Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
ISBA Mutual Lawyers Malpractice Insurance
view counter
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
view counter
view counter

Northern Illinois

Joseph A. "Joe" Morrissey 1929-2018

Posted on May 11, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Joseph A. "Joe" Morrissey, died Monday, April 2, 2018. He was born August 16, 1929, to William R. and Aileen (Brady) Morrissey

Joe grew up a resilient and entrepreneurial young man during the Great Depression. Although the family had little, they were rich in faith and love. 

Joe attended St. Anne Elementary, graduating from Amboy High School in 1947, and St. Ambrose University in 1951. Following college, Joe served 4 years in the U.S. Air Force. After service, Joe studied law at the University of Illinois, obtaining his Juris Doctorate in 1958. Upon graduation, Joe worked in the State Farm claims department until 1964, after which Joe began a private law practice in Rockford, concentrating in personal injury claims for over 50 years.

ISBA President Served as Keynote Speaker for the LaSalle County Bar Association’s Law Day Dinner

Posted on May 10, 2018 by Rhys Saunders
Alexandra Brinkmeier
ISBA President Hon. Russell W. Hartigan (ret.)

ISBA President Hon. Russell W. Hartigan (ret.) served as keynote speaker for the LaSalle County Bar Association’s Annual Law Day Dinner on May 3 at Senica’s Deer Park Golf Club in Oglesby.

Hartigan discussed his ties to the Illinois Valley and ISBA member benefits, including Fastcase, free CLE, and the Lawyers’ Assistance Program.

Law Day, which is held on May 1 every year, began in 1958 through a proclamation by President Dwight Eisenhower. It is a day when Americans celebrate their liberties and appreciate the ideals of equality and justice under the law. 

Over 400 New Illinois Lawyers to Be Admitted on Thursday

Posted on May 8, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

New attorneys will be admitted to practice in Illinois on Thursday, May 10, with Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court justices presiding and administering the attorney's oath to 401 new attorneys at five separate locations across the state. 

All of the candidates set to be sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They will bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 96,500.

The largest group, 275, will be admitted in the First Judicial District during three ceremonies at the James R. Thompson Center Assembly Hall, located at 100 W. Randolph St., in Chicago. The ceremonies will be at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke will preside over the 9 a.m. ceremony, Illinois Appellate Justice Cynthia Y. Cobbs will preside over the 11:30 a.m. ceremony, and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis will preside over the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.  

IBF to Honor DeKalb County Attorney

Posted on April 11, 2018 by Sara Anderson
Richard Turner

The Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF) will honor Richard L. Turner, Jr., partner at Turner & Sackett, LLC, for his leadership and dedication to the law at a DeKalb County Fellows reception on Thursday, May 17, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at Kishwaukee Country Club, 1901 Sycamore Road in DeKalb. 

Tickets are $35 per person. To purchase tickets or sponsorships visit

Created in 1983, the Fellows Program consists of a special group of lawyers and Foundation supporters who have committed, by direct payment or pledge over ten years, sums of money ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 to support the mission of the IBF.

William R. Penn 1928-2018

Posted on April 4, 2018 by Sara Anderson
William Penn

Judge William R. "Bill" Penn died peacefully on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

Born in Chicago to Frederick William (Bill) Penn (1971) and A. Marie (Moore) Penn (1976).

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Robert John Penn (2010); first ex-wife, Marilyn Penn (2002); stepson, Paul Sinchak (2007); and an infant twin brother of daughter, Laura at birth.

He is survived by his daughters, Laura J. Penn and Lee Ann Penn; and nephews, Matthew Penn and Jeffrey Penn.

Bill attended New Lenox Grade School, Joliet Township High School graduating with the Class of 1946, the University of Illinois, and John Marshall Law School. He passed the Illinois Bar Exam and began to practice law in Illinois in 1951. In December of 1951 he was drafted into the USMC during the Korean War and he was honorably discharged in December of 1953.

John Cummins 1966-2018

Posted on April 4, 2018 by Sara Anderson
Jack Cummins

John J. "Jack" Cummins, age 51, of Chicago, formerly of Geneva, passed away Monday, February 12, 2018 at his home. He was born July 6th, 1966, in Geneva, Illinois, the son of John and Diane (McMaster) Cummins.

He is survived by his mother Diane (Mike) Cummins-Zak of Batavia; brother Greg (Kim) Cummins of McKinney, Texas; and sister Jenny (Tony) White of Geneva; five nieces and nephews Sean, Lindsey, Christopher, Gracie, and Claire; and many other dear relatives and friends. He was a loving Godfather to Leigh, Sean, and Claire.

He was preceded in death by his father John J. Cummins, Sr., and paternal and maternal grandparents Tom Cummins, Marie Cummins, Charles McMaster, and Geraldine McMaster.

James P. Hecht 1935-2018

Posted on March 23, 2018 by Sara Anderson
James Hecht
James Hecht

James P. Hecht, 83, Woodstock, IL. James Perry Hecht's children announce their father's peaceful passing on February 12th, 2018 in Woodstock, IL, his beloved hometown, on Abraham Lincoln's own birthday, his hero. He was surrounded by his loving family, books, pictures, paintings, and music.

A third-generation Woodstock resident, the town he so loved, Jim was an avid jazz musician and aficionado, fly fisherman, traveler, art and book collector, and intellectual. A 1953 Woodstock High School graduate, James P. Hecht graduated Cum Laude with Phi Beta Kappa distinction from Carleton College in Northfield, MN in 1957. In June 1960, he earned his LL.B. from Yale Law School and was admitted to the Illinois Bar upon which he practiced as attorney at law at his own firm for 53 years on the historic Woodstock Square. As an attorney, he received the preeminent AV rating from his peers for the highest level of legal knowledge, ethical standards, and professional excellence. 

Bunker Honored with Young Leader Award

Posted on March 23, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Streator Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry awarded ISBA member Jennifer Bunker with the Outstanding Young Leader award on March 20. The award is given to individuals living and working in the Streator area who have made an impact in their respective industries before the age of 40. 

ISBA Judicial Ratings Available for March 20 Primary Election

Posted on March 7, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Illinois voters are responsible for electing and retaining judges. To assist them in making informed decisions, ISBA provides information about the qualifications of judicial candidates and judges seeking retention. Lawyers who practice alongside candidates and judges are in a unique position to assess the professional qualities that are necessary for good judges. 

In anticipation of the March 20 primary election, judicial evaluations, poll results, candidate biographies, and information about Cook County's 15 subcircuits are now available.