Donald C. Schiller
"My proudest professional accomplishment was founding and nurturing our firm which has been ranked as the top listed family law firm in the nation by The Best Lawyers in America."
Each divorce case is unique. No lawyer knows that more keenly than Donald C. Schiller, who has dedicated his career to serving leaders or their spouses from the business, professional, entertainment and sports communities. Mr. Schiller is well versed in the complexity of such high net worth and profile cases, which often require multiple legal services, exceptional discretion, and wide-ranging experience. Unique cases demand unique solutions—whether through negotiated settlement or litigation—and Mr. Schiller has built a reputation and family law firm around providing them in a personalized way for each client. A well-known lecturer and author in his field, Mr. Schiller has been teaching divorce law at the University of Chicago Law School for over 13 years.
Recognized as one of the nation’s top matrimonial lawyers by Town and Country Magazine, Worth Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, National Law Journal and Crain’s Chicago Business, Mr. Schiller has been called a “gentleman in a volatile profession.” His demeanor inspires the confidence of clients, who quickly realize that Mr. Schiller and his firm understand their needs like no others. Mr. Schiller is listed in all editions of The Best Lawyers in America and in 2009 was the first to be named as Chicago’s Lawyer of the Year for Family Law. Both “Super Lawyers” and “Leading Lawyers” surveys have named Mr. Schiller as one of the top 10 lawyers in Illinois. In 2011 the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Illinois chapter) presented Mr. Schiller with its prestigious Judge Samuel Berger Award given to one who exemplifies integrity, courtesy, knowledge of family law and possesses an extraordinary ability to solve human problems. He is also the subject of a chapter in the book The Divorce Lawyers by Emily Couric.
Mr. Schiller’s peers have selected him for major professional responsibilities, which included: President of the Illinois State Bar Association, member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, Chair of the ABA’s Family Law Section, Chair of the State Bar’s Family Law Section, National Chair of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers’ Continuing Legal Education Committee Diplomat of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and a co-founder and faculty member of the ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute. DePaul University College of Law has named their family law center the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck family law center. He is also a member of The Economic Club of Chicago.
Mr. Schiller is a well-known published author and lecturer in the field of family law. Along with Joseph DuCanto, Mr. Schiller founded Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP in 1981 with the vision of creating a firm that would be internationally recognized as a model for the practice of family law. The firm has grown to become the largest in the United States that limits its practice to family law.
Awards and Honors
Top 10 Attorneys - Client Satisfaction Award from the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (2018)
One of the nation's top matrimonial lawyers by Town & Country Magazine, Worth Magazine, The National
DePaul University College of Law has named its Family Law Center the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center
Distinguished Alumni Award, DePaul University (1988)
Chair Executive Committee and partner of Schiller, DuCanto and Fleck
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America by Neifeh and Smith (1981-2019)
Law Dragon Magazine named him one of the 500 top lawyers in America (2005-2010)
Leading Lawyers Magazine survey named Schiller No. 1 in Matrimonial Law and in the Top Ten of Illinois Lawyers considering all fields of law (2008, 2016)
Super Lawyers named him one of the top 10 Lawyers in Illinois considering all fields of law (2006-2007, 2015)
Subject of a biography in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, and Who's Who in American Law
Subject of a chapter in the book, The Divorce Lawyers, by Emily Couric
In the News
The Gentlemen Advocates - Family Lawyer Magazine
Donald Schiller Cover Profile - Chicago's Best Lawyers
The Don of Divorce- Don Schiller is a gentleman in a volatile practice area - Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine
Don Schiller- Chicago’s High Stakes Divorce Lawyer - Leading Lawyers Network Magazine
"The Good Wife" Boxes-in Love and Politics - Lawyers.com
President, Illinois State Bar Association (1987-1988)
Founder and first President, Illinois State Bar Association Mutual Insurance Company (1988-1990)
Chair of Family Law Section, Illinois State Bar Association
Former member of the Board of Governors, Illinois State Bar Association
Member of the Board of Governors, American Bar Association
Illinois State Delegate to House of Delegates, American Bar Association
Former Chair of the Family Law Section, American Bar Association
Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Diplomat, American College of Family Law Trial Lawyers
Chair, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (National)
Continuing Education Committee
Fellow, American Bar Foundation (Life Member)
Fellow, Illinois Bar Foundation (Life Member)
Matrimonial Law Committee Chairman, Chicago Bar Association (1976-1977)
President, ABA Retirement Funds (2005-2006)
Chair of the Domestic Relations Management Advisory Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (1993-2000). This Committee served by appointment by the Presiding Judges of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois and it's Domestic Relations Division and advised the Court concerning operations and procedures. Co-Chair of the Rules Committee of the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County (2003-). Appointed by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. This Committee of judges and lawyers is charged with reviewing the Court’s rules and general orders and to consider and recommend revisions that would improve the Courts procedures.
Lecturer at Law, The Law School University of Chicago, 2001-present.
Member of Editorial Board of American Journal of Family Law (1992 -)
Member of the Editorial Board of Fair Share magazine (1986 -)
A Survey of Mental Cruelty as a Ground for Divorce, Vol. 15, DePaul Law Review (1965)
Emergency Injunctive Relief Without Notice, Vol. 52, Chicago Bar Record (1971)
Divorce Division," A Chapter in Chicago Lawyers Handbook", by the Chicago Bar Association (1996)
Child Custody – Evolution of Current Criteria, Vol. 26, Issue 2, DePaul Law Review (1977)
Chapter, "Property Rights Upon Dissolution," Family Law II, published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (1977)
Chapter, "Guardians Ad Litem for Children," Family Law II, published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (1977)
Chapter, "Domestic Relations," Illinois Basic Practice Guide, published by the Illinois Institute of Legal Education
Guardian Ad Litem for Children In Custody (Divorce) Cases, a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Chicago, Illinois (October 30, 1976)
Discussion of New Marriage and Marriage Dissolution Act, a paper presented to the Illinois Judges Association Annual Convention Chicago, Illinois (December 2, 1977)
Chapter, "Custody and Visitation Clauses," Current Developments in Child Custody, published by the Law Journal Seminars Press
Developments in Marital Property law, Illinois Bar Journal co-authored with Judge Charles J. Fleck, Jr (1980)
Chapter, "A Practical Approach to Understanding the UCCJA", Custody Litigation: New Directions, published by Law & Business, Inc
Valuing and Dividing Professional Practices, a paper presented on March 27, 1981 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois for Panel Publishers (April 24, 1981)
Chapter, "Negotiating Techniques for Family Law Practitioners", published by Continuing Legal Education of the Minnesota State Bar Association
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction in Light of the Siegel Case and New Legislation, paper presented at the Matrimonial Law Program, Chicago Bar Association (April 19, 1982)
Family Law Trial Techniques, a paper presented for Divorce Law Education Institute Vail, Colorado (January 29, 1983)
Common Tax Considerations in Planning for a Divorce, paper presented for John Marshall Law School practice seminar (May 26, 1983)
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction in Light of Siegel and New Legislation, Volume 65, No. 2, Chicago Bar Record (September-October,1983)
Support and Maintenance Forms, co-authored with David H. Hopkins for Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education Program, Drafting Marital Settlement Agreement, Chicago (November 9, 1984)
Cohabitation Without Formal Marriage, co-authored with Michael S. J. Albano, a paper published in Justice for a Generation by the American Bar Association and presented at American Bar As (July, 1985)
Cohabitation Without Formal Marriage in the USA, co-authored with Michael S. J. Albano, published in Family Law (London, England) Vol. 16, page 43 (1976)
New Change of Venue Rules for Post-Decree Cases, published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (April 9, 1984)
No Fault: divorce With Dignity, published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (May 11, 1983)
Matrimonial Law considerations for the Estate Planner and Probate Lawyer, a paper presented at the Chicago Bar Association Probate Practice Seminar (February 1984)
Summary of Objectives of and Proposals for the Domestic Relations Tax Reform Act, co-authored with David H. Hopkins, a paper presented at the Divorce Law Education Institute Vail, Colorado (January 1984)
H.B. 544 vs. Transmutation, Illinois Family Law Reporter at page 169 (October, 1983)
Book Review of Family Law And Practice, ABA Journal (June 1, 1986)
Attorney’s Fees in Dissolution of Marriage Cases Outline, issues Illinois Family Law Reporter (March-April 1984)
The Application and Impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1984, co-authored with Thomas Forkin), presented at the Divorce Law Education Institute (January 1986)
Impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Negotiating Settlement Agreements, a paper presented at the Chicago Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar Chicago, Illinois (January 13, 1987)
Alimony – Should Marital Misconduct be a Factor, a paper presented at the American Bar Association’s National Symposium on Alimony and Child Support (April 24-52, 1987)
Distribution of Property: Compensation for Marital Energies Applied to Non-Marital Property, published in the Illinois Bar Journal (December 1987)
Fault Undercuts Equity, published in Family Advocate, a publication of the American Bar Association (Fall 1987)
Family Law, contributing author, chapter in You and the Law, Publications International, Ltd (1990)
Premarital Agreements – A Divorce Lawyer’s Perspective, a paper presented to Chicago Estate Planning Council Chicago, Illinois (April 26, 1989)
Protecting Matrimonial Work Product, published in Fair Share and The Encyclopedia of Matrimonial Practice (1992)
Judicial Notice, a paper presented at the Family Law Evidence Seminar of the Illinois Chapter of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (October 14, 1996)
Fault Has a Place in Dissolution of Marriage, paper presented at American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers National Meeting, Chicago (1996)
Marital or Non-Marital – You Make the Call, a paper presented for Clifton Gunderson program on Litigation Issues 2000 – The Financial Side of Divorce, at the Lincolnshire Marriott Hotel, Lincoln (January 17, 2000)
Chapter, "Trial Practice Consideration," Illinois Family Law, published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2000)
Discovering Employee Benefits, co-authored with Daniel R. Stefani published in Family Advocate a magazine published by the American Bar Association (Winter 2001)
What Every Estate Planner Should Know About Divorce Laws, a paper co-authored with Carlton Marcyan and presented for Illinois Institute of Continuing Education Seminar at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago IL (April 19, 2002)
The preparation of Law & Marriage: Your Legal Guide, Consultant, published by the American Bar Association
Chapter, "Trial Practice Considerations," Illinois Family Law, published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2000)
Discovering Employee Benefits, presented at American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Illinois Chapter, Stock Options and Executive Compensation Program, Chicago (2001)
Taxation of Nonstatutory Stock Options and Deferred Compensation and Stock Options: Be Aware/Beware, published in 101+ Practical Solutions for the Family Lawyer, a book published by the American Bar Association (2003)
Handling a Client, a paper presented to the Family Law Section of the Illinois State Bar Association at its Annual Meeting in Lake Geneva (June 21, 2003)
“Soft Points In Business Valuations”, a paper presented at the American Bar Association Family Law Section meeting in Milwaukee, WI on October 22, 2004.
“Selected Cases Enterprise and Personal Goodwill” presented at BV Resources panel discussion entitled “Entity v. Personal Goodwill Revisited”, November 17, 2004, broadcasted from Portland OR.
“Attorneys Fees In Matrimonial Law Actions, State of Illinois” presented at Annual Meeting of International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, USA Chapter, in Chicago IL on June 3, 2005.
“Reasonable Attorneys Fees”, a paper presented at AAML/IICLE program entitled Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce
2006-Attorneys Fees-Evolution Of Law, Standards and Economics, January 16, 2006, Northbrook IL.
“Hot Topics In Valuation” presented at the AAML/ACPA National Conference On Divorce, May 10, 2006, Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas NV.
“Business Valuation Basics” presented at Gitlin On Divorce Seminar, July 21, 2006, Woodstock IL.
“Reasonable Fees In Dissolution Of Marriage Cases” published in Illinois Bar Journal, September 2006; selected for inclusion in The Journals & Law Reviews database on WESTLAW.
Co-authored “Niche Marketing Accentuates Our Exclusivity” published in Family Advocate, a publication of the American Bar Association, Fall 2006.
Reviewer Guide To Marriage, Divorce & Families, a book published by The American Bar Association 2006.
“Dealing With Stock Options In Dissolution Of Marriage Actions”, a paper presented at AAML/IICLE program entitled Business Valuation, Financial, and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce 2007-Creative Financial Settlements, January 15, 2007, Wheeling IL.
“Using Closely Held Stock To Fund A Marital Settlement”, a paper presented at AAML/IICLE program entitled Business Valuation, Financial, and Tax Issues Affecting Divorce 2007-Creative Financial Settlements, January 15, 2007, Wheeling IL.
“Divorce And Financial Exposure”, closing keynote lecture presented at the Campden Conferences High Net Worth Family Wealth Management Conference, February 2, 2007, Hotel duRhone, Geneva, Switzerland.