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Central Illinois

Membership Mondays

Posted on July 20, 2009 by Chris Bonjean

Ethics help is just a phone call or click away

Illinois State Bar Association members can review our online database of ethics opinions, searchable by subject or opinion number, or get personal guidance from a qualified ISBA attorney by calling the Ethics InfoLine (800) 252-8908. Click here to review the ISBA's online database of ethics opinions.

Lincoln Courtroom Museum: Home of the famous Duff Armstrong "Almanac Trial"

Posted on July 17, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
The Lincoln Courtroom Museum
The Lincoln Courtroom Museum in Beardstown
Illinois Lawyer Now recently toured the Lincoln Courtroom Museum in Beardstown, the only circuit courtroom still in use that Abraham Lincoln practiced in and the site of the famous Duff Armstrong "Almanac Trial" in 1858. The Armstrong "Almanac Trial" as history tells it: James Preston Metzker was savagely beaten at about 11 p.m. on Aug. 29, 1857, just outside a Methodist camp meeting near Walker's Grove in Madison County. William Duff Armstrong and James Norris were charged with Metzker's murder. Armstrong was the son of Jack and Hannah Armstrong, Lincoln's dearest friends from his days in New Salem. When Hannah asked Lincoln to defend her son, he could only agree -- and represented the young man without a fee. The trial took place in 1858. The weather was warm and it appeared the cards were stacked against Lincoln's client. After all, Norris had been found guilty the previous year. The state's star witness was Charles Allen, who claimed to have witnessed the murder by the light of the moon. Allen responded to Lincoln's questions by saying the moon was nearly full and high in the sky at 11 p.m. the night of the attack. He insisted the trees to the west of the attack site did not block the moon's light.

Young Lawyers Division to hold 5th Annual Golf Classic

Posted on July 16, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
yld_golfouting_logo The Illinois State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division will hold its 5th Annual Golf Classic on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at the Odyssey Golf Club in Tinley Park. This event will benefit the Illinois Bar Foundation YLD's Children's Assistance Fund. Schedule:
  • Registration: 10:30 a.m.
  • PMCLE program: 11 a.m.
  • Shotgun start: 12:30 p.m.
  • Cocktails, dinner, silent auction: 4 p.m.
Sponsorship opportunities are available. Click here for more information Click here to register

Book review: "Moe Levine on Advocacy"

Posted on July 16, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
By Rodney R. Nordstrom Consisting of Moe Levine's most memorable lectures and summations, a  new book, Moe Levine on Advocacy, offers everything the reader expects.  Don Keenan does an excellent job in the forward to motivate the reader to read more of the book. Specifically, Keenan divides Levine's (1908 -1974) trial advocacy skills into five main points: mastery of the understatement, appeal to each audience's uniqueness, appeal to jurors' spirituality, elevation of jury's consciousness of the community and challenging jurors to make the "right" decision. These five cardinal points summarize Levine's smooth approach to effective summation.

Expungements: don't dawdle

Posted on July 15, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
Judging by the traffic on ISBA's criminal-law listserver, few topics are more important to day-to-day criminal defense practice than expungements. And on that topic, Coles County lawyer Jeremy J. Richey has some advice for his peers -- don't put them off. In a recent post to his excellent East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, he says this: "Since expungement is a slow process, a person should seek expungement the first day he is eligible for it and not when he needs it later down the road." Read the whole thing. And if you're an ISBA member, sign up for the criminal-DUI-traffic listserver and other e-mail discussion groups here.

Peoria County Bar Association to hold Annual Golf Outing on Aug. 13

Posted on July 15, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
The Peoria County Bar Association will hold its 2009 Golf Outing on Aug. 13 at the WeaverRidge Golf Club, 5100 N. Weaverridge Blvd., Peoria. Registraion begins at 11 a.m. Prices: Golf only, $85; Dinner only, $35; Golf and dinner, $115 Reservation deadline is Aug. 7. Contact the PCBA at (309) 674-6049 for more information.