Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
ISBA Mutual Lawyers Malpractice Insurance
view counter
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
view counter
view counter

Karmeier describes recent supreme court rule changes

Posted on April 12, 2012 by Mark S. Mathewson

The latest ISBA Bench & Bar newsletter features a description of recent supreme court initiatives and rule changes -- e-filing, cameras in the courts, electronic-instead-of-print publishing of official opinions, etc. -- written by someone who should know. Read Justice Karmeier's review

ISBA ethics opinion: Illinois firm can't include non-Illinois lawyer who's often there in person or electronically

Posted on April 12, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The ISBA ethics opinion database is online and organized by year, subject and a general search.

ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion No. 12-09, March 2012

Digest: A lawyer not admitted in Illinois may not primarily practice in this state, physically or through a virtual office, even if the co-owner of the law firm is a lawyer, licensed in Illinois, who has direct supervision of the non-admitted lawyer on matters involving Illinois clients.

References: Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct 5.5, 7.1, 8.5(a)
ABA Report of the Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice (2002)
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 721(a)(4)
Ohio Sup. Ct., Bd. of Comm’rs on Grievances & Discipline, Opinion 2011-2


Two attorneys wish to establish a law practice owned 50/50 between them. One is licensed only in Illinois, one is licensed only in State X.

Both live and primarily work in Illinois. However, the attorney licensed in State X makes frequent visits to State X for networking and to cultivate a client base there. The attorneys agree that the Illinois-licensed attorney will have direct supervision and ultimate authority over matters involving Illinois clients, although the State X-licensed attorney will interact with Illinois clients and dispense legal advice to them from time to time.

Best Practice: Using competitive intelligence to support law firm strategy

Posted on April 11, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am managing director of a 45 attorney firm in Pittsburg. Due to changes in our client industries, shrinking demand and competition from both regional and national law firms, we are starting to work on our first strategic plan. I have been hearing a lot about competitive intelligence. Should this be part of our planning process?

A. Competitive intelligence is a popular term being used to describe information gathering (secondary research) on your clients, client industries, prospective or target clients, competitors, geographic markets, emerging practice areas, etc. Its goals are to provide actionable intelligence that provides a competitive edge. It reduces risk and identifies opportunities.

All strategic plans should contain a secondary research (competitive intelligence) component. Research objectives might focus on one or all of the following:

1. Identify prospects
2. Spot litigation activity for current and prospective clients
3. Identify emerging litigation issues and trends
4. Improve the quality of your client proposals
5. Identify lateral candidates
6. Identify potential acquisition and merger partners
7. Identify emerging client and industry needs
8. Identify emerging new practice areas
9. Explore expansion into new geographic locations

Click here for articles on other topics

Click here for our archive blog on strategies

Illinois Lawyer Finder makes 745 referrals in March

Posted on April 10, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law.  For the month of March 2012, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

  • Administrative Law - 13
  • Animal Law - 2
  • Bankruptcy - 13
  • Business Law - 7      
  • Civil Disputes - 63
  • Civil Rights - 25
  • Collection - 27
  • Consumer Protection - 8
  • Contracts - 12
  • Criminal Law - 75
  • Education Law - 15
  • Elder law - 7
  • Employment Law - 64
  • Estate/Probate Law - 34
  • Family - 149   
  • Government Benefits - 15
  • Health Law - 8
  • Immigration - 4
  • Insurance Disputes - 8
  • Intellectual Property - 3
  • Miscellaneous - 5        
  • Municipal Law - 7                  
  • Personal Injury - 90                
  • Real Estate - 60
  • Social Security - 18                             
  • Tax - 3
  • Workers Compensation - 10

These numbers do not include additional referrals made through the online Lawyer Finder service.

Book signing for Sam Amirante's "John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster"

Posted on April 9, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA member Sam Amirante will be signing copies of his book, "John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster" on May 10 from 5:30-7 p.m. at Beef and Brandy, 127 S. State in Chicago. This event is sponsored by Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity.

Sam, ex Public Defender, retired judge, husband, father, and leader of his own private law firm practice, shares “the story behind the story” at this gathering. Mark your calendars and come after work to join the world’s largest legal fraternity as Sam shares stories with fellow barristers and personalizes an inscription for your very own copy of his book.

Many of us have known Sam for years and have enjoyed his wit, perceptions, and conviviality as practicing lawyers. Now his book has achieved national acclaim and great reviews. The book chronicles the efforts by Sam to defend the same rights of every American accused of a crime. He answers the question of "How could you defend that monster?" with candor and honesty, shedding a different insightful light on a lawyer's most difficult duty. Here’s your chance to meet and enjoy the man behind the story and claim your copy of this book.

This event is free and no RSVP is required. Questions? Contact Charlie McCarthy at or (630) 571-4126

ISBA President Locallo visits SIU Law School, tours tornado damage on southern swing

Posted on April 6, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President John G. Locallo (left) views tornado damage with Shawneetown lawyer James Smith, who lives near Harrisburg. The grain bin came from a nearby farm and was embedded in a grove of trees.Illinois State Bar Association President John G. Locallo lectured a law school class, discussed cameras in the courts with the news media, and toured tornado damage on a visit this week to southern Illinois.

Locallo met with Saline County lawyers for lunch in Harrisburg on Wednesday. Harrisburg was hard hit by the “Leap Day tornado” on Feb. 29, that took seven lives and destroyed a significant section of the city. He also took a tour of area storm damage.

On Thursday, President Locallo took time to lecture SIU School of Law Dean Cynthia Fountaine’s class on starting and keeping a law practice. He also met other students during a reception hosted by the law school.

Click here to watch a television report on President Locallo’s comments on cameras in the courts.

Quick take: Supreme Court says challenge to assault weapon ban can proceed

Posted on April 5, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Wilson v. County of Cook

By Michael T. Reagan, The Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

The circuit and appellate courts had rejected plaintiffs' constitutional challenges to the Cook County ordinance banning assault weapons. While the plaintiffs' petition for leave to appeal was pending in the Illinois Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of the United States filed its decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S.Ct. 3020 (2010). The Illinois Supreme Court entered a supervisory order directing the appellate court to vacate its prior judgment and to reconsider the appeal in light of McDonald.

April entertainment discounts for ISBA members include Disney, Six Flags

Posted on April 5, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Theme Park’s Are Open For Business
There’s good news for roller coaster enthusiasts this month – All Six Flags parks are now open! And the better news – is offering savings up to 40% on Six Flags Theme Parks nationwide! Experience the 17 world-class roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California with 40% savings. Or visit the park that has won Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for “Best Theme Park Shows in the Country” for eight consecutive years at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio with savings up to 30%. There’s plenty more Six Flags to experience so make sure you check them all out at And speaking of theme park deals you can save up to 20% on meal deals at Aquatica Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay only at

Foreclosure mediation programs finding homes throughout the state

Posted on April 5, 2012 by Mark S. Mathewson

Coordinators of a new foreclosure-mediation program in McLean County hope to expedite foreclosure litigation, clear up the court's docket, and help make the process a little more user-friendly for people at risk of losing their homes. Find out more in the April Illinois Bar Journal.