PROFESSIONAL . COMPASSIONATE . RESPECTED . 

Skilled Negotiators .   Dynamic Litigators .

Meet Your Legal Team

 
     First and always, know that I will take a reasoned approach to resolving your dispute. But also always know that there is a strong, experienced and resourceful courtroom advocate by your side, when the need calls”
- Mario Ventrelli

Mario R. Ventrelli, Partner

Mario Ventrelli is an experienced lawyer who has dedicated his entire career to helping his family law clients move forward successfully after divorce.  For nearly two decades, he has served divorce and family law clients in the Greater Chicagoland Area. Mario is skilled in all aspects of matrimonial work including child custody and support, property allocation, prenuptial agreements and maintenance/alimony awards. He also has extensive experience in valuation of closely-held businesses and corporations, allocation of retirement plans and benefits, analysis of executive compensation and personal and corporate taxation issues. While his primary practice is in Lake and Cook County, Mario regularly handles cases in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Winnebago, McHenry and Will Counties.

 

 

When strategizing financial matters with a client, Mario analyzes and quantifies all aspects of the case and then takes a cost/benefit approach to the litigation.  He distills complex matters into basic dollars and cents for his clients and uses his experience to guide them in their decision on whether to settle matters or to take them to trial.  In child-custody matters, Mario takes holistic approach designed to achieve client goals while minimizing damage to the family.

 

As a result of his litigation prowess, Mario is a sought-after, national lecturer and presenter on a wide variety of family law topics including trial advocacy, compensation structures, negotiation and mediation tactics, asset and income discovery and classification, pre-marital agreements, property division, trusts, business valuations and the impact on children in a divorcing society.  A professor at the DePaul University - College of Law and faculty member of the prestigious American Bar Association Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute, Mario teaches other family law attorneys around the nation the skills necessary to be successful in the courtroom. He has been named a Super Lawyer, a SuperLawyer Rising Star and an Illinois “Leading Lawyer” each year since 2008. He has been selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association and has been named as one of the Best Lawyers in America by the Naifeh & Smith publication each year since 2010. 

 

Education:

DePaul University, J.D. (1995)  

DePaul University, B.S. (1991)

Admissions: 

Mr. Ventrelli is admitted to practice in Illinois.


Memberships:

American Bar Association
Illinois Bar Association
Lake County Bar Association 

Awards and Honors:

Best Lawyers in America, ​Naifeh & Smith (2010 to present) 

Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers (2011 to present)

Illinois Leading Lawyers, Leading Lawyers Network (2008 to present)

Superlawyer, Thompson Reuters (2014)

Top Young Lawyer, Thompson Reuters (2008)

 ​
Selected Articles and Publications:

- How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Liars and Love Microexpressions, 
American Journal of Family Law, 25(4), 2012 (co-author)

- Premarital Agreements: An Ounce of Prevention, Forest and Bluff Magazine (2010)

- Litigating the Agreement - Case Strategies and Follow-Through to Maximize Success, Family Advocate-American Bar Association (2002)

- Appeals Court Ruling Imperils Unallocated Support Payment, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (2000)

- A Leveling-of-the-Playing Field Primer, Kane County Bar Journal (1997)

- Practice Tips: Hearsay (1997)​
 

Selected Presentations:

- A Brief Education on Prevarication (Valuation, Forensic Accounting and Litigation Services Conference) 
- Detecting Deception (Chicago Bar Association) 
- Ex, Lies, and Videotape: Defeating Machiavellian Tactics and Lies in Negotiation (ABA Section of Family Law) 
- Liar’s Court: Defeating Lies in Matrimonial Matters from Negotiation to the Courtroom (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Minnesota Family Law Institute)

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I highly recommend working with Mario. He is not only extremely knowledgeable and competent but approaches his cases with real passion and dedication. During my complicated divorce he was always a pleasure to work with and a trusted advisor. He went above and beyond to find solutions to any issues that were raised and always with a positive and can do attitude.

Real passion and dedication

Client, June 26, 2015

Mario impressed me from our first meeting over two years ago with his outstanding expertise and kindness-a rare combination. Six months into my case Mario left as partner of a top firm for many years to open up his own firm Ventrelli Simon LLC. My gut feeling was to go with him and it was the BEST decision I ever made. My divorce was a harrowing emotional experience. Mario made each difficult situation as easy as could be and kept me informed and involved in every aspect of my case. He always listened to me patiently and treated me with respect. We worked as a team. Throughout some very contentious matters and ultimately a trial, he was always professional, courteous, patient and most importantly, EXCEPTIONALLY KNOWLEDGEABLE. He is very attentive, returns phone calls and emails promptly, always makes you feel like you are his most important client. There were never any surprise fees and he doesn't waste your money. He never once stooped to the level of unprofessionalism that I witnessed in court and from opposing counsel. He always advised me to do what is right and take the high road. He got things done fast, and you never doubt for a minute that he has your best interest at heart. 

Mario is a consummate professional in every sense of the word and I am honored to now call him a friend. 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for getting me through this tough time. You are a gift to your profession. 
I could not have done it without you!

EXTREMELY IMPRESSED

Judy, June 26, 2015

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TACTICAL THINKERS  .  TECHNICAL EXPERTS  .  AGGRESSIVE ADVOCATES  .

 
     Each case, and each client, is unique. I provide extraordinary consideration and attention to every client. My ultimate goal is to guide clients through a difficult process and reach a superior settlement.
 
- Neal Simon

Neal A. Simon, Partner

With an undergraduate degree in family studies from the University of Illinois, Neal Simon graduated magna cum laude from DePaul University College of Law. While at DePaul, Neal was elected to the DePaul Law Review and received multiple awards including the Excellence for the Future Award in both legal writing and property. 

For nearly a decade, Neal litigated complex family law matters at the prestigious Schiller, DuCanto, and Fleck LLP law firm. During that time, Neal focused his practice exclusively on the negotiation and litigation of complex divorce matters, representing clients including public figures, business owners, executives, lawyers, professionals, and their spouses. He successfully litigated cases involving businesses, executive compensation plans, and high-conflict custody matters.

In 2013, Neal opened his Law Office to better intensively serve the individual needs of his clients. He devotes his entire practice to the complicated legal framework of divorce and family law, and works tirelessly to achieve his clients’ goals. Neal is an impassioned and knowledgeable litigator, and vigorously fights to obtain the best results for each of his clients.

Neal is a member of the Lake County Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. He frequently lectures on issues ranging from the use of technology to improve client representation to the honing of lie detection skills for use in depositions and court proceedings. He has lectured to the ABA Section of Family Law, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the Chicago Bar Association, the Minnesota Family Law Institute, and the Valuation, Forensic Accounting and Litigation Services Conference, among others.



Education

DePaul University, J.D. magna cum laude (2003) 
University of Illinois, B.S. high honors (2000) 

 


Admissions 

Mr. Simon is admitted to practice in Illinois.


Memberships

American Bar Association
Illinois Bar Association
Lake County Bar Association
Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity
 


Awards and Honors:

In 2015, Mr. Simon was chosen as a Top 40 Family Lawyer Under 40.

In 2014, Mr. Simon was chosen to the list of Rising Stars by Illinois Super Lawyers.

CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Legal Writing  
CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Property Dean Scholarship Award 



Selected Articles and Publications

How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Liars and Love Microexpressions, 
American Journal of Family Law, 25(4), 2012 (co-author)

 


Selected Presentations

A Brief Education on Prevarication (Valuation, Forensic Accounting and Litigation Services Conference) 

Detecting Deception (Chicago Bar Association) 
Ex, Lies, and Videotape: Defeating Machiavellian Tactics and Lies in Negotiation (ABA Section of Family Law) 
Liar’s Court: Defeating Lies in Matrimonial Matters from Negotiation to the Courtroom (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Minnesota Family Law Institute)

 

Neal was very talented at understanding the details of my case. He was especially in tune with the specific details of the case which I believed to be important while artfully reminding me of the "big picture items". His awareness of balance combined with the interpersonal communication skills achieved a united sense of pragmatism and calm from my side. Neal helped me avoid a volatile and costly confrontation. I achieved wonderful results with Mr. Simon. We avoided regressive behaviors that would not have served my family in any positive manner. We secured an ideal agreement that honored my key concerns against a sophisticated and accomplished opposing consul. I could not be happier. My family is delighted to move on to the next phase of our lives' together, thanks to Neal.

 

Tactically Brilliant, Excellent Situational Awareness and Markedly Sensitive to Client Needs

Jim, May 15, 2015

Neal is both personable and professional. He's always responded promptly to my inquiries, and answered any questions I've had completely. This specific case required the cooperation of another party, who proved recalcitrant to the point of hostile, and I feel Neal handled this gracefully and thoroughly.

Great guy, great lawyer

Miranda, December 26, 2014

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Valerie L. Zagone, Associate 

Valerie L. Zagone earned her Juris Doctorate Degree and successfully completed all the course work in the Master’s in Taxation Program (LLM) from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.  Her first year at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Ms. Zagone received a merit scholarship based on her academic achievements and leadership ability.  Ms. Zagone also received the Academic Achievement Award for attaining the highest grade in Criminal Procedure.  Further, Ms. Zagone was on the Dean’s List during her law school career.  During her time at Chicago-Kent, Ms. Zagone volunteered at the Advice Desk in the Daley Center, assisting struggling pro se litigants.  After graduating and passing the bar exam, Ms. Zagone was admitted to practice law in Illinois.

After receiving her license to practice law, Ms. Zagone worked for the State’s Attorney’s Office in the Child Support Division.  She established paternity for unwed fathers and she felt great satisfaction assisting the children in these cases.

Ms. Zagone then became the Chief Deputy Clerk for the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, first in Rolling Meadows where she managed the docket for all traffic, criminal and civil courtrooms.  Then, she managed the Criminal Department of Cook County, overseeing a 7-day week operation with 8 locations across the city.  In this position, Ms. Zagone worked with the Chief Judge’s Office, the Chicago Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office and the State’s Attorney’s Office to introduce the video courtroom system.  She also assisted with the implementation of an Order of Protection computer system that ensured the orders were entered immediately.  She now handles complex cases and is indispensable to the clients at Ventrelli Simon.

 

Ms. Zagone’s interest and passion for the law began with her studies in Political Science at DePaul University.  During her studies at DePaul, she was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha and the National Political Science Honorary Society.  Ms. Zagone also was nominated to participate in the Study Abroad Program in Budapest, Hungary where she studied for a trimester in Budapest.  She was on the Dean’s List each year and graduated with Academic Honors.

CASE VICTORIES

  • Represented a client winning custody after serving time in prison for a nonviolent offense.  In this situation, this custody arrangement was in the best interests of the child.

  • Represented a juvenile facing serious drug charges and safeguarding her liberty.  The client was afforded the opportunity to get her life back on track.

  • Successfully represented a Father who was charged with Assault and Battery.  He was accused of losing his temper in a court hearing where he was criminally charged.  The case was dismissed through Ms. Zagone’ s zealous representation.

Areas Of Practice

  • Family Law

  • Estate Planning



Education
 

  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois

    • J.D., Completed all coursework in the Master’s in Taxation Program

    • Honors: Honors Scholarship

    • Honors: Dean’s List

    • Honors: Academic Achievement Award

  • DePaul University

    • Honors: Dean’s List

    • Honors: Graduated with Academic Honors


 

Admissions 

Admitted to practice in Illinois. 


Memberships

Illinois State Bar Association

Chicago Bar Association

Lake County Bar Association 

THE ONLY CHOICE WHEN FAMILY MATTERS

Zealous yet compassionate advocacy for all your domestic needs.

 FOCUSED . RESOURCEFUL .  DYNAMIC LITIGATORS .  SKILLED NEGOTIATORS  .

We Balance Compassion With Results.

191 Waukegan Road, Suite 211, Northfield, Illinois 60093​

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