“The successful outcome of a case must be driven by the client’s priorities. Clients are unique and representing them requires an attorney to be not only competent, intelligent and creative, but it also requires her to listen to the client and understand his or her goals in order to pursue them aggressively.”
Erika N. Wyatt is a partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP whose practice is devoted exclusively to family law. She represents affluent clients and has successfully litigated and settled many cases involving complex and/or unique financial and custody issues. An ardent proponent of marriage equality, in 2011, Erika settled the first civil union dissolution case filed in Sangamon County, Illinois.
With her background in psychology, Erika focuses on working with her clients to determine their goals for the dissolution process and beyond. She prioritizes what is important for her clients, educates them on their available options, and guides them through the decision-making process. In order to obtain the best result possible for each client, Erika utilizes all available methods, including settlement, negotiation, and litigation.
Erika earned her Bachelor’s degree with high honors from the University of Illinois (Chicago) and her Doctor of Law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where she participated in the Mandel Clinic representing indigent victims of police abuse. At University of Chicago, she won the prestigious Mandel Award for her exceptional contributions to the clinical education program. She joined Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP in 2006 following several years of commercial litigation practice, including the representation of major corporations in both federal and state courts and litigation cases involving sophisticated bank fraud, complex breach of contract, ERISA, personal injury, employment issues, and equine law.
Erika is passionate about animal law and welfare. She is a competitive dressage rider and an active member of the dog fancy. In 2009, she was appointed to the Illinois Joint Congressional Task Force on Breeders and Pet Stores to give recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly regarding comprehensive legislative changes proposed to the Animal Welfare Act and the Humane Care for Animals Act. She has testified before multiple state legislatures regarding animal legislation. She is a past Chair of the DuPage County Animal Law Committee (2012), a member of the Illinois State Bar Association Animal Law Section, and an officer of two national not-for-profit kennel clubs.
University of Chicago Law School, J.D. (2002)
University of Illinois at Chicago, B.A. (English and psychology) with highest departmental distinction in English and honors (1999)
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (2003)
American Sloughi Association (Vice President)
DuPage County Animal Law Committee (Chair, 2012)
DuPage County Bar Association (Member, Family Law Committee, Animal Law Committee)
DuPage County Domestic Relations Court Custody Advisory Committee (Chairperson, 2011)
Golden Key National Honor Society
Illinois Joint Congressional Task Force on Breeders and Pet Stores (2009)
Illinois State Bar Association (Member, Family Law Section, Animal Law Section
International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association
International Foundation for the Preservation of the Sloughi
Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago
PsiChi National Honor Society
Skokie Valley Kennel Club
United Sloughi Association (President)
United States Dressage Federation
United States Equestrian Federation
University of Illinois at Chicago Honors College (1994-1999)
Awards and Honors
Best Lawyers in America (2016-2018)
Leading Lawyers Network (2013-2017)
Illinois Super Lawyer (2017)
Illinois Super Lawyers – Rising Star (2013)
DuPage Legal Assistance Foundation Pro Bono Service Award (2009)
DuPage Bar Legal Aid Pro Bono Award (2006-2007)
Edwin F. Mandel Award (2002)
Bernard Shaw Scholar
Van Keuren Award Winner
Listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities (1999)
Lecturer at Law, University of Chicago Law School, 2012 – present
Moderator, Pride Kick-off Continuing Legal Education Presentation, May 2017
Exotic Animal Legislation Affecting Herpetoculture (DuPage County Bar Association Animal Law Committee CLE, 2012).
The Federal Animal Welfare Act (DuPage County Bar Association Animal Law Committee CLE, 2012).
Proposition 8 and The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act (ACLU of Springfield, 2011).
Representing Upscale Victims of Domestic Violence (Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP, 2011).
Fee Awards Under Section 508(b) (DuPage County Bar Association, Family Law Committee CLE, 2011).
Authorships and Publications
Wyatt, E. (2017). Pet Custody Comes to Illinois. Retrieved from http://www.familylawtopics.com/2017/09/pet-custody-comes-illinois/#more-1619
Chen-Walsh, E. (2015). Inside the Minds: Recent Developments in Animal Law (chapter on Exotic Animal Legislation); Thomson Reuters/Westlaw.
Chen-Walsh, E. (2013, November 20). Marriage Equality and Divorce Equality Reach Illinois. Retrieved from http://www.familylawtopics.com/2013/11/governor-pat-quinn-signs-religious-freedom-marriage- fairness-act/
Chen-Walsh, E. (2013, November 13). The Emotional Cost of Divorce Proceedings. Retrieved from http://www.familylawtopics.com/2013/11/emotional-cost-divorce-proceedings/#more-1283
Chen-Walsh, E. (2013, November 7). U.S. Senate Approves Gay Rights Bill. Retrieved from http://www.familylawtopics.com/2013/11/us-senate-approves-gay-rights-bill/
Chen-Walsh, E. (2013, September 9). Adultery in Divorce Cases. Retrieved from http://www.familylawtopics.com/2013/09/adultery-divorce-cases/
Chen-Walsh, E. (2013, August 30). IRS Recognizes Same Sex Marriage for Federal Income Tax Purposes. Retrieved from http://www.familylawtopics.com/2013/08/irs-recognizes-sex-marriage-federal-income-tax- purposes/
Chen-Walsh, E. (2013, August 15). Lesbian Couple Seeks Spousal Immunity in Kentucky Murder Trial. Retrieved from http://www.familylawtopics.com/2013/08/lesbian-couple-seeks-spousal-immunity-in-kentucky-murder-trial/
Chen-Walsh, E. (2013, May 30). Preparing For Summer Co-Parenting. Retrieved from http://www.familylawtopics.com/2013/05/preparing-for-summer-co-parenting/
Chen-Walsh, E. (2012, February 14). Loving v. Virginia and Thoughts on Gay Marriage. Retrieved from https://erikanwalsh.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/hello-world/
Chen-Walsh, E. (2011, November 14). Planning Tips for Stress Free Holidays. Retrieved from http://www.familylawtopics.com/2011/11/planning-tips-for-stress-free-holidays/