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Diversity Leadership Council NewsletterThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council

June 2011, vol. 5, no. 1

Now every article is the start of a discussion. If you're a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, you can comment on any of the articles that appear below.

In This Issue…

  • The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act
    When the new Act took effect on June 1, Illinois joined 11 U.S. States and the District of Columbia that now recognize legal unions between same-sex couples.
  • ISBA Assembly supports U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)—What happens next?
    The ISBA has taken a lead as one of the few bar associations to pass a formal resolution in support of CEDAW.
  • ISBA—Who we are and how we are doing in 2011
    Are our efforts to promote diversity in ISBA membership working? Check out the ISBA's census data here.
  • The United States Hispanic Leadership Institute
    Learn more about this nationally acclaimed Chicago-based nonprofit that, since it began its community empowerment work in 1982, has increased the number of Hispanics registered to vote from 82,000 to over 200,000.
  • Building diversity and inclusion through CLE and lawyer-to-lawyer mentoring
    Now, thanks to the Illinois Supreme Court’s recent approval of a recommendation of the Commission on Professionalism, experienced attorneys supporting the development of new lawyers through an approved mentoring program may receive professional responsibility CLE credit under new Supreme Court Rule 795(d)(12), and activities around diversity and inclusion are a key component of the Commission’s approved mentoring plan.
  • Diversity Scholarship Foundation, Mentoring, Women & Minorities
    Throughout the plan year, the Diversity Scholarship Foundation offers support to small, medium, and large law firms to become their “diversity partners” and encourages mentoring and recruitment of minority attorneys. As a diversity partner, the DSF will work hand-in-hand with the leadership of these firms to structure and implement a diversity plan of action beyond mere lip service.
  • ISBA Board of Governors adopts resolution recommending two additional Board seats to increase diversity
    With approximately 30,000 members, the ISBA is the largest voluntary statewide organization of lawyers in Illinois. This Resolution advances our association’s goal of inclusion by reflecting the changing face of our profession.
  • ISBA develops Law & Leadership Pilot Program
    The ISBA and the Illinois Bar Foundation, through the M. Denny Hassakis Fund, have agreed to make a one-time contribution of $37,500 to run the three-week pilot program for 40 disadvantaged minority eighth-grade graduates. It is the expectation and hope of the ISBA in collaboration with the Illinois legal community, that this initial pilot program will expand to a statewide initiative of intensive summer programs and regular Saturday programming during the school year.
  • The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
    Since 2002, through the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the Human Rights Campaign has surveyed major businesses, including law firms, to benchmark important employer benefits and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and their families.
  • ISBA Diversity Award
    The Diversity Leadership Award recognizes long-standing, continuing and exceptional commitment by an individual or an organization to the critical importance of diversity within the Illinois legal community, its judiciary and within the Illinois State Bar Association.
  • Annual Luminary of Hope Event
    Nearly 100 people commemorated Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the annual Luminary of Hope event in October.
  • Congratulations to the 2010-2011 Inaugural Class of Diversity Leadership Fellows
    The Diversity Leadership Fellows program had its inaugural year in 2010-2011. The goal of the Fellows program is to increase diversity in the membership of ISBA section councils, committees, and other leadership positions, to educate young lawyers about the work, structure, and policies of the ISBA, and to ultimately to develop a diverse group of future leaders of the organization.
  • ISBA members committed to diversity: How you can get involved
    Read about some of the highlights of the work done by the diversity-related ISBA committees and section councils this bar year.
  • ISBA Diversity Web page
    The ISBA diversity Web page serves as a central repository of the latest diversity-related information, activities and events within the bar association as well as the Illinois legal community. The Web page also provides insight into recent diversity led initiatives and highlights the progress of other Task Force recommendations.

Related Court Cases

Involuntary Admission
In re Megan G.
Petition asserted a claim under Section 3-600 of Mental Health Code, alleging that Respondent is subject to involuntary admission to a mental health facility and is in need of immediate hospitalization. As petition sets forth the required allegations, on its face, the petition alleges existence of a justiciable matter, and thus the court had subject matter jurisdiction. As court was procedurally limited from hearing matter while felony charges were pending, it properly dismissed petition for involuntarily admission. Respondent did not contest personal jurisdiction, and received proper notice, and her appointed counsel was present at the hearing on her motion to dismiss. Thus, the trial court had personal jurisdiction over Respondent. (SPENCE, concurring; JORGENSEN, specially concurring.)

Fair Trial
In re Benny M.
Court granted State's petition to subject him to involuntary treatment with psychotropic medication. Respondent was denied a fair trial when court denied his request to remove his shackles during the hearing, without making any findings that such shackling was necessary. Court did not explicitly make any findings supporting shackling, and court conducted almost no independent assessment of factors involved in shackling decision; thus, court abused its discretion in ordering continued shackling of Respondent. Appeal falls within exceptions to mootness doctrine, as it is capable of repetition yet evades review, public interest exception applies, and there is uncertainty as to whether same factors must be considered when proceeding is a civil proceeding in which fundamental rights of Respondent are at issue. (ZENOFF and SPENCE, concurring.)

Bocock v. O'Leary
Plaintiff filed 21-count petition for mandamus to enforce provisions of Illinois DOC County Jail Standards which Plaintiff alleged that Will County Detention Facility violated. Only the DOC Director is statutorily authorized to petition a court to order compliance with county jail standards. Thus, Plaintiff lacks standing for his mandamus petition. DOC regulations do not create private cause of action to inmate seeking to remedy a county jail’s alleged noncompliance with regulations. (HOLDRIDGE and SCHMIDT, concurring.)

Whirl v. Clague
Court erred in dismissing inmates's pro se mandamus petition alleging that sheriff, county clerk, and correctional center warden violated his right to marry by frustrating his ability to acquire a marriage license and ultimately to marry.Inmate requested that Defendants follow through with correctional center's structured written procedural step of furloughing him to county clerk's office on a scheduled day and time to acquire his marriage license. Correctional center's memo describing procedure affords no discretion as to step involving furloughing of an inmate to get marriage license. Petition seeks to compel Sheriff, clerk, and warden to desist from actions that frustrate his constitutional right to marry and do what is necessary for him to secure a marriage license, and thus is a proper request for mandamus relief. (CARTER, concurring; SCHMIDT, dissenting.)

Race Discrimination
Windsor Clothing Store v. Castro
Petitioner filed complaint with Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), alleging denial of full and equal enjoyment of public accommodation based on race, as a sales associate followed her during the entire time she was in the Respondent clothing store. Respondent did not submit verified response to charge, and Illinois Human Rights Commission entered default order against it. Respondent failed to show that it acted with diligence, as it failed to show cause why it could not file verified response, and failed to file request for review of default order, and showed deliberate disregard for IDHR's authority. Commission properly adopted ALJ's recommendations and awarded $25,000 in compensation for emotional distress, and Commission properly denied untimely request to vacate default order.(HYMAN and PUCINSKI, concurring.)

Disclaimer: This newsletter is for subscribers’ personal use only; redistribution is prohibited. Copyright Illinois State Bar Association. Statements or expressions of opinion appearing herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Association or Editors, and likewise the publication of any advertisement is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product or service offered unless it is specifically stated in the ad that there is such approval or endorsement.