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President Thies responds to warning of weekly federal court closings

Posted on September 11, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The following is ISBA President John E. Thies' response to Chief Judge Holderman's letter on the possibility of weekly federal court closings due to budget cuts. ISBA members are urged to join President Thies in this effort by contacting their representatives in Congress. Contact information for Illinois' Congressional delegation can be found at

Dear Chief Judge Holderman:

I appreciate the opportunity to respond on behalf of the Illinois State Bar Association to your September 4, 2012, letter detailing the perilous situation confronting the federal courts in the absence of positive budgetary intervention by the Congress.

You asked about our views on how our lawyer members and their clients would be impacted if the U.S. Court for the Northem District of Illinois is forced to drastically diminish its operations. I want to focus my response on the effect such action would have on our clients - the parties in civil actions and the individuals involved in criminal prosecutions. It is they who would be most affected by the interruption of court services.

CLE: The Basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Posted on September 10, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Get the introductory information you need to better serve your clients that are facing an Americans with Disabilities Act case – from the important judicial decisions that have affected the Act, to the emerging issues arising under the Act, to the professional responsibility problems that can arise when representing ADA clients. General practitioners and civil rights attorneys will leave the seminar with a better understanding of the following: the employment rights of disabled individuals (Title I); the rights of disabled persons who use government-funded services and programs (Title II); the regulations governing public accommodations for persons with disabilities (Title III); the various U.S. Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit decisions that have affected the Americans with Disabilities Act; and the ongoing issues – such as web accessibility and pre-employment medical inquiries – that are arising under ADA.

The program, which takes place in Chicago on September 28, 2012, qualifies for 3.25 hours MCLE credit, including .50 hour PMCLE (subject to approval) and is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Disability Law.

Can’t attend the live program in Chicago?Then join us via web! This program will broadcast live over the Internet so that attorneys can attend remotely.

Click here for more information and to register for the CHICAGO PROGRAM.

ISBA Member Update with President John E. Thies - Free CLE

Posted on September 10, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President John E. Thies is proud to announce a new member benefit - 15 hours of free CLE each year for ISBA members.


Find out more at

Quick take on Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinion on Chicago election case

Posted on September 7, 2012 by Chris Bonjean


Jackson v. The Board of Election Commissioners of the City of Chicago

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

Carmelita Earls and her husband obtained homestead exemptions on three properties in Cook County. Preparatory to filing to run for Alderman, Earls checked with the Indebtedness Check Unit of the City of Chicago Department of Revenue and was told that she owed no outstanding debt to the City. Shortly after, the Assessor's office challenged two of the homestead exemptions. Earls then promptly executed waivers of those exemptions. An objection was raised to Earls' candidacy, in which it was contended that Earls was in arrears in payment of taxes or other indebtedness to the City. 

Liability Minute: Court Rejects the Fiduciary Duty Exception

Posted on September 7, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Two recent cases out of the First District of the Appellate Court in Illinois have bolstered the right of attorneys to assert the attorney client and work product privileges to withhold documents in the context of a malpractice claim against them. In Garvey v. Seyfarth Shaw LLP, 2012 Ill. App. LEXIS 132; 966 N.E. 2d 523 (1st Dist. Mar. 1, 2012) and MDA City Apartments, LLC v. DLA Piper LLP (US), 2012 Ill. App. LEXIS 201 (1st Dist. Mar. 22, 2012), the Court rejected the application of the “fiduciary-duty” exception to the attorney client and work product privileges. The opinions give instruction as to the underlying facts and factors which will frame and preserve an attorney’s asserted privilege as against his or her former client.

Today is final day to register online for Solo & Small Firm Conference - ISBA members save $75

Posted on September 7, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association's 8th Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference returns to Chicagoland Sept. 13-15 at the Westin Northwest Chicago in Itasca. Online registration closes today (Sept. 7) - ISBA members register today to save $75 off the onsite fee. Earn up to 15 hours of MCLE credit, including all 6 hours of PMCLE credit.

Top 10 Reasons To Attend This Year’s Conference

  1. Networking with like-minded peers from across the state!
  2. Crowd favorite program Gizmos & Gadgets returns
  3. Basic and advanced Fastcase legal research training
  4. New location in Itasca, just northwest of Chicago
  5. Individual counseling on how to market your firm
  6. Mobile Device App to put Conference info you need at your fingertips
  7. Comedians-at-Law at Friday night social event
  8. Plenary speaker Todd Winegar's Trials of the Century Overview program
  9. New 4th track of programming – Practice Fundamentals
  10. 15 HRS MCLE/ 6 HRS PMCLE credit available

Learn more and register today at

Today is final day for reduced price registration for Race Judicata; event now in Arvey Field

Posted on September 7, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Judges Association and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois are teaming up for three times the fun at Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) 19th annual Race Judicata Sprint for Justice 5K Run/Walk. This fundraising event takes place on Sept. 13 at in Chicago’s Grant Park. Due to the damage caused to Upper Hutchinson Field by Lallapalooza the Chicago Park District has moved the event to Arvey Field. Arvey Field is located south of Lower Hutchinson Field. Click here for a map that shows the new location.

T-shirts will be provided for team members. All proceeds from Race Judicata go to the general operating costs of CVLS, which works to provide legal services to the poor and working poor of Chicago. The three associations will host a tent that will serve as the main gathering point for ISBA, IJA and WBAI members. Food and water will be available at the tent. The entry fee is $33 through Sept. 7. Register under the team name IJA.WBAI.ISBA at

Just The Beginning Foundation to offer free CLE at Annual Conference

Posted on September 7, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The Just The Beginning Foundation, ISBA's Law and Leadership partner, is offering free CLE credits at its 20th Anniversary Conference "Reaching Back, Lifting Up." Each panel (list below) awards between .50 and .75 Illinois Professional Responsibility credits. The conference will be held Sept. 21-22 at the Chicago Marriott, 540 N. Michigan Ave. Click here to register.

IJA President lauds judges for ISBA activity

Posted on September 7, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Illinois Judges Association (IJA) President Rita M. Novak has announced that 90 judges have been appointed to committees of the Illinois State Bar Association by its new President John E. Thies.

Judge Novak, an Associate Judge from Cook County, pointed to Illinois judges continuing commitment to the betterment of the legal profession. She said: “It is difficult for both lawyers and for judges to find the extra time, in addition to their already demanding jobs, to be part of the larger profession. But that is our responsibility. I am proud of the commitment of Illinois’ judges to our state bar association.”

Among those serving on ISBA committees are Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier, of Nashville, who is a member of the Bench and Bar Section Council.

Many judges have committed to leadership positions in the ISBA. Hon. Stephen Pacey, of Paxton, is Treasurer of the 33,000-member organization. Judge Pacey, along with the Hon. Russell Hartigan of Cook County, also serves on the ISBA Board of Governors. Both men also perform other committee work for the ISBA. The 27-member Board of Governors oversees the operations and management of the ISBA, subject to policies set by the ISBA Assembly.

Numerous judges also serve on the ISBA Assembly, which is the supreme policy making body of the Association, with 201 lawyer or judge members elected on a pro rata basis from the judicial circuits.