Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
ISBA Mutual Lawyers Malpractice Insurance
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Register Now for ISBA's 141st Annual Meeting in Fontana, Wisconsin

Posted on April 28, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Registration is now open for the 141st ISBA Annual Meeting. Join us June 15-17 at the Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wisconsin, to celebrate our accomplishments over the past bar year and prepare for the year ahead of us. The Annual Meeting is a great place build lasting relationships, create positive changes in the profession, earn CLE hours, and be a part of our community. Advanced registration must be received by Friday, June 9

Register here

Hotel and registration information

Annual Meeting schedule of events

Annual Meeting CLE


CLE: Civil Practice and Procedure - Trial Practice 2017

Posted on April 28, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Perfect your trial practice skills with this full-day seminar that not only walks you through each step of the trial process, but also shows you how technology can help you flawlessly deliver your case to the courtroom. Trial attorneys with intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar in Chicago or via live webcast on May 12, 2017 will learn: how to get rid of biased jurors during voir dire; the importance of a well-told opening statement; how to prepare your next witness for direct examination; how to question lay and expert witnesses during cross examination; which high-tech tools can help you present your next big case; the value of demonstrative exhibits and technology to engage your jury; how to prepare a powerful and persuasive closing argument; what attorneys have done right (and wrong) in trial as experienced by one retired judge; and the common incidents that lead to malpractice.

The program is presented by the ISBA Civil Practice and Procedure Section and qualifies for 7.0 hours MCLE credit, including 7.0 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: When & Whether You Should Appeal

Posted on April 27, 2017 by Sara Anderson

J. Timothy Eaton, partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, discusses when and whether you should appeal.

How to Choose a Digital-Age Document Management System

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Twenty years ago, law firm document management revolved around meticulously organized manila files, metal drawers, and bankers boxes, with instructions not to fold, spindle, or mutilate them as they were being physically transported to another attorney or a courtroom.

While those physical manifestations still remain to varying degrees in law offices, document management today is more likely to focus on electronic files that need to be created and managed on a server or in the cloud, with instructions to ensure they're adequately encrypted before being electronically transported to one of the aforementioned destinations.

Paul Unger, a partner with Affinity Consulting Group who works with attorneys and law firms, recommends that legal offices use a top-shelf, sophisticated electronic document management system to handle the creation and storage of most types of documents.

"If we're talking about transactional attorneys - or even if it's litigation, but it's your own work product, your own correspondence and responses - anything we would draft ourselves, pleadings, motions, I would recommend in today's age that a firm have a document management system," he says. Unger recommends four primary choices: Worldox, NetDocuments, iManage (formerly Interwoven Worksite), and Open Text (formerly Hummingbird). Find out more in the May IBJ.

Best Practice Tips: When Should a Law Firm Partner Compensation System Be Changed?

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q.  I am a partner in a 14-attorney business litigation law firm in New Orleans. There are five partners in the firm. We are a first-generation firm and all five partners are the original founders. Each partner has equal ownership interests and is compensated based upon ownership points. While this approach to compensation worked for many years, this system is no longer working for us. Performance used to be pretty close but this is no longer the case. Your suggestions are welcomed.

A. This is a common problem that new law firms eventually face. Here are a few thoughts:

Allerton Conference 2017 Focuses on Technology, Ethics, and Economics

Posted on April 25, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Allerton Conference 2017ISBA's Allerton Conference 2017, sponsored by the Civil Practice and Procedure Committee, took place last week, on April 19-21, 2017, at Starved Rock Lodge in Oglesby, Illinois. The conference provided an opportunity for invited lawyers, judges, and law professors from around the state to discuss important issues affecting civil procedure and litigation. The ultimate goal of the event is for attendees to offer suggestions for new Supreme Court rules and legislation sponsored by the ISBA, and propose programs to the ISBA Board of Governors.

The focus of this year's conference was the changing landscape of civil practice, with an emphasis in the areas of technology, ethics, and economics. The event kicked off on Wednesday evening with a welcome reception, followed by introductory comments from Jessica Hegarty, Allerton 2017 chair; Vincent Cornelius, ISBA President; and the Hon. Michael McCuskey of the 10th Circuit. Lloyd Karmeier, chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, delivered the opening remarks.

Thursday's programming featured Keynote Speaker Daniel Katz, professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law. He addressed how technology is changing the practice of law and the challenges lawyers are facing as a result. The rest of the day's events included fireside chats and afternoon sessions on reducing costs while increasing efficiency, alternative business structures, and alternative dispute resolution. The day concluded with a brainstorming dinner in which guests split into groups for discussion.

Friday Is Final Day to Vote in ISBA Election

Posted on April 24, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Voting in the ISBA election ends at 4:30 PM CT Friday, April 28. Ballots were distributed to all eligible voters* on March 29, 2017. ISBA's election provider Election-America emailed e-ballots to members with valid email addresses and mailed paper ballots to members without valid email addresses on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. The last day to request a paper ballot was April 14, 2017.

Due to potential spam filters, we are offering an alternative method to vote using ISBA’s website. To vote online, go to If you are not logged in, click “Login to Vote” and sign in using your ISBA member login information. If you are logged in, click the “Vote” button.

All eligible voters* may vote for Third Vice President. Those with ISBA addresses in the following areas may vote in their respective race(s):

1st Judicial District Cook County: Board of Governors (elect 2)

1st Judicial District Cook County: Under Age 37 Board of Governors (elect 2)

1st Judicial District Cook County: Assembly (elect 21)

Outside Cook County (Judicial Circuits 1-23): Under Age 37 Board of Governors (elect 1)

Candidate bios can be viewed in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

Voting ends at 4:30 PM CT Friday, April 28. The canvass of election will be available May 5, 2017.

CLE: Ethics Extravaganza 2017

Posted on April 24, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The ethical issues government attorneys encounter differ from those faced by private practitioners. Join us in Chicago on May 11, 2017 for this lively program that’s comprised of skits, scenarios, and group discussions, allowing participants to gather invaluable information on identifying potential ethical dilemmas and applying the Rules of Professional Conduct in a fun and interesting way. Government attorneys with basic to intermediate practice experience will benefit from the ethical information presented throughout this seminar.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Government Lawyers and qualifies for 4.0 hours MCLE credit, including 4.0 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

ISBA Remodel Creates More Appealing, Accessible Space in Springfield

Posted on April 20, 2017 by Sara Anderson

After nearly a year of renovations, updates to the Illinois Bar Center — the Springfield headquarters of the Illinois State Bar Association, located east of the state Capitol complex — were completed last month.

The original color scheme, materials, and layout also remain in tact to preserve the building’s roots.For many years, the ISBA invested in the Chicago Regional Office, which is frequently used as a meeting space by members. But, as the Springfield office heads into its 50th year of existence, a major renovation was in order. According to Dennis Archer, ISBA’s assistant executive director for administration and finance, “It was time for us to bring [headquarters] up to the level that the CRO is.” After all, as Archer pointed out, “When our members come to Springfield now, we are expecting them to stop by so I think that is what we really got out of it. It kind of opens up another meeting place for our members.”

In preparing for the remodel, ISBA had several goals in mind: to make the space more appealing to members and increase the building’s accessibility, all while preserving the building’s historical architectural roots and maintaining the organization’s professional atmosphere.