Bench and Bar Newsletter
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Bench & Bar Section Council

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Newsletter articles from 2016

Abraham Lincoln’s prayer for judges By Hon. Michael B. Hyman June 2016 The final sentence in an otherwise unremarkable letter written by Lincoln identifies the gravity inherent in all judges' work.
Alcohol and mental health problems demand action By Patrick Krill May 2016 A recently published study confirms a substantial level of behavioral health problems among attorneys and, in short, reveals cause for great concern.
Book review of The Anxious Lawyer: An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation by Jeena Cho and Karen Gifford By Hon. Edward J. Schoenbaum, Jr. (Ret). October 2016 This is an excellent book by two attorneys who have first-hand knowledge of the problems facing us and the fantastic possible rewards of mindfulness practice.
Chair’s column By Hon. Michael B. Hyman October 2016 Just because 'weasels'-- habitually confrontational and mean-spirited attorneys-- abandon professionalism is no excuse for your joining their herd.  Here are three ways to respond when you encounter one.
Chair’s column By Hon. Jeanne M. Reynolds May 2016 A message from the Bench & Bar Section Chair, Hon. Jeanne Reynolds.
Chair’s column By Hon. Jeanne Reynolds January 2016 A message from the Chair, Judge Jeanne Reynolds.
Chair’s column: On honesty By Hon. Michael B. Hyman July 2016 Hon. Michael Hyman urges lawyers to use Gandhi's and Lincoln's examples of nobility and honor as a personal guide.
Courthouse professionalism: Not just for judges and lawyers By Hon. Debra B. Walker and Jayne Reardon July 2016 The Courthouse Cross-Disciplinary Training program brings together representatives from every type of person who works in the courthouse, challenging them to consider ways they can increase their professionalism and service to those who access our judicial system.
Criminal trials in Britain By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson, Jr.(Ret.) September 2016 Retired Judge Alfred Swanson recently observed a courtroom in Oxford, England and reports on how the proceedings differ from our own in Illinois.
Fee Petitions: Kaiser and beyond By James J. Ayres December 2016 Any attorney who has sought an award for attorney fees from the circuit court must be aware of the requirements of Kaiser v. MEPC Am. Properties, Inc. However, counsel should also be aware of Aliano v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.
For Fourth Amendment purposes, the expectation of privacy extends outside the front door of an apartment into the adjacent common area By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. (Ret.) April 2016 A discussion of the recent case of People v. Burns.
Hon. Louis Garippo—“A great Judge, but a greater man” By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. (Ret.) June 2016 Remembering Judge Garippo, who died at age 84 following a long illness.
I know it when I see it By Emily M. Johns September 2016 Although Illinois has anti-sexual harassment legislation in place, due to society’s recent awareness of the transgender community there is a rising tide of sexual harassment issues that are becoming more prevalent and need to be addressed.
An interview with Justice Garman By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. (Ret). November 2016 Now that her term as Chief Justice has ended, Justice Garman feels “very good at how the Illinois courts have moved forward” on her goals.
An interview with the Chief Justice By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. (Ret). November 2016 When he started practicing law 52 years ago, Lloyd Karmeier never imagined being an appellate court judge, let alone a Supreme Court Justice.
Judge Abraham Lincoln: A short account of a short ‘judicial’ career  By Hon. Michael B. Hyman June 2016 During his circuit riding days, Abraham Lincoln occasionally would sit as a judge pro tem.
Judges should not say “expert” in front of the jury By Evan Bruno May 2016 It’s impossible to say for certain whether a judge’s oral designation of a witness as an expert has ever tipped the scales in a jury trial. But more importantly, why does the jury even need to be informed of this evidentiary ruling?
Judge’s side of the bench By Hon. Ilana Diamond Rovner September 2016 Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner shares her thoughts as she marks her 32nd year on the bench.
A jury of 12 (Not 6), as heretofore enjoyed: The Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Public Act 98-1132 By Kimberly A. Davis and Douglas S. Strohm December 2016 The Illinois statute limiting the size of a civil jury to six persons is unconstitutional.
Justice Laura Liu: A life lived with grace and gratitude By Hon. Celia G. Gamrath and Hon. Michael B. Hyman May 2016 The local legal community has lost another legend-in-the-making.  
Justice on the move By Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. February 2016 A discussion of how we can work to make the courts more accessible to litigants.
Lawyers can benefit from judicial heuristics By Michael G. Cortina June 2016 A look at different cognitive shortcuts and how attorneys can use them to assist their clients.
Making the most of 1L summer By Shalyn Caulley January 2016 The author, a 2017 J.D. candidate, offers her insights as to the benefits of a judicial internship.
The many faces of e-filing By Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. May 2016 An update on the status of electronic filing of papers in Illinois courts.
McHenry County Circuit Court moves away from paper By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. (Ret.) May 2016 Judges in the 19th Circuit are beginning to move away from paper to a completely electronic docket management system.
Our evolving notion of what is an ‘impartial jury’ By Linda J. Watson October 2016 In a world where the populace is becoming increasingly skeptical of governance, more-diverse juries are perceived as being more fair and impartial than those that are not.
People v. Jones: Prejudicial remarks in a criminal trial By Edward Casmere and Eliberty Lopez December 2016 In People v. Jones, the First District reversed the convictions and ordered a new trial in front of a new judge based on prejudicial comments made by the State and the trial court.
The Petrillo doctrine examined By Brad Badgley December 2016 In McChristian v. Brink, the Appellate Court for the First District, in a case of first impression, applied the Petrillo doctrine to a unique set of facts: where the defendant medical corporation designated a member of the corporation who was also one of plaintiff’s treating doctors as an expert witness on liability, damages and causation.
Read any good books lately? By Hon. Michael B. Hyman November 2016 Author and Bench & Bar Chair Michael Hyman asked members of this Section to choose one book with a legal bent that they would recommend every lawyer read. Here are the responses.
Recent appointments and retirements December 2016 Recent changes to Illinois' Judiciary.