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Applications being accepted for judicial vacancy in 8th Circuit

Posted on May 1, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for a Circuit Court vacancy in the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

CLE: Attorney Education in Child Custody and Visitation Matters in 2014 and Beyond

Posted on May 1, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

This two-day program in Carbondale on May 22-23 is designed to help those attorneys who represent children. Under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 906(c)**, attorneys should receive 10 hours of education every two years in child development; roles of guardians ad litem and child representatives; ethics in child custody cases; relevant substantive state, federal, and case law in custody and visitation matters; and family dynamics, including substance abuse, domestic abuse, and mental health issues.

Ethics Question of the Week: Can I take a security interest in a client's property to guarantee a fee?

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Q. Can I take a security interest in property my client owns (but not involved in the representation) to guarantee my fee?

A. IRPC 1.8(i) provides that a lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of litigation a lawyer is conducting for his client. See Supreme Court Rule 1.8.  Comment [16] to that Rule provides additional guidance on acquiring security interests from clients.  That Comment says: “When a lawyer acquires by contract a security interest in property other than that recovered through the lawyer’s efforts in the litigation, such acquisition is a business or financial transaction with a client and is governed by the requirements of paragraph (a)” of RPC 1.8 (which requires: objectively fair and reasonable terms; written disclosure of the terms; written notice that the client should seek review by another lawyer; and informed client consent in writing).

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

Best Practice: Associate training and mentoring

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. We are a three attorney personal injury plaintiff firm in Moline, Illinois. There are two partners and one associate in the firm. We handle a large volume of small PI files - currently we have 700+ open files handled by three attorneys and 5 assistants. We recently hired our fourth attorney - second associate - that came to us with 20 year's experience as an associate in several large firms (100 plus attorney firms). The attorney, who has been with us for about 8 weeks, has never handled personal injury cases and is having some problems getting organized. Do you have any suggestions?

Want more clients? Start blogging

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Mark S. Mathewson

Effective blogging is essential to making the most of your social media presence and attracting prospective clients to your website, legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley says. "[You can't] do social media adequately without having a blog," Fairley told attendees at the most recent ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference. "I believe they are interdependent. The more content you produce, the more effective your social media will be." Find out why in the May Illinois Bar Journal.

13 new associate judges named in Cook County

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The names of 13 new associate judges, selected in a vote of Cook County Circuit Court judges, were announced Tuesday by Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts.

Ballots listing the names of 26 finalists, chosen from 277 candidates, were distributed to 257 circuit judges. Ballots were due April 25, 2014.

The Alliance of Bar Associations and the Chicago Bar Association evaluated the candidates. Each candidate was interviewed by an 11-member nominating committee, comprised of Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans of the Cook County Circuit Court and 10 presiding judges.

Judge Evans certified the 26 finalists to the Administrative Director on March 28, 2014.

In accordance with the 1970 Illinois Constitution, the Administrative Office conducted the election pursuant to the provisions of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 39 which directs that twice as many candidates as vacancies be nominated. Supreme Court Rule 39 provides that the term for all associate judges expires on June 30, 2015. The 13 judges appointed today, as well as those associate judges currently serving, must be reappointed July 1, 2015. Cook County seats 146 associate judges.

The following is a list of the newly selected Cook County associate judges. A brief biography of the thirteen associate judges named today is attached.

Nearly 700 new attorneys admitted to practice in Illinois

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman addresses the new admittees at the 1st District Admission ceremony Thursday at the Thompson Center.Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court administered the attorney’s oath to 691 new attorneys at five separate locations on Thursday, May 1.

All of the candidates have passed the Illinois state bar examination, an ethics examination, and have been certified by the Committee on Character and Fitness.

The largest group, 474, were admitted in the First Judicial District during ceremonies in the James R. Thompson Center Assembly Hall in Chicago.

ISBA President Paula H. Holderman addressed the new admittees at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony with Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Freeman and Appellate Justice Joy V. Cunningham presiding.

Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke presided over the 9 a.m. ceremony and Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis presided over the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

Illinois Bar Foundation to honor Kinnally, Rogaliner

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

Patrick Kinnally and Susan RogalinerThe Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation will honor Patrick Kinnally and Susan Rogaliner on May 22. The Kane County Fellows Reception will be held at Riverside Reception, 35 N. River Lane in Geneva. The event takes place from 5-6:30 and tickets are $40.

Tickets and information are available at The Illinois Bar Foundation would like to thank Patron Sponsor ISBA Mutual Insurance Company and Friend Sponsors Lisa M. Nyuli, Turner Law Offices, Law Elder Law and Kinnally Flaherty, Krentz, Loran, Hodge & Masur PC.

April 30 is last day to vote in ISBA election

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

All ISBA members with their dues paid by March 1, 2014 are eligible to vote for contested races in their area. All eligible voting members may vote for Third Vice President; members with voting addresses in Cook County may also vote for Board of Governors, Under Age 37 Cook County. 

Competing in this years contested races are Russell Hartigan and David Sosin for 3rd Vice President and Dennis Lynch and Anna Krolikowska for the Under 37 Board of Governors seat for Cook County.

Voting ends at 4:30 p.m. CT Wednesday, April 30th. Paper ballots must be received at VR Election Services in Texas by 4:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, April 30 in order to be counted.

If you have not received your e-ballot, please check your email spam folder under the suffix "”.  If your e-ballot is not in your spam folder, or if you received an electronic ballot and want to vote by paper ballot, please contact VRES at (800) 218-4026 or

Election results will be provided by the Tellers of the Election no later than May 10, 2014.