Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
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Meet ISBA's newest Member Marketplace vendor: Ruby Receptionists

Posted on February 3, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Ruby® Receptionists makes stellar impressions and sets your practice apart – at a fraction of the cost of an on-site employee. From their offices in Portland, Oregon, Ruby’s live virtual receptionists handle your calls with care – using your custom greeting, transferring calls to you wherever you are, and answering basic FAQs about your firm. You’ll have the peace of mind that your clients will each be treated warmly and professionally by a smart, highly-trained, cheerful receptionist. Best of all, callers think Ruby works in your office.

Your first 14 days are free, and as a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, you’ll receive free activation and 5% off your monthly service! To get started, call 866-611-7829 or visit

Save the date for "Celebrating Women in the Profession Luncheon" on March 13

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Please save the date for the Illinois State Bar Association's "Celebrating Women in the Profession Luncheon" on Thursday, March 13 at the Union League Club in Chicago.

Special Keynote Speaker: Professor Joan Williams is described by The New York Times as having something approaching rock star statusin her field.

Host committee in formation; Sponsorships available. For more information regarding sponsorships or program details, please contact Kim Weaver at

2 Minutes with the President: Paula H. Holderman interviews James F. McCluskey on CRO expansion

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman speaks with ISBA Secretary James F. McCluskey, Chair of the ISBA Facilities and Technology Committee. They speak about the upcoming expansion of the ISBA's Chicago Regional Office and how ISBA members can reserve meeting space once it is finished.

Wills and Supreme Court Rule 138: a wake-up call

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

The matrimonial bar has been raising concerns about the privacy provisions of newly amended Supreme Court Rule 138 for some time. Central to their criticism is that the rule, though well-intentioned, seems to conflict with key statutory provisions and could put lawyers between a rock and a very hard place.

Turns out it isn't just divorce lawyers who are feeling the squeeze. Northbrook attorney and ISBA member Julie Kolodzieg described a pressure point for estate planners. She noted that 755 ILCS 5/6-1 “says an original Will cannot be altered (alteration is a felony) and also requires the original Will to be filed with the Circuit Court clerk (failure to do so is also a felony)….Therefore we have a statute which requires a Will … to be filed with the court in unredacted form while at the same time having a duty under [Rule 138] to NOT file it unless under impoundment [because it contains personal identity information that must be omitted from the public record].”

Fortunately, Chicago lawyer and former Trusts and Estates Section chair Mary Cascino has some constructive suggestions for lawyers caught in the middle. Read her article in the latest ISBA Trusts and Estates newsletter.

YLD 7th Annual Bean Bag Party and Tournament set for March 8

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Please join us at the 7th Annual Bean Bag Tournament and show your support for the IBF/ YLD Children’s Assistance Fund. Initially created to assist with the opening of children’s waiting rooms in courthouses across the State of Illinois, the IBF/YLD Children’s Assistance Fund has since grown to provide funding to organizations across the State of Illinois that provide legal assistance to children, maintain children’s waiting rooms in courthouses, work to reduce recidivism of juveniles, and/or work to reduce the incidents of domestic violence in families with children. The Children’s Assistance Fund has distributed grants in excess of $285,000 over the past fifteen years, due to the widespread support of our donors and participation in events like the Bean Bag Tournament.

President Holderman attends Indian American Bar Association Installation Ceremony

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman attended the Indian American Bar Association Installation Ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 23. On hand for the installation were (from left) President Holderman, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride, new president of the Indian American Bar Association Tejas Shah, a member of the ISBA New Lawyer Task Force, Aurora N. Abella-Austriaco and speaker 1st District Appellate Justice Jesse Reyes.

Best Practice: Partner compensation - how to share profits with separate silos

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. We are a 9-attorney firm in Orlando, Florida. We have three equity partners and six associates. Currently partners are compensated in accordance with their ownership interest percentages which are 35%, 35%, and 30% respectively for the newest partner. There is growing discontent with this arrangement. We have already evaluated several alternative approaches to compensation and do not believe that they would work for us. Two of the partners share common goals for the firm, have compatible practices and clients, and use almost all of the associate attorney's time and other firm resources. The other partner has a transactional practice (the other two of us are litigators) and operates more as a lone ranger and a separate silo. We are considering creating two profit pies for each of these two silos. I would appreciate your thoughts concerning such an approach.

Appellate filing fees to double

Posted on January 28, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court issued amended Rule 313 on Monday, doubling filing fees in appellate cases. The fee for appellants and petitioners will be $50 and the fee for all other parties will be $30. The rule change takes effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Read the full text at Rule 313.

CLE: Crowd Funding 101 – Live Webcast!

Posted on January 27, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Crowd funding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Join us from the comfort of your home or office for this one-hour live webcast on Thursday, February 13th that examines the various aspects of crowd funding, including the practical and strategic considerations for raising money through crowd funding while maintaining valuable intellectual property rights. Business lawyers, technology attorneys, securities practitioners, and intellectual property counsel – with basic to intermediate practice experience – who attend this online seminar will: learn about the SEC’s recently proposed rules for crowd funding; understand how to identify when SEC and state security laws apply; know who can invest and the limitations on investments; know how to comply with the proposed rules; be able to identify potential pitfalls, including risks to intellectual property rights; and much more!

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Intellectual Property Section and qualifies for 1.0 hour MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Quick takes on Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on January 25, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil case Gillespie Community Unit School District No. 7 v. Wight & Co. and the criminal cases People v. Elliott, People v. Hommerson and People v. McChriston.


Gillespie Community Unit School District No. 7 v. Wight & Co.

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

The Illinois Supreme Court applied a five-year statute of limitations to bar a school district’s lawsuit alleging that an architect’s misrepresentations resulted in the district’s decision to build an elementary school that was condemned less than seven years after it was built. A history of coal mining activity in the Benld/Gillespie area of the state prompted the plaintiff, Gillespie Community Unit School District No. 7, to contract with  defendant, Wight & Company, to perform, among other architectural services, a “site mine investigation” before determining to go forward with the project. Based on the analysis provided regarding the risk of mine “subsidence,” that is, collapse, the school district went ahead at the site selected. Unfortunately, in March, 2009, a coal mine subsided beneath the new building, which was severely damaged.