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Chicago Area

Four must-have tech tools for solos

Posted on August 17, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
Naperville lawyer, ISBA member, tech expert, and Solo and Small Firm Conference presenter Bryan Sims (aka The Connected Lawyer) says there are four must-have tools for sole practitioners: a smart phone, a laptop, a scanner, and a good backup system. “Unless you’re going to be tied to your office, you should have some sort of smart phone,” such as an iPhone, a BlackBerry, or a PalmPre, Sims told Helen Gunnarsson in an interview for the yet-to-be-released September Illinois Bar Journal. “You need something that will allow you to get your e-mail, look at documents, and otherwise get some work done when you’re out of the office.” As for laptops, Simms recommends buying a business class model directly from the manufacturer instead of the cheapest thing available. “If you’re using your computer for your law practice, you can’t afford to have it out of operation for a week,” he says. A scanner will help you create a paperless and a portable office. “I recommend that you keep all of your documents in .pdf format. If you want to keep the hard copy too, fine, but scan everything,” Sims says. Scanned documents are easy to manage and disseminate. Finally, you need a good backup system.

543 new public acts - 200 more to come

Posted on August 17, 2009 by James R. Covington
Governor Quinn has signed 543 new public acts into law. He will have another 200 to sign in the next 30 days. You may want to go to the General Assembly's homepage at and click on "public acts." It lists them in chronological order in the order he signs them. Some of these new public acts take effect the day he signs them and could affect your practice area.

Breaking legal news for Monday, August 17

Posted on August 17, 2009 by Chris Bonjean

Central Illinois

Chicago area

Northern Illinois

Southern Illinois

Abe and ISBA at the Illinois State Fair

Posted on August 17, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
[gallery] Members of the Illinois State Bar Association staff worked the "Looking for Lincoln" tent on Sunday at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and will be back again on Tuesday, August 18. The "Looking for Lincoln" tent also sponsored a re-enactment of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Fair attendees can collect rubbings from all five Lincoln storyboard medallions and receive half-off an adult admission to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The ISBA tent is located on the north east side in the Heartland area, near the "Dock Dogs" show on the outer perimeter. All fair attendees are invited to stop by.

Courthouse tours: Grundy County's Historic Courtroom

Posted on August 14, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
The Historic Courtroom on the second floor of the Grundy County Courthouse has been restored to its orginial 1912 splendor.
The Historic Courtroom on the second floor of the Grundy County Courthouse has been restored to its original 1912 splendor.
Address: 111 E. Washington, Morris Entrance: Front of the building Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Year built: 1912 Architect: J.W. Royer Judicial Circuit: 13th (Bureau, LaSalle) Click here to view the photo tour View previous courthouse tours

Marchese named new Associate Judge in DuPage County

Posted on August 13, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Chief Judge Stephen J. Culliton is pleased to announce that following a tabulation of ballots by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts in Springfield, the Circuit Judges of the the Eighteenth Circuit Court, DuPage County have appointed Paul A. Marchese to the position of Associate Judge. Mr. Marchese fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Judge Kenneth A. Abraham. He is a 1990 graduate of the John Marshall School of Law and is currently a DuPage County Assistant State's Attorney, supervising the Narcotics Unit.

Dirksen Courthouse to remain open during major 3-year renovation

Posted on August 12, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Even during a three-year, round-the-clock renovation soon to be under way, the Everett McKinley Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, home of the nation's third largest federal district court, will remain open with normal hours for courts and government offices, the U.S. General Services Administration announced today. The phased construction, which begins in September, will be keyed to keeping the 30-story building open, along with its 57 courtrooms and 11 federal government offices. The renovation's major focus will be the replacement of the building's nearly 50-year-old heating and ventilation, fire alarm and lighting systems. Most work will be done at night and on weekends to limit disruptions. "The modernization of this architectural landmark designed by Mies van der Rohe exemplifies GSA's commitment to sustainable design," said GSA Acting Regional Administrator J. David Hood. "By making our public buildings higher-performing and more energy-efficient we maximize their value to the taxpayer. And with the benefits of new technology, we are renewing the future of this courthouse by building upon the creative energies that produced it and the stewardship that has preserved it." The building's largest tenant is the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois with 40 judges and more than 400 employees. The courthouse is also the seat of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Northern Illinois. Other tenants include the U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Trustees. Chief Judge James F. Holderman of the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois acknowledged that the project will cause some disruption and inconvenience. He said, however, "We of the United States District Court, as tenants, look forward to working cooperatively with GSA to keep the disruption to a minimum and the courts running smoothly as GSA completes these necessary renovations."

Retired U.S. District Judge Leighton receives namesake award

Posted on August 12, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
The Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission has presented retired U.S. District Judge George Leighton with the first Honorable George N. Leighton Justice Award.
Over the years, George Leighton has been honored with a number of awards that are named for great Chicagoans, such as Harold Washington and John Paul Stevens. On Wednesday, he will receive an award named for another outstanding Chicago citizen: himself. Leighton, 96, is not as widely known as some of Chicago's most famous leaders. Perhaps that's because he didn't follow a politician's path, he lived a life in the law. But his is an incredible story of perseverance, patience and principle. Best of all, it's a story still in progress.
Click here to read the full Tribune story.