Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
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A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
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CLE: Second Annual Abraham Lincoln's Legacy - Lessons for Today's Lawyers

Posted on July 30, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

In 1858, Lincoln defended William Duff Armstrong on murder charges for the death of James Preston Metzker. During the trial, a key prosecution eyewitness named Charles Allen testified that he witnessed the fight after sunset by the light of the moon high overhead. Lincoln undermined Allen’s testimony by using an almanac to prove that the moon was on the horizon and did not provide sufficient light to see anything clearly at the time of the fight. William Duff Armstrong was acquitted and Lincoln’s use of the almanac became legendary in the legal community. Don’t miss this full-day seminar in Beardstown on Sept. 7, 2018 that examines the Lincoln Almanac Trial in the very courthouse where Armstrong was acquitted. Topics include: an examination of the case from the trial advocacy perspective, and what modern lawyers can learn from it; a look at Lincoln’s other murder trials, and how attorneys must fulfill their duty to represent clients zealously in such cases; the problem with eyewitness identification and how to deal with it effectively at trial; the ethical issues that can arise during a trial; and a look at Lincoln’s practice before the Illinois Supreme Court.

Spotlight on Pro Bono: Pro Bono Assistance for Illinois Veterans, Active Duty Military

Posted on July 30, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN) provides civil legal services across Illinois to veterans, active duty military, spouses, and dependents. In Illinois, there are approximately 750,000 veterans, 20,000 active service members, and 13,000 members of the Illinois National Guard. There are over 20,000 dependents of service members who were deployed between Sept. 11, 2001, and May 31, 2015. The top civil legal needs of this population include housing, family, and consumer law issues, as well as assistance with VA benefits and appeals, and discharge upgrades.

Create Custom Legal Documents with IllinoisBarDocs

Posted on July 26, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Are you in need of document assembly without the steep learning curve or high price tag?
IllinoisBarDocs is the ISBA's fully automated document assembly system that is built around a library of Illinois-specific legal forms. It is available on the HotDocs Market, which is a new ecommerce website where bar associations and other legal publishers make forms available to lawyers.

It now includes a complete estate plan drafting system that allows you to efficiently create both trust-based and will-based plans. For the low cost of $20/month or $199/year, an IllinoisBarDocs subscription lets you successfully compete with online DIY legal services.

August Issue of Illinois Bar Journal Commemorates State's Bicentennial

Posted on July 25, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Did you know that in the early days of Illinois statehood, African Americans who wanted to reside in Illinois had to pay the local county clerk $1,000 just for the possibility that they may not be able to support themselves? African Americans also had to carry paperwork proving they were not runaway slaves. Even though technically “free,” they could be manipulated into indentured servitude for life. Illinois became a main thoroughfare of the Underground Railroad anyway and, after the Civil War, African Americans flocked to the new state, where many of its harshest anti-African American laws were sporadically enforced. 

Best Practice Tips: Getting Partners to Discuss their Future Plans

Posted on July 25, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. I am the firm administrator for a 25-attorney firm in Baltimore, Md. We have 14 partners, nine of whom are in their 60s. We have no succession or transition plans in place for senior partners. Every time I bring up the topic there is resistance to even discuss it. I would appreciate any help that you can provide.

ISBA Presidential Commendations Awarded to Three Attorneys

Posted on July 24, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Catherine Brukalo and Sharon L. Eiseman have received Presidential Commendations from the Illinois State Bar Association.

ISBA Immediate Past President Hon. Russell W. Hartigan (ret.) presented the awards July 24 in Chicago. 

A third recipient, Jessica M. Fangman, will receive her Presidential Commendation at a later date.

ISBA Wins Summary Judgment in Lawsuit against IDFPR

Posted on July 24, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Cook County Circuit Court on June 20 issued an order finding that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) cannot prosecute Illinois property tax attorneys on charges they offered appraisal services without a proper state license when they argue valuations before tax assessment appeal tribunals.

The deadline for the state to file an appeal was July 20. No appeal was filed.

CLE: Complimentary Training and CLE Credit for ISBA Members Only

Posted on July 23, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Don’t miss these upcoming Fastcase seminars!

August 2 - Introduction to Legal Research on Fastcase
Noon – 1 p.m.
0.75 hours MCLE | PMCLE credit
Don’t miss this opportunity to familiarize yourself with Fastcase (including the all new Fastcase 7) through this introductory legal research training seminar.

A Fresh Look at Supervisory Orders

Posted on July 23, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court interprets its supervisory authority broadly and holds that it is “unlimited in extent and hampered by no specific rules or means for its exercise.” Yet, historically, the court has used its supervisory powers only regarding issues brought to the court’s attention in petitions for leave to appeal (“PLAs”) where the court can order relief without full briefing, oral argument, or issuance of an opinion. 

But recently, the court has been willing to exercise its supervisory power outside of the traditional context of PLAs. Examples include removing a judge for alleged judicial bias and misconduct, reinstating a summary judgment order vacated by the trial court on an improper basis, and ordering the appellate court to vacate an injunction. 

ISBA Board Vacancies Filled at Board of Governors Meeting

Posted on July 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The ISBA Board of Governors met on Friday, July 20. At the meeting, the Board filled the Area IV (Circuits 10, 14, and 15) and Under 37 in Cook County seats on the Board of Governors. The results of the elections to fill these leadership positions are below.

Board of Governors

  • Area IV (Circuits 10, 14, & 15): Michael McCuskey, Lacon
  • Under 37 in Cook County: Daniel Saeedi, Chicago