloom, LLC, where he is a partner.  He works on guardianship and decedent administration, with an emphasis on contested litigation.

Ritchey also serves as a Court-appointed Guardian ad Litem, assisting the Court to  protect disabled and elderly persons.

As an elder law attorney, Ritchey assists his clients with their various estate planning needs which can include Alzheimer’s disease planning and special needs planning.

Recently, Ritchey spoke as an expert witness in front of the Illinois Senate in Springfield, IL about proposed changes to the Illinois Probate Act with regards to financial exploitation of the elderly and disabled.

Tim drafted the bill that Governor Pat Quinn signed, which helps extend remedies for victims of financial exploitation and their families.

Other attorneys in probate, estate and trust litigation have witnessed Ritchey’s litigation skills first-hand.

Robert E. Hamilton, of Hamilton Thies & Lorch, LLP, and Ritchey represented different parties in a trust construction dispute for a decedent’s estate wherein the primary point of contention concerned the disposition of the decedent’s ownership interest.

“The dispute required a court resolution at both the trial and appellate levels, which Tim and his team successfully handled for their client,” Hamilton said. “The matter required the navigation of complex legal issues involving interpretation of trust language and ultimately Ritchey’s successful defense of a claim valued at over $26 million.”

Hamilton said at all stages in the litigation, Ritchey was firm, fair and straightforward, and Hamilton appreciated those qualities in a young attorney.

Ed Glavinskas, of Porikos, Rodes & Glavinskas, has worked with Ritchey on several matters since 2005.

“Tim and I have frequently worked together as co-counsel on matters involving complex decedent’s estates and guardianship litigation,” Glavinskas said, adding recently the men were involved in an matter involving a contest over an amendment to a decedent’s trust.

The litigation launched into several claims and causes of action, all of which Ritchey successfully defended against, Glavinskas said, adding several matters were appealed at the appellate level, both state and federal.

“The estate litigation presented both Tim and myself with a series of unique turns that required a skillful navigation of the probate process,” Glavinskas said. “Tim defended all actions on behalf of his client, the executor and trustee, and was successful in having the frivolous claims, and all causes of action denied and dismissed, and an award for sanctions granted for over $240,000, a phenomenal outcome for the Estate and Trust.”

Judges also appreciate the qualities experienced by Ritchey’s peers.

A Justice in the Appellate Court of Illinois commended Ritchey’s work on the administration and litigation of an estate, which involved a property dispute search for a will and disposition of several pieces of property in Illinois and Tennessee.

The Justice said Ritchey worked with all involved to ensure the timely administration of all pertinent matters, including a settlement where possible, and quick and effective resolution on the merits where the parties could not agree.

Another former judge, who served at the trial and appellate level, worked with Ritchey for several years prior to his retirement.

The judge said Ritchey has always demonstrated confidence in his abilities to handle the often challenging and sensitive nature of the types of cases he handles.

“He works tirelessly with his legal team on all cases with professionalism as well as creativity,” the judge said.

Ritchey is involved with the Young Professionals Board for the Center for Disability and Elder Law, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the DuPage County Bar Association.  Ritchey chaired the Chicago-Kent Young Alumni Counsel. He also chaired the Chicago Bar Association’s Probate Practice Committee, organizes CLE programs, and regularly presents at educational seminars.