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The wedding is off -- who's on the hook for expenses?

Posted on July 6, 2011 by Mark S. Mathewson
It's a question that will come up more and more often. "In 2009, the average cost of a wedding was in excess of $30,000," writes Kelley Manzano in the latest ISBA Family Law newsletter. The average. When it comes to planning expenses alone, we're not talking chump change. Kelley reminds us that plaintiffs in two pending Cook County Circuit Court cases are seeking damages in the tens of thousands for costs associated with broken engagements. She looks at the case law, the Breach of Promise Act, and some interesting theories of recovery in her fascinating article.

Register now for 7th Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference

Posted on July 6, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Solo Small Firm Conference

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
You may be a Solo or Small Firm lawyer, but you are NOT alone. The Illinois State Bar Association will present the 7th Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference from Oct. 27-29 at the Springfield Hilton. Last chance to catch the Conference in Springfield before it moves to a new location! Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride will be the featured plenary speaker. Register by August 25 for the Early Bird discount! Earn up to 12 hours of MCLE credit, including all 6 hours of PMCLE credit. “Get Connected” to your peers, the latest in technology, and current practice updates at this year’s Conference. Learn how to:

  • Avoid the biggest business mistakes lawyers make
  • Market your practice on a tight budget
  • Properly manage non-lawyer assistants
  • Use social networking and understand the related ethical issues
  • Prepare for technology backup and disaster recovery

Belt and suspenders

Posted on July 6, 2011 by James R. Covington
Do you use three words when one would do in legal drafting? Do you draft ordered, adjudged, and decreed instead of just ordered? When you order black coffee, do you order it  black, utterly black, without cream, without sugar? (This is Garry Trudeau's cartoon parody of author David Halberstam's writing style.) You may consider deleting what Professor Joseph Kimble refers to as doublets and triplets. Do the extra words add anything? If not, use the most accurate term and delete the rest.

Best Practice: Effectiveness of business cards for lawyers

Posted on July 6, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I rarely use my business card anymore. Is there any value for a lawyer to have one?

Lyons appointed as circuit judge in 10th Circuit

Posted on July 5, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Kevin W. Lyons
The Illinois Supreme Court announced Tuesday that Kevin W. Lyons, longtime state’s attorney for Peoria County, has been appointed a Circuit Court judge to fill a judicial vacancy in the 10th Judicial Circuit. Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride recommended Mr. Lyons to the Supreme Court after an extensive application and evaluation process. The Peoria resident Circuit Court vacancy was created by the 2010 retirement of Judge Richard Grawey and is temporarily being filled by Judge Glenn Collier who left retirement to fill the position.

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