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The Public Servant
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Government Lawyers

April 2000, vol. 1, no. 1

News you can use

A Christmas Spirits present

The Chicago Bar Association's Christmas Spirit's production last December, entitled Virtual Legality, offered special rate tickets for government lawyers. Instead of $50, government attorneys paid $35, a 30% discount! The show, in its 76th year, brought the house down with political, legal and celebrity humor set to song. Don't miss this year's show, 2001: A Case Odyssey, running the week of December 5-10, 2000.

ALJs under scrutiny

Those who are interested in federal employment as an administrative law judge are going to have to wait. As you may know, last April 1999 the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued an initial decision in the class-action suit Azdell and Fishman v. Office of Personnel Management (DC-300A-97-0368-I-1 and DC-300A-97-0369-I-1).

This case challenged the OPM's 1996 adoption of a new scoring formula for its ALJ examination. The initial decision determined that the new formula overcompensated applicants entitled to veterans' preference. The decision may be accessed at under "What's New at MSPB." As a result of this decision, all activities related to the ALJ examination are suspended pending further notice.

Task Force of Professional Practice in Illinois Justice Systems

In Public Act 91-0577, the Illinois Legislature created an "independent non-partisan Task Force on Professional Practice in the Illinois Justice Systems" to insure a state justice "system that is staffed by attorneys prepared to render competent representation." The Task Force has embarked on its mission to study appropriate levels of caseloads, adequate salary structures, technological needs and other issues affecting the recruitment and retention of attorneys in Illinois' Criminal Justice System. Its findings and recommendations must be reported to the Governor, the General Assembly and the Illinois Supreme Court no later than May 14, 2000.