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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.

Best Practice: Law firm marketing: Obtaining more business from existing clients

Posted on February 29, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm is based in Little Rock. We currently have 12 attorneys. We were larger several years ago. We have lost 8 attorneys in the last five years as well as several business clients. Profitability has suffered? What marketing initiatives should we be exploring to improve profitability and increase the size of the pie?

A. On average it costs five times as much (dollars/time investment) to get new clients than it does to get more business from existing clients. It just makes good business sense to leverage existing relationships.

I suggest that your first priority is to circle your wagons around your existing clients and insure that the quality of your services and the quality of your relationship with the client is beyond reproach. Then look for unmet needs and additional work from existing clients. Once this has been accomplished begin targeting new business clients and cultivating relationships one by one.

Many of our clients that represent business clients have found the following (listed in order of value to the firm) to be a few of the more successful marketing tools at the firm and individual attorney level:

Firm Level:

  • Firm website
  • Solicit and respond to client feedback (Client Surveys)
  • Newsletters and solid marketing collateral materials
  • Up to date marketing database of clients, past clients, referral and media sources

Individual Attorney Level

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of Feb. 24

Posted on February 24, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Senate Bill 3349 (prosecutor consent for first offenders), House Bill 5544 (attorney's fees in Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act), House Bill 4994 (BAIID device), Senate Bill 2953 (provisions concerning the effect of recording deeds, mortgages, and other instruments) and Senate Bill 2952 (attorney malpractice). More information on each bill is available below the video.

ISBA seeks "Ask A Lawyer Day" volunteers

Posted on February 24, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association is seeking “Ask A Lawyer Day” volunteers for two shifts on Saturday, April 28, at the Illinois Bar Center in Springfield, 424 S. Second Street. The first shift runs from 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and the second shift runs from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Please consider volunteering to help the public with their legal questions and, at the same time, enhance the image of the profession.

Each year, to recognize and celebrate Law Day, the Illinois State Bar Association sponsors “Ask A Lawyer Day,” a day during which volunteers respond to telephone calls from the public and answer general legal questions free of charge. This is a state-wide public relations effort that receives considerable attention from the public and the media.

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete and return the form provided below to Tracy Potter.  You can send it any of the following ways: