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Pilot Pro Bono Conflicts Panel Launches in the 10th Circuit

Posted on March 8, 2018 by Sara Anderson

By Marisa Wiesman 

There are, literally, millions of people who qualify for free civil legal aid in Illinois. But once you venture outside of Cook County, there are only a handful of organizations dedicated to providing free civil legal aid to people who cannot afford an attorney. In all but a few counties, there is just one organization that provides these services. When that organization is unable to help someone due to a conflict of interest, that low-income person usually has nowhere else to turn for legal help. These conflicts are not limited to family law matters. Conflicts arise across the range of issues legal aid organizations handle, including housing, consumer, and public benefits matters.

The 10th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee and its members have partnered to pilot an innovative pro bono project to address this justice gap in Marshall, Peoria, Stark, and Tazewell counties. When Prairie State Legal Services (the civil legal aid organization that serves the 10th Judicial Circuit) is unable to assist an applicant due to a conflict of interest, Prairie State can now refer that applicant to the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). PILI will assess the applicant’s eligibility and conduct an intake, and try to place the case with a local pro bono attorney for assistance. While some parts of the state have attempted small-scale, informal pro bono conflicts panels in the past, this project is unique in that it provides formal eligibility screening, intake, and referral processes, as well as malpractice coverage for volunteers.

Stop Putting That IRS Circular 230 Disclaimer on Email

Posted on March 8, 2018 by Mark S. Mathewson

It seems that every attorney appends boilerplate disclaimers — sometimes lengthy ones — at the bottom of emails. For many, it may be a standard footer the entire firm uses. For others, it might be something borrowed from another lawyer. Whatever the value of these disclaimers in general, many still contain some language that is not only unnecessary but inaccurate in its most familiar form — the IRS Circular 230 disclaimer.

CLE: 2018 Traffic Case Law and Legislative Update: Changes Which Impact Your Practice & Clients

Posted on March 7, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Join us via the Internet on March 19, 2018 for this informative program that presents an update on legislation and case law in the area of traffic law. Traffic law practitioners, criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges, general practitioners, and young attorneys with basic and intermediate experience who attend this seminar will better understand: the new traffic and driver’s license legislation from the recent session of the Illinois General Assembly; how these legislative changes will impact your clients and your law practice; the latest DUI and summary suspension case law including People v. Ida Way[1] and cases regarding the admissibility of the preliminary breath test; and much more!

Best Practice Tips: Demonstrating Expertise Through Marketing

Posted on March 7, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a new non-equity partner in a 16-attorney firm in Phoenix, Arizona. My equity partners are telling me that I have to do more than generate billable hours and perform quality work for clients. They now expect me to bring in clients. Where do I start?

A. I often advise attorneys that while what you know is important what you want to be known for is more important. Just having your name known is pretty useless unless it is known for something. For example, it is best to be known as an outstanding personal injury plaintiff lawyer – not just a good lawyer. In law firms it is the reputation for expertise that matters, not just the reputation. Therefore, a successful marketing program must project and demonstrate expertise. This can be accomplished in the following ways:

ISBA Judicial Ratings Available for March 20 Primary Election

Posted on March 7, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Illinois voters are responsible for electing and retaining judges. To assist them in making informed decisions, ISBA provides information about the qualifications of judicial candidates and judges seeking retention. Lawyers who practice alongside candidates and judges are in a unique position to assess the professional qualities that are necessary for good judges. 

In anticipation of the March 20 primary election, judicial evaluations, poll results, candidate biographies, and information about Cook County's 15 subcircuits are now available.

Join ISBA's Group Admissions Ceremony to Practice Before the U.S. Supreme Court

Posted on March 5, 2018 by Sara Anderson
ISBA members outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building in 2015

Every few years, the Illinois State Bar Association organizes an admission ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court. There are still spaces available to join ISBA members for admission to the Supreme Court of the United States on June 4, 2018, in Washington D.C.

A reception will be held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday, June 3, and on Monday, there will be a continental breakfast prior to the group admission ceremony at the United States Supreme Court Building.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • An active lawyer member of the ISBA
  • Admitted to practice for more than three years
  • Have no adverse disciplinary action pronounced or in effect during that three-year period 

Interested applicants must complete the Application for Admission to Practice, which is available in the Application Packet on the ISBA Group Admission Ceremony page.

Contact Kim Weaver with any questions.

Lawyer Referral Service Makes Over 800 Referrals in February

Posted on March 5, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law. For the month of February 2018 there were over 800 referrals given.

Here are the results for February 2018:

Apply for the Bohemian Lawyers' Association of Chicago Scholarship

Posted on March 5, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Bohemian Lawyers' Scholarship Fund, a a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, awards scholarships to students of Czech, Moravian, Ruthenian, Silesian or Slovak ancestry enrolled in an accredited law school in the greater Chicagoland area every April.Scholarships range from $2,500 to $5,000 and to date, 110 scholarships have been given.

Thirteenth Subcircuit of Cook County Judicial Vacancy

Posted on March 5, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Applications are now being accepted for a judicial vacancy in the Thirteenth Subcircuit of Cook County, according to an announcement made by the Illinois Supreme Court. The vacancy was created by the resignation of Circuit Judge Margarita Kulys Hoffman, which took effect December 31, 2017.

Join PAD Law Fraternity for the Annual St. Patrick's Day Luncheon

Posted on March 5, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International - Chicago Alumni Chapter (CAC) is hosting it's annual St. Patrick's Day Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 15 at Petterino's Restaurant in Chicago. Attendees will enjoy Irish fare, a cash bar, and live music provided by Chicago Alumni Chapter Board Member Charlie McCarthy and Seanchie. 

Tables, which include 10 tickets and reserved seating, are $370. Tickets for CAC members and guests are $40 before March 9, or if received after or at the door, $50. Students can purchase tickets for a discounted price of $25 on or before March 5, or $30 at the door. The ticket order form includes additional details.

For further information, please contact Chicago Alumni Chapter Vice Justice Genevieve Niemann by e-mail or by phone at (217) 653-7098.