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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.

Ethics Question of the Week: What to do when client hires new lawyer

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q.  My client recently informed me that he is hiring a different attorney. Do I have an obligation to return my files to him?

A.  Rule 1.16(d), concerning “Declining or Terminating Representation,” states that a lawyer must take reasonable steps to avoid any unforeseeable prejudice to a client. This includes delivering to the client all papers and property to which the client is entitled.  In addition, ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinions 94-13 and 94-14 discuss what papers a client is entitled to and who pays the expense for copies of files.  Comment [9] to Rule 1.15 provides that “the lawyer may retain papers as security for a fee only to the extent permitted by law.”  The applicability and effectiveness of Illinois’ common law retaining lien is discussed in In re Liquidation of Mile Square Health Plan of Illinois, 218 Ill.App.3d 674, 578 N.E.2d 1075 (1st Dist. 1991). 

ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions at

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon to play Lawyers Rock Legends

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon will make a guest appearance at the IBF’s Lawyers Rock Legends on Thursday, February 27, 2014. Lt. Gov. Simon will perform with the 5-thirty band; which consists of lawyers John Locallo, Carlos Vera, and Thomas Battista among other talented musicians. Lawyers Rock Legends is the IBF’s second largest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds from this event go towards helping lawyers in need and ensuring access to justice. Tickets for the event are still available. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Learn more and register at or by calling the Illinois Bar Foundation at 312.726.6072.

Proceeds from this event benefit the charitable programs of the IBF.

Quick takes on Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions

Posted on February 21, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Bartlow v. Costigan and Evanston Insurance Company v. Riseborough and the criminal cases People v. Cregan and People v. Tousignant.


Bartlow v. Costigan

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan, Ottawa

The Employee Classification Act (820 ILCS 185/1) was enacted to “address the practice of misclassifying employees as independent contractors” in the construction industry.  The Act broadly defines “performing services” for a construction contractor, and then states that an individual performing such services is “deemed to be an employee of the employer.” 

The ratings game

Posted on February 21, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

Sites like Avvo that rate lawyers and encourage consumer reviews are evoking reaction positive and negative in the legal community. And they raise ethical challenges, some familiar and some new to the medium. Read all about it in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

Registration now open for "Celebration of Women in the Profession" luncheon

Posted on February 21, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Joan C. Williams, a law professor and prolific author on work and family issues, will be the keynote speaker at a “Celebration of Women in the Profession” luncheon hosted by the Illinois State Bar Association on Thursday, March 13, at the Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson, Chicago.