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A new standard for judging covenants not to compete

Posted on March 7, 2012 by Mark S. Mathewson

In Reliable Fire Equipment Co. v. Arredondo (PDF), the Illinois Supreme Court abandoned a rigid two-factor test for determining what a “legitimate business interest" is for purposes of deciding whether an employment covenant not to compete is too restrictive. The court replaced the old test with a much more flexible standard. It's a big change in an important area of the law. Learn more from this in-depth review in the latest issue of The Corporate Lawyer, newsletter of the ISBA Section on Corporate Law.

Best Practice: Growing a Law Firm: Issues to Think About

Posted on March 7, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our practice is located in Memphis. We have three attorneys, 3 paralegals, and two staff members. We will generate $1,500,000 in legal fees this year. We plan on growing the firm and hope to break the $2.5 million barrier in three years. We have a very proactive marketing plan and program. What else do we need to think about?

A. Growth will involve more the marketing and getting more clients - particularly a firm your size. To generate this revenue you will have to add several revenue producers which could almost double your size. You will become a different firm. Instead of three attorneys - you may have six or seven unless your growth will occur by adding mostly paralegals. Even so, there will be more people. This will impact your physical facilities and physical plant, your systems, your IT infrastructure, approach to talent management, and how the firm is managed. Growth requires investment and puts strain on cash flow. So this needs to be planned for. If you don't have a strategic plan (see our blog under strategy section) I suggest that you consider developing one. A strategic plan will require you to think beyond the marketing plan and getting clients - and address all of the other issues that will impact the firm as you grow.

Click here for our blog on law firm strategy

Click here for our published articles

Illinois Lawyer Finder service makes nearly 700 referrals in February

Posted on March 6, 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 February 2012, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

  • Administrative Law – 14
  • Animal Law - 5
  • Bankruptcy - 18
  • Business Law - 19                   
  • Civil Disputes - 43
  • Civil Rights - 15          
  • Collection – 27
  • Consumer Protection - 32
  • Contracts – 5
  • Criminal Law - 61
  • Education Law - 11
  • Employment Law - 61
  • Estate/Probate Law - 28
  • Family - 128               
  • Government Benefits - 15
  • Health Law - 2
  • Immigration - 7
  • Insurance Disputes - 9
  • Intellectual Property - 5 
  • Miscellaneous - 4        
  • Municipal Law - 7                  
  • Personal Injury - 75
  • Real Estate - 56
  • Social Security - 13
  • Tax - 8
  • Workers Compensation - 8

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

Want to be part of the ISBA Lawyer Finder Service? Call (800) 252-8908 and ask for the Legal Department, or visit

Clients should call (800) 922-8757.

ISBA Past President Lyle W. Allen passes away

Posted on March 6, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Lyle W. Allen, official ISBA President's portraitIllinois State Bar Association Past President Lyle W. Allen, 87, of Peoria, passed away Saturday, March 3 at his home. He served as the ISBA's 96th President from 1972-73.

Born June 17, 1924, in Chillicothe, to Donald M. and Mary Ellen McEvoy Allen, he married Helen M. Kolar Aug. 16, 1947 in Fox River Grove. 

A 1942 graduate of Chillicothe High School, he received his preparatory education at Northwestern University (B.S. 1947). He received his legal education at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin (J.D. 1950). In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. As member of the 87th Infantry Division in the European Theater of World War II, he earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.  

He was admitted to the Illinois and Wisconsin bars in 1950. In 1951, he joined the Peoria law firm of Heyl, Royster, & Voelker. He was admitted to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1954, and to the United States Supreme Court in 1960. In 1962 the firm’s name was changed to Heyl, Royster, Voelker, & Allen.

Mr. Allen was a member of the ISBA Committee on Forms from 1962-64; a member of the Council of the Civil Practice and Procedure Section from 1955-61, of which he was secretary from 1956-61 and editor of Trial Briefs, the Section’s Newsletter, from 1961-63; secretary of the Council of the Insurance Law Section from 1963-64. He became a member of the ISBA Board of Governors in 1964.

Fastcase app now links to your ISBA member account

Posted on March 5, 2012 by Mark S. Mathewson

As many ISBA-member iPhone and iPad users know, Fastcase was early out of the gate with a legal research app. Members told us that while they loved it, they'd love it even more if it linked to their ISBA Fastcase benefit desktop account. That way they could print, access their search histories, and contact Fastcase reference attorneys and technical support.

Fastcase told us some months ago that a connection like that was coming, and now it's here under the moniker "Mobile Sync."

Mobile Sync automatically syncs to your activity history and saved favorites on any of the Fastcase applications, so no work is ever lost. When you log in through your ISBA account, you see the favorites you saved on you iPhone or iPad. Searches performed on your desktop can be continued from anywhere using your iPhone or iPad, picking up right where you left off.

Fastcase posts instructions for setting up Mobile Sync. ISBA members log into Fastcase using the icon on the upper right at our website.

Electronic record to be accessible in 3rd Disctrict Appellate cases from Rock Island County

Posted on March 5, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and Rock Island County Circuit Clerk Lisa Bierman announced Monday that Rock Island County joins three other Illinois counties in a pilot project to allow e-filing of an electronic trial record on appeal.

The Illinois Supreme Court Order authorized the Illinois Appellate Court in the Third Judicial District to begin a pilot project that will allow attorneys, parties and appellate justices to view, access and work from the official record of cases on appeal from Rock Island County.

Circuit Clerk Bierman said that utilizing the electronic transfer of record in Rock Island County will assist greatly in streamlining the workload in the clerk's office.

"I am very excited as we begin this project together with the Third District Appellate Court," Ms. Bierman said. "Being accepted as a part of this project for electronic transmission of appeals is going to be a way for the Rock Island County Circuit Clerk’s Office to save expenses, improve our time worked on ap-peals and introduce more technology into our office.

"We have always worked together with our Appellate Court and will continue to do so. I thank the Supreme Court Justices for giving us this opportunity."

Rock Island joins Adams County in the Fourth Judicial District along with DuPage and Ogle Counties in the Second Judicial District to electronically transfer and make electronically accessible the official court record of cases on appeal.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of March 1

Posted on March 1, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers House Bill 5544 (Attorney's fees representing children), House Bill 5823 (Heath Care Services Lien Act), Senate Bill 2569 (Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act), Senate Bill 3626 (Integrative Family Therapy), Senate Bill 3549 (Child-support enforcement) and Senate Bill 3552 (Personal-property exemptions). More information on each bill is available below the video.


ISBA provides Lincoln photo to Beecher City High School

Posted on March 1, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association helped provide a special photograph of Abraham Lincoln to Beecher City High School. The photograph, made by Alexander Hesler in 1860, was reproduced from glass plates and made available through the Illinois State Historical Society.

The ISBA and Beecher City Merchants Association purchased the photo for the school. At the school assembly presentation of the photo, photographer PJ Ryan talked about the photographic significance of the image; area Lincoln buff and businessman Jerry White told the students about Lincoln, the poet and leader, and attorney William Austin of Effingham, representing the Illinois Bar Association, talked about Lincoln, the self-educated lawyer. Posing with the photo are (from left) Jerry White, student council officers Mitch Kline, Mitchell Zacha and Breeanna Strauch, William Austin and PJ Ryan.

Looking for Career or Practice Assistance?

Posted on March 1, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Then you need to visit the ISBA's Career Center and Practice Resource Center

The ISBA CAREER CENTER focuses on legal jobs only…With over 200 jobs currently listed!
➜ Post an anonymous resume.
➜ Sign up for an advanced Job Alert system.
➜ Receive career coaching.
➜ Pose questions to career experts.
➜ Access resources ranging from interview tips to sample resumes.

The ISBA PRACTICE RESOURCE CENTER is a repository of content, ethics opinions,
tools on practice management issues, and discounts on practice-oriented technology.
➜ Free online legal research via Fastcase.
➜ Listing on IllinoisLawyerFinder, lawyer referral service.
➜ Information on hanging out a shingle or selling/closing a practice.
➜ Peer-to-peer assistance through our e-discussion groups.
➜ Advice on how to market to and attract new clients.
➜ Discounts including cloud backup, practice management software, credit card processing for lawyers and website design and hosting.

Co-parties lack standing to appeal substitution-of-judge rulings

Posted on March 1, 2012 by Mark S. Mathewson

The Illinois Supreme Court held in Powell v Dean Foods that a defendant does not have standing on appeal to challenge the ruling on a co-defendant's motion for substitution of judge. Find out more in the March Illinois Bar Journal.