Jena L. Levin

Senior Counsel

Overview

Jena L. Levin is a senior counsel and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP and is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice. Jena is also a member of the firm’s National Recruiting Committee.  

Jena focuses a substantial portion of her practice on litigating contested estate and trust matters on behalf banks, non-profit organizations, and individual clients. Her practice in this area involves will and trust contests, judicial constructions of wills and trusts, actions seeking accountings, contested heirship and adoption issues, disputes over the enforcement of charitable pledges, guardianship proceedings, and breach of fiduciary duty issues.

Jena also has a wide range of experience litigating complex commercial disputes including defending against consumer class actions, investigating and litigating breaches of fiduciary duty and other wrongdoing by former employees, conducting internal investigations counseling clients regarding compliance with federal and state regulations and representing clients in regulatory enforcement proceedings by the SEC and FINRA.  

Publications

Jena co-authors several comprehensive chapters on trust and estate litigation in the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s (IICLE) handbooks for lawyers, including:

  • “Trust Contests,” published in the Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests (IICLE), Updated 2016
  • “Admission of Wills to Probate,” published in Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests (IICLE), Updated 2016
  • “Heirship, Adoption, and Paternity,” published in Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests (IICLE), Updated 2016
  • “Challenges to Wills,” published in Illinois Causes of Action: Estate, Business, and Non-Personal Injury Actions (IICLE), Updated 2014
  • “Trust Contests,” published in Trust Administration (IICLE), Updated 2014
  • "Termination of the Trust," published in Trust Administration (IICLE), Updated 2014 

Jena is a frequent author. Her selected publications include: 

  • “The Arbitrary Nature of Health Care Arbitration Agreements,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine’s e-newsletter), June 2016
  • “Bin Laden’s Will UnSEALed,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), March 2016
  • “Public Policy and the Boomerang Inheritance,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), February 2016
  • “Administration of Trusts and Estates in the Digital Age,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), December 2015
  • “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), October 2015
  • “No Standing to Enforce a Charitable Trust,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), August 2015
  • “The Rise of Green Funerals,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), May 2015
  • “Trust Administration in the Digital Age,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine, Committee Report: Fiduciary Professions), April 2015
  • Trending Now: Hollywood Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceedings,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), January 2015 
  • “The Impact of Slayer Statutes on Surviving Spouse Benefits Under ERISA,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), October 2014
  • “May He Rest in Pieces?” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), September 2014 
  • “Slayer Statutes, Choice of Laws Create Lottery-Like Atmosphere,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), August 2014
  • “Inherited IRAs Now Fair Game for Liquidation in Individual Bankruptcy Proceedings,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), June 2014
  • “A Brief Slay Ride Through a Slew of State Laws,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), May 2014
  • “Heaven Can Wait,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), March 2014 
  • “The State of Arbitration in Trust Litigation,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, January 2014
  • “Fight Erupts Over Portrait of an Angel,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), January 2014
  • “Enforceability of Mandatory Arbitration Provisions in Trust Agreements,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), December 2013
  • “Mom and ‘De Son’ Both in Trouble,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), November 2013
  • “The Walking Dead Come to Court,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), October 2013
  • “Borrowing Trouble,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), September 2013
  • “I Do – And Yes, He Does, Too,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), August 2013
  • “Confession, While Good for the Soul, May be Subject to Disclosure,” WealthManagement.com (Trusts & Estates Magazine's e-newsletter), June 2011
  • “Injunctive Relief: Recent Developments in Illinois Law,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 2011
    Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Jena is deeply committed to pro bono service and regularly partners with non-profit organizations to provide critical legal services to Chicagoans in need. Through referrals from the National Immigrant Justice Center, she represents survivors of persecution and torture seeking asylum in the U.S. and assists undocumented clients in obtaining deferred action under DACA. Partnering as co-counsel with Access Living, she has also represented clients with mobility impairments in litigation to remedy accessibility violations related to the design and construction of new housing developments and ensure compliance with Illinois laws.

Recognitions

Jena was selected for inclusion in the 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers-Rising Stars® list for her work in estate & trust litigation.

Education

Jena earned her law degree from Duke University School of Law (J.D., 2009). She received her bachelor's degree, with the highest distinction, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A., 2005), where she was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Affiliations

Jena is president of the board of directors of the Legal Council for Health Justice, formerly known as the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago. Prior to joining Foley, she gained clinical experience and developed a passion for this important work while serving clients through the AIDS Legal Project at Duke University.

Admissions

Jena is a member of the Illinois bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

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