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Bartylak and McAndrews award nominations due March 7

Posted on February 20, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services (DLS) is seeking nominations for the ISBA Joseph R. Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award which honors the extraordinary commitment and dedication of a civil legal services attorney who has provided the highest caliber of compassionate legal representation and outstanding service to Illinois’ vulnerable and low-income population.

For more information on this award and how to nominate an individual, please visit the Joseph R. Bartylak homepage:


The Illinois State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on DLS is also seeking nominations for the ISBA John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award honoring the extraordinary commitment of individuals, bar associations, or law firm/corporate legal departments to providing free legal services to the income eligible in Illinois or expanding the availability of legal services to the income eligible in Illinois.

For more information, please visit the John C. McAndrews homepage:

All nominations must be received by Friday, March 7, 2014 for consideration.

Ethics Question of the Week: Advertising new law firm address

Posted on February 19, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q. I want to send an email announcement of my new office address to all the businesses in my community. Do I need to include the words “Advertising Material” on the email?

A. Rule 7.3, governing “Direct Contact with Prospective Clients,” includes a requirement to include the words “Advertising Material” on envelopes or recorded or electronic communications soliciting professional employment from a prospective client known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter. Comment [7] to that Rule provides that “General announcements by lawyers, including changes in personnel or office location, do not constitute communications soliciting professional employment from a client known to be in need of legal services within the meaning of this Rule.” See also ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion 12-04.

ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions at

Best Practice: Would a merger help our firm?

Posted on February 19, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. We are a 16-attorney insurance defense firm in Central Illinois. We have 8 partners and 8 associates. We are in second generation, have inherited our existing clients from the original founders, and currently have no rainmakers. We need to bring some rainmakers into our partner ranks and have been discussing the possibility of merger. I would appreciate your thoughts.

ISBA 3rd VP Cornelius honored at event

Posted on February 19, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA 3rd Vice President Vincent F. Cornelius was honored by the Black Bar Association of Will County at the group’s Annual Barrister’s Ball on Feb. 15 at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. On hand for the event were (from left) President-elect Richard D. Felice, President Paula H. Holderman, Cornelius and 2nd Vice President Umberto S. Davi.

CLE: 13th Annual Environmental Law Conference

Posted on February 18, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Don’t miss ISBA’s 13th Annual Illinois Environmental Law Conference in Chicago on March 6-7, 2014! Once again, this premier conference features annual updates on agency activities and priorities in Illinois and the Region presented by top representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, and other state agencies.

Illinois Supreme Court approves cameras for Peoria County courts

Posted on February 14, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Remaining 10th Circuit counties will join in 60 days

The Illinois Supreme Court announced on Friday that news cameras and microphones will be allowed in trial courtrooms in Peoria County in the 10th Judicial Circuit. Peoria County becomes the 36th county in Illinois to participate in the pilot project allowing cameras in trial courtrooms.

Under Local Rule 15, the remaining four counties in the Circuit will also join the pilot project in 60 days, bringing the grand total of participating counties in Illinois to 40 and the total number of participating circuits to 14. The 10th Judicial Circuit consists of Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark and Tazewell counties in central Illinois.

Young Lawyers host Professional Development Luncheon

Posted on February 14, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The ISBA Young Lawyers Division hosted its third Professional Development Luncheon on Feb. 11 at the Chicago Regional Office. This luncheon, focused on alternative careers for attorneys, featured (from left) speakers Tarek Fadel of AdaptiGroup LLC, Michael Negron of the Chicago Mayor’s Office and Elizabeth Ellis Simek of the City of Chicago Law Department, ISBA President Paula H. Holderman, YLD Chair and ISBA Board member Jean Kenol, program organizer George Schoenbeck and program moderator Heather Pfeffer.

Three lawyers win a total of $3,500 in 2014 Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest

Posted on February 13, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

Angela J. Rollins of Benton, a law clerk to the Honorable J. Phil Gilbert of the Southern District Illinois, U.S. District Court, is the first place winner in the ISBA’s 2014 Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest. Angela received a cash award of $2,000, and her article, "Collateral Consequence Considerations for Illinois Practitioners after Padilla v. Kentucky," appears in the February Illinois Bar Journal. The contest is sponsored by the ISBA Young Lawyers Division and open to YLD members.
Second place winner is Richard J. VanSwol, of Purcell & Wardrope Chtd. in Chicago, who wrote "Playing with Fire: Limitations on Insurance Coverage for Expected or Intended Harm." Third place goes to Jill Ausdenmoore, a law clerk to Honorable Lisa Holder White of the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court, Decatur, for "A Practitioner's Guide to Illinois' Speedy-Trial Statute." The second place winner gets $1,000 cash prize, and the third place winner received $500.

Twenty-three manuscripts were submitted in the 2014 contest. The contest judges were Justice John W. Turner, of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District; Hon. Pamela E. Loza, supervising judge in the Paternity/Child Support Department of the Cook County Circuit Court Domestic Relations Division; Mary D. Cascinio, Senior Counsel at Handler Thayer, LLP in Chicago; Mark D. DeBofsky, with DeBofsky & Associates, P.C. in Chicago; and L. Dominic Kujawa, a sole practitioner in Belleville.

Look for an announcement about next year's contest in a few weeks.

Workplace Violence Protection Act lets employers seek orders of protection

Posted on February 13, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

Effective January 1, Illinois employers can seek orders of protection not unlike those available in the family-law setting, David Krchak writes in the most recent ISBA Labor and Employment Law newsletter. The Workplace Violence Prevention Act "extends to employers the right to petition the court for an order of protection similar in most ways to the order of protection provided in Article 3 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986," he wrote. "The Act explains in simple terms when an employer may attain such an order of protection and how law enforcement is required to respond." Read his article and find out how it works.

Best Practice: Law firm business models - Alternatives to consider

Posted on February 12, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our litigation firm is located in Grand Rapids, Mich. and consists of 12 attorneys - eight partners and four associates. We started the firm six years ago as a result of several of us leaving larger law firms and wanting to start something new and different. We have been discussing our current approach to law practice and want to consider alternative business models. We would appreciate your thoughts.