Robert C. Gates

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Robert C. Gates

Peoria, Illinois
phone 309-676-1381
fax 309-676-0324

Linkedin Profile

The law firm of Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White & Frederick P.C. announced on May 1, 2014 that Robert C. Gates rejoined the law firm and elected Gates as a shareholder and partner of the firm.

Prior to returning to Kavanagh, Bob Gates served as the General Counsel and Vice President of Human Resources at the Federal Companies a transportation, moving, storage and warehousing company.  In that capacity, Bob was responsible for all legal and corporate affairs and led the human resources department. 

Bob first joined Kavanagh and served from 2008 -2011, returning in 2014.  He concentrates his practice in general corporate and business matters (including not-for-profit institutions) commercial transactions; labor and employment; estate planning and administration; local government law; and taxation. 

Before joining Kavanagh in 2008, Mr. Gates represented the City of Chicago as an Assistant Corporation Counsel.  Bob represented the City in civil litigation matters, focusing on tax and revenue litigation.  He also advised City departments on legal and policy issues involving constitutional law and various corporate, municipal powers. 

In the community, Mr. Gates has held numerous leadership positions with the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Peoria Business Alliance.  Previously, he served as a member of the American Red Cross Heartland Heroes Dinner Award Committee; Peoria Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors; Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign Committee; the East Seals Tribute Dinner Committee; and the WD Boyce Council of the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Service Award Committee.

Bob earned a bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Miami University (Ohio).  He is a cum laude graduate of the John Marshall Law School, having graduated in the top 5% of his class and was a member of the John Marshall Law Review.  He is married to Peoria native, Lisa (Frank) Gates. 

Founded in 1883, Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White & Frederick, P.C. is a full-service law firm with experienced attorneys practicing in all areas of law and serving clients throughout Illinois.  Our attorneys are members of the Peoria Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.  The firm’s attorneys have appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal District Court, the U.S. Tax Court, and state circuit, appellate and supreme courts. Our firm also appears before many administrative and quasi-judicial bodies, and also engages in arbitration and mediation of disputes and claims.


James L. Hafele

James L. Hafele

Peoria, Illinois
Of Counsel
phone 309-676-1381
fax 309-676-0324

Linkedin Profile

Jim has been affiliated with the Kavanagh firm since 2004, providing sole representation to most of his clients as well as collaborating on various cases. Jim’s 47 years of experience affords expert counsel to the rest of our attorneys on numerous matters.

Born and raised in Peoria, Jim graduated from Woodruff High School in 1954. He served the next four years in the United States Navy Submarine Service, including a tour of duty in the Pacific. Following his military service, Jim graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign, in 1962 and earned his Juris Doctor from the University Of Illinois College Of Law in 1964.

In 1965, Jim opened his first law office in Peoria. In the decades to follow, he was a leading partner in several firms, including Hafele & McDade. He is admitted to practice before all Illinois courts, as well as area Federal and Appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Jim has served as Secretary of the Peoria County Bar Association and President of the Abraham Lincoln Inns of Court. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Haute, a Peoria-based nonprofit group dedicated to developing entrepreneurship in African nations. Haute was founded by Ben Hafele, Jim’s son and a former Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa.

Jim lives off Koerner Road near the City of Peoria, where he enjoys family time with two grandsons. A past member of the Peoria Ski Club, Jim frequents the Colorado mountains each winter.

Areas of Practice:

Business Litigation
Family Law
Plaintiff's Injury Cases
Criminal Defense
Construction Law and Litigation
Litigation Percentage:
70% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:

Illinois, 1964
U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1966
U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1970
U.S. Supreme Court, 1966


University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois
Honors: With Honors
Law Journal: University of Illinois Law Forum, 1962 - 1964

University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, USA
Honors: With Honors
Major:  Political Science

Professional Associations and Memberships:

Peoria County Bar Association, 1965 - Present
Secretary, 1983-1986

Illinois State Bar Association, 1965 - Present


Abraham Lincoln Inns of Court, 1988 - Present
President, 1993-1994

Past Employment Positions:

United States Navy, 1954 - 1958


Champaign County, Illinois, Assistant State's Attorney, 1964 - Present

Tazewell County, Illinois, Assistant State's Attorney, 1964 - 1965


Several Peoria Firms, Leading Partner, 1967 - 2006

Ann R. Pieper

Ann R. Pieper

Peoria, Illinois
phone 309-676-1381
fax 309-676-0324

Ann R. Pieper is a Shareholder and Partner at Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White and Frederick P.C.

Ann regularly advises clients on policies and procedures to reduce litigation exposure, advises clients on concerns prior to adverse action, and litigates on behalf of her clients in court and at the administrative agency level. Ann's approach to law is practical and realistic as she aspires to identify her clients' problems and find workable and long term solutions.

Ann specializes her practice in family law (with a focus on the collaborative process, mediation, and full litigation if necessary) and Guardian Ad Litem work (representing the best interests of the child in contested custody litigation to the Court).  She also has expertise in municipal law, employer's side labor and employment concerns including union and non-union negotiations, and school law (particularly special education issues).  

Ann takes a practical, solution based, approach to her litigation, negotiations, and family law cases.    

Areas of Practice:

Litigation, Family Law, Mediation, Municipal law, Employer's side Labor and Employment (including Contract negotiations, review and policy), Special Education Law


Bar Admissions & Certifications:

  • State of Illinois Courts, 2008
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 2009
  • Illinois State Teaching Certificate, Secondary Education, Type 9, 2004
  • Mediation Certification, 2013
  • Collaborative Law Certification, 2016 


  • JD - Northern Illinois University College of Law, DeKalb, Illinois, 2008.
  • Secondary Education Certification post Master's level coursework - Roosevelt University, 2004.
  • M.A., Master of Arts, International Relations and Policy, Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, 1998.
  • B.A., Political Science & International Relations, Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, 1995.

Speaking Engagements & Publications:

  • Overview of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Springfield Illinois, National Business Institute Seminar, February 5, 2016

  • Specifics of Maintaining and Handling Student Records, Springfield, Illinois, National Business Institute Seminar, February 5, 2016

  • Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and Relocation under the IMDMA as Revised, Peoria, Illinois, Public Interest Law Initiative and Prairie State Legal Services Seminar on Family Law Basics, February 15, 2016

  • Independent Contractor, or Not?  The Dangers Inherent in Misclassifying Your Employees, Peoria, Illinois, Peoria Chamber of Commerce Seminar for Business Owners, March 1, 2016.

  • "The Public Duty Rule Ends in Illinois,"  Illinois State Bar Association Local Government Law Section Newsletter.  March 2016.

Associations and Community: 

Peoria County Bar Association, Tazewell County Bar Association, National Council of School Attorneys, International Association of Collaborative Law Professionals, Peoria Downtown Rotary.  

Bruce Thiemann

Bruce Thiemann

Peoria, Illinois
phone 309-676-1381
fax 309-676-0324

Linkedin Profile

Bruce Thiemann is a member of Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White & Frederick, P.C. He has practiced law in Peoria since 1978. Bruce joined the firm in 2005 and previously practiced as a sole practitioner. Civil litigation, corporate, real estate, insurance defense, licensing, trust and estate, and municipal cases and clients have all formed Bruce's area of concentration.

A fourth generation Peorian, Bruce is a 1967 graduate of Woodruff High School. Following high school he attended Cornell College and Illinois State University before joining the Army where he served as a Helicopter Door Gunner with the 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam in 1969.

Following service, Bruce attended Illinois Central College, Bradley University, and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History in 1975.

Bruce then attended Southern Illinois University School of Law, New England School of Law in Boston, and Washington College of Law of the American University in Washington, D.C. where he received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1978. He is admitted to practice law in all Illinois State Courts, and is admitted in the United States Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Central and Northern District Federal Courts.

For 7 years, Bruce worked tirelessly to make the Peoria County WWI and WWII veteran's memorial a reality.  As of 2011, Bruce began working to honor the veterans of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq and with the new Peoria County Veteran's Memorial that is well underway.  A champion for Veterans, Bruce has also donated countless hours of his time to assisting in the set up of the 10th Judicial Circuit Veteran's Court.

A resident of East Peoria since 1986, Bruce and his wife, Teri, have two children, Bob and Maggie, and one grandchild.  Bruce has been active in local Veterans' activities including spearheading the WWI and WWII Memorial on the Courthouse Square in Peoria, Illinois. 

Litigation Percentage:

30% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:

Illinois, 1978
U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1979
U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1979
U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar, 1988
U.S. Supreme Court, 1984


American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, District of Columbia, 1978
J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, 1975
B.A., Bachelor of Arts
Major:  History

Representative Clients:

Midwest Technical Institute
Preckshot Professional Pharmacy
Perley Cable Communications
Mordue Moving and Storage
Bradfield's Computer Supply
Peoria Yellow Checker Cab
Thrift Trucking
Bee-J Amusements
Digital Copy Systems
Frame Material Supply


Commerce Bank
South Side Trust & Savings Bank

Professional Associations and Memberships:

Peoria County Bar Association, 1978 - Present

Illinois State Bar Association, 1978 - Present

Past Employment Positions:

Bruce Thiemann, Attorney, Attorney/Owner, 1991 - 2005

Hafele, Thiemann & Carter, Partner, 1987 - 1991

Bruce Thiemann, Attorney, Attorney/Owner, 1982 - 1987

Quinn, Johnston, Henderson & Pretorius, Associate, 1978 - 1982

Pro Bono Activities:

Various Veterans' Groups and activities, 1978 - Present