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Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Award presented to Brent Holmes

Posted on October 6, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Attorney Brent Holmes was presented with the Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Award.  This Award was created in 2011 in memory of Joseph R. Bartylak who was Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation's Executive Director from 1976 to 2003.  It honors a volunteer attorney who has directly achieved outstanding results for low income clients or who has supported Land of Lincoln staff in their delivery of high quality legal services to the poor and elderly.

The Honorable Matt Sullivan presented the award to Mr. Holmes during a meeting of the Coles-Cumberland Bar Association. Mr. Holmes is a long-time volunteer through the Coles-Cumberland Bar Association who has consistently accepted referrals for eligible clients for over fifteen years.  He has devoted over 55 hours for the three cases he has closed in just the past two years, and he has donated more than 215 hours since he joined the pro bono panel after its formation in 1996.  He accepts contested family law cases in Cumberland County and Coles County.  He obtains divorce judgments, child custody orders, child support orders, QDROs, and other appropriate relief for clients who are unable to afford to hire attorneys.

“Brent is a model of what the term pro bono lawyer means,” states Clare McCulla, Senior Supervisory Attorney with the Charleston satellite office.  “These are deserving people with meritorious cases who might not have been able to resolve their problems without his help.”

The bloody truth about DUI testing

Posted on October 6, 2011 by Mark S. Mathewson

Got a DUI client with blood test results that seem to prove intoxication? Don't be intimidated, and don't assume the state has a slam-dunk case, assistant public defender Erica Nichols of Cook County says. Find out more in the October Illinois Bar Journal.

Kathryn D. Karayannis appointed associate judge in 16th Circuit

Posted on October 6, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced tthat Kathryn D. Karayannis has been appointed to the office of associate judge in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Karayannis received her undergraduate degree in 1982 from the Valparaiso University, and her Juris Doctor in 1988 from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Ms. Karayannis is currently affiliated with the Kane County State's Attorney's Office in St. Charles.

Best Practice: Managing law firm cash flow

Posted on October 5, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

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

Q. Our five lawyer firm has had a very successful past couple of years. We have been growing in terms of clients, billings and revenues. However, we are getting deeper into our credit line and we simply don't have adequate cash to pay our bills. I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

A. Sounds like you are caught in the growth-cash flow trap. Growth puts strain on cash and increases demand for additional working capital. There have been many law firms and small businesses that were profitable - but failed due to simply running out of cash. While you cannot escape this paradox - by actively managing your cash flow (timing of the intake of cash against the outflow of expenses) you can minimize the impact of the following traps:

1.     Lack of Attention Paid to Financial Management. Many law firms, especially solos, often give this task a low priority on their to do list. Servicing clients and new client development are given higher priorities. There is often a lack of understanding of financial reports and statements. Understanding financial reports such as income statements v.s. cash flow statements are important is providing early detection of potential cash problems requiring corrective actions. Law firms should develop reasonable monthly, quarterly, and annual cash flow projections as well as income and expense projections.

Register now for YLD Holiday Party

Posted on October 5, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

Please join us in supporting the 14th Annual Holiday Party to benefit the Illinois Bar Foundation/ISBA Young Lawyers Division’s Children’s Assistance Fund. Over the past decade, we raised over $400,000 and collected countless toys and books that were donated to children’s waiting rooms throughout the State of Illinois. Please continue this worthy tradition by joining us this year in person or support our event with your generous contribution:

WHEN: Friday, December 2, 2011, 6:00-10:00 p.m.

WHERE: Cubby Bear Lounge, 1059 W. Addison, Chicago, IL (see map)

WHAT: Open Bar, Warm Appetizers, Live Music by Rod Tuffcurls & The Bench Press, and FUN!

COST:

  • $35.00 per person, for tickets purchased by November 21, 2011
  • $30.00 per law student, per tickets purchased by November 21, 2011
  • $40.00 per person, for tickets purchased after November 21, 2011

Click here to register

The YLD Children's Assistance Fund is a fund of the Illinois Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable entity.

Marsalek appointed Cook County Circuit Judge

Posted on October 3, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Diann K. Marsalek as a Circuit Judge of Cook County, at Large. This vacancy was created by the retirement of the Honorable Margaret O'Mara Frossard.

This appointment is effective on Oct. 3, 2011, and terminates on Dec. 3, 2012.

Cunnington appointed associate judge in 21st Circuit

Posted on September 30, 2011 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Thomas W. Cunnington as an associate judge of the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Cunnington received his undergraduate degree in 1977 from Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, and his Juris Doctor in 1981 from John Marshall School of Law. Mr. Cunnington is currently engaged in solo practice in Kankakee.

Illinois Supreme Court amends CLE rules

Posted on September 30, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
The Illinois Supreme Court has amended some of the rules regarding Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) for Illinois attorneys.

Among other things, the changes will provide greater flexibility to newly admitted attorneys who need to complete their initial MCLE requirements and make it more attractive for them to participate in an approved mentoring program as part of their initial MCLE requirements.

The Court also eliminated a $20 fee which attorneys had been required to pay to claim credit for participation in non-traditional activities to meet the MCLE requirements.

The amended rules do not change the basic MCLE requirement that attorneys, other than newly admitted lawyers, earn 30 hours of CLE activity during two-year reporting periods beginning in 2012, and 24 hours of certified credit through the 2011 reporting period.

Previously, newly-admitted attorneys were required to take a 15-hour Basic Skills Course. New attorneys admitted after October 1, 2011 are still required to take a total of 15 hours of credit for their initial MCLE requirements but the amended rules give these attorneys more options to fulfill these requirements.  New attorneys need to participate in six hours of professional responsibility credit either by attending a six-hour Basic Skills Course or by participating in a mentoring program pre-approved by the Commission on Professionalism. The additional nine MCLE hours can be according to the new lawyer's choosing and may include professional responsibility credits.

Illinois Supreme Court updates CLE rules to give newly admitted attorneys more choices

Posted on September 29, 2011 by Chris Bonjean


New attorneys have heard all about the 15 hour basic skills requirement, but Supreme Court rule changes announced this week allow more flexibility in meeting the requirement.

Up to now, new admittees were required to complete a 15 hour basic skills course within their first year of admission. Effective immediately, the Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Board will accept a 15 hour combination of basic skills instruction (6 hours), mentoring through the Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism (6 hours), plus traditional or non-traditional CLE credits to complete the balance.

ISBA is gearing up to help new admittees meet the requirements in the amended rule.

Read more for details.

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