Friday, January 25, 2019

The ABA's RPTE Law Student Writing Competition

The recipient of a juris doctor from Loyola University School of Law, James R. Carey is an experienced attorney and partner with Levin Schreder & Carey. Supplementing his work with the Chicago-based firm, attorney James R. Carey is chair of the Litigation, Malpractice and Ethics Group for the American Bar Association's (ABA) Real Property Trust and Estate (RPTE) Section.

In addition to its Fellows Program, the ABA's RPTE Section provides opportunities for aspiring lawyers through its Law Student Writing Competition, which of course focuses on matters relating to trust and estate and real property law. The annual competition is open to students attending ABA-accredited law schools, while submitted articles are expected to be original in content and focus on timely topics.

The winner of the competition receives a $2,500 award as well as a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Miami for enrollment in its Robert Traurig-Greenberg Traurig Graduate Real Property Development Program or its Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning. The winner also earns one year of free RPTE membership and a free round-trip to attend the annual RPTE Fall Leadership Meeting. Second and third place receive $1,500 and $1,000 as well as one year of free RPTE membership. The top-three finishers also have their name and essay title published the Section's electronic newsletter.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Volunteering with the Appalachia Service Project

Based in Chicago, Illinois, James R. Carey has served as an estate, trust, and guardianship attorney at Levin Schreder & Carey LTD since 2001. Outside of his work as an attorney, James R. Carey gives back to his community through his support of charitable organizations such as the Appalachia Service Project (ASP).

Over the course of nearly five decades, ASP has served more than 18,000 Central Appalachian families with homes in dire need of repair or total replacement. To complete this important work, the organization relies on a network of volunteers and other supporters from across the community. 

ASP invites those over the age of 14 to participate in its volunteer program. Volunteers form small groups of between five and seven people to work on a variety of home construction projects. From erecting walls to painting, ASP has volunteer opportunities for people of varying building capabilities. Typically, volunteer projects last for a week at a time. When not working, individuals participate in “Evening Gatherings,” during which they spend time with the families they are helping and get a first-hand look at Appalachian culture.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

ABA's Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section Offers Video Resources

Based in Oak Park, Illinois, James R. Carey has served as an attorney with Levin Schreder & Carey, LTD for more than 17 years, where he works on estate, trust, and guardianship issues, among others. Engaged with his field, attorney James R. Carey is the chair of the Litigation, Ethics and Malpractice Group within the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. 

The ABA’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law offers a Lawyer’s Tool Box that is designed to serve as an all-in-one primer for building estate plans from start to finish, as well as a series on the basics of real property law. The first series of three videos focuses on the fundamentals of drafting wills and trusts, making a plan for how to distribute property as part of end-of-life decision-making, and ethical and fiduciary responsibilities of estate planners.

The second-series of three videos focuses on the laws guiding disputes between landlords and tenants, best practices for negotiating real estate purchase agreements, and best practices for negotiating commercial lease contracts. All of these videos have been created with law students and recent graduates stepping into practice for the first time who are interested in including estate and real property law within the scope of their practices. 

For more information, visit

Friday, September 7, 2018

Appalachia Service Project Volunteers Help to Repair Homes

A graduate of Loyola University School of Law, attorney James R. Carey serves as partner at Levin Schreder & Carey, Ltd. in Oak Park, Illinois. When away from his work as an attorney, James R. Carey has volunteered with the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) for the past several years.

ASP began in 1969 when the Rev. Glenn “Tex” Evans, who was a United Methodist minister, sought a way to have the youth help the poor. While working in Kentucky, he saw a huge need for help repairing homes. He recruited 50 people to repair homes in the Barbourville area, and these volunteers worked on the properties during the day and joined together for worship in the evenings. 

Since its inception, the nonprofit organization has seen more than 390,000 volunteers help to repair almost 18,000 homes in Appalachia. It serves more than 30 communities in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. In 2017, more than 16,000 volunteers helped almost 500 families and constructed 28 replacement homes.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Addressing Common Trust and Estate Disputes

James R. Carey is a Chicago attorney with more than 29 years of experience. As a partner at Levin Schreder and Carey, Ltd., he focuses on resolving a variety of family law issues, including disputes over trust and estate matters.

Trust and estate planning provides individuals and families with a number of benefits regarding distribution of assets and wealth. Unfortunately, several legal disputes can still arise regarding aspects of an estate plan or the manner in which a person’s will is executed. Common problems range from disputes involving the distribution of property to improper execution of an estate plan following unexpected incapacitation or disability. There are several steps a person or family can take to ensure that their estate plan poses as little confusion and conflict as possible.

One step involves finding a trusted, experienced executor, or removing the executor of an estate plan that has been improperly handled. In certain cases, impacted parties may be eligible for monetary compensation for damages incurred, or courts may need to intervene and redistribute property in accordance with the will. Of course, estate planning, like all forms of family business law, is complex and personal. In some cases, family discussions and informal negotiations can be all it takes to resolve a dispute.

That said, individuals and families are advised to draft, maintain, and carry out estate plans under the guidance of an experienced estate attorney.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Christ the King Jesuit Announces Participation in Math Initiative

A noted speaker on a variety of legal topics, attorney James R. Carey provides counsel for issues such as estate and gift tax disputes as a partner at Levin Schreder and Carey, Ltd. in Chicago. Attorney James R. Carey contributes to groups and organizations in the community, such as Christ the King Jesuit Preparatory School.

With a 100 percent college acceptance rate for its graduates, Christ the King Jesuit Prep seeks to empower its students to live as faithful servants of God and of their community. The school also continues to improve its academic offerings. Recently, Christ the King Jesuit announced that it had earned selection as one of seven Cristo Rey Network schools chosen for the Putting MATH Education to Work initiative.

This initiative consists of a $1.25 million grant from the Howley Foundation for the purpose of increasing students' achievements in mathematics. It will include support for math teachers and principals, including meetings with leaders from the Silicon Valley Math Initiative. These meetings will create school-specific goals in order to prepare a comprehensive plan to boost the efficacy of math instruction.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Three Articles Featured in the ABA's Spring 2018 RPTE eReport

The recipient of a juris doctor from Loyola University, James R. Carey is a Chicago-based litigation attorney who specializes in trust-and-estate dispute resolution. Supplementing more than 20 years of experience as an attorney, James R. Carey serves as chair of the Litigation, Malpractice and Ethics Group of the American Bar Association's Real Property Trust and Estate (RPTE) Section. 

Since 2006, the RPTE has released quarterly publications of its eReport, which is generally comprised of practical information for real property and estate-planning lawyers as well as valuable resources for young lawyers and law students. Below are three featured articles in the Spring 2018 RPTE eReport.

1. Fiduciary Rule Vacated: Transition Relief Extended - Krisa Benskin explores the United States Department of Labor's 2016 regulations requiring professionals paid to provide investment advice in regard to retirement to follow certain standards of conduct and how recent court challenges have had a positive impact on those regulations. 

2. Estate Tax Changes Past, Present, and Future - Ronald D. Aucutt updates an extensive outline pertaining to the history of modern federal estate tax, with significant changes enacted by the 2017 Tax Act.

3. IRS Announces End to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program - This article delves into the IRS's recent decision to end its 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and how taxpayers with undisclosed foreign assets are affected.

To read these and other articles, visit:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Appalachia Service Project Completes Three Homes in West Virginia

A Chicago, Illinois-based attorney specializing in contested estate, trust, and guardianship matters, James R. Carey has worked with Levin Schreder & Carey LTD since 2001. In addition to his responsibilities as an attorney, James R. Carey is a supporter of the Appalachia Service Project (ASP). 

In February and March, ASP, along with World Renew and West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, participated in three dedication ceremonies of homes for families in Clay, Greenbrier, and Nicholas Counties. The three homes were built as part of the Rebuilding Rainelle program launched by ASP to serve families whose homes were damaged as a result of flooding in 2016. 

The first dedication ceremony was held on February 28 for a family of four. World Renew played a significant role in the completion of the project as the nonprofit provided a significant portion of funding and loaned out teams of volunteers to build porches, frame walls, and lay flooring, among other jobs. The second home, built in Clay County, was the ASP's first project in the region, while the third was orchestrated by the ASP Campus Charter at Iowa State University. Since its launch in 1969, ASP has built and repaired more than 17,000 homes with the help of nearly 400,000 volunteers.

Monday, April 30, 2018

White Sox Minor League System Flush with Promising Pitching Prospects

The recipient of a JD from Loyola University's School of Law, James R. Carey is an experienced trust and estate attorney who serves as a partner with Chicago's Levin Schreder & Carey. Outside of his responsibilities as an attorney, James R. Carey enjoys following his favorite Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the Chicago White Sox. 

The White Sox have won only four of a possible 18 games to start the 2018 season, but there's plenty of reason for optimism in the Windy City as Chicago boasts one of the most impressive minor league systems in all of baseball. In fact, prior to the season, Bleacher Report ranked Chicago's farm system as the second-best in the MLB, second only to the Atlanta Braves. It included three outfielders among the top four prospects, but beyond that the organization is stacked with pitchers. Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, and Dane Dunning, who Bleacher Report ranked as Chicago's second, sixth, and seventh-best prospects respectively, have all been impressive to start the season, while other lesser-known prospects are exceeding expectations.

Ian Clarkin, a left-handed pitcher who the White Sox acquired from the New York Yankees in 2017, had only given up one run through 12 and one-third innings with Chicago's Double-A affiliate in Birmingham. John Parke, meanwhile, had 17 strikeouts and only three runs allowed through 17 innings with Chicago's Single-A affiliate in Kannapolis.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Enrichment Outings of Horizons for Youth

James R. Carey has served more than 15 years as an attorney and a partner with the Chicagoland trust and estate dispute resolution and litigation firm Levin Schreder & Carey, Ltd. Outside of his work as an attorney, James R. Carey supports multiple charitable local organizations including Horizons for Youth.

Serving the low-resource neighborhoods of Chicago for more than 25 years, Horizons for Youth provides a range of educational programs for young people. In addition to its scholarship opportunities and regularly scheduled tutoring/counseling services, the organization sponsors an ongoing series of special events through its Enrichment Outings division.

Enrichment Outings take place on a monthly basis and incorporate a wide variety of fun and informative activities. Aimed at young people who are engaged in the Horizons for Youth Big Sibling program, these events are designed for attendance with individual Big Sibling mentors. In addition to teaching kids about subjects such as art, science, and civic engagement, Enrichment Outings provide an opportunity for mentors and mentees to get to know one another far better. Recent Enrichment Outings have included celebrations of Black History Month and visits to local museums such as the Garfield Park Conservatory and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Horizons for Youth's High School Program

The recipient of a juris doctorate from Loyola University School of Law, James R. Carey of Chicago has over 25 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Outside of his present focus in trust and estate dispute resolution, attorney James R. Carey is an active supporter of numerous nonprofit organizations, including Chicago's Horizons for Youth.

Horizons for Youth was founded in 1990 with the goals of providing young people with quality education and strong adult support systems. One of the programs that works toward both of those goals is its multi-faceted High School Program, which prepares students to not only gain admission into college, but to succeed in whichever career they choose. To increase the likelihood of student success, the organization works with individual students to identify the right university to meet their particular academic and personal needs. This process involves campus visits to as many as 10 different schools as well as extensive research.

Securing financial help for post-secondary education is another pillar of Horizons for Youth's High School Program. Its officers identify and assist students with the application process for financial aid, grants, and scholarships. Since the program was created in 2010, every one of its high school graduates has attended college.