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Bill would forbid conveying real estate to trust without deed

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

On April 6, the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 2842, which is now up for consideration in the state Senate. The bill seeks to overrule the second district's holding in In re Estate of Mendelson, 2015 IL App (2d) 150084 ("Mendelson I"), which held that real property could be conveyed into a trust without a deed.

The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein, would amend the Trusts and Trustees Act to require that all transfers of property into a trust be evidenced by a written conveyance and acceptance by the trustee. It would also require that any transfer of real property into a trust be recorded with the proper county recorder of deeds.

Find out what real estate practitioners and other subject-matter authorities are saying about the bill in the May Illinois Bar Journal.

Best Practice: How many hours should associates be billing?

Posted on April 27, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner of a 12-lawyer insurance defense firm in Oklahoma City. We have four partners and eight associates. While we have grown over the last five or six years by adding associates, our profitability has remained flat. We feel that we are not getting the billable hours that we should out of our associates. What are other firms like ours getting out of their associates in terms of billable hours?

CLE: ADR Options in the Illinois Federal District Courts [Live Webcast]

Posted on April 26, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Learn which alternative dispute resolution options are available in the three districts, how the programs are administered, and how to take advantage of each with this informative one-hour online seminar on May 18, 2016! Practitioners with basic to intermediate practice experience who handle (or have contemplated handling) civil litigation in any of the Illinois Federal District Courts who attend this live webcast will better understand: court-hosted mediation and how the local rules/procedures differ; special programs and procedures for pro se cases; Judge-hosted mediation and referrals to a panel mediator; opening statements; facilitative vs. evaluative mediation; pitfalls to avoid during mediation; knowing which documents are prepared on the spot, and which procedures follow the settlement, including statement of terms on the record and its impact on confidentiality; jurisdiction issues; and much more!

Spotlight on Pro Bono: Legal Answers program delivers help to those who need it

Posted on April 25, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

By Teri Ross, Program Director / Attorney, Illinois Legal Aid Online

The legal system is scary, confusing, and nearly impossible to navigate without an attorney. Yet every year millions of people in Illinois face serious legal problems on their own because they can't afford to hire a lawyer. In some rural counties of the state, there are only a handful of attorneys, and no legal aid lawyers, which compounds the problem and makes it less likely that people will be able to solve their legal problems.

Enter the ‘Legal Answers’ program. Legal Answers uses technology to help people with civil legal problems to overcome barriers presented by geography and scarcity of local legal resources. It offers a way for lawyers to virtually lend their expertise to people in need, on a question-by-question basis. It allows for lower-income people to consult with an attorney on a limited scope basis when they would otherwise have no access to counsel.

Illinois Supreme Court to hear oral arguments at Benedictine University on May 19

Posted on April 25, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court will take its work on the road in May, when it will hear oral arguments at Benedictine University in Lisle.

The one-day change of venue is part of the Court's and Chief Justice Rita B. Garman's initiative to bring the Court to the people it serves and its continuing goal for greater transparency in the judicial process.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases starting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2016, in Benedictine University's Daniel L. Goodwin Hall of Business, located at 5700 College Road in Lisle.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Unidentified funds in IOLTA accounts

Posted on April 25, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Attorney David Holtermann of the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois discusses recent rules changes to handling unidentified funds in IOLTA accounts.

Rock Island Attorney appointed to IBF Board of Directors

Posted on April 25, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Michael J. WarnerMichael J. Warner, a partner in the personal injury law firm of Warner & Zimmerle, in Rock Island, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), and will serve a two-year term.

The Foundation raises funds for distribution to Illinois nonprofit organizations whose mission is to provide free legal services to those with limited means. It also provides assistance to lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. The Foundation also oversees the Illinois JusticeCorps program, which provides trained part-time student volunteers to serve as guides in courthouses. This year, the Foundation will distribute more than $850,000 in funds.

Warner has been a lawyer in private practice since 1972 after serving for a year in the Rock Island State’s Attorneys Office. He has been a member of the Rock Island Bar Association since 1971. He was a board member of the Mississippi Valley Alzheimer’s Association and is a past president of the Rock Island County Mental Health Board.

Friday is final day to vote in ISBA election

Posted on April 24, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Voting in the ISBA election ends at 4:30 PM CT Friday, April 29. Ballots were distributed to all eligible voters* on March 28, 2016. ISBA's election provider VR Election Services (VRES) emailed e-ballots to members with valid email addresses and mailed paper ballots to members without valid email addresses on Monday, March 28, 2016.

If you have not received your e-ballot, please ask your Information Technology (IT) person to check the email spam folder under the suffix "" to see if your e-ballot is there. IT can adjust the spam filter settings to allow the e-ballot to reach you. If your e-ballot is not in your spam folder, please contact VRES at 800-218-4026 or

Your e-ballot will contain instructions on how to cast your vote electronically. If you prefer to vote by paper ballot, you may request one by contacting VRES at 800-218-4026 or The last day to request a paper ballot was Friday, April 15.

All eligible voters* may vote for Third Vice President. Those with ISBA addresses that fall in one of the following districts/circuits are also eligible to vote in their respective Board of Governors race. Candidate bios can be viewed in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

Cook County: First Judicial District Board of Governors

Judicial Circuits 1-23: Under Age 37 outside Cook County Board of Governors.