Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
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Civics Education Task Force to hold hearings around state

Posted on September 18, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Lawyers and judges are needed to support civics engagement in our schools by attending one of the hearings offered by the Illinois Task Force in Civic Education Report.

The Task Force recommends that Illinois require a high school course in civic, that civics education include the skills of citizen involvement, and that teachers be better prepared to teach civics.

The hearings schedule, is as follows with times tentatively set at 4-6 p.m. in each location:

Solo & Small Firm Practice Institute kicks off Friday in Fairview Heights

Posted on September 18, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Best Practices for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners – Fall 2014 will be held on Friday, September 19, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. at Four Points Sheraton, 319 Fountains Parkway, in Fairview Heights. Online registration for this event has closed. Walk-in registration will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Considered the premier event in Illinois dedicated to meeting the needs of solo and small firm lawyers, this full-day seminar offers attendees numerous educational sessions, networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall that showcases services and products to help solo and small firm lawyers expand their careers and improve the efficiency of their law practices.

Rohm appointed associate judge in DuPage County

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Circuit Judge John T. Elsner is pleased to announce that following a tabulation of ballots by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts in Springfield, the Circuit Judge of the 18th Judicial Court, DuPage County, have appointed Robert W. Rohm to the position of associate judge.

Mr. Rohm fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Judge Thomas C. Dudgeon.

ISBA receives 2 Awards for CLE Programs

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Pamela J. KuzniarWendy H. VaughnThe Illinois State Bar Association received two of only 20 awards given annually from the International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) at the organization’s annual meeting in Boston.

An Award for Outstanding Achievement was granted for the ISBA’s CLE course, Child Custody Litigation: Techniques for Trying a Custody Case From Rehearsal to Closing Including a Child Custody Trial, in the Best Program category. The program was sponsored by the ISBA Family Law Section and coordinated by the 2013-14 section chair and CLE coordinator Pamela J. Kuzniar of Chicago.

An Award for Outstanding Achievement was given for the CLE course, Family and Consumer Law Pro Bono Bootcamp, in the Public Interest category. Sponsored by the ISBA Delivery of Legal Services Committee and coordinated by Wendy H. Vaughn of Rockford, the course grew out of a need to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services and increase access to justice during harsh economic times when many families struggle simply to survive.

ACLEA members are professionals in the fields of continuing legal education and legal publishing.  Its annual ACLEA’s Best Awards are highly competitive and winning projects represent the highest level of achievement for the staff and volunteers involved.

Best Practice: Law Firm Staffing & Growth Models - Mergers & Branching

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Three weeks ago I was asked by the managing partner of a 16 attorney insurance defense firm about staffing and growth models for an insurance defense firm and I listed the following models and discussed the first model - grow your own associate staffing. Over the past two weeks in other posts I have discussed models 2-5.

Attorney staffing/growth models include:

ISBA Task Force on Law School Curriculum hearings continue this week in Carbondale, Fairview Heights

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association's Task Force on the Impact of Law School Curriculum and Debt on the Future of the Profession will hold seven open hearings throughout the state. The Task Force was established by President Richard D. Felice and is chaired by Hon. Ann Jorgensen, Justice of the Second District Appellate Court. ISBA members are encouraged to attend these hearings to discuss the core skill sets that new lawyers should have and how law schools can graduate more “practice ready” lawyers.

CLE: Persons with Disabilities vs. Local Zoning: Can Both Win? – Live Webcast

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Zoning ordinances are often written with a one-size-fits-all intent. For example, definitions of "one family residential" may not be applicable to group homes designed for disabled persons, and building codes may conflict with the necessary accommodations for disabled persons. Join us via the Internet on Wednesday, September 24 for this one-hour seminar that explores local zoning issues and how it affects disabled persons, as well as the issues a local government practitioner should be aware of regarding the potential problems that could result in liability for attorney's fees incurred by persons seeking to protect the rights of disabled individuals.

The seminar qualifies for 1.0 hour MCLE credit and is presented by the ISBA Local Government Law Section and co-sponsored by the ISBA Elder Law Section and the ISBA Standing Committee on Mental Health Law.

Click here for more information and to register.

IBF to honor Birnbaum with Distinguished Award for Excellence at 16th Annual Gala

Posted on September 15, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Peter J. BirnbaumThe Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF) will present its Distinguished Award for Excellence to Peter J. Birnbaum, president and CEO of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. on Oct. 17 at the 16th Annual Gala.

The 2014 Gala will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel, Chicago. The event is co-chaired by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke, Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton, and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. IBF board co-chairs are Deane B. Brown, Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP, and Shawn S. Kasserman, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, LLC.

The award, selected by the Illinois Bar Foundation’s board of directors, celebrates one attorney each year for making a major contribution to law and society. Past winners include Mayor Richard M. Daley, Scott Turow, Mary A. Dempsey, Jerold S. Solovy, Joseph A. Power, Jr., Bernard M. Judge, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Burke, and Newton N. Minow. IBF is the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association,

Illinois Supreme Court disbars 9 lawyers, suspends 21 in latest disciplinary filing

Posted on September 15, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on Sept. 12, 2014, during the September Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Paul M. Daugerdas, Wilmette

Mr. Daugerdas, who was licensed in 1974, was disbarred on consent after he was found guilty of federal charges of tax evasion, mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstructing tax laws. He was sentenced to a 15-year term of imprisonment.

  • Norton Helton, Chicago

Mr. Helton, who was licensed in 1993, was disbarred on consent. He was convicted of bankruptcy and wire fraud in federal court and was sentenced to a prison term of 180 months and ordered to make $3,277,475 in restitution. He participated in a scheme to obtain money from homeowners facing foreclosure by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and material omissions.

  • Clarence Contee Jones, Jr., Tacoma, Wash.

Mr. Jones was licensed in Illinois in 1994 and in Washington in 1997. He was disbarred in Washington for sexually exploiting office staff over whom he had supervisory authority. He also entered guilty pleas to four misdemeanor counts of assault in the fourth degree with sexual motivation. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.