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IBF names first recipients of Post Graduate Legal Fellowship Program

Posted on July 11, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Alexis SimmonsJuan MejiaEmily VaughanThe Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, has awarded its inaugural Post Graduate Legal Fellowship Program grants to three 2014 law school graduates.

Post graduate legal fellowships were awarded this summer to Alexis Simmons, Northern Illinois University College of Law; Juan Mejia, University of Illinois College of Law; and Emily Vaughan, Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The fellowships will provide clinical support for three law school legal clinics.

The foundation launched its Post Graduate Legal Fellowship Program to fund public interest jobs for recent law graduates, according to James Lestikow, IBF president. The foundation will award $25,000 to each of the three fellowships. The law schools will each contribute a stipend to help fund the positions.

“There is a growing need for more public interest lawyers to serve the underrepresented members of our community,” said David M. Anderson, IBF executive director. “The fellowship program was created to provide on-the-job training for new lawyers while simultaneously helping to fill the gap in legal aid services. We are extremely pleased to partner with these three top law schools on this inaugural fellowship program.”

Illinois Judges Foundation to host Summer Reception

Posted on July 11, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Judges Foundation with host a Summer Reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29 at Philip H. Corboy Hall, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago. Special guests include Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita Garman, Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Ruben Castillo and Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans.

Tickets are $100 a person and may be purchased at or by calling Christine Athanasoulis at (708) 705-4355. Questions my be directed to Kevin Fagan at or Christine Athanasoulis at (708) 705-4355.

Proceeds from this event will support the charitable and educational programs of the Illinois Judges Association, the Harold Sullivan Scholarship and other charitable initiatives.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of July 10, 2014

Posted on July 10, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers the rewrite of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (House Bill 1452). More information on the bill is available below the video.

House Bill 1452, rewrite of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. (

Modification.  The general rule is that a motion to modify an order allocating parental responsibilities may not be made within two years of the order’s entry. There are three exceptions to this general rule.

(1) A court is required to modify a parenting plan or allocation judgment if necessary to serve the child’s best interests if the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence that:

Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis announces 2 Cook County judicial vacancies

Posted on July 10, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis announced on Thursday an application process for vacancies in the Fourth and Seventh Judicial Subcircuits of Cook County.

The Fourth Judicial Subcircuit vacancy was created by the retirement of Judge William J. Kunkle on July 2. Judge Kunkle had been a Circuit judge in Cook County since 2004.

The Seventh Judicial Subcircuit vacancy was created by the death of Judge Anthony L. Burrell on May 14. Judge Burrell had been a Circuit judge in Cook County since 2002.

ISBA announces new Member Directory

Posted on July 10, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Need to refer a potential client to someone? Can't remember the name of a member you met at an ISBA event? Want other members to be able to find you?

Use the new online Member Directory to find other members (and let other members find you.) Search by first/last name, city, county, zip, ISBA section membership, District, Circuit, practice area, and languages spoken. You can also add members to your contact list.

Discourage juror tweets through admonishment, not punishment

Posted on July 9, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

In some high profile cases nationwide, jurors have used social media while they're impaneled and been punished by the court. In other cases, judges have resorted to draconian measures to prevent the practice from happening in the first place.

But a recent study by two Chicago judges and an associate at a large Chicago law firm suggests that such punitive measures are unnecessary. Of the nearly 600 jurors they surveyed, most said they were not tempted to use social media. And those few who were tempted said they understood and respected the judge's instructions not to communicate about the case by any means.

The study, spearheaded by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve, who sits in the Northern District of Illinois, was conducted over three years by surveying jurors who heard civil and criminal cases in St. Eve's courtroom and those who heard criminal cases in the Chicago criminal courthouse before Cook County Circuit Judge Charles P. Burns, another study co-author. Michael A. Zuckerman, formerly a clerk for St. Eve and now an associate at Jones Day in Chicago, also participated in drafting the study's findings. Find out more in the July Illinois Bar Journal.

Ethics Question of the Week: Does client confidentiality continue after I leave firm?

Posted on July 9, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q. Do my duties of confidentiality to former clients continue even after I leave my firm?

A. Comment 7 to IRPC 1.9 states that a lawyer changing professional association has a continuing duty to preserve confidentiality of information about a client formerly represented. However, this duty may not preclude a lawyer from using generally known information about that client. (IRPC 1.9, comment [8]). Comment [9] to the rule also allows for the provisions of 1.9 to be waived if the client gives informed consent. For a full understanding, please see IRPC 1.9.

ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.

DisclaimerThese questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline.  The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed.  The information provided isn’t legal advice.  Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.

Best Practice: Client origination expectations for associate on partnership track

Posted on July 9, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the sole owner of a four attorney general practice firm in Rockford, Illinois. I am 58 and realize that in the next few years I will need to begin implementing a succession and exit strategy by probably bringing in a partner. Two of the associates have no interest in partnership. However, the newest associate hired, who had his own practice for several years, does have such an interest. He is off to a good start as far as his production. However, I believe that he must be able to originate and bring in client business as well. So far his energy and focus has been totally on performing legal work. I want to get him started on the right track in order that I can make him a partner in a few years. Please provide any thoughts that you may have.

Applications being accepted for U.S. magistrate judge position in Central Illinois

Posted on July 8, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of a full-time United States magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. The official location for the position will be Urbana, Illinois. Full-time magistrate judges are appointed to eight-year terms of office by the judges of each respective United States district court. The current annual salary of the position is $183,172.00.

New leadership team appointed for Cook County’s Pretrial Services Division

Posted on July 8, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

As the next step in his efforts to give increased focus and resources to pretrial services operations, Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans today announced that he has appointed an assistant chief and two deputy chiefs to lead the Pretrial Services Division of the Adult Probation Department.

The three individuals selected by Chief Judge Evans, their titles and responsibilities are as follows:

  • Juan Hinojosa, Assistant Chief to oversee the entire Pretrial Services Division;
  • Connie Williams, Deputy Chief for Chicago pretrial services operations in Central Bond Court; and
  • Michael Callahan, Deputy Chief for suburban pretrial services operations in Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Maywood, Bridgeview and Markham.