Jay K. Filler, Jr.

Attorney at Law

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Jay K. Filler, Jr. is a graduate of Drake University (1975) and Loyola University School of Law (1978). Jay came to Marengo in 1980 and had the pleasure of being partners with Herbert Franks for 15 years and Thomas Schmitt for 18 years. He has practiced in his current location since 1995.

In the course of his 30 years in Marengo, Jay has had the opportunity to represent clients in hundreds of trials, both civil and criminal, and thousands of real estate cases. He has designed hundreds of estate plans and participated in innumerable estate matters.

Relying on his training and experience, Jay is able to competently advise his clients as to their best course of action given their particular circumstances.

It is the philosophy of the firm that clients are entitled to the best representation possible. It is therefore the goal of the firm to aggressively advocate on behalf of our clients. However, it is also the policy of the firm to advise as to both the best manner in which to achieve those goals and to evaluate the reasonableness of those goals.

Jay is a prior president of the McHenry County Bar Association. He has a reputation for competency and honesty.

Elizabeth A. Pfiffner

Attorney at Law

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Elizabeth A. Pfiffner graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2008, and Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2011, and received the Distinguished Student Law Award for her dedication and service to the school. Elizabeth’s interest in the practice of law was spurred from reading To Kill A Mockingbird.

Elizabeth joined the firm in 2012. As a lifelong resident of Marengo, she wants to devote her practice to helping people in her home town. Elizabeth has a keen eye for detail, and her strong writing skills are an asset in drafting documents and research. Her areas of practice include traffic, litigation, estate planning, tax matters, family law, real estate transactions, business law, and foreclosures.

In her time away from the office, Elizabeth is an avid horsewoman. Having started competing at a young age, she now competes on international and national levels and enjoys all aspects of equine related activities.


Karen L. Smith

Paralegal/Office Manager

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With over 20 years in the legal field, Karen L. Smith competently serves as the firm’s paralegal and office manager. Karen is responsible for the day to day operations of the firm, including accounting, employee benefits, and the administration of staff. She has a strong background in computers, and therefore, handles the firm’s technology.

Karen serves as a real estate paralegal in residential and commercial transactions. She interfaces with lenders, buyers, sellers, and attorneys as she gathers all the information and documentation necessary to ease our clients towards the smooth sale or purchase of real estate. She is proficient in the preparation of title insurance commitments, settlement statements, title insurance policies and closing documents, and is the firm’s member closer for Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund. She also has a background in short sale negotiations. She has vast knowledge of all aspects of real estate transactions, and can be contacted regarding any real estate related matter.

Karen also assists in document disclosure, assists the attorneys with projects and trial preparation, and competently handles the day to day operations of the firm. Her background in writing has honed her proofreading and writing skills, and has strengthened the analytical thinking necessary in the legal world. She has a sharp eye for detail and will tackle any challenge.

In her spare time, Karen is an avid runner, having completed several half-marathons and marathons. She volunteers as a hippotherapy horse leader and exercise rider, enjoys gardening, and traveling with her husband.

Ashley Urness

Receptionist/Legal Assistant


Ashley Urness is the firm’s receptionist and legal assistant. She is responsible for assisting our attorneys and paralegal in all aspects of office work, including typing correspondence and documents, handling the phone system, filing court documents, setting appointments and other client contact. She is the first point of contact for our clients, and always conducts herself in a professional and competent manner. She has proven to be a valuable member of our team.

In her spare time, Ashley enjoys spending time with family and friends.