On July 1, 2009, the Illinois Supreme Court entered an order that repeals the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct effective January 1, 2010, and replaces them with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct 2010. Have you had a chance to read all 136 pages of the New Rules of Professional Conduct that go into effect on January 1? I have to admit that I have printed them and skimmed through them, which means I glanced over them to see what might be applicable to government attorneys. Even so, could I actually tell another government attorney what he or she needs to know? Honestly, no. Presumptively most of you are in the same position. To make it easier for you, the ISBA’s Committee on Government Lawyers (CGL) has organized a special two hour program to take place on the morning of December 10th in Chicago (that same day the ISBA’s midyear meeting starts). In addition, we were able to obtain a special rate of $30 for ISBA members and $50 for nonmembers. This program will discuss the revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct specifically as relevant to government attorneys (we will not be discussing client trust accounts or retainer fees). I hope you put this on your calendar now and do all you can to take advantage of this seminar. In addition, tell your colleagues.
As you can tell, the CGL has already started this next year running. Our goal is to keep up the pace. We are also looking into another ethics extravaganza. Similar to the programs we have done in Chicago and Springfield. If we have enough interest, we would like to present the program downstate (Carbondale area). To that end, you can be of assistance. We need to get an idea of how many attorneys would be interested in an ethics program downstate. Please e-mail and let me know your thoughts; my e-mail address is: <. If you have not been to an ethics program put on by the CGL, I would recommend doing so. Admittedly, I have only been involved in a couple of them, but the goal of the program is to make ethics interesting (and sometimes funny) and something you can keep with you in your day-to-day practice.
Another goal of the Committee this year is to identify as many ISBA government attorneys as possible. The ISBA does not track government lawyers. So, as you talk with your friends and colleagues please encourage them, if they have not already done so, to identify themselves as a government attorney to the ISBA. One benefit is that they can receive this newsletter at no cost. In addition, having an accurate count on the number of ISBA members who are government attorneys will hopefully help the Committee advocate on your behalf. One our greatest accomplishments, other than the newsletter, is that over the last couple of years we have been able to obtain a reduced rate for our CLE programs. But, to achieve this goal we will need your assistance. If you know of any ISBA members who are government attorneys but who do not receive this newsletter please encourage them to contact the ISBA. Or, they can contact either me (my e-mail address is above) or Ron Rascia (), who is heading the CGL’s effort to identify government lawyers. We will forward the information to the ISBA.
Hopefully, this is just the start of a productive year. I plan to continue the work started by the Committee’s previous chairs in serving government attorney ISBA members. If there is something you would like to see the Committee do or undertake, please let me know, I would love to hear from you.
Finally, as Illinois and the ISBA celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, I will leave you with one of my favorite Lincoln quotes: “whatever you are, be a good one.” ■