Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
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A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
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Young Lawyers Professional Development Series - Advice From the Bench

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Chris Bonjean

The second luncheon in a three-part luncheon series aimed at teaching law students and young attorneys practical steps in developing their legal career. Each luncheon will feature esteemed panelists discussing a variety of topics while also taking questions from the audience. This luncheon program will feature sitting judges offering tips to young lawyers on how to make a good impression in the courtroom.


  • The Honorable James F. Holderman, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • The Honorable Thomas R. Mulroy, Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division
  • The Honorable Laura C. Liu, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division


  • November 13, 2013, noon to 1 p.m.
  • ISBA Chicago Office, 20 S. Clark, Suite 900
  • Chicago, IL 60603


  • Jessica Durkin, Co-Chair of YLD's Professional Development Committee, Associate,  Miroballi Durkin & Rudin

Cost: $10 includes lunch. Cancellations will be accepted and refunded through Friday, November 8.  After November 8, no refunds will be given for cancellations.

No MCLE credit is available for this program.

Deadline to register is 4 pm, November 8.

Register now!

CLE: Collection Issues You Don’t Know About…But Should

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Chris Bonjean

Update your knowledge on the collection issues you don’t know about (but should!)  with this informative full-day seminar!

Don’t miss this opportunity to update your knowledge on the ins-and-out of the less common (but sometimes more complicated) issues that can arise when attempting to collect a commercial debt, whether it’s during a foreclosure, bankruptcy or post judgment proceeding. Attorneys with intermediate practice experience working in commercial litigation, banking, or collections and bankruptcy who attend this seminar in Chicago on November 15th will better understand: the important collection issues within a foreclosure; what happens to your judgment lien on real estate if the defendant passes away; how to break through a trust; how piercing the corporate veil or taking action against fraudulent conveyances can help you collect debts for your client; how the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act shields your servicemember client from adverse collection actions; otions for getting your client’s claim out of a defendant’s bankruptcy; how to handle your client’s lawsuit against a company that’s out of business; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Commercial Banking, Collections, and Bankruptcy Section and qualifies for 6.0 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Access to Justice Commission hosts 2nd Annual Conference

Posted on October 25, 2013 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Thomas L. KilbrideThe Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission hosted its second annual Conference on Oct. 23 that brought together more than 300 people from the legal and judicial fields to discuss the impact of pro bono work and evolving pro bono projects on the courts.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride opened the Conference and gave an overview of the Commission's work and accomplishments in the past year.

Bryan Stevenson, executive director at the Equal Justice Initiative based out of Alabama, served as the Conference's keynote speaker. A graduate of Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, he has represented capital defendants and death row prisoners in the Deep South since 1985 when he was a staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been recognized by several national publications and organizations as one of the nation’s top public interest lawyers.

Following Mr. Stevenson's address, there were three additional presentations about pro bono programs in Illinois and discussions on how to increase and improve on them.

Rita B. Garman to be installed as Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court on Oct. 28

Posted on October 24, 2013 by Chris Bonjean

Justice Rita B. GarmanThe elevation of Justice Rita B. Garman to become Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court will be marked by an installation ceremony Monday, October 28 at the Vermilion County Courthouse in Danville.

Justice Garman will become the 119th Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, the second woman in Illinois to be Chief Justice and the second woman to head one of the three branches of government in Illinois.

"I am honored and humbled to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve as Chief Justice," Justice Garman said. "This office has been held by many great jurists, several of whom I have served with and count among my friends. I welcome the challenges and the responsibility that go with the role of Chief Justice because I know that I can count on the support of my colleagues at all levels of the judiciary and the members of the Illinois bar."

Justice Garman was elected to the Court from the Fourth Judicial District, which is made up of 30 counties that stretch across central Illinois from west to east.

Her selection as Chief Justice on the seven-member Court culminates her long service to the people of Illinois. There are more than 950 judges in Illinois, and Justice Garman has served in the judiciary longer than all of them--except one.

Over 140 lawyers honored at 3rd Circuit Pro Bono Luncheon

Posted on October 24, 2013 by Chris Bonjean

An Honor Roll of more than 140 lawyers in the 3rd Circuit (Madison and Bond counties) were honored at a Pro Bono Luncheon on October 22 in Edwardsville.

From left: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier served as guest speaker; Chief Judge of the 3rd Circuit, David Hylla, welcomed a roomful of attendees; Judge Barbara Crowder chairs the 3rd Circuit Pro Bono Committee, the first to be formed in the state, and is secretary of ISBA's Delivery of Legal Services Committee; and Lois Wood, executive director of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, is chair of ISBA's Delivery of Legal Services Committee.

Divorcing spouses must share the cost of attorney fees - even fees already paid

Posted on October 24, 2013 by Mark S. Mathewson

In a ruling that emphasizes the importance of a "level playing field" in dissolution of marriage proceedings, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a wife could disgorge earned fees from her husband's divorce lawyer in order to pay her own legal expenses.

Both spouses had virtually no access to money, but the husband's family loaned him $8,750 to pay legal fees related to the divorce. He paid the money to his lawyer as an advanced payment retainer that, pursuant to the prior supreme court decision in Dowling v. Chicago Options Associates, Inc., 226 Ill. 2d 277 (2007), was earned by the lawyer upon receipt.

In the case of In re Marriage of Earlywine, 2013 IL 114779, a unanimous supreme court ruled that the public policy behind the "leveling of the playing field" provisions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act require the husband's lawyer to give up about half of his earned fees despite the provisions stated in Dowling that allow for advanced payment retainers. Read more and find out what lawyers are saying about the decision in the November IBJ.

Best Practice: Law firm partnership - The importance of compatibility and good fit

Posted on October 23, 2013 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the sole owner of an estate planning firm in Evansville, Indiana. I have three associates that work for me and four staff members. I am 64 and wanting to get started on a succession program - either by forming a partnership with one or more of the associates or with another attorney or attorneys that I might bring into the firm via merger. I have always been on my own so I am a little cautious. I do want to work another eight years or so. What pitfalls should I be looking out for?

CLE - Drug Case Issues and Specialty Courts

Posted on October 23, 2013 by Chris Bonjean

Increasingly, drug cases are part of the criminal caseload throughout Illinois. As such, it is important for attorneys to educate themselves on the tools needed for handling these types of cases and to be prepared for the unique issues that drug cases often present. Join us in Springfield on November 14th or Chicago on November 22nd! Attorneys with basic to intermediate experience practicing in criminal courts throughout the state who attend this seminar will better understand: the recently passed legislation involving drug and criminal cases; the most common issues involving pre-trial motions in drug cases; search and seizure issues, including the use of dogs to find drugs in homes and vehicles; how to utilize the veteran’s courts to assist your clients; what to expect in drug and other specialty courts; and much more!

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Criminal Justice Section and qualifies for 5.25 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information on the Springfield program.

Click here for more information on the Chicago program.