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Young Lawyers to host golf outing on Aug. 3

Posted on July 5, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
The Illinois State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division will host a golf outing on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont. This event will benefit the IBF/YLD Children’s Assistance Fund. The $150 ticket includes golf, cart, concession stand ticket, cocktails, dinner and CLE program. Tickets to attend just the evening dinner are $50 each. Many sponsorship opportunities are available, contact Janet Sosin at for more information. Golf Outing Schedule:
  • 11:00 a.m. - Noon: Ethics CLE Program presented by Mary Andreoni, ARDC. Approval pending for one hour PMCLE credit. Cost of program is included in the golfer fee.
  • 1:00 p.m.: Shotgun Start
  • 6:00 p.m.: Cocktails, Dinner
IBF/ YLD Children’s Assistance Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable entity

Join John Locallo on his President's trip to South America

Posted on July 2, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
ISBA President John G. Locallo is excited to personally invite you, a guest, your family and friends to join him in South America for the Annual ISBA President’s trip May 5-12, 2012. Guests will spend a week in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The trip will be extra special as President Locallo has intentionally left plenty of time for you to explore the two cities on your own or with his sister and brother-in-law -- who lived there. He has also arranged a local expert to be on hand in both cities to help you thoroughly enjoy your time. The hotels are centrally located to maximize walking and President Locallo has a special event planned in each city to show off the local culture and cuisine. There will also be a full-time escort from Carrousel Meetings & Incentives to help with anything you need while in South America. For more information and to register please visit the ISBA Argentina/Brazil President’s Trip website at If you have any questions, please call (800-800-6508) or email either Lucy Hicks or Vanessa Addison at Carrousel Meetings & Incentives.

Illinois Supreme Court amends lawyer trust account guidelines

Posted on July 1, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
The Supreme Court of Illinois has announced amendments to existing lawyer trust account guidelines. The new amendments to Rule 1.15 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct help clarify the obligations that all lawyers have to manage and protect client funds. Click here to view a copy of the recent rule changes. A lawyer has always been required to hold the money or property of clients or third persons that come into a lawyer’s possession separate from the lawyer’s own property. This is because a lawyer is a professional fiduciary who must safeguard client funds. Beginning September 1, 2011, new trust account rules provide for three essential changes from current practice. The changes serve to benefit both the public and the profession. First, lawyers will have to continue to segregate client funds, but the rule clarifies that they will have only two banking options as to where they hold client money. Beginning September 1st, client funds can only be deposited into either:
  • An IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Account) account. An IOLTA account is a pooled interest or dividend-bearing client trust account established with an eligible financial institution used for the deposit of nominal or short term client funds. The interest on an IOLTA account is paid to the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois (LTF). LTF is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization that uses the interest generated by IOLTA accounts to make charitable contributions to not-for-profit agencies that provide legal aid to the poor; or
  • A separate, interest-bearing non-IOLTA client trust account established to hold the funds of a specific client or third person with that specific client designated as the income beneficiary.

Illinois Law programs review health care reform (July 2011)

Posted on July 1, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Health Care Reform And You Health Care Reform - Consumer Challenges

Quick take on today's Illinois Supreme Court opinion In re Jonathan C.B.

Posted on June 30, 2011 by Chris Bonjean


In re Jonathan C.B.

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender In  August  2006,  the  minor was charged with attempt robbery and criminal sexual  assault  by  use  of force. In the Supreme Court, the minor argued that he was not proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt, that he was denied due process when he was shackled during his trial without an individualized determination of necessity under People v. Boose, 66 Ill. 2d 261 (1977), and  that  Section  5-101(3) of the Juvenile Court Act was unconstitutional because  juveniles charged with sexual offenses have a constitutional right to a jury trial. In  a  69-page opinion, the Court unanimously rejected the reasonable doubt claim  in  light  of the standard of review requiring the court to take the evidence  in  the  light  most  favorable  to  the  prosecution and to give deference to the findings of the trier of fact, here, the trial judge. The  Court  split  4-3 on the shackling claim, with the majority concluding that it was forfeited and that the record did not support the minor’s claim of  error.

A lawyer's view on the 2nd Blagojevich trial

Posted on June 30, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
By Robert A. Loeb The Blago nightmare is almost over. The federal jury returned a verdict of guilty on 17 of 20 counts against the former governor. Regardless of one’s personal opinion of his criminal culpability, and for that matter, regardless of the jury’s verdict -- he’s been a national embarrassment. Let’s not rehash the coverage in the news media here. We’ve already been inundated with that, and it was three whole news cycles ago. And even though he invoked Elvis once again as he waited for the verdict (“my hands are shaking and my knees are weak”), I’ll try hard to refrain from further cheap Elvis references at his expense. Even though other song titles from Elvis include “That’s what you get for lovin’me,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Please release me.” Rather, let’s take a look at the case and the verdict from a lawyer’s perspective. The media is asking, “how was the second trial different from the first, and did that difference help produce a different result?”  I’m not so sure they were very different. Sure, the difference between a hung jury and a conviction is great, but is the difference between an 11-1 vote and and a 12-0 vote so significant when evaluating trial tactics?  It has been reported that the government streamlined the case against Blagojevich, eliminating some counts and some evidence in an attempt to make the case clearer to the jury. Both juries seem to have been thorough and meticulous, but it still took this jury two weeks to deliberate, and an indictment with 20 remaining counts is not exactly simplified. I’m suggesting that the government did not really need to alter its case after the first trial. From the defense point of view, the fact that different lawyers represented Blagojevich in the second trial may have lessened the entertainment value, but the cross-examinations of witnesses parroted the successful moments from the first trial.

Locallo's mission: practice-oriented technology for ISBA lawyers

Posted on June 29, 2011 by Mark S. Mathewson
John Locallo wants the ISBA to help lawyers use technology to do what they do best: counsel clients and practice law. "There's so much new stuff out there, and lawyers are aware of it but aren't sure whether it's a good thing or a bad thing." Find out what he has in mind, and read about important new Illinois Supreme Court cases, Illinois' new official case-citation scheme, and much more in the July Illinois Bar Journal.

Legal writing classic

Posted on June 29, 2011 by James R. Covington
I had a doctor's appointment this morning and brought along an old friend for companionship, Plain English for Lawyers (5th ed. 2005) by Richard C. Wydick. It's about 104 pages of advice that is as helpful today as the first time I read it. I would analogize it as the Strunk and White for lawyers. It's now on my list to re-read once a year. I had forgotten how good this book was.

John Marshall breaks ground on State Street expansion

Posted on June 29, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
John Marshall Law School's expansion will feature a new entrance at 304 S. State.
The John Marshall Law School has kicked off construction on the first phase of its campus expansion - at 304 South State as the school begins the renovation process that will eventually open its doors to State Street with a new entrance. The first phase of the $10 million expansion will include a new entrance, student commons, book store, and food services.  Architects for the project are Griskelis Young & Harrell and the general contactor is Bulley & Andrews. John Marshall will expand its space by 50,000 square feet between the 304-08 South State building* and a newly-acquired property adjacent to the law school at 19 W. Jackson. The law school is currently housed in 255,000 square feet of space between its main campus at 315 S. Plymouth Court, the upper level floors at 304 S. State, its Fair Housing Clinic space at 55 W. Jackson, and nine floors at 321 S. Plymouth, which also houses the Chicago Bar Association. “The new face of the law school on State Street is emblematic of the many good things we are doing here at John Marshall, and I believe it will convey in part the feeling of pride we have in both our law school and our graduates,” said John Corkery, Dean of The John Marshall Law School.  “This enhanced space will help us accommodate the needs of current and future students, and reaffirm our commitment to our growing student body, our faculty, alums, and the Chicago legal community.”

Best Practice: Model for sustaining a law practice: Managing the S-Curve

Posted on June 29, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC Q. In a recent firm meeting the question was raised as to whether law firms hit a wall when they run up against new competitors, new technologies, new business models, or when their talent peaks. Is there a general model of sustaining a law firm? A. The mechanics of managing a law firm are too complex to address in this forum. It would be better to discuss what to tell you what to look for that tells you, well in advance of a fee revenue plateau, that your practice needs some work. Once you know where your practice is getting wobbly, then you will have a clearer idea of how to fix the mechanics. We tell our clients that often a law firm is on an  "S-Curve" in which slow and steady growth often occurs at the start of the law practice, followed by gaining momentum and rapid growth, then tapering off as practice areas get saturated or competitors enter the practice areas in which the firm is engaged. Watch these components for advance warning: 1. Competition - any practice area attractive to you will also attract other law firms, so monitor new entrants starting to chip away at your clients. 2. Capabilities - you created or bought some new technology, skills or other assets to start your firm/growth, but the distinctiveness of these eventually wears off and they are likely to be available to competitors once their value is clear. 3. Talent - you had it when you started your firm, but attorneys and staff have become "free agents" and increasingly move between law firms more frequently and you may lose a key asset. There may be other components unique to your practice and market.