Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
ISBA Mutual Lawyers Malpractice Insurance
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A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
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ISBA Hosts Half-Day Seminar for In-House Counsel

Posted on October 9, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Moderator R. Stephen Scott, President Hon. Russell Hartigan, and Program Coordinator Bernard G. PeterOn Friday, October 6, the Chicago Regional Office hosted "Pathways to Becoming Corporate General Counsel and the Issues You Will Face," a CLE program geared toward attorneys interested in learning about life as a general counsel. The half-day seminar featured seven speakers, all general counsel at major corporations, who discussed the steps and skill set needed to become a general counsel, and tips to success once you've secured a position in a corporate legal department. 

Lawyer Referral Services Makes Over 900 Referrals in September

Posted on October 9, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The service makes referrals in a number of areas of law. For the month of September 2017, there were a total of 922 calls.  ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the 33 areas of law.

Here are the results for September 2017:

CLE: Illinois Medicaid Rules and Procedures Bootcamp

Posted on October 9, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Are you thinking of expanding your practice to include helping your clients apply for and receive Medicaid benefits to help pay for the cost of long term care? Then you won’t want to miss this nuts-and-bolts seminar in Chicago on October 12, 2017 that teaches you everything you need to know about the Illinois Medicaid rules and procedures. Estate planning practitioners, family law attorneys, elder law lawyers, and new attorneys with basic to intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar will learn: how to represent your clients when it’s time to apply for public benefits; how a homestead or family farm can affect Medicaid eligibility; the concepts and strategies you can use to legally and ethically protect assets while facilitating Medicaid eligibility; how to prepare and submit applications in Decatur and Chicago; how to appeal a denial of benefits; and much more.

Reserve Your Room for the 2017 Midyear Meeting in Chicago

Posted on October 9, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The 2017 Midyear Meeting will be held December 7– 9 at the Palmer House Hilton located at 17 East Monroe Street in Chicago. Our conference rate for 2017 is $179 for single or double occupancy, plus applicable taxes. Reservations at the Palmer House Hilton may be made online.

The deadline for making reservations for lodging is on or before November 4. Reservations received after this date will be subject to availability. The deposit will be forfeited for all no-shows, early departures, and cancellations less than 72 hours prior to arrival.

Watch Illinois Lawyer Now and the ISBA website for additional details, schedule of events, and registration information in the upcoming months.

Quick Take on the Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, October 5

Posted on October 5, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Kerry Bryson of the Office of the State Appellate Defender reviews the Illinois Supreme Court ruling in the criminal case People v. Bailey.

People v. Bailey

In 2005, Dennis Bailey was convicted of residential burglary and disarming a peace officer. Following an unsuccessful direct appeal and post-conviction petition, Bailey sought leave to file a successive post-conviction petition. The State filed a written objection, and Bailey field a written response.

The court held a hearing on the motion for leave to file; Bailey was not present and was not represented by counsel. At that hearing, the prosecutor argued that the pleadings did not satisfy the cause-and-prejudice test for filing a successive petition. The court acknowledged Bailey’s written response and denied leave to file.

Bailey challenged the State’s participation at the motion-for-leave-to-file stage of the proceedings, noting that the Post-Conviction Hearing Act does not expressly allow the State to file a responsive pleading or provide input on the court’s decision. The State argued that the Act is considered civil in nature, and parties are generally permitted to respond to motions for leave to file.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Do's and Don'ts for Green Card Holders Traveling Abroad

Posted on October 5, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Alen Takhsh of Takhsh Law, P.C. discusses the implications of traveling abroad for Green Card holders.

Best Practice Tips: Personal Injury Law Firm Strategic Planning

Posted on October 4, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a four-attorney plaintiff-side personal injury firm in Illinois. Three of us are partners and we have one associate attorney. We handle run of the mill slip and fall, vehicle, and premises accidents; products liability cases; and workers’ compensation cases. We have a very aggressive advertising and marketing program. We are having issues with reduced case flow and dwindling and diminishing profits and earnings. For the past year the partners have been living off our credit line. We believe that we need to be thinking about doing something different and are not sure as to what that should be. However, we have agreed to start doing some long-term planning. We would appreciate your thoughts.

New Law Protects Real Estate Purchasers Who Buy on Contract

Posted on October 4, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Most home purchases, unless they are cash deals, involve a mortgage loan. Since the real estate market crashed in 2008, a lesser-used path towards home ownership has been on the rise - owner financing. Also known as an installment contract, owner financing allows a buyer to live in a home while paying the seller the purchase price over time.

However, the practice is ripe for abuse because the purchaser doesn't actually own the home until the balance is paid in full. That means the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law - and its protections for homeowners - doesn't apply in the event of a default. A simple eviction action is all it takes to divest the would-be purchaser of what may be a significant financial investment. On August 25, 2017, Governor Rauner approved Public Act 100-0416, also known as the Installment Sales Contract Act, which is designed to provide protection for purchasers.

According to a March 2017 report by The Chicago Reader (, installment sales contracts are seeing a resurgence in Cook County, particularly in poorer communities that were hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. According to the Reader, Illinois law doesn't require that these contracts be recorded or otherwise registered with the state, which makes it difficult to know just how many exist.

Lawyers Needed to Assist with Hurricane Relief Efforts

Posted on October 3, 2017 by Sara Anderson

With the recent devastation that has occurred from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is hiring temporary employees to assist with disaster relief efforts through December 31, 2017. SBA has 30-, 60-, and 90-day assignments available, and has lawyer, paralegal, and legal assistant positions to fill. If you are interested in helping hurricane victims, visit the SBA website for the full list of job openings and qualifications.

CLE: Working Effectively with Interpreters – Live Webcast

Posted on October 3, 2017 by Sara Anderson

This program is available at no cost for the first 26 registrants who agree to take a pro bono case in the next year. Thank you to our sponsors for making this opportunity possible! 

     ♦  Illinois Bar Foundation
     ♦  Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI)
     ♦  Law Crawford P.C.

Learn how to identify internal barriers (within yourself and your law firm) that hinder communication with non-English speaking clients and how to overcome these barriers with this short online seminar on October 11, 2017. Attorneys with all levels of practice experience who work with a diverse client base who attend this seminar will better understand: what the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts is doing to help non-English speaking people gain better access to interpreters; the statewide Interpreter Registry; the pitfalls to avoid when working with interpreters; how and why you should take advantage of the pro bono opportunities in your community; and the resources available to attorneys willing to volunteer.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services. It qualifies for 1.50 hours MCLE credit, including 1.50 hours Professionalism, Civility or Legal Ethics Professional Responsibility MCLE (subject to approval).