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Illinois Supreme Court announces new Civil Justice Division

Posted on March 3, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the creation of a Civil Justice Division within the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC), charged with supporting the Court’s multi-dimensional initiatives to improve access to justice throughout the state. In addition, Chief Justice Rita B. Garman has named Timothy W. Kelly of Bloomington as the next chairman of the Access to Justice Commission.

In 2012, the Court established an Access to Justice Commission to “promote, facilitate, and enhance equal access to justice with an emphasis on access to the Illinois civil courts and administrative agencies for all people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.”

The Commission, made up of dedicated volunteers, has made great strides in improving access for non-native English speakers and in standardizing various forms and procedures, making them more user-friendly for pro se litigants.

CLE: Litigating, Defending, and Preventing Employment, Housing, and Public Accommodation Discrimination Cases: Practice Updates and Tips Concerning the Illinois Human Rights Act – 2014

Posted on March 3, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Review the latest information in employment, housing, and public accommodation discrimination cases under the Illinois Human Rights Act with this informative presentation in Chicago on March 13th! [The seminar will also broadcast via the Internet as a live webcastfor those unable to attend live in Chicago.]

President Holderman speaks at Lake County Jefferson Inn of Court

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman was the dinner speaker at the Lake County Jefferson Inn of Court meeting in Lake Bluff on February 24, 2014.  Pictured are (from left) Inn President Greg Nikitas, Associate Judge Christy Bishop, President Holderman and Circuit Judge James Booras.

Chief Justice Garman announces screening committee to fill 11th Circuit vacancy

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court announced Friday the formation of a judicial screening committee to help fill a vacancy for the Woodford County resident judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.

The Circuit Court vacancy was created by the announced retirement of Judge John B. Huschen, effective March 31, 2014. Chief Justice Garman announced an application process for the vacancy on January 15. The only applicant is Associate Judge Charles M. Feeney of El Paso.

The committee will examine Judge Feeney's credentials for the Circuit Court position, seek public comment and interview the candidate. It will report its findings to Chief Justice Garman, and the Chief Justice will make a recommendation to the full Supreme Court. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court is the sole appointing authority to fill interim judicial vacancies in the Illinois courts.

The appointee will serve until December 5, 2016, when the position will be filled by the 2016 General Election.

The screening committee consists of seven persons who reside in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. Four of the committee members are non-lawyers and three are lawyers.

The non-lawyer members of the committee are Eureka residents Randy Crump and Matt Smith, El Paso resident Linda Haas and Roanoke resident Robert Knepp.

The lawyer members of the committee are Guy Fraker of Bloomington, Ned Leiken of Minonk and James Stoller of El Paso.

Guy Fraker will serve as chairperson of the committee.

Register by March 4 for YLD Bean Bag Party and Tournament

Posted on February 28, 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. 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.

  • When:  Saturday, March 8, 2014, Noon - 4 p.m.
  • Where: Mahoney's Pub and Grille, 551 N. Ogden, Chicago, IL 
  • What:  Open bar, warm appetizers and an afternoon full of friends and competition!
  • Cost: $35.00 per person/per wristband or $100.00 per two-member team (team fee includes two wristbands and entry in the Bean Bag Tournament). You must be 21 or older to participate. 

Championship team will receive $350 and runner up will walk away with $150!

Register now! 

All teams must be registered by Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Wristbands can also be purchased online through March 4, or purchased at the door the day of the event. No refunds will be given after March 4.

Questions? Email Marron Mahoney, marron.mahoney@gmail.com or Tony Bruno, lawyerbruno@gmail.com

CLE: Criminal Dispositions without a Conviction! – LIVE Webcast

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Learn how to obtain a disposition for your client that won’t result in a criminal conviction! Join us via from the comfort of your home or office on Tuesday, March 4th for this one-hour live webcast that discusses many of the statewide laws that allow for dispositions without convictions, including court supervision, first-offender probation in drug cases, TASC drug probation, and more! Criminal law attorneys and general practitioners who occasionally handle criminal law cases – with basic to intermediate practice experience – who attend this live webcast will better understand: the local county programs that provide for no convictions, including theft school, traffic school, and drug court; how court supervision, first offender drug probations and the Second Change Program allow defendants to receive a disposition that does not consist of a conviction; and how specialty courts (such as mental health court) can assist in the defendant receiving a disposition without a conviction.

The program is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Corrections & Sentencing and qualifies for 1.0 hour MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Best Practice: Getting law firm partners to embrace technology

Posted on February 27, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of an 8-attorney general practice firm located in Charleston, South Carolina. We have done a pretty good job of investing in technology. I am having problems getting our older partners to personally use the technology and this has resulted is our attorney staff ratios and resulting overhead to be higher than it should be. They seem to think that doing their own work is beneath them and want to have their own personal assistants. I would appreciate any thoughts that you have on the matter.

2 Minutes with the President: Paula H. Holderman interviews Julie Bauer on issues facing new lawyers

Posted on February 27, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman interviews Winston & Strawn partner and 7th Circuit Bar Association President Julie Bauer. They discuss what hiring partners look for when interviewing for associate positions, the changes new lawyers face and the importance of being involved in bar associations.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of February 27, 2014

Posted on February 27, 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 Court-services fee (House Bill 5453), Mechanics Lien Act (Senate Bill 3023), IMDMA (House Bill 5991), Mortgage Foreclosure (Senate Bill 3104) and Health Care Power of Attorney (Senate Bill 3228). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Reformers: Illinois trace law unfairly punishes drug users who are not DUI

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

The ISBA and other groups are championing legislation to eliminate harsh penalties for drivers who had traces of illegal drugs in their system but were not driving while impaired. Find out more in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

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