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ISBA Member Update with President John E. Thies - Multidisciplinary Practice Revisited

Posted on September 4, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President John E. Thies revisits the ISBA's efforts to keep multidisciplinary practice out of the legal profession.

CLE: Deconstructing Delinquency

Posted on August 31, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Perplexed by the Juvenile Court setting? Get the information you need to oversee a juvenile delinquency case with this full-day seminar!

The procedures surrounding the offenses committed by a juvenile living in Illinois differ from that of a traditional adult criminal case – making it imperative that attorneys working with children understand the inner functions of the juvenile court setting. Join us in East Peoria on September 28th for this full-day seminar for an in-depth look at the juvenile delinquency process. Family law attorneys, child law lawyers, and general practitioners who occasionally represent minors will benefit from the information presented by gaining a better understanding of: the issues that affect delinquency; what will likely happen to a minor charged with an offense; detention hearings and alternative sentencing options; the adjudication hearing process; the services available through DCFS and DJJ; juvenile probation; the policies and procedures for expungement; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Child Law Section and qualifies for 7.25 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Quick take on Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinion In re Austin M.

Posted on August 30, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinion in the Criminal case In re Austin M.


Austin M.

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of August 30

Posted on August 30, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers the New probate fee, Juvenile Records, Adoption and Disabled adults. More information on each bill is available below the video.

New probate fee. Public Act 97-1093 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Feigenholtz, D-Chicago) creates a $100 fee to open a decedent's estate to fund the State Guardianship and Advocacy Commission. It exempts indigents, the State Guardian, any state agency, any local public guardian, and any state's attorney. (2) It also allows the court to appoint a limited guardian for a disabled adult who lacks some but not all of the required capacity. If the court finds that the ward is totally without the required capacity, it may appoint a plenary guardian. (3) It adds criteria for the termination of the guardianship or modification of the guardian's duties. Effective January 1, 2013.

New cases every real-estate lawyer should know about

Posted on August 30, 2012 by Mark S. Mathewson

Real-estate practitioners should be sure to read a trio of recent decisions on 1) the duty of title insurers, 2) the content of mortgage documents, and 3) the recording of deeds and mortgages. Read summaries of all three in the September Illinois Bar Journal.

Comment sought on bankruptcy judge's reappointment

Posted on August 30, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

United States Bankruptcy Judge Carol A. Doyle of the Northern District of Illinois has
applied to be reappointed by the United States Court of Appeals to a new 14-year term when her current term expires on July 25, 2013. A United States Bankruptcy Judge is a judicial officer of the United States District Court who exercises the authority of the district court with respect to any action, suit, or proceeding under Chapter 6 of Title 28 of the United States Code. 28 U.S.C. § 151. Comments are invited from the public and the bar as to whether Judge Doyle should be reappointed. Those comments should be in writing and sent by November 15, 2012 to:

  • Collins T. Fitzpatrick
  • Circuit Executive
  • 219 S. Dearborn
  • Room 2780
  • Chicago, IL 60604

Best Practice: Keeping law firm clients happy

Posted on August 29, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am managing partner with a 12 attorney general practice firm in St. Louis. As part of our marketing program we recently completed an informal client survey and were surprised at some of the feedback. The feedback was less positive than expected. Our clients advised us that our services took longer than expected and fees were also higher than expected. We work hard for our clients and I don't see how we can improve turnaround or reduce legal fees. I would appreciate any thoughts that you have.

A. Based upon client satisfaction surveys (telephone interviews) that we do for law firms we find that one of the biggest problems is that the attorneys are doing a poor job of managing client expectations. Your clients get frustrated when you promise one thing (timeline or fees) and the result is very different - especially when the work takes longer than promised or the fees are higher. Even though you don't structure it as a promise your clients take it that way. The key is to under promise and over deliver. I suspect that upon the initial client meeting you are under estimating the timeline and low balling the fee range. Reduce the promise - increase the - timeline and fee range and then shoot to deliver under that range. This will do wonders for improving the client relationship.

Click here for our blog on client service

Click here for our article on the topic

Don't forget to register for Race Judicata

Posted on August 29, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Judges Association and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois are teaming up for three times the fun at Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) 19th annual Race Judicata Sprint for Justice 5K Run/Walk. This fundraising event takes place on Sept. 13 at Upper Hutchinson Field in Chicago’s Grant Park.

T-shirts will be provided for team members. All proceeds from Race Judicata go to the general operating costs of CVLS, which works to provide legal services to the poor and working poor of Chicago. The three associations will host a tent that will serve as the main gathering point for ISBA, IJA and WBAI members. Food and water will be available at the tent. The entry fee is $33 through Sept. 7. Register under the team name IJA.WBAI.ISBA at

Legal Tech in the Blogosphere: Managing E-mail

Posted on August 28, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

E-mail is a persistent and annoying issue in every lawyer's professional and personal life. To help lawyers manage e-mail, Jim Callaway, the Director of Oklahoma Bar Association's Management Assistance Program, has posted EMail Issues for Lawyers Today. In it, he explores the ethical ramifications, security risks, benefits, and best practices associated with using web based e-mail services such as GMail and He also gives advice about guarding against security breaches from the client's e-mail service; and considers the potential of insisting that clients set up a new e-mail account dedicated exclusively to communication between the client and lawyer. In addition, he reviews the current debate about encrypting e-mail. Finally, he suggests making up false answers to security questions in 2 step verification systems and the use of password managers.

Along the same lines, Kashmir Hill  at Forbes Magazine posted, 10 Incredibly Simple Things You Should be Doing to Protect Your Privacy. It includes such basic security tips as password protecting your mobile devices, such as your smart phone, iPad, and other tablets. She also suggests creating a Google Alerts with your name, being careful about giving out your email address and identifying information in public, encrypting your computer, clearing out your browsing history, and turning on 2 step verification in Gmail.

ISBA Member Update with President John E. Thies - Solo and Small Firm Conference

Posted on August 27, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President John E. Thies urges members to attend the upcoming Solo & Small Firm Conference being held Sept. 13-15 in Itasca.