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Need conference room chairs? ISBA selling 10

Posted on August 16, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

As part of its Chicago office rehab, the Illinois State Bar Association has 10 office chairs available for $150 each. The chairs are green and in good condition. They have been in the Chicago office library for the past few years.

Contact Joyce Williams, Chicago Office Coordinator, at (312) 726-8775 if interested.

Breaking legal news for Tuesday, August 16

Posted on August 16, 2011 by Chris Bonjean


This post is updated with breaking news throughout the day.

More Daily Legal News available at

Retrials of Mary Surratt to be held in Chicago and Springfield

Posted on August 16, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission will hold two retrials of Mary Surratt. Surratt was the first woman executed by the United States after she was convited of conspiracy in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

The first retrial will be held in Chicago on Sept. 23 at the Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State. The cast will include Judge James B. Zagel as Judge; Karen Conti and Ed Genson for the Defense; Jim Montgomery and Dan Webb for the Prosecution and Bill Kurtis as Reporter. Tickets are $25 and are still available by calling (312) 554-2057.

The second retrial will be held on Oct. 3 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. The case will include Justice Thomas Appleton as Judge; Aasne Vigessa as Mary Surratt; Steven Beckett and Greg Harris for the Defense; Bill Davis and Carol Posegate for the Prosecution and Rich Bradley as Reporter. Tickets are sold out for the Springfield show.

Audiences will render a verdict on the fate of Surratt.

JAG Officers, Elder Law Attorney to provide legal information at the Illinois State Fair

Posted on August 15, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Two JAG officers will be on hand to answer general legal questions of service members and their families at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday, August 14, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., courtesy of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).

Timed to coincide with the fair’s Veterans Day celebration, the officers will be available at the ISBA tent on the fairgrounds located on Central Avenue across from the Dairy Building.

On Monday, August 15, during Senior Citizens Day, an elder law attorney will be available at the tent to answer general questions about the law related to seniors.

Throughout the 12-day event, the ISBA tent will distribute free legal pamphlets on a wide variety of legal issues.  Other freebies include gavel-like pencils, notepads, Abe Lincoln coloring books and temporary tattoos.

Fair-goers who want to assume a Lincoln identity can have their photo taken not WITH but AS the “Great Emancipator.”  The ISBA’s tent will have a life-size figure of Lincoln with a hole where his face should have been (sorry Abe) so visitors can have a free keepsake photo of themselves portrayed as the man considered Illinois’ most famous lawyer and one of the nation’s greatest U.S. Presidents.

The Illinois State Bar Association incorporates an image of Lincoln in their advertising and promotional materials with the tag line: “Our state has a history of some pretty good lawyers; we’re out to keep it that way.”

Thies elected as President-elect of the National Caucus of State Bar Associations

Posted on August 12, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA President-elect John E. Thies of Urbana was named President-elect of the National Caucus on Bar Associations at the recent ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto. The purpose of the caucus is to coordinate the efforts of state bar associations across the country in considering and proposing matters before the American Bar Association House of Delegates. Thies' term as president will coincide with his year as ISBA president (2012/13).  

“The state bar associations – including the ISBA – have a unique interest in many matters before the ABA House and within the ABA generally," Thies said. "These associations are most closely connected to the practicing bar, and the administration of justice at the core level. Accordingly, it is important that state bars have a strong voice within the ABA. In leading the Caucus, I plan to work with other state bar leaders to make sure that this is always the case.”

Judge David Gienapp (at lectern, the then-president of the Caucus) is shown declaring Thies' election following a nominating speech by ISBA President John Locallo (right).

Bohemian Lawyers' Association to host centennial celebration

Posted on August 12, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Bohemian Lawyers' Association of Chicago will host a centennial celebration on Sept. 30, 2011 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan. This celebration will honor the law school exchange program between Masaryk University Law Faculty and The John Marshall Law School.

The Bohemian Lawyers' Association was chartered on Oct. 4, 1911 and is the oldest ethnic bar association in the state. The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., a dinner at 7 p.m. and dancing to the music of the Marshall Vente Orchestra.

Click here for the ticket order from.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of August 11

Posted on August 11, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington discusses legislation of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Forcible Entry and Detainer: (Ford, D-Chicago; Martinez, D-Chicago) allows the plaintiff to include in a forcible entry and detainer complaint a request for the pro rata amount of rent due for any period that a judgment is stayed. Effective January 1, 2012.

Bergmann takes gavel as ABA YLD President

Posted on August 11, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Council member Michael G. Bergmann took the gavel as the new president of the ABA Young Lawyers Division on Saturday, August 6 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto. Bergmann is the Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) in Chicago. Bergmann is pictured (second from right) with fellow ISBA Section Council members (from left) Tarek Fadel, Kenya Jenkins-Wright and Bob Fink (ISBA YLD Immediate Past Chair).

Be sure to visit ISBA tent at Illinois State Fair!

Posted on August 11, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association will once again have a tent at the Illinois State Fair, starting today and continuing through August 21. The tent will look to help the public through the promotion of the ISBA's new Illinois Lawyer Finder public website.

The tent offers legal brochures for the public and an Abraham Lincoln photo opportunity for state fair patrons who want to put their face in Lincoln's image. There is also a laptop connected to the Illinois Lawyer Finder site that visitors can try out and visit the ISBA's new consumer website. Visitors can also receive giveaways including: the infamous gavel pencils, small notepads and ISBA temporary tattoos.

More information on the state fair is available at