40 Under Forty 2023

S taci Balbirer has an uncanny ability to help both sides in marital disputes find common ground. It’s an essential trait for family law attorneys to have. A recent example comes from a nominator who was an associate judge at the 19th Judicial Court in Lake County, Illinois and is now a Jus- tice on the Illinois Supreme Court. This divorce case involved an unusual debate over the custody and visitation of the divorcing couple's pets. "The parties in the case were highly emotional and committed to their positions and animals," the Justice said. "Staci demonstrated a great ability to find reasonable common ground and resolutions, even with the difficult and uncommon circumstances." This didn't come as a surprise to the Justice who says that Balbirer has always been a proactive advocate for her clients. Balbirer, she said, has a knack for helping parties find resolution in even the most conten- tious of cases. "She is extremely capable, very dedicated to her clients and commit- ted to the profession," the Justice said. "But she is also balanced. She has the ability to help people find balanced, fair, reasonable resolutions under very difficult circumstances, which is what sets her apart." Marny Kravenas, an attorney with Chicago’s Bielski Chapman, Ltd., has also seen Balbirer’s legal abilities up close. Balbirer represented a mutual client of Kravenas’ in two matters re- lating to the visitation of a minor by the minor’s paternal grandmother. Both matters were extremely contentious because the minor’s father was in prison, charged with a felony in connection with the death of the minor’s twin sister. Balbirer was able to fashion an agreed order with a gradual step-up schedule to help rebuild a relationship with the paternal grandmother. And this agreement accomplished this without compromising the mi- nor’s mental health. Another example? Balbirer took on an international Hague Conven- tion case involving the rights of a father in Ecuador who alleged that his children were smuggled by their mother into the United States. This case involved litigation in both federal and state courts and required Balbirer to navigate international laws in the United States and Ecuador. “Staci’s dedication to researching and constantly learning allows her to grow as a lawyer with every case she pursues,” Kravenas said. “She understands that family is everything, and that at the heart of her repre- sentation is someone’s everything.” Marcy Newman, attorney with Chicago’s Newman & Lum P.C., has worked closely with Balbirer, most notably when Balbirer served as Newman’s opposing counsel on a dissolution of marriage case. “We were able to engage in amicable conference calls and court appearances in an attempt to move toward resolution,” Newman said. “I’ve always been impressed by her no-nonsense attitude. Not only is she easy to work with and someone who gets things done timely, but she’s forthright in her dealings with clients and collaborators. This is a surprisingly uncommon trait in attorneys now.”


AGE 39

FIRM Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa

LAW SCHOOL University of Illinois Chicago School of Law



She has the ability to help people find balanced, fair, reasonable resolutions under very difficult circumstances.”



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