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Medical marijuana comes to Illinois

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

What will the Medical Cannabis Act mean for patients? For employers, especially those with zero-tolerance drug policies? Others? Are you ready to advise clients about what some are calling the most restrictive medical marijuana law in the country? Learn more in the April Illinois Bar Journal.

Ethics Question of the Week: Hiring suspended or disbarred lawyers for client intake

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q. Can I hire a suspended or disbarred lawyer to do simple client intake forms in my office under my supervision?

A. In In re Discipio, 163 Ill.Dec. 515, 645 N.E.2d 906 (1994), an Illinois lawyer was found to have violated the ethical prohibition on aiding the unauthorized practice of law for hiring a disbarred lawyer to gather information from clients and complete forms on their behalf. The applicable RPC is 5.5(a), which provides that “a lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.”

ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.

Disclaimer. These questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline. The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed. The information provided isn’t legal advice. Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.

City of Lincoln seeks Administrative Hearing Officer

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The City of Lincoln is seeking responses to the Request for Proposals for the position of Administrative Hearing Officer. The Administrative Hearing Officer is appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the Council, and provides adjudication in matters including, but not limited to towing/impounds, parking, and building regulations within the City of Lincoln.

Best Practice: Adding videos to law firm websites

Posted on March 19, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the partner in charge of marketing for our 12 attorney firm located in the Dallas suburbs. We are an estate planning/estate administration firm exclusively. We have a pretty good website with attorney bios and photos, articles, practice area descriptions, client testimonials and a blog that is updated weekly. We have been discussing the pros and cons of adding videos to the site. I would appreciate your thoughts.

A. I believe that videos can add to the quality of the site if done properly. A quality video can help you showcase your personality and bedside manner and help a potential client "get to know you." What you say may not be as important as how you say it. However, unless the video is a quality video and well done - it can do more harm than good. Here are a few thoughts:

1. Consider a video introduction by the managing partner introducing the firm linked off the home page.

2. Consider a video by each attorney linked off their bio pages.

3. Consider your audience - mom and pop individual clients as well as potential referral sources. Since your clients are individuals - dress and set your tone accordingly. Be a little less formal - speak to your client concerns. Think about their concerns.

4. Smile and be friendly.

5. Hire professionals to help you script and film professional quality videos. (Quality lighting and sound separates professional looking quality from homemade looking videos.)

6. Provide on-camera training and have your attorneys - Practice - Practice - Practice before live filming.

7. If you don't have anyone that looks good on camera - don't do it.

Young Lawyers to host Soiree on April 25

Posted on March 18, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The ISBA Young Lawyers will host the annual Soiree on April 25 at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. The evening will include an Open Bar, Hors d'oeuvres, Dancing, Casino Games, and Raffle. Proceeds benefit the YLD Children's Assistance Fund.

When: Friday, April 25, 2014, 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Where: Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, 230 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago (map and directions)
What: Event will include Open Bar, Hors d'oeuvres, Dancing, Casino Games, and Raffle.
Cost: $85 per ticket.
Deadlines: All sponsorships and advertisements must be purchased by Monday, April 14, 2014. Tickets must be purchased in advance by Monday, April 21, 2014 at

Cocktail/Semi-formal Attire Preferred.

The YLD Children's Assistance Fund is a special fund of the Illinois Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable entity.

Sponsorship opportunities:
$1,250 – Casino Table Sponsor (8 tickets)
$950 – Platinum Sponsor (6 tickets)
$650 – Gold Sponsor (4 tickets)
$350 – Silver Sponsor (2 tickets)

Ad Book:
$100 – Full Page
$50 – Half Page
$25 – Quarter Page

For more information, contact Lynne Davis or Rachel McDermott

CLE: Exempt Offerings: Regulation D to Crowd Funding

Posted on March 18, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Attorneys representing small to mid-size business that need access to investor capital need to be aware of the various multifaceted legal issues that can arise when funding a business, including the securities laws, rules and regulations that may affect the transaction, Don’t miss this opportunity on April 3rd to update your knowledge on a number of key areas, including: an overview of Regulation D; the changes to Regulation D brought about by the JOBS Act; crowd funding as an alternative option when Regulation D doesn’t work for the offering being contemplated; the steps to a crowd funding offering, including issuer requirements, funding portal requirements, and when an offering can commence; how monetary limits change based on the investor profile; the risks associated with crowd funding; the type of malpractice insurance necessary before engaging in securities work, as well as how insurance will be affected in the future; the necessary due diligence when considering potential securities clients; the Illinois state law considerations that should be taken into account when considering an exempt offering; and much more! For those unable to attend the on-site program in Chicago, the seminar will also broadcast via the Internet as a live webcast.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Business and Securities Law Section and qualifies for 2.25 hours MCLE credit, including 0.50 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Illinois Supreme Court disbars 1, suspends 10 in latest disciplinary filing

Posted on March 17, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on March 14, 2014, during the March Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.


  • Jason Scott Landgraf, Chicago

Mr. Landgraf, who was licensed in 1994, was disbarred on consent following his guilty plea in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on charges of bank fraud.


  • Reema Nicki Bajaj, South Elgin

Ms. Bajaj, who was licensed in 2010, was suspended for three years and until further order of the Court. She was convicted of a class A misdemeanor charge of prostitution. In addition, she made material misrepresentations to the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar in her bar application and later failed to be candid to the ARDC during the course of the disciplinary investigation.

Don't forget to bring ISBA judicial ratings to the voting booth

Posted on March 17, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Since Illinois voters have the responsibility to elect judges, the Illinois State Bar Association feels it has an obligation to share with the public information about qualifications of judicial candidates. The lawyers who practice alongside candidates for judicial office are in a unique position to assess the professional qualities that are necessary for good judges.

Judicial Evaluations and Polls for the 2014 Primary

Methods ISBA uses to rate candidates

For most judicial offices, ISBA will provide either an evaluation or a poll rating; in the case of Supreme and Appellate court candidates outside of Cook County, ISBA will provide both an evaluation rating and poll results. NOTE: Evaluation ratings, which are the result of an in-depth review of candidates, are the opinion of the Illinois State Bar Association; the Judicial Advisory Poll ratings do not reflect the opinion of ISBA, but rather the opinion of those attorneys who participated in the poll.

Nominations being accepted for Young Lawyer of the Year Award and Law Student Public Service Award

Posted on March 17, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Young Lawyer of the Year Award: Nominate a young lawyer to be honored by the ISBA for their contribution to the advancement of the Bar of Illinois and participation in the ISBA.  To be eligible, the nominee must be under the age of 36 and an ISBA member.  One award will be given to a young lawyer practicing outside Cook County, and one to a young lawyer practicing within Cook County. Fill out the nomination form at Forms are due on April 4, 2014.

ISBA Law Student Public Service Award: Nominate an Illinois law student to be honored by the ISBA for their participation in activities that enhance professional responsibility and provide service to the public.  The award is based on extracurricular accomplishments and service related activities during the law school career.  The ISBA will award one $250 donation in the name of the final winner to a non-profit organization of the winner’s choice. Fill out the nomination form at Forms are due on April 4, 2014.

2 Minutes with the President: Paula H. Holderman interviews Justice Jesse Reyes

Posted on March 13, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman interviews 1st District Appellate Justice Jesse Reyes. They discuss the importance of diversity in the bench and bar and why community outreach to inspire youths to join the legal profession is so important.