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 has wide ranging experience representing clients in complex commercial disputes including defending against consumer class actions, contract disputes, 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 a range of federal regulatory enforcement proceedings. 

Jena also focuses a substantial portion of her practice on litigating contested estate and trust matters on behalf of corporate fiduciaries, non-profit organizations, and individuals. She has successfully litigated will and trust contests, judicial construction actions, accounting disputes, contested heirship and adoption issues, disputes over the enforcement of charitable pledges, and breach of fiduciary duty claims.

Publications

Jena is the co-general editor of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s (IICLE) Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests practice handbook and a contributing author of several comprehensive chapters on estate and trust litigation in this and other IICLE practice guides, including:

  • “Trust Contests,” published in Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests (IICLE), Updated 2020
  • “Admission of Wills to Probate,” published in Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests (IICLE), Updated 2020
  • “Heirship, Adoption, and Paternity,” published in Litigating Disputed Estates, Trusts, Guardianships, and Charitable Bequests (IICLE), Updated 2020
  • “Challenges to Wills,” published in Illinois Causes of Action: Probate Actions (IICLE), Updated 2021
  • “Trust Contests,” published in Trust Administration (IICLE), Updated 2019
  • "Termination of the Trust," published in Trust Administration (IICLE), Updated 2019

Jena also writes frequently for Trust & Estates Magazine’s e-newsletter. 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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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

Community Engagement

Jena is deeply committed to community service and regularly partners with non-profit organizations to provide critical pro bono legal services to Chicagoans in need. Through referrals from the National Immigrant Justice Center, Jena represents survivors of persecution and torture seeking asylum protection in the U.S. She has obtained life-changing victories both through successful affirmative applications and defending clients in removal proceedings in immigration court. Jena also represents clients as court-appointed counsel through the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Probate Court Assistance Program.

Recognitions

  • Super Lawyers, Rising Star®, Estate & Trust Litigation, 2019-2022
  • Leading Lawyers, Emerging Lawyers, Trust & Estate Law 2015-2022
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Education

  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., 2009
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 2005, with Highest Distinction

Affiliations

  • Past President and member of the board of directors of the Legal Counsel for Health Justice
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association

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.