Attorneys


Michael J. Schierl (IL, NY, WI)

 Founder

mjs.ex2

Michael Schierl is the founder of ImmacuLaw. Mr. Schierl is a recognized leader in the nonprofit financial community for his work developing sophisticated “evergreen” conduit bond financing structures with embedded shelf-offering capabilities that enable the funding of high-impact projects often viewed as beyond the reach of nonprofit organizations.  The objective of Mr. Schierl’s life’s work is to help his nonprofit clients create new financial ecosystems that can become a perpetual source of funding for mission critical initiatives and new business units.

ImmacuLaw funding solutions are designed to be replicable by sponsoring nonprofit organizations and their affiliates.  The funding solutions typically combine techniques drawn from Mr. Schierl’s unique experience in several disparate worlds: (1) bond financing techniques from his experience practicing law in New York with a major international law firm, (2) balance sheet philanthropy techniques utilized by leading Foundations; and (3) business startup experience from Mr. Schierl’s involvement with dozens of for-profit and non-profit startups.

Mr. Schierl’s funding solutions serve the dual purpose of (1) financing an initial high-impact project or ministry and (2) facilitating the issuance of pre-authorized “donor-friendly” public Bonds designed to support subsequent ongoing capital, structured giving and/or endowment campaigns necessary to expand and perpetuate the project or ministry.

A graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Notre Dame (’84 Great Books Program; Advisory Board for the ND Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values), Mr. Schierl is a licensed member of the Bar in Illinois, New York and Wisconsin. He is consecrated to Our Lady and a member of the Militia Immaculata, founded by St. Maximilan Kolbe.  Mr. Schierl serves on the Advisory Board for the University of Notre Dame Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values.  He resides in LaGrange Park, IL with his wife Valerie and their 5 children.

 

Walter M. Piecewicz (IL, AZ)

Senior Associate

Walter M. Piecewicz is a graduate of Colgate University and Columbia Law School. Mr. Piecewicz has practiced as a tax and business planning attorney for over twenty-five years, with a particular focus on developing sophisticated, tax-favored financing structures for the insurance, health care, nonprofit, and real estate development industries. After beginning his career with a tax boutique, he spent most of his career as a partner with Peterson & Ross, a major Chicago law firm.  For nearly five years Mr. Piecewicz also served as associate general counsel to the American Dental Association, where he provided extensive tax advice and handled corporate governance and related business and charitable issues, all directed to the nonprofit arena. He is also very familiar with securities laws and relevant transactional exemptions as they affect securities and bond issuances, and has served as special counsel to the Illinois Securities Department. He is a licensed member of the Bar in Illinois and Arizona. Mr. Piecewicz resides in Oak Park, IL, with his wife Anne. He has two adult daughters.

Terry D. Criss (KS, TX)

Senior Associate

tx.ex2

Terry Criss is a graduate of the University of Kansas and Washburn University School of Law. Upon graduation, Mr. Criss joined Hampton, Royce, Engleman & Nelson, in Salina, Kansas, as an associate. He became a member in the firm, now known as Hampton & Royce, L.C., in 1992 and remained in that capacity until January, 2012. During his 25 year career, Mr. Criss has practiced primarily in business and commercial areas of the law, including finance, restructuring, sales and acquisitions, employment and ERISA as well as providing general business advice and counsel. Prior to joining ImmacuLaw in 2012, Mr. Criss was a member of the National Diocesan Attorneys Association. Since joining the Firm in 2012, Mr. Criss has served as the senior transactional attorney in several Catholic bond financing transactions in which the Firm has been engaged as Bond Counsel and/or Issuer Counsel. Mr. Criss is licensed to practice in Kansas and Texas. He resides in Coppell, Texas with his wife Patty. He has two adult children.

Peter G. White (IL)

Associate

pw.tellingjokesonphone1Peter G. White graduated from the University of Dallas in 2001 where he studied a Great Books curriculum, majoring in political philosophy. After graduating he returned to Chicago and worked in investment banking at the Northern Trust Company for two years before accepting a full tuition St. Thomas More Scholarship to Ave Maria School of Law. After his graduation in 2006, Mr. White completed a two-year judicial clerkship in the Circuit Court of Cook County. He has practiced civil and constitutional litigation and also has experience in institutional fundraising. Mr. White is a licensed member of the Illinois Bar and resides in Park Ridge with his wife Carol and their three children.

Christopher M. Blain (IL, MI)

Associate


IMG_2810Chris Blain graduated from the University of Michigan in 2011 with a double major in history and political science.  After graduation, he accepted a full-tuition scholarship to Michigan State University College of Law, where he graduated summa cum laude in May 2014.  As a member of the Michigan State Law Review, he wrote a published article about the HHS Contraception Mandate proposing a compromise between the 1st Amendment free exercise rights of for-profit business owners and the rights of their employees.  Mr. Blain has also written an article about ImmacuLaw’s innovative bond financing transactions which was published in the Spring 2015 edition of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Journal of Law and Commerce.  Mr. Blain worked as a summer clerk for ImmacuLaw in 2013 and joined the firm full time in August of 2014.  In addition to bond transaction work, Mr. Blain is developing expertise in the areas of taxation, securities regulation and general corporate law matters. Mr. Blain is a licensed member of the Bar in Illinois and Michigan. He resides in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago.

William J. Harte (IL)

Of Counsel

William J. Harte is of counsel to ImmacuLaw. A graduate of Quincy College and Notre Dame Law School, Mr. Harte has successfully handled thousands of cases at the trial, appellate and arbitration levels concerning virtually all aspects of litigation, including multi-district panel and class action litigation, on behalf of a host of well-known companies, banks, utilities, municipal agencies, nonprofit associations, law firms, attorneys, public officials and private individuals. His municipal and non-profit clients include the State of Illinois and various State agencies, the City of Chicago and other municipalities, the Archdiocese of Chicago, Quincy College and Western Illinois University. Mr. Harte is the past President of the Appellate Lawyers Association of Illinois and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and is a Fellow of all the major trial and appellate academies. Mr. Harte has successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Catholic Lawyer of the Year (2001) from the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago. Mr. Harte has devoted a considerable number of pro bono hours to social justice causes and not-for-profit religious ministries.