Member Groups

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

November 2000, vol. 2, no. 1

From the chair

This edition of the newsletter of the Standing Committee on Government Lawyers reflects the Committee's efforts to provide a newsletter that is timely, informative, and most important, germane to the legal and social issues facing government lawyers in the organized bar. Many of you provided comments and suggestions in response to the questionnaire that appeared in the first issue of our newsletter. We value that input and we are attempting to respond to the many issues that were raised. Among the early comments were a number of questions regarding the composition of the Committee on Government Lawyers. As a way of introducing you to your representatives in the Illinois State Bar Association, the "Someone you should know: profiles in government" column in this issue of the newsletter contains brief biographical sketches of the members of the committee.

In addition to organizational inquiries, a number of your comments indicated an interest in those issues unique to the government lawyer. One topic infrequently addressed by the organized bar is the issue of ethics for the government attorney. Thus, we have adopted governmental ethics as the theme for this edition of the newsletter. We have included summaries of Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission decisions and of Attorney General opinions, as well as Web site links, which are instructive in the area of governmental ethics. Moreover, the newsletter editor anticipates regularly including an article highlighting recent developments in governmental ethics in future editions of the newsletter. This issue, Judge Nancy J. Katz has provided us with an excellent "Ethics corner" column that focuses on government practice.

Lastly, a number of you took issue with the ISBA's current dues structure. Specifically, many respondents inquired regarding the possibility of a dues reduction for government lawyers. Your comments regarding the current dues structure have been submitted to the pertinent committees and personnel within the ISBA for review. Regardless of the ultimate resolution of the dues issue, the members of the committee believe that both the ISBA and the committee itself must provide a return of value to the government lawyer for those dues tendered. In this regard, the Programs and Activities Subcommittee is developing a continuing legal education program for presentation in 2001. We are also exploring a number of other projects that we believe will both peek and further the interest of the government bar. Because this is a new committee, we have no preconceived ideas with respect to those issues that we should pursue. Therefore, I urge you to contact me or any of the members of the committee with any suggestions or comments you may have for potential projects or pursuits for the committee or with ideas for services or benefits you would like to see the ISBA provide to government lawyers.