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Best Practice: Law firm succession - Discussing equity ownership

Posted on June 29, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the owner of a 14-attorney insurance defense practice in Baltimore. I started the firm 20 years ago after leaving behind my partnership at another firm. Of the other 13 attorneys, there are four non-equity partners and the rest are associates. I am 63 and beginning to think about retirement and how I am going to transition out of the practice. Two of the non-equity partners are well seasoned attorneys, have major case responsibility, and have developed solid relationships with clients. I have discussed equity partnership vaguely with them, but their interests seem lackluster and they have been non-committal. I would appreciate your thoughts and advice on what my next steps should be.

Board, Assembly, ABA vacancies filled at Annual Meeting

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

The following vacancies were filled at the Board of Governors meeting on June 18, 2016 at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont during the 140th Annual Meeting.



  • Cook County: Cory White, Chicago


  • 2nd Circuit: James Ruppert, Mount Vernon
  • 13th Circuit: James Reilly, Streator
  • 17th Circuit: Marishonta Wilkerson, Rockford
  • Cook County: Edward Burt, Chicago


  • Outside Cook County: Chantelle Porter, Lombard

Illinois Bar Foundation to host Metro East Fellows Reception

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Lois WoodJ. William LuccoJoin the Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation for the Metro East Fellows Reception on Thursday, July 21 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1000 Eastport Plaza Drive, Collinsville, IL 62234.

The event, presented by Russell K. Scott, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., will honor attorneys J. William Lucco (Lucco, Brown, Threlkeld & Dawson, LLP) and Lois Wood (Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation) for their leadership and dedication to the law.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of June 23, 2016

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Personal Information Protection Act (Public Act 99-503), Cell site simulator device (Senate Bill 2343), Mechanics Lien Act (Senate Bill 2450), Predatory lending database program (Senate Bill 2677), and Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act. (House Bill 4658). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Personal Information Protection Act. Public Act 99-503 (Biss, D-Skokie; Williams, D-Chicago) makes the following changes to the existing Act.

(1) Expands the definition of protected “personal information” to include a person’s first name or first initial and the last name that are encrypted or redacted but the unlocking keys have been breached to allow one of several “data elements” to be unlawfully acquired. 

Quick Takes for Your Practice: The ethical pitfalls of online reputation management

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

ARDC Litigation Manager & Senior Counsel Melissa Smart discusses the ethical pitfalls of online reputation management.

New ISBA treasurer, secretary elected

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Albert E. DurkinAngelica WawrzynekThe Illinois State Bar Association's Board of Governors elected a new secretary and treasurer at its meeting June 18 in Rosemont. President Vincent F. Cornelius held the Board's organizational meeting in conjunction with the Annual Meeting.

Angelica W. Wawrzynek, of Mattoon, will serve as treasurer. She is an associate at Tapella & Eberspacher LLC. She focuses primarily on civil litigation and especially personal injury cases. In 2012, Wawrzynek received the ECIWAA Award for Service to the Community and the following year she was honored with the ISBA Young Lawyer of the Year Award. She graduated cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law.

Albert E. Durkin, of Chicago, was elected secretary. Durkin is the managing partner and founding member of Miroballi Durkin & Rudin, LLC in Chicago, Illinois. He has over 35 years of experience as an active personal injury litigator. He is a 1977 graduate of the DePaul University College of Law.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan to be honored at IBF Gala

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Attorney General Lisa MadiganIllinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will receive the 2016 Distinguished Award for Excellence from the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF) at the organization’s 18th annual black-tie Gala on Friday evening, October 14, at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Place, Chicago. The event begins with a cocktail reception at 6:30, followed by dinner and dancing. The IBF is the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Attorney General Madigan became the first woman elected to serve as the Illinois Attorney General and one of only a handful of female Attorneys General in the country when she was elected to the position in 2002. In 2014, she was elected to her fourth term and is now the senior-most female Attorney General.

Attorney General Madigan has brought a high level of activism to the Office of Illinois Attorney General. She has demonstrated principled leadership, putting policy before politics and focusing her work as the state’s top legal advocate on protecting the people and communities of Illinois.

Justice Mary Jane Theis announces Cook County vacancy in 3rd Subcircuit

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has begun an application process for a vacancy in the Third Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy is created by the upcoming retirement of Cook County Circuit Judge Maureen Leahy Delehanty. Judge Delehanty has been a judge since 2009 and is set to retire on July 31, 2016.

Drew appointed associate judge in 21st Circuit

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced that the 21st Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Joann I. Drew as an associate judge of the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Drew received her undergraduate degree in 1975 from Illinois State University, Normal, IL, and her Juris Doctor in 1982 from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. Ms. Drew is currently affiliated with the Kankakee County Public Defender's Office in Kankakee, IL.