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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of Dec. 15

Posted on December 15, 2011 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 397, which changes the State tax credit of the Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Act; No. 97-20, which creates a new statute to allow first-offender probation for certain felonies and No. 97-28, which creates two exemptions from prosecution for eavesdropping. More information on each bill is available below the video.

Correction to video: The proposed eavesdropping legislation came from the Intellectiual Property Section Council - not the Criminal Justice Section Council.

After you've won, your work's just begun

Posted on December 14, 2011 by Mark S. Mathewson

Okay, that's an overstatement. But you still have plenty to do after obtaining a p.i. settlement or judgment, as Angelica W. Wawrzynek explains in the latest ISBA YLD newsletter. Depending on your case, you might have Medicare liens, hospital liens, attorney liens, rights of reimbursement, and hospital bills to consider. Read her article and find out more.

New ISBA sign greets visitors at Chicago Regional Office

Posted on December 14, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

An ISBA sign was installed Wednesday morning to greet visitors after they get off the elevator at the Chicago Regional Office (CRO). The sign is a welcome addition for many who have visited the office and thought they got off on the wrong floor - as the entire space was recently renovated.

The CRO hosts the majority of the Association's meetings and Continuing Legal Education programs.

Click here to view pictures from the recent rehab of the CRO and click here to view upcoming CLE programs.

Best Practice: Why lawyers have problems with client development and marketing

Posted on December 14, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm has in place a strategic plan as well as a firm client development plan and individual lawyer client development plans as well.  While we have great ideas and good intentions - we seem to be falling short of the mark and not accomplishing much. What are you thoughts regarding our dismal success with our client development efforts?

A. Obstacles to Marketing

Based upon our observations drawn from working with client law firms over the past eighteen years we have concluded that marketing is poorly understood and ineffectively implemented in many small law firms. In addition, the following obstacles are at play:


There is no time for marketing or any firm developmental activities. Production is king and non-billable activities such as marketing are discouraged.

Uneasiness With Marketing

Attorneys are uncomfortable with marketing. This is primarily due to lack of understanding, training, and experience with the process.

Lack of Marketing Understanding

Illinois Estate Tax

Posted on December 14, 2011 by James R. Covington

Senate Bill 397 (Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights; Bradley, D-Marion) changes the State tax credit of the Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Act to be $2 million for persons dying before Jan. 1, 2012; $3.5 million for persons dying on or after Jan. 1, 2012 but before Jan. 1, 2013; and $4 million for persons dying on or after Jan. 1, 2013. It has passed both chambers as part of the CME/Sears tax package, and Governor Quinn has indicated that he will sign it. A PDF version of the bill may be found here, and these changes are on pages 288-292 of the 292-page bill.

ISBA Assembly gets update from Chief Justice Kilbride, approves legislative package

Posted on December 12, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association's Assembly met on Saturday at the conclusion of the Midyear Meeting at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers Chicago.

Highlighting the meeting was an e-business update from Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. Justice Kilbride noted that the court is developing e-filing standards to be in place throughout the state. This would allow different vendors to have a framework to work with from county to county. He expects e-filing to be open across the state voluntarily by April 3, 2012.

The Assembly also approved the ISBA legislative package for 2012.

Illinois Lawyer Finder makes 654 referrals in November

Posted on December 12, 2011 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 November 2011, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Three photo galleries from ISBA/IJA Joint Meeting posted

Posted on December 9, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The ISBA/IJA Meeting in Chicago is underway and three new photo galleries have been posted. Please check them out below.