Attorney Profiles

Charles R. Franklin
Julie Chatz Lerman
Harry O. Channon
Craig M. Capilla
Justin N. Fielkow
Michael A. Albert
Allie K. Haling

Charles R. Franklin

Charles Franklin focuses his practice on the representation of individuals and businesses in commercial litigation involving negligence, product liability, contract liability, and professional liability. That work includes assistance in the presentation of insurance claims, policy analysis and coverage disputes on behalf of policyholders as well as the representation of financial institutions and companies in loan workout, loss mitigation and recovery. Charlie also has a significant experience in representing highly regulated and registered entities and licensed professionals (such as accountants, physicans, appraisers, inspectors, brokers, and others) either accused of malpractice and/or in licensure, regulatory and disciplinary proceedings at federal, state, county, and local levels, and before private certifying organizations  and professional groups (such as the Appraisal Institute and the Chicago Association of Realtors). He has often served as a “neutral” or an independent arbitrator being appointed by both policyholders and insurance companies.

Charlie is proud to be recognized by his peers as AV® Preeminent™as rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, the organization’s highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He is admitted to practice in Illinois, a member of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Federal Trial Bar.

Charlie recently served as Fourth Vice President of the North Suburban Bar Association of Illinois. He is a past president of the Casualty Adjusters Association of Chicago and is a founding member of the Claims Association of Greater Chicago. He is a frequent speaker to professional and trade groups such as the Appraisal Institute - Chicago and Wisconsin Chapters, the Illinois Association of Certified Real Estate Appraisers, the Adjusters Association of Illinois, NAIFA, the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals, and other organizations and clients on the topics of appraisal issues, disciplinary proceedings, fraud investigation, insurance coverages and claims, loss mitigation and recovery, and workplace and liability issues.

Charlie's article "Common Real Estate Jargon" was recently featured on lllinoisHomes.

Charlie has also authored several other articles and outlines and has been quoted on appraisal practices and insurance claims and practices in publications such as Appraiser News, Illinois Times, and the ICAP Newsletter.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully represented a large national bank, defending it from exposure and liability related to the biggest municipal embezzlement in U.S. history (City of Dixon v. Crundwell, et al.).
  • On behalf of a commercial bowling center, obtained a high six figure settlement from a nationally known specialty lines insurance company overcoming allegations of fraud against the insured.
  • Obtained a favorable summary ruling for a national bank against an insurer which had denied any obligation to the bank asserting various coverage defenses against the bank and the policyholder (Sagar Megh, et al. v United National).
  • Appeared before the entire Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) to respond to questions and to provide input and opinion on the current credibility and usefulness of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). My Main USPAP Issue.  
  • Successfully argued before the Illinois Supreme Court on limitations of liability and safety deposit box obligations affirming the Appellate Court’s reversal of a trial court judgment (Jewelers Mutual v. Firstar Bank).
  • Continued to represent numerous appraisers and appraisal companies, inspectors, brokers and other licensed professionals in matters before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and other government agencies and professional organizations.
  • Following a federal jury trial, obtained a Judgment as a Matter of Law (JNOV) on behalf of his client, on a multimillion dollar insurance fraud case (Office Furnishings v. American Family).
  • Obtained a policy limits recovery on behalf of a client bank for a Gulfport, Mississippi, beach motel destroyed in Hurricane Katrina after an initial denial of liability.
  • Continued to assist victims/clients in mitigating and obtaining restitution and recovery from significant fraud, forgery, embezzlement losses against financial institutions, brokers and others.
  • Continued to assist clients in recovery for loss or damage to valuable, unique or one-of-a-kind personal or real property of significant cultural and/or aesthetic value, such as for fire damage to a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home (Beachy Home) and the destruction of inventory of an award winning artistic periodicals publication (Nest magazine)


Charlie was appointed to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, by President Gerald R. Ford, which he attended before earning his Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, FL. While at the University of Miami, Charlie served as Associate Editor and Research Editor on the University of Miami Inter-American Law Review. Charlie spent his formative years overseas living in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia.

Contact Charles Franklin at

Julie Chatz Lerman

Julie Lerman concentrates her practice in general civil litigation and insurance law, including insurance coverage and claims disputes on behalf of policyholders. Julie also has significant experience in general real estate law, including landlord/tenant issues, acquisitions and dispositions of property, leasing and lending transactions.

Among other things, Julie provides assistance to insurance policyholders in enforcing their rights to insurance coverage, including bad faith and extra-contractual claims. She has been instrumental in recovering insurance proceeds in disputed coverage matters arising out of a wide variety of claims, from health benefits to property damage claims.


Representative Matters

  • Obtained over $50,000 in additional insurance payments in a casualty loss on behalf of a policyholder.

  • Successfully appealed a retroactive denial of health insurance coverage benefits on behalf of a policyholder saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical and hospital expenses sought to be recouped by the insurance company.

  • Obtained a vacation of an 18 month old default judgment against our client of over $50,000.

  • Obtained a dismissal of an action seeking over $100,000 in damages against an appraiser involving a dispute in a residential property sale.

  • Represented a nonprofit parrot rescue, rehabilitation and adoption organization, and successfully obtained a Special and Unique Use Permit from the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals allowing the continued operation of the rescue at its current facility.


  • 1982, J.D., Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Chicago, IL

  • 1979, B.A. with High Distinction, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association

  • North Shore Law



  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Community Affiliations

  • Northbrook Chamber of Commerce, Board Member

  • Deerfield/Bannockburn/Riverwoods Chamber of Commerce

  • Glenview Chamber of Commerce

  • Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Virtual Legal Clinic

Contact Julie at


Harry O. Channon

Mr. Channon focuses his practice on business and commercial litigation, and financial litigation including Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) arbitrations, as well as insurance coverage, liability and counseling. Mr. Channon has significant appellate and trial experience in both state and federal courts where he has represented a wide range of clients in business and employment disputes, non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, non-disclosure agreements, franchise agreements, and wage/commission disputes. Mr. Channon represents and counsels a variety of business professionals including financial advisors, brokers, business officers and directors, attorneys, property appraisers, accountants and other licensed individuals and regulated professions.

Representative Matters

  • Recently settled on behalf of class action plaintiffs against an Illinois corporation for deceptive practices in falsely marketing its probiotic food products.
  • Recently obtained a jury verdict for his cient, a player injured during a organized athletic game, on a premises liability theory. Lee v Canaan, et al.
  • Obtained a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court decision representing an estate on behalf of the Cook County Public Guardian setting a precedent that an attorney retained to prosecute a wrongful death case owes a fiduciary duty to the spouse and next of kin. Estate of Powell v. John C. Wunsch, P.C., et al, Nos. 115997 and 116009.
  • Obtained a summary judgment against an insurance company and in favor of a restoration company that performed emergency services wherein obligations and coverage for the underlying policy holder were disputed.
  • Assisted in obtaining a seven-figure jury verdict involving a international business dispute for outstanding commissions and successfully defended the appeal regarding same in Grinders Int'l, Inc. v. YG-1 Korea, et al.
  • Represented an insurance company against a multi-million dollar claim for breach of coverage and bad faith; following a jury trial and post-trial motions, Mr. Channon's client was not only found not liable but also obtained a judgment against the plaintiff for the expenses incurred in the litigation.


  • 2004, J.D., The John Marshall Law School

            Dean's List

  • 1998, B.S., Purdue University, Management

            Purdue University Golf Team, four-year letter winner                                                                   

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association
  • Federal Trial Bar
  • The John Marshall Law School Moot Court competitions, Judge


  • United States Supreme Court
  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


  • "Legal Malpractice Suit Receives the Go-Ahead," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 19, 2014.
  • "Springfield's Fischer Hardware Battles to Survive; Says Ace Hardware Led it on Path to Bankruptcy" -- The Washington Post (2012)
  • "Hardball in the Hardware Game" -- The Washington Post (2012)

Community Affiliations

  • Kairos Family Center, Board Member, 2013 - present
  • Kairos Family Center, Treasurer, 2015

Harry can be reached at

Craig M. Capilla

Craig Capilla is a trial lawyer, defending individuals and businesses in a wide range of civil matters, including professional liability and commercial litigation. He has effectively defended numerous residential and commercial appraisers and appraisal firms accused of negligence or improper activity in their valuation services, a chiropractic group accused of malpractice, and successfully litigated employment disputes related to discrimination claims, restrictive covenants, and unemployment hearings. Craig has also represented numerous licensed professionals in state licensing matters, including real estate brokers, real estate appraisers, appraisal management companies, mortgage brokers, nursing home administrators, and medical doctors.

Craig developed his skills as a trial lawyer while working as a staff prosecutor for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, where he learned and effectively applied the rules of evidence where he tried more than 60 cases while also bringing a high volume of cases to settlement prior to trial. Additionally, Craig has drafted contracts, business agreements, and advised on corporate governance and formation for various small and medium-sized businesses while also consulting for both companies and individuals on regulatory and compliance matters.

Craig has advocated for his clients in various state and federal civil litigation matters and administrative hearings before regulatory agencies including: Qui tam defense, civil RICO matters, professional malpractice, construction defect litigation, breach of contract, breach of warranty, mechanics' liens, general tort liability, homeowners' association and landlord/tenant disputes, and professional licensing. He has appeared for clients in a number of jurisdictions throughout Illinois, including various courts in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Carroll, Lee, and Kane counties and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


  • 2007, J.D., DePaul University College of Law
  • 2004, B. A. The University of Michigan
    • Michigan Sailing Team, Captain 2002-2003


  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


  • The Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016)
  • The Illinois Association of Certified Real Estate Appraisers (2010, 2014)
  • The Chicago Chapter of the Appraisal Institute (2011, 2013, 2015)
  • The Wisconsin Chapter of the Appraisal Institute (2016)
  • The North Star Chapter of the Appraisal Institute (2016)
  • The Chicago Metropolitan Chapter of the NAIFA (2015)
  • The Lake County Chapter of the NAIFA (2016)
  • The North Suburban Bar Association (2016)
  • The Chicago Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers (2013)
  • The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors Chicagoland Chapter (2014)

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • National Association of Appraisers
  • Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals
  • Illinois Association of Certified Real Estate Appraisers
  • Claims Association of Greater Chicago
  • Professional Liability Underwriters Society
  • Chicago Association of Realtors

Community Affiliations

  • US Sailing
  • Alumni Association of the University of Michigan
    • UofM Club of Greater Chicago


Craig can be reached at

Justin N. Fielkow

Justin Fielkow joined the Franklin Law Group after moving to Chicago from New Orleans, LA. He has experience in a variety of business and commercial civil litigation matters, in both state and federal court, including breach of contract, bad faith insurance prosecution, professional malpractice, qui tam, civil RICO, defamation and libel, and sports torts. Justin has obtained successful verdicts at both trial and arbitration and negotiated numerous favorable settlements. Justin also represents businesses in the sports and entertainment fields, by consulting for and providing an array of legal services to sports-related organizations, including fantasy sports ventures, sports media entities, and sports and entertainment marketing and branding companies. His insights regarding sports and entertainment law have appeared in publications such as the International Business Times, Law360, the New York Daily News, Rolling Stone, the Boston Herald, and numerous others.

Outside of practicing law, Justin has written for RotoWire, both as a featured legal columnist and as a beat writer covering fantasy football. His articles have appeared both online and in nationally-distributed magazines. He is also a co-founder of The Sports Law Esquires, a website dedicated to providing legal analysis and insight generated by current events in the sports industry. In addition, Justin is passionate about volunteering his time and has worked countless pro bono hours at non-profit organizations, including the Redwood Justice Fund in California and the ELLA Project in New Orleans.  

Representative Matters

Justin has recently:

  • Obtained a jury verdict for a client, a player injured during a recreational basketball game, on a premises liability theory. (Lee v Canann, et al.).
  • Drafted service agreements for a sports and entertainment marketing company, whose clients include well-known current and former professional athletes and coaches
  • Drafted domestic and international employment agreements for prominent sports media entities.
  • Organized and counseled start-ups and small businesses in the sports and entertainment industries regarding employment practices, sponsorship matters, and compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Obtained a no-liability verdict at arbitration in defense of a not-for-profit client accused of breach of contract.
  • Served as counsel for a leading helmet manufacturer in the prosecution of insurance claims arising out of a nationwide wave of concussion lawsuits filed by  NFL and NCAA players.
  • Assisted in negotiating a high six-figure insurance settlement for a commercial bowling center against a specialty lines insurance company, which had accused his client of fraud.
  • Obtained summary judgment against an insurance company and in favor of a commercial bank regarding a standard mortgage clause in a first-party insurance policy. (Sagar Megh, et al. v United National).
  • Consulted for and prepared legal opinions and memoranda for fantasy sports companies, analyzing the potential legality of their offered fantasy sports games under federal and state sweepstakes and gaming laws.


  • 2012, J.D., Tulane University Law School, Sports Law Certificate
  • 2009, B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Economics and History

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Evanston Chamber of Commerce
  • Fantasy Sports Trade Association


  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


Community Affiliations

  • Chicago Jewish Day School, Head Coach, Basketball (2015 - Present)

Justin can be reached at

Michael A. Albert

Michael Albert joined the Franklin Law Group after graduating from the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. As a new attorney, Michael has already made numerous court appearances in state and federal court as well as before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. To date, Michael has worked on a variety of legal cases, including commercial and civil litigation cases and also some transactional matters.

Michael has already:

  • Helped obtain numerous dismissals for several real estate appraisers who had been sued for professional negligence as part of a coordinated national litigation effort by a loan acquisition firm.
  • Assisted in drafting and amending employment contracts for a well-known sports media entity.
  • Counseled a nationwide home healthcare provider on non-solicitation and non-compete agreements, and terms of enforcement of same.
  • Written about the ethical and legal considerations concerning attorney-client transactions.


Michael is authorized to practice law in the State of Illinois as well as before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Professional Organizations: Michael is a member of:

  • The Illinois State Bar Association;
  • The Chicago Bar Association;
  • The North Suburban Bar Association; and
  • The Buffalo Grove-Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce (BGLCC). 


Michael received his B.A. from Indiana University in 2012 with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. In addition, he earned a Business Foundations Certificate from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. At Indiana University, Michael served as President of his Fraternity, Phi Kappa Sigma – Delta Pi Chapter.

Michael earned his J.D. from the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2015. Among other things, Michael represented the law school at national competitions as a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, worked as a Teaching Assistant, and became a Certified Mediator through the Illinois Center for Conflict Resolution.

In addition, was Michael was an editor of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Seventh Circuit Review. His published article, MJ Still Winning in Chicago: The Seventh Circuit Correctly Holds That Jewel-Osco’s Use of Michael Jordan’s Likeness in Its Advertisement Constituted Commercial Speech, can be found at the following link:

Outside of work Michael plays in a men’s baseball league in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and he also plays on co-ed tennis team at Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine, Illinois. Michael also enjoys fitness training, politics, and reading novels.    

Michael can be reached at

Allie K. Haling

Allie K. Haling is the newest member of Franklin Law Group. As a new attorney, Allie is assisting in the litigation of several complex matters; is now appearing regularly in court, conducting and responding to discovery and doing research. To date, Allie has worked in a variety of legal matters in civil litigation, including breach of contract, personal injury and employment matters. Prior to joining FLG, Allie served as a law clerk at the 24th Judicial District in Gretna, Louisiana and as an Independent SEC Auditor for Development International E.V.


  • 2015, J.D., Tulane University Law School, Sports Law Certificate
  • 2012, B.A., University of Michigan, Sports Law


  • Supreme Court of the  State of Illinois
  •  United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Glenview Chamber of Commerce
  • DBR Chamber of Commerce
  • Built in Chicago

Community Affiliations

  • University of Michigan Alumni Association
  • World Vision
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Finish Strong Athletics - coach 

Allie can be reached at


Address : 181 Waukegan Road, Suite 205
Northfield, IL 60093
Phone : (847) 716-2380
Fax : (847) 716-2390
Email :