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The Algorithm Behind the Curtain

Posted on July 2, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Computer algorithms guide and propel decisions we make every day, from the shows we choose on Netflix to the purchases we make on Amazon. Algorithms also operate behind the scenes of our professional lives. Susan Nevelow Mart, director of the University of Colorado Law School library, recently published a study (see that compared how six legal search platforms reacted to identical keyword queries. She and her team looked at the first 10 cases retrieved by Westlaw, Lexis Advance, Fastcase, Casetext, Ravel Law, and Google Scholar. She found, on average, that each platform listed four cases that did not appear within the first 10 results of any of the other platform’s top10 results.

ISBA to Launch New Online CLE Platform

Posted on July 2, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois State Bar Association will launch a new online CLE platform the week of July 23.

The new platform will feature extended access to watch and re-watch all programs, including programs members have attended live, automated registration confirmation emails with program details and purchase verification, and continued access to member CLE accounts and to all CLE certificates. 

Members will still have access to more than 400 hours of on-demand programming, including 15 hours of free CLE per bar year. 

Illinois Bar Journal Printing Error

Posted on July 2, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Some copies of the July edition of the Illinois Bar Journal were incorrectly stapled at the printers, resulting in pages being out of order. The ISBA apologizes for this inconvenience. The printers will resend the journal in its correct form to members beginning Thursday, July 5. Meanwhile, the Illinois Bar Journal is available online.  

U.S. Attorney's Office Seeks Assistant U.S. Attorney

Posted on June 29, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The U.S. Attorney's Office Central District of Illinois is accepting applications for an assistant United States attorney opening in its Criminal Division.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least two years post-J.D. legal experience. U.S. citizenship is required.

Preferred qualifications: excellent academics, significant litigation experience, criminal law experience, strong legal writing skills, and a demonstrated commitment to public service

ISBA President James McCluskey Named Associate Judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit

Posted on June 28, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

ISBA President James McCluskey today was named an associate judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit.

McCluskey, a founding member of the law firm Momkus McCluskey, LLC, in Lisle, is a commercial litigator who has handled 60 jury trials and built one of DuPage County’s largest law firms.

Long active in the ISBA, he is a member of the Board of Governors and previously served as a member of the Assembly and was chairman of its Agenda Committee. He has served on the ISBA Civil Practice & Procedure Section Council and its Allerton House Committee.

Special Olympics, Founded by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, to Celebrate 50th Anniversary in Chicago

Posted on June 28, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Special Olympics will return to the city where it was founded in part by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke.

Burke launched the Special Olympics while working for the Chicago Park District on July 20, 1968. It was first held at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Now, the Special Olympics has grown into the largest sporting event for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, with nearly 5 million Special Olympians representing 172 countries.  

Best Practice Tips: Elder Law Firm Expanding into Personal Injury and Other Areas

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am a partner in a four-attorney law firm in a small town south of Waco, Texas. We have two partners and two associates. Our practice is limited to elder law, estate planning, and estate administration. The practice was formed 30 years ago by the two partners. The firm has built a strong brand, does a significant amount of business in several other counties, and is doing well financially. Our main problem is that we are overwhelmed with work and we need to hire an additional attorney. We have interviewed an attorney with some limited experience in small business corporate work and estate planning. However, most of his experience is in personal injury plaintiff, criminal, and family law. If he joins our firm, he wants to continue to develop these practice areas as well as bring his personal injury, criminal, and family law cases with him. Bringing him on board could solve our lawyer staffing issue as well as increase our business. Should we bring him on board?

ISBA Accepting Candidates for Board Vacancies

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois State Bar Association is seeking candidates for vacant seats on the Board of Governors.

The election of Anna Krolikowska as ISBA third vice-president created a vacancy for the Under 37 Cook County seat. There is also a vacancy in Area 4 (Circuits 10, 14, and 15).

The Board will fill the vacant positions at its July 20 meeting. Both terms will be for one year and begin immediately.

Historic Lincoln Portrait Arrives at Wayne County Courthouse

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

A high-quality reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph was unveiled June 25 at a ceremony at the Wayne County Courthouse.

The photograph was taken in Springfield by well-known photographer Alexander Hesler for Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. It is considered to be one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years.

The permanent installation is made possible by donations from the Illinois Judges Association (IJA), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and their respective foundations – the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation. 

New Illinois Supreme Court Rule Requires Specific Language for All Civil Summons

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Effective July 1, a new Illinois Supreme Court Rule requires the following language to be added to all civil summons:

“E-filing is now mandatory for documents in civil cases with limited exemptions. To e-file, you must first create an account with an e-filing service provider. Visit to learn more and to select a service provider. If you need additional help or have trouble e-filing, visit”