Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
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A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
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Study: Court fees and costs are too high, rising too fast

Posted on December 8, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

"Illinois imposes a dizzying array of filing fees on civil litigants and court costs on defendants in criminal and traffic cases." So begins the executive summary of the Statutory Court Fee Task Force's June 1, 2016 report, available at

The Statutory Court Fee Task Force was created pursuant to the Access To Justice Act (705 ILCS 95/25) to "conduct a thorough review of the various statutory fees imposed or assessed on criminal defendants and civil litigants." The task force was composed of members appointed by representatives of both political parties and all three branches of government. The group identified four key findings, which led to six recommendations "that collectively will simplify the imposition, collection, and distribution of assessments while making them more transparent, affordable, and fair."

Quick Takes for Your Practice: The Basics on Landlord Tenant Law

Posted on December 8, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Illinois attorney Michael Zink of Starr, Bejgiert, Zink and Rowells, discusses the basics of landlord tenant law.

Free Wi-Fi available at Joint Midyear Meeting

Posted on December 7, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

In recognition of holding the Midyear Meeting at the Sheraton Grand Hotel for 22 years, the Sheraton has provided a one-time special thank you. There will be complimentary Wi-Fi in all ISBA meeting rooms and programs on Thursday afternoon, all day Friday and Saturday morning.

Access Code: ISBA Midyear Meeting

Password: isba2016

Again, this is a one-time special concession offered by the Sheraton for ISBA’s long-term working relationship.

Collaborative law proposal goes to ISBA Assembly

Posted on December 7, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

In October, the ISBA Board of Governors approved a proposal to support legislation and a new Rule of Professional Conduct that would expressly allow collaborative law in family law settings. The proposal now goes to the ISBA Assembly for consideration at its meeting Saturday, December 10.

Collaborative law is a process whereby attorneys work with parties to a divorce to reach a settlement and, ideally, avoid expensive and contentious litigation. The proposal under consideration would expressly allow divorcing couples to work with lawyers on a limited-scope basis to try to reach a settlement and avoid litigation.

In 2013, Senate Bill 31 was introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. It was an attempt to adopt the Collaborative Law Act as drafted by the Uniform Law Commission. The bill failed. The ISBA formally opposed SB 31 primarily due to separation of powers issues - the bill had components that would regulate the practice of law, which is the province of the supreme court, not the legislature.

Past President Umberto Davi appointed a committee to revisit the issue. The group drafted a proposed statute and an amendment to the Rules of Professional Conduct that would allow collaborative law in a family law setting, but without triggering the separation of powers issue that prompted the ISBA to oppose the previous bill. Find out more about the proposal and collaborative law in general in the December Illinois Bar Journal

Best Practice: Law Firm Client Development - Getting and Keeping Clients - Roles for Associates

Posted on December 7, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm is a twenty two lawyer insurance defense firm in Seattle. Over the years we have told our associates that they were hired to work on firm business and there was no requirement for them to develop or bring in client business. In fact we specifically asked them not to bring in business. Now we are rethinking that policy. Many of our equity partners are retiring and we are finding we have a group of grinders - with very few minders or finders capable of either retaining existing clients or bringing in new clients. What are your thoughts?

Illinois Lawyer Finder makes over 600 referrals in November

Posted on December 7, 2016 by Douglas Knapp

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 November 2016, there were 696 referrals. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Illinois Supreme Court appoints Joyce as circuit judge in Fourteenth Judicial Circuit

Posted on December 6, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Trish Joyce as a Resident Circuit Judge in Whiteside County in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Joyce was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. John L. Hauptman on December 5, 2016. Her appointment is effective December 21, 2016, and will conclude on December 3, 2018, when the position will be filled by the 2018 General Election.

Justice Kilbride recommended Ms. Joyce's appointment to the Supreme Court after an extensive application, evaluation and interview process that included the formation of a special judicial screening committee.

CLE: Implicit Bias in the Criminal Justice System

Posted on December 6, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Join us in Chicago on January 13, 2017 for a comprehensive look at how implicit racial bias impacts the criminal justice system, including through wrongful convictions based on false identification. Prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and others who attend this seminar will better understand: how implicit bias negatively impacts individuals caught in the criminal justice system; how the misidentification of criminal suspects is often a result of witness bias; the purpose behind the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office; why, as attorneys, it’s important to recognize bias within ourselves; the reasons behind false confessions and how the law can help prevent it from happening; the professional ethics issues that can arise during false confession cases; and much more!

Fastcase 7 now available to ISBA members

Posted on December 2, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Starting today, the ISBA is bringing you Fastcase 7, the all-new version of Fastcase. Many members already access Fastcase for their legal research and are familiar with the features and smart search tools that help you find the results you’re searching for faster. Fastcase 7 is an even more fluid and easy-to-navigate online legal research library. It has all of the familiar features and tools, plus an enhanced Forecite, Tag Cloud, Authority Check and Bad Law Bot, more advanced search options, new results screen options, larger fonts and selections to make documents easier to read on computer screens, and new dual-column printing options.