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Reception will raise funds to combat slavery in Mauritania

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

The ISBA is among bar associations co-hosting a free reception in Chicago Monday, February 13, for two world-recognized anti-slavery leaders, Biram Abeid and Brahim Randhame of Mauritania, West Africa. Abeid and Randhame have led the fight against slavery in Mauritania, which did not criminalize the practice until 2007 and whose weak anti-slavery laws are seldom enforced. Slavery in Mauritania is race- and descent-based and is chillingly similar to that in the antebellum United States.

The reception will be from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Latham & Watkins LLC Conference Center at 330 N. Wabash #2800 (find out more and RSVP here) and will raise funds to help combat slavery in Mauritania. The legal community is partnering with the Chicago-based Abolition Institute to host the event. For more information contact

Online reviews aren't going away - here's how to respond

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Consumers go online to rate restaurants, hotels, retail businesses, and home services. Specialized sites have sprung up to rate teachers, professors, doctors, and other professionals. So why should lawyers be an exception?

In fact they're not, and for that reason they need to promote - and defend - their reputation online much as they do in physical space, although the specific concerns and methods may differ. To begin with, attorneys need to claim and populate their page on the legal website Avvo, while promoting themselves elsewhere on other social media, says Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute.

"It's better to play offense than defense," he says. "It is not a matter of if you will get a negative review, it is a matter of when. Eventually, someone is not going to like what you did. It's better to take a proactive approach. We are in the consumer review economy. You can't get away from it. It is what it is. Let's deal with it." Find out how to respond to negative reviews in the February Illinois Bar Journal.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court opinions issued Friday, Jan. 20

Posted on January 21, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Friday, January 20. The cases are The Hertz Corporation v. City of Chicago, Board of Education of Springfield School Dist. No. 186 v. Attorney General of Illinois, Village of Bartonville v. Lopez, and People v. Johnson.


The Hertz Corporation v. City of Chicago

By Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of Jan. 19, 2017

Posted on January 19, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers the Illinois Vehicle CodeLandlord and Tenant ActValue After Rehabilitation Appraisal Act, domestic violence, and mortgage foreclosure

More information on each bill is available below the video.

CLE: Hot Topics in Agricultural Law - 2017

Posted on January 19, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

Don’t miss this annual event that updates you on a number of key agricultural law issues! Get the information you need on several hot topic areas in the agricultural law area, including recent developments and anticipated changes to Illinois and federal estate and income tax law. Attorneys with intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar in Springfield on February 3, 2017 will better understand: mineral law surveys and updates involving the Severed Mineral Interest Act; the environmental laws that may affect farming businesses; the agricultural-related legislation involving agro-environmental issues; how to create a succession plan for family-owned farms; farm lease forms and current leasing trends; key ethics issues to be aware of, including confidentiality and conflicts of interest; and much more!

Illinois associate judge appointed in the First Judicial Circuit

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced that the First Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Michael A. Fiello as an associate judge of the First Judicial Circuit.

Illinois associate judge appointed in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Charles E. Petersen as an associate judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit.

Quick Takes for Your Practice - Presenting Expert Testimony: Standards & Medical Literature

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Illinois attorney Kurt Lloyd of Lloyd Law Group, Ltd., shares tips about using standards and medical literature when presenting expert witness testimony.

Halting of overtime rule puts employers in wait-and-see mode

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

On December 1, 2016 the Department of Labor's new overtime rule, which raised the wage threshold for workers who are exempt from overtime, was supposed to take effect. However, on November 22, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction against the implementation of the rule.

Chicago attorney Alisa Arnoff says the injunction has created a tricky situation for some employers who are already complying with the rule. They risk serious morale problems if they change employee titles, exemption status, and/or compensation back to pre-rule levels. Those problems may be on top of morale problems caused when employers initially complied with the rule. Some employees may have been disappointed to lose overtime compensation by being given a raise in pay and presumably duties qualifying them as exempt. Others might have been disappointed that they are no longer exempt executive, administrative, or professional employees, and are now simply "hourly," regardless of the potential for overtime pay. Right now, employers are in a "wait and see" position, she notes. Read more about the injunction in the January Illinois Bar Journal.

Illinois Supreme Court disbars 4, suspends 8 in latest disciplinary filing

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Morgan Yingst

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on January 13, 2017, during the January Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Sean Patrick Fleming, Barrington

Mr. Fleming, who was licensed in 2007, was disbarred. He neglected ten different bankruptcy matters, misappropriated over $3,000 in filing fees, made misrepresentations to his clients about the status of their legal matters, and failed to return unearned fees.