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Illinois Lawyer Finder makes 699 referrals in October

Posted on November 7, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays.  The Servicemakes referrals in a number of areas of law.  For the month of October 2011, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Nicole L. Villani appointed circuit judge in 2nd Circuit

Posted on November 3, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced Thursday the appointment of Jefferson County State's Attorney Nicole L. Villani as a Circuit Judge in the Second Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Villani was appointed to fill the resident Circuit Court seat which will become vacant upon the December 31, 2011 retirement of Circuit Judge Terry H. Gamber.

The appointment is effective January 1, 2012 and will expire December 3, 2012, when the position will be filled by the winner of the 2012 General Election.

Prior to serving as Jefferson County state's attorney, Ms. Villani, 41, practiced in family law, civil litigation and criminal defense with the Mt. Vernon law firm of Villani and Villani for six years. From 1998-2004, she worked as first assistant state's attorney in Jefferson County. For two years, Ms. Villani served as assistant state's attorney for Franklin County.

Ms. Villani received a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois in 1992. She received her juris doctor degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law in l995.

She was admitted to practice law in Illinois in l995, and has also been admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois and is certified as lead counsel by the Illi-nois Supreme Court to handle death penalty cases.
Ms. Villani is member of the Illinois State and Jefferson County Bar Associations. A member of several local civic organizations, Ms. Villani was appointed board member of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (C.A.S.A) of Jefferson County from 2006-2009.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of Nov. 3

Posted on November 3, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers: Senate Bill 965, House Bill 1604 and House Bill 1589. Information on each bill is available below the video.

ISBA to recognize Class of 2011 Distinguished Counsellors

Posted on November 3, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association will be recognizing members who have been admitted to practice for 50 years at a luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 7. We are pleased to invite you to join President John G. Locallo as the Association recognizes the 2011 Class of Distinguished Counsellors.

The luncheon to recognized the 2011 Class of Distinguished Counsellors will be held at The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago, 909 N. Michigan. There will be a reception at 11:15 a.m. and lunch at noon. Tickets are available at $65 per person and advanced registration is required. To purchase tickets, please complete and return the attached registration form.doc.

If you have any questions, please contact Kim Weaver by e-mail at or by telephone at (800) 252-8908.

Here is the Bar Class of 1961 to be honored as Distinguished Counsellors:

HP offer for ISBA members: Laptop, dock and 2 monitors for $980

Posted on November 3, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

OVERachiever. UNDER budget.

Get the power to perform at a price that makes it possible with this value-priced notebook bundle from HP—specially priced for ISBA members.

Save $2761on the HP ProBook 6565b Notebook PC bundle (LJ491UT-AFL), including:

  • HP ProBook 6565b Notebook PC
  • Two (2) HP LE1901w 19-inch Widescreen LCD Monitors
  • HP 90W Docking Station
  • HP DVI to VGA Converter Kit

Get this productivity bundle for your practice for just $980.1

CALL: 1.888.202.4465 and mention STBAR


1. Pricing is valid through 11/15/2011 while supplies last and is subject to change without notice.

Elderly clients with diminished capacity: the ethical issues

Posted on November 2, 2011 by Mark S. Mathewson

You fear Mrs. Jones has diminished capacity. Can you allow her to make a decision you advise against? Must you? In the November IBJ, Kerry Peck explores this and other issues, like conflict of interest and confidentiality, that arise in serving elderly and other estate-planning clients.

Register now for ISBA, IJA Joint Meeting - hotel registration deadline is Nov. 12

Posted on November 2, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Please join us in Chicago Dec. 8-10 as lawyers and judges from around our great state gather to conduct the business of the bench and bar at the ISBA/IJA Joint Meeting. No matter what role you are seeking, we have a scene for you – from networking to business meetings to CLE programs and social events – there is a part for everyone to play.

We begin Thursday with a show for the newest members of our profession designed to meet the Basic Skills requirement while learning from a faculty of judge and attorney stars. Following the program we invite everyone to join us for the Opening Reception where you can mix and mingle with colleagues and new acquaintances.

Friday we’ll gather with the IBF to present awards to the leaders in our profession and find out which bands will be conducting the score for the Lawyers Rock Legends sequel in 2012.

The rest of the day will be dedicated to outstanding educational programming including the double-feature Joint IJA/ISBA Programs – The Legacy of Myra Bradwell: In the Light of Experience and Revitalizing the Jury Trial, a luncheon presentation, and a Master Series ethics program by the nation’s favorite “Humorist at Law”, Sean Carter, on Divine Ethics: Avoiding the Chasm of Incivility.

Later that evening we’ll throw an after-show party to remember as we salute and honor the Supreme Court of Illinois, featuring Mary Jane Theis, Justice, Supreme Court of Illinois.

Best Practice: Law Firm Partnership - Pros and Cons

Posted on November 2, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a solo owner of a small law firm in Southern Illinois and have been solo for ten years. I have two staff members in the firm. Recently I have been contemplating either bringing in a partner or joining another firm? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

A. Partnership can offer its lawyers a measure of value independent of the skills, talents, and contributions of its individual partners?


The advantages that the best law firms have over sole practitioners or groups of lawyers who share overhead include:

  • Shared skills and expertise
  • Backup or additional help when needed
  • A safety net during economic downturns
  • Shared resources, such as technology, library and research access, forms, and work products
  • Cross-selling and/or referral of work
  • Access to the expertise of lawyers in various disciplines
  • Highly trained associates, legal assistants, and support staff
  • A firm name or reputation that makes marketing easier
  • More-sophisticated and highly skilled management
  • Opportunities for individual lawyers to become highly specialized
  • A system of partner coaching that brings out the best in each partner
  • Emotional support, encouragement, and personal recognition
  • Flexibility that allows lawyers to be more involved in probono, community, and bar activities
  • Continuation of the firm beyond the tenure of the current owners


Don't forget to check out travel and entertainment discounts for ISBA members

Posted on November 1, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The TicketsAtWork Corporate Benefit Program offers Illinois State Bar Association members exclusive travel and entertainment discounts. We have over 500 regional and nationwide offers not available to the general public. Members can save on Walt Disney World tickets, Six Flags, Universal Studios and Cirque du Soleil, along with Broadway and Las Vegas Shows. In Illinois, the discounts range from Blue Man Group in Chicago to LegoLand in Schamburg.