Rick is a graduate with honors from Loyola University in 1976 and from the Northern Illinois University School of Law in 1979. He has had a distinguished career for the 31 years he has been practicing law. From 1979 to 1985, Rick cut his teeth working for one of the more prominent and highly respected law firms in the outlying collar counties, Laraia and Kilander, where he practiced primarily in the field of domestic relations and various aspects of litigation. He distinguished himself during that period of time as an outstanding trial lawyer in the family law field. Since 1985, he has been a sole practitioner with offices at 511 W. Wesley in Wheaton.
As mentioned, Felice has been a leader in every aspect of the legal profession, including the Justinian Society of Italian Lawyers, having been president of its DuPage Chapter in 1998, as well as the chairperson for a number of years of its charitable arm, Justinian Cancer fundraising. Other bar association activities in which Rick has shown leadership include his involvement in the DuPage County Association of Women Lawyers, the statewide Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Kane County Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Bohemian Bar Association, and Lake County Bar Association. He’s not just a member of these organizations, paying his dues and attending a dinner now and again, but has actively practiced law while serving in various leadership positions.
As a result of his demonstrated leadership, Felice was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to its significant Rules Committee for almost a decade. The Illinois legislature appointed him to its family-law study committee in 2008 and continuing.
In addition to being a past president of the DuPage County Bar Association activities, Felice’s involvement includes chairperson of its Admissions and Membership Committee from 1989 to 1992; member of its Legislative Committee, Children’s Rights Committee, and Family Law Committee; and president of the DuPage Bar Foundation. He was also appointed to serve on its Court Annexed Mandatory Court Arbitration Committee and presently serves as the chairperson and mandatory attorney fee arbitration in Family Law Cases.
As an active member of the ISBA, he has served as a member of its Task Force on Attorneys for Children; a member of its Special Committee on the Future of the Courts Conferences created in conjunction with the Illinois Supreme Court; a member of its Judicial Evaluation Section (out of Cook County); a member of its Legislative Assembly (past chair of the prominent Agenda Committee); and a member for two consecutive three-year terms on its Board of Governors. He served as elected secretary of the ISBA in 2008. He is also on the board of governors for the Illinois Bar Foundation.
There is absolutely no doubt that, in the ordinary course, Richard D. Felice will, after being elected statewide, become president of the ISBA (probably in 2014). He will be the eighth Italian American to serve as president of the ISBA in the last 35 or so years.
Of his colleague and friend, past Justinian president and ISBA president-elect John Locallo says: “I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Rick Felice on various committees and subcommittees of the Illinois State Bar Association. Rick’s leadership, passion, even-handedness, and clear logical thinking contributed greatly to every aspect of our organization. When Rick speaks, the room becomes quiet and people listen. People know he is going to say something insightful. And equally as important, Rick is a great friend to all.”
Rick is a second generation attorney, his father John J. Felice, the first American born of his family, graduated from Loyola Law, worked in private practice for over three decades and also was an adjunct faculty member at the highly regarded John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
On his paternal side, his family came from Palermo, and on his maternal side from Trieste. Rick is married to the beautiful Marnell and they have one son, Daniel.