Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
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Professional business portraits to be offered free at 2010 Solo & Small Firm Conference

Posted on July 7, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Is your last professional business portrait looking a little dated?  Never had one to begin with? Photographer Daniels-Ackerman of Springfield will be taking portraits of registered attendees (complimentary) at the Solo & Small Firm Conference on Thursday, Oct. 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sittings are first come, first served (no appointments). To find out more about the Conference and to register, please visit

Learn from a Master (practice advisor) at the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference

Posted on July 7, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Dustin Cole
Looking to build a more successful and satisfying practice, especially as it relates to technology?  Then be sure to attend the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference Lunch & Program – Practice Pointers for the Changing Legal Landscape – on Friday, October 22nd, featuring Dustin Cole, President and Master Practice Advisor of Attorneys Master Class – Mastering the Business of the Law. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Cole has trained over 10,000 attorneys across the United States in how to build more successful practices. He brings more than 35 years of experience in every phase of business management and development, marketing, advertising, and public relations to his work with the legal profession. He has supported firms ranging in size from sole practitioner to over 2,000 attorneys and has been the keynote speaker at numerous state bar and solo & small firm conferences around the country. Here’s what people are saying about Mr. Cole and Attorneys Master Class:
  • “My office is no longer in such a state of chaos that a small breeze feels like a hurricane…my practice is transmogrifying into the practice that personifies N. Diane Holmes, family lawyer extraordinaire…I would have never believed that my mental outlook and attitude would be what it is today; it will only get better!

Mix and mingle in "The People's House" at the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference

Posted on July 7, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
The ISBA Networking Reception at this year's Solo and Small Firm Conference will be held at the Executive Mansion.
Share stories and swap best practices with other solo and small firm lawyers from around the state at the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference’s Networking Reception at the Illinois Executive Mansion on Friday, Oct. 22. (Sponsored by ISBA Mutual Insurance Company) This event will be a great way to wind down after a day packed with programming and give you a chance to make some new personal and professional acquaintances (and catch up with old friends too) over food and drinks. While there you’ll also be able to tour the official residence of the Governor of Illinois – a three-story red brick Italianate style mansion designed by Chicago architect John M. Van Osdel, completed in 1855 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The Mansion is one of three oldest continuously-occupied governor’s mansion in the United States. The libraries, bedrooms, parlors, sitting rooms, etc. are maintained as they may have looked in the 1800s. The Mansion has hosted many important social events, including receptions for seven U.S.

Meet bestselling author (and lawyer) Mark Curriden at the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference

Posted on July 7, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Mark Curriden
NYT bestselling author Mark Curriden (“Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching that Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism”) will be the morning plenary speaker at the 2010 ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference on Friday, Oct . 22.  He will be telling the true account (based on his book) of the only two African-American lawyers practicing law in Tennessee in 1906 and their representation of a black man falsely accused of rape and sentenced to death.  This sequence of events led to the first and only criminal trial ever held in the history of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Mr. Curriden will also be speaking at a breakout session later that day regarding “The News Media and Your Law Practice.” So who is Mark Curriden? He is a writer and frequent lecturer on topics including legal history, trends at the Supreme Court of the United States, the American jury system and relationships between lawyers and journalists.  He has made presentations on these topics to numerous federal and state judicial organizations, state bar associations, law firms and law schools throughout the country.  In April 2004, Mr. Curriden was appointed to serve on the ABA’s Blue Ribbon Panel on the future of the American jury system. Interested in learning more about Mr.

Judges contribute $25,000 to internship program - will hold fundraiser on July 19

Posted on July 6, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Illinois Judges Foundation President Jesse Reyes presents the $25,000 check to Ronald Marmer.
The Illinois Judges Foundation has helped the American Bar Association’s Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP) observe its 10th year with a significant contribution of $25,000. Cook County Judge Jesse G. Reyes, the foundation president, made the presentation during a recent reception at Jenner & Block. It was accepted by Ronald L. Marmer, a partner in the law firm who is vice chair of the sponsoring ABA Section of Litigation. Established in February 2000, the JIOP is a key component of the section’s initiatives to expand opportunities in the legal profession. Minority and financially disadvantaged law students receive $1,500 stipends and are placed in six-week internships with federal and state judges. The internships provide practical experience in the courts, enhance professional and writing skills, offer valuable insights about the judicial system, and open doors to future careers. The Illinois Judges Foundation raises funds for the ABA internship program, its largest grantee, through special events such as “Batter Up for Justice,” a rooftop benefit and viewing of a Chicago Cubs baseball game on Monday, July 19. The second annual event will begin at 6:05 p.m. at the Sheffield Baseball Club, 3619 N. Sheffield, across from Wrigley Field.

ISBA marches in Chicago's Gay Pride Parade

Posted on July 2, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
The Illinois State Bar Association had its mobile billboard in the lineup of Sunday's Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade – one of more than 200 entries. Toby Eveland, of ISBA’s SOGI section, organized a group of lawyers and law students to march alongside the ISBA entry. Other SOGI members present included Mike Goldberg and Joannie Rae Wimmer. The parade entry was a collaborative effort between the ISBA, CBA, and LAGBAC (the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago). Additionally, members of Northwestern University's law school group, OUTLaw, marched with the float.

ISBA, IJA leaders meet at Annual Meeting

Posted on July 1, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Officers and leaders of the Illinois State Bar Association and Illinois Judges Association met during the Annual Meeting last week in St. Louis. Those present for the meeting included (from left): ISBA 3rd VP Paula Holderman, ISBA President-elect John Locallo, ISBA 2nd VP John Thies, IJA 2nd VP Rita Novak, IJA Immediate Past President Ron Spears, IJA President Lewis Nixon, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier, ISBA President Mark Hassakis, IJA Executive Committee member Elmer "Toby" Tomaire III and IJA Treasurer Robert Anderson.

Northwest Suburban Bar Association marks 50 years during Installation Ceremony

Posted on June 29, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
The Executive Board of the NWSBA. From left are: Ronald Wittmeyer; secretary; William Kelley, treasurer; Donald Cosley, executive vice president; Judge Joseph Urso, presiding judge in the Third Municipal District of Cook County; Lee DeWald, president; Neil Good, first vice president; and Michael Meschino, second vice president.
It was both a look back to humble beginnings and a look ahead to a vibrant future as the Northwest Suburban Bar Association installed its officers and Board of Governors on June 17, and also celebrated the association’s 50th anniversary. The Honorable Joseph J. Urso, presiding judge in the Third Municipal District of Cook County, performed the installation and swearing in of new officers: Lee F. DeWald, president; Donald J. Cosley, executive vice president; Neil H. Good, first vice president; Michael A. Meschino, second vice president; William F. Kelley, treasurer; and Ronald F. Wittmeyer, secretary. Judge Urso also installed new members of the Board of Governors: Allen S. Gabe and Colin H. Gilbert, plus Ilonka Ulrich, association attorney; and Jackie LeFevre, parliamentarian, both of whom accepted new terms. On hand to help mark the half-century mark were Judge James Geocaris (retired), longtime presiding judge of the Third District; 26 past NWSBA presidents; and Don Norman, one of the founding members of Northwest Suburban Bar Association. For his pivotal role, new President DeWald presented Norman with the NWSBA Founder Award. DeWald urged members to get involved with the association, to be part of the volunteer spirit that has led to successful CLEs, free legal help for residents and other NWSBA contributions and events. Had he stayed on the sidelines, he never would have met Past President Rich Miller, ISBA President John O’Brien, innumerable judges, or any number of others in the profession, because their paths simply would not have crossed, DeWald pointed out.

Hassakis sworn-in as 134th ISBA President

Posted on June 28, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier swears in Mark D. Hassakis as the ISBA's 134th President.
Mt. Vernon attorney Mark D. Hassakis was sworn in as the new Illinois State Bar Association President on Friday night at the Annual Meeting in St. Louis. Hassakis, the first Greek American president of the ISBA, joined his father’s firm after receiving his J.D. in 1976. The firm now concentrates in all types of injury and wrongful death cases, both work and non-work related. In addition, the firm represents clients at administrative hearings before the Secretary of State for driving relief in DUI and other excessive violation cases. Hassakis’ guiding theme for his 2010-2011 term will be “Lawyers Care,” demonstrating his pride in the profession and the extraordinary efforts lawyers make every day to go above and beyond in their service to their communities and the profession. He will spotlight examples of the beneficial role lawyers voluntarily undertake to help shape a brighter future for our state and its citizens. "ISBA lawyers and the heart of the ISBA, the Illinois Bar Foundation, will spotlight our lawyer and judge members giving well beyond the great professional work they do, highlighting the extraordinary effort being made in the communities in which we live," Hassakis said.

Distinguished lawyers honored at Awards Luncheon

Posted on June 25, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
ISBA President John O'Brien presents a Board of Governors Award to Peoria attorney Sonni C. Williams.
The Illinois State Bar Association presented awards in several categories at the Awards Luncheon on Friday at the Annual Meeting in St. Louis. President John O’Brien honored the following recipients (click here to view a photo gallery from this event): The Board of Governors Award was presented to Hon. Thomas R. Fitzgerald, Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court; Hon. Alexander P. White, Cook County Circuit Judge and Sonni C. Williams, attorney for the City of Peoria and chair of the Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law. The Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award was given to Langdon D. Neal, Chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections and principal and owner of Neal & Leroy, LLC, one of the oldest minority-owned and operated law firms in the U.S. Lawrence A. Wojcik of DLA Piper and attorneys from Caterpillar Inc. received John C.