Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
ISBA Mutual Lawyers Malpractice Insurance
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A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
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CLE: Starting and Running Your Own Practice

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

As with any significant business venture, there is a certain amount of planning that must go into organizing a law practice in order for it to be successful. Get the guidance you need on organizing, marketing, protecting, and profiting from a solo practice with this full-day seminar Feb. 8 in O’Fallon. Attorneys with all levels of practice experience who are interested in starting a solo practice and who attend this seminar will better understand: how to name your law firm and register it with the required agencies; how to safeguard your investment through malpractice insurance and other options; how having a website and advertising through social media can help your practice; the legal forms you need to get started, including sample contracts, petitions, and engagement letters; the challenges facing solo practitioners (from the judicial perspective); and how to manage the stress and demands of the profession.

Practice HQ Resource: Crisis Communications Planning Checklist

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Having a crisis communications plan in place is imperative for all businesses—and especially so for law firms.

Such plans should incorporate both internal and external communications, so that employees are kept abreast of what is happening and to ensure that firms can control the public conversation.

Martin Sinclair Named Chair of the Commission on Professionalism

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Supreme Court of Illinois has appointed Martin Sinclair as chair of the Commission on Professionalism, effective Jan. 1.

Sinclair, an attorney at Sperling & Slater, P.C. in Chicago, previously served as the commission's vice-chair. His term as chair will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

In addition, Commissioner James DeAno, managing partner at DeAno & Scarry, LLC in Chicago, has been designated vice-chair for a term expiring Dec. 31. John Kim, counsel at State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. in Bloomington, has been appointed as a new commissioner for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2021. Kim replaces Jeffrey Jackson, who retired from the commission as of Dec. 31, 2018.

Illinois Supreme Court Oral Arguments to be Streamed Online Wednesday, Jan. 23

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court will livestream oral arguments in four cases on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

The court will hear arguments in the cases of Van Dyke v. WhiteCounty of Will v. Illinois Pollution Control BoardLMP Services, Inc. v. City of Chicago, and Doe v. The First Congregational Church of Dundee. The livestream will begin at 9:30 a.m.

The case of Van Dyke v. White concerns whether the Illinois Secretary of State or the Illinois Department of Insurance have the authority to regulate the sale of indexed annuities. County of Will v. Illinois Pollution Control Board involves the defendant's new regulations regarding the prevention of groundwater contamination from waste disposal sites that use construction materials. 

A New Day for LLCs in Illinois

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

In his January 2019 Illinois Bar Journal article, “A New Day for LLCs in Illinois,” Matthew Misichko, an associate in the corporate department at Barnes & Thornburg, discusses new strategic opportunities for clients who are forming businesses in Illinois thanks to recent amendments to the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act. Significant amendments to the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act took effect on July 1, 2017, and brought the Act into conformity with the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act already followed by most states. With the changes come new recommendations for reviewing a current LLC operating agreement or drafting a new one. For starters, LLCs now have appointment power, bringing LLCs into alignment with corporations, which have had such authority for a long time. Also, LLC managers can now be designated rather than elected.

New and Upgraded Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation thank our latest new and upgraded Fellows for their commitment to supporting the mission of the Illinois Bar Foundation. Funds from the Fellows program make a direct impact on the lives of those in need, including our colleagues and their families during times of crisis and those who cannot otherwise afford legal representation. Fellows’ pledges are payable over 10 years and start at just $100 per year, or less than $9 per month. 

ISBA Statehouse Review for January 10, 2019

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers presumption of equal parenting time, bill of particulars, bail reform change, concealed carry for judges and prosecutors, grand jury proceedings, and condos and common interest community associations.  

Volunteer for the 2019 High School Mock Trial Invitational

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Volunteers are needed for the 2019 ISBA High School Mock Trial Invitational, which will be held March 9-10 at the Public Affairs Center at the University of Illinois Springfield. 


This program provides an opportunity for students to learn what it is like to prepare and present a legal case before the Illinois courts. Participating students gain a better understanding of the justice system and improve their knowledge, skills, and ability to articulate in a reasoned, thoughtful manner.


Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit Seeks Applicants for Bankruptcy Judge

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

The Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit is seeking applicants for a bankruptcy judge position for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with duty station in Chicago.

Applicants must also be willing to travel to other locations in the Seventh Circuit to handle cases. Interested applicants may obtain an application by accessing the Court of Appeals website.

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Management—Held Hostage by Office Manager or Bookkeeper

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am a partner is a small family law firm in Tucson, Arizona. There are two partners in the firm and two associates. We have an office manager/bookkeeper, a receptionist, and two legal assistants. The office manager was hired one year ago. The other partner is retiring next year, and I am purchasing the practice from him. I became a partner last year. I am new to the management side of the practice and have been relying on the office manager who also serves as our bookkeeper. I am at my wit’s ends with our office manager and I believe that she is not suited for the position. She has no organizational skills, she misses deadlines, vendor bills are not paid on time, and client bills are not sent out accurately and timely. I have counseled her on numerous occasions to no avail. I believe we need to replace her, but I am reluctant since no one else here knows what she does or how she does it. A new billing and accounting system was implemented last year and she was the only one trained to use the system. What do we do if we terminate her or she quits? We are hostages. I would appreciate any ideas or thoughts that you may have.