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Southern Illinois

Nominating Petitions Now Being Accepted for Upcoming ISBA Election

Posted on January 2, 2018 by Sara Anderson

In the spring, members of the ISBA will elect a third vice president, six seats on the Board of Governors, and 22 seats on the Cook County Assembly.

One board seat is open in each of the following Areas: Cook County, Board Area 1 (circuit 18), Board Area 3 (Circuits 12, 13, 16, 21 and 23), Board Area 4 (circuits 10, 14, and 15), Board Area 6 (circuits 7, 8 and 9), and Board Area 8 (circuits 3 and 20).  

Nominating petitions are now being accepted and must be filed by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at either the Illinois Bar Center, 424 South 2nd Street, in Springfield, or the ISBA Office at 20 S. Clark Street, 9th Floor, Chicago.

Petitions must be physically submitted with original signatures. Petitions submitted via email or fax will not be accepted.

Candidates should submit their biography and photo online.

Questions regarding the filing of petitions should be directed to Kim Weaver, assistant to the executive director.

Find out more on the ISBA Elections page.
 

Temporary ISBA Service Interruption Scheduled on Dec. 29-30

Posted on December 20, 2017 by Sara Anderson

All ISBA systems will be down due to electrical work beginning Friday, Dec. 29 at 8 a.m. until Saturday, Dec. 30 at 12 p.m. (noon). During this time the ISBA website will not be available. As a result you will also not be able to log into Fastcase, online CLE, and ISBA Central. Here is what you need to know and steps you can take to ensure continued service.

Online CLE

You will not be able to access online CLE at all during the outage. If you need to complete CLE credit before the end of the year, we strongly urge you to plan to finalize that before the outage. 

ISBA Central Communities and Discussion Groups

Discussion groups will still be available via email, but you will not be able to log into ISBA Central. (Note: if you are already logged into the ISBA website, you may be able to access ISBA Central by going to it directly at http://central.isba.org).

Fastcase

For members who need to access Fastcase during this time, please follow the instructions below.

Allen Frederick Bennett 1943-2017

Posted on December 19, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Allen Frederick BennettAllen Frederick Bennett, 74, of Windsor, Illinois and resident circuit judge of Shelby County, 4th Judicial Circuit, passed away Wednesday, Nov.29, 2017. 

Allen was born in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, on August 29, 1943, to the late Leo and Donna (Hood) Bennett. The loss of Allen is deeply mourned by his wife, Tina (Lewis) Bennett; children: Tammera Kay McClendon, Allen (Christi) Bennett II, and Trina (Kevin) Bedlington; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sisters: Katie (Byron) Cartwright, Sally (Jim) Hooten and a host of nieces and nephews. 

Preceding Allen in death were his parents, Leo and Donna and his sister, Suzie (Bennett) Rudin.

Judge Bennett graduated with a business commerce degree from the University of Illinois. He attended law school at the University of Tennessee and received his J.D. in 1967. Judge Bennett was elected state's attorney in Moultrie County starting in 1968. Later he served as a public defender in Macon County. He was elected state representative from Decatur, Illinois, in 1976 serving one term. Allen also served as an assistant attorney general. Allen was a lobbyist for the Fraternal Order of Police, Troopers Lodge #41. Over the years he practiced law privately in Sullivan, Decatur, Springfield, and Shelbyville. He was elected resident circuit judge of Shelby County 4th Circuit in 2012. 
 

Mark D. Paulson 1965-2017

Posted on December 15, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Mark D. PaulsonMark D. Paulson, 52, of Carbondale, formerly of Decatur and Chicago, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017.

Mark was a graduate of Eisenhower High School, received a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Juris Doctorate, Suma Cum Laude, from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where he was also editor of the John Marshall Law Review. He was a proud member of the United States Army Reserves, 347th P&A Battalion, Marion, IL.

He was an attorney and partner for the Chicago law firm of Claussen Miller, P.C. for over 25 years, specializing in complex litigation, before retiring in 2016 due to health issues. He formerly worked on-air in radio news and programming in Carbondale. Mark settled back in Carbondale, in a peaceful cabin, on a serene pond, where he could fish, relax on his hammock, watch sports, play his guitar and entertain beloved friends and family.

In 2008 he published a book, 9/11 and Home, recounting his experiences after witnessing the attacks of 9/11 and being quarantined in a Newark N.J. hotel for the week afterward with thousands of stranded passengers.

Elizabeth Westbrooks 1984-2017

Posted on December 14, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Elizabeth WestbrooksElizabeth "Liz" Elaine Westbrooks of Greenville, Illinois, was born on November 17, 1984 in Greenville, and passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully and surrounded by those that loved her most, on November 15, 2017.

After attending Greenville Elementary School and Bond County Community Unit #2 High School, Elizabeth went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville in 2007. She then attended law school and graduated from the University of Missouri in 2010.

Elizabeth was a respected attorney and earned the admiration of her colleagues through her hard work and dedication to her craft. She began her legal career at Bryan Cave, where she worked briefly in the eDiscovery Department. Following her time there, she was an Associate first at Boggs Avellino Lach & Boggs and later at Weidner & McAuliffe between 2011 and 2013. Her early career focus was as a litigator defending insurance companies. Elizabeth then returned to Bryan Cave to serve as a Conflicts Attorney from 2013 through 2016. While there, she excelled in identifying ethics issues and provided attorneys with solutions to resolve conflicts of interest related to new representations. In late 2016, Elizabeth joined Thompson Coburn as Loss Prevention Counsel, where she collaborated with the General Counsel and the Loss Prevention Partners to resolve potential and actual conflicts of interest related to both new representations and incoming firm employees.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule Amended to Allow Good Cause E-Filing Exemption for Self-Represented Litigants

Posted on December 13, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 9(c)(4) was amended to allow a good cause exemption to e-filing for self-represented litigants (SRL). The rule change is effective immediately for proceedings in the supreme court and appellate courts. For proceedings in the circuit courts, the amended rule is effective on Jan. 1, 2018.

The amended rule defines the good cause exemption, which must be shown by certification and filed with the court before or with an initial pleading, that exempts SRLs from the e-filing requirement. It also specifies the procedures that must be followed to properly obtain the exemption.

The rule change comes less than three weeks before electronic filing in civil cases will be mandatory across Illinois, and reflects the Illinois Supreme Court's commitment to ensuring access to justice for everyone, including vulnerable SRLs.

Under the amended rule, good cause exists where a self-represented litigant is not able to e-file documents for the following reasons:

  • No computer or Internet access in the home and travel represents a hardship 
  • A disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, that prevents e-filing
  • A language barrier or low literacy (difficulty reading, writing, or speaking in English)
  • If the pleading is of a sensitive nature, such as a petition for an order of protection or civil no contact/stalking order

Judges retain discretion to determine whether good cause is shown, or if, under particular circumstances, good cause exists without the filing of a certificate.

ISBA Offices to Close During Holidays

Posted on December 13, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The ISBA Springfield and Chicago offices will be closed for the holidays beginning Friday, Dec. 22. They will reopen on Jan. 2, 2018. During this time, members can expect the following:

All business and e-newsletter distribution will resume as usual on Jan. 2, 2018. 

Charles Garnati 1952-2017

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Charles R. “Chuck” Garnati, 65, passed away peacefully at 2:10 a.m. Nov. 14, 2017, surrounded by his loving family in St. Louis University Hospital. Chuck was born Oct. 21, 1952, in Herrin, to Sam and Helen (Hemlock) Garnati.

He received a B.A. in history and pre-law at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIUC). He also attended University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. He completed his law degree at SIUC.

He was first elected as Williamson County state’s attorney in 1984 and continued to serve eight consecutive four-year terms. Chuck was the longest continuous serving state's attorney in the State of Illinois. He retired Sept. 8, 2014, having served 30 consecutive years. Chuck built his career being tough on crime. He tried 30 murder cases in 30 years as the county’s top prosecutor, gaining first-degree murder convictions in 29 of them and manslaughter in the other.

Chuck also initiated programs such as a domestic violence program which provided assistance and advocacy for both adults and juveniles. He also started a bad check program which collected thousands of dollars for the county and businesses.

Advocating for and supporting children was one of the primary goals for his office. He was a man who gave his life to public service. That service helped him to support two groups he helped create. The Williamson County Child Advocacy Center and CASA, a court appointed advocacy for children who are abused and neglected. Garnati’s Annual Golf Day Tournament raised large amounts of money for these programs to continue helping children. Brandon Zanotti has continued that tradition with the amount raised approaching a half million dollars.

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation Seeks Staff Attorney

Posted on November 29, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income individuals and groups in civil cases, is seeking a staff attorney at the Central Regional Office in East St. Louis.

The position includes representing clients in the areas of foreclosure and landlord/tenant law, and giving presentations to members of client population about their rights.

To be considered for this position, you must be admitted to practice law in Illinois and demonstrate a commitment to the representation of low-income individuals. Prior legal services experience is preferred.

Gregory Paul Erthal 1962-2017

Posted on November 20, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Gregory Paul ErthalGregory Paul Erthal passed away at 55-years-old at 12:52 AM on Monday, November 13, 2017 at Alton Memorial Hospital. He was born in Alton on January 14, 1962 the son of the late Paul and Mary (Abbott) Erthal. After his parents passed he was then raised by his aunt and uncle Bonnie and Dick Peipert. Greg was a 1980 graduate from Marquette Catholic High School and then went on to graduate cum laude with his B.A. from Bradley University in Peoria, where he was nominated for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and on the Dean’s List. He earned his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1987. Greg was an attorney for over 25 years and joined the Simmons firm in 2005. He has extensive trial experience prosecuting both felonies and misdemeanors as an assistant state’s attorney in Madison and Jackson counties. In addition, Greg served as the city attorney for Alton. On October 11, 2014 he married the former Michelle (Puckett) in Las Vegas and she survives. Also surviving are one step daughter; Leslie Gossard of Bethalto, a step grandson; Noah Gossard and two cousins that are like brothers; Rich Peipert of Godfrey and Scott Peipert of Charlotte, NC.

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