WCLA 2020 Officers

Laura Hrubec - President 
Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea & BenMaier PPLC
101 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60606
Tel: (312) 690-5556
Fax: (312)  234-0538

Laura D. Hrubec is a partner with Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea & BenMaier PLLC, in Chicago, Illinois. Laura’s practice has been devoted to the defense of employers.  Her practice has revolved round the defense of the employer in both civil litigation and workers’ compensation defense.  Laura’s experience spans across the realm of employment law and workers’ compensation law. She vigorously advocates for the defense of claims on behalf of both employers and insurance companies. She has successfully represented the interests of employers before the Commission and Illinois Circuit and Appellate courts.

Given her experience and reputation in the community, Laura has presented numerous seminars before insurance companies, employers, arbitrators and commissioners alike. Mindful of the expense of lengthy legal battles, Laura strives to resolve cases in the most economically efficient manner possible. She provides preventative counseling to aid in mitigating employers’ exposure in potentially complex legal issues. Defense work with municipal clients, school districts and private entities alike, both insured and self-insured, has given Laura an in-depth understanding of many complex legal issues in workers’ compensation and employment law.

Laura graduated from North Central College in 1998, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Art’s degree in political science. She graduated from DePaul College of Law in 2002 with her Juris Doctorate.  She was admitted to the bar in November of 2002. She is involved with many professional associations including the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association (WCLA), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and Chicago Bar Association (CBA).

Vitas J. Mockaitis - Vice President 
Costa Ivone
311 N. Aberdeen, Ste. 100B
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Tel: (708) 400-0000
Fax: (312) 940-5914

Vitas J. Mockaitis has 32 years of experience handling Illinois workers’ compensation claims.  Respected as a leading trial lawyer, Vitas has briefed and successfully argued many cases before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission during the course of his distinguished career.

With his extensive knowledge and experience in workers’ compensation law and related fields of legal practice, Mr. Mockaitis has presented numerous seminars on the theme of injured workers’ rights and benefits, addressing unions and labor organizations throughout the state of Illinois.  In addition, he has authored and co-authored several guidebooks and information pamphlets concerning workers’ compensation issues as they relate to injured workers in Illinois.  Subjects of the publications have included repetitive trauma and overuse injuries and injured workers’ medical rights, among other topics.

Michelle L. LaFayette - Secretary 
Ganan & Shapiro, P.C.
120 N.LaSalle St., Ste. 1750
Chicago, IL 60602
Tel: (312) 822-0040
Fax: (312) 321-1114

Michelle L. LaFayette is a partner with the Ganan & Shapiro, P.C., a mid-sized-workers’ compensation defense firm with offices in Peoria and Chicago, Illinois.   Michelle handles workers’ compensation claims on behalf of employers and insurance companies in Illinois.  Michelle received a B.A. in history/political science from Illinois College in 1995 where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Michelle earned her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 2000.  Michelle was admitted to the Illinois Bar in November, 2000.  Michelle is a past-member of the Illinois State Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Law Section Council, having served as a past-Chair to the Council.  She is currently a member of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association Board of Directors.  Outside of work, Michelle is an avid reader, has interests in history, especially American history, and is a big fan of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Blackhawks and Green Bay Packers.

Catherine Doan - Treasurer 
Rubin Law Group, Ltd.
20 S. Clark St., Ste. 1810
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel: (312) 899-8333
Fax: (312) 899-8141

Catherine Krenz Doan is a partner with Rubin Law Group, Ltd. She concentrates her practice in the area of workers’ compensation law. Ms. Doan graduated from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse with highest honors and received her law degree from IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law magna cum laude. She is a member of the Order of the Coif. While in law school, Catherine was a notes and comments editor for the Chicago Kent Law Review.She has authored various articles for the IICLE, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association. She has also participated in seminars for IICLE. Ms. Doan is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

Doan has been selected by her Illinois peers as an Emerging Lawyer from 2016 to present, a distinction awarded by Leading Lawyers

Laura Hrubec,  President | Vitas J. Mockaitis, Vice President | Michelle Lafayette, Secretary | Catherine Doan, Treasurer

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