Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Have you received your ISBA ballot?  

If not, please contact VRES at (800) 218-4026 or

ISBA's election provider VR Election Services (VRES) emailed e-ballots to members with valid email addresses and mailed paper ballots to members without valid email addresses on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Candidate biographies can be found in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

If you have not received your e-ballot, please check your email spam folder under the suffix "”.  If your e-ballot is not in your spam folder, or if you received an electronic ballot and want to vote by paper ballot, please contact VRES at (800) 218-4026 or The last day to request a paper ballot was Wednesday, April 15.

The Village of Chatham, Illinois, is seeking outside counsel to serve as its Village Attorney. Interested attorneys/law firms should submit a letter of interest, resume(s) and firm brochure outlining the candidates municipal law experience and retainer/fee  proposal. Please send 10 copies of requested documents. Responses should be sent to Jill Butler at the Village of Chatham, 116 Mulberry, Chatham, IL 62629. The submission deadline is May 12, 2015.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Leetaru v. The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and Illinois State Treasurer v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and the criminal case People v. Barner


Leetaru v. The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams, Montgomery & John Ltd.

Issues of sovereign immunity divided the Court in this suit by a doctoral student against the University of Illinois and one of its associate vice chancellors (Guenther). Leetaru filed a circuit court action to enjoin further action in connection with an investigation defendants were pursuing against him regarding allegations that he engaged in academic misconduct. Leetaru contended that defendants violated University rules and regulations in conducting the investigation, exceeded their authority, and deprived him of due process.

The circuit court dismissed the action, finding that the Court of Claims had exclusive jurisdiction. After the appellate court affirmed, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded.

ISBA?YLD Bean Bag PartyTickets and sponsorships now available for the ISBA Young Lawyers Division's Annual Bean Bag Tournament!

Championship team wins $300 and 2nd place gets $150!

Please join us at the YLD's Annual Bean Bag Tournament on Saturday, April 25 to show off your bean bag tossing skills while supporting the ISBA/YLD Children's Assistance Fund. This fund provides grants to organizations throughout Illinois related to children and law. Over the past sixteen years, the Children's Assistance Fund has distributed nearly $300,000 in grants, due, in large part, to the support and participation in events like the Bean Bag Tournament. We hope you help us continue this tradition of giving by joining us this year at our new location – Bar Louie in Printer's Row!

The steady growth of smartphone and tablet use by prospective clients is reason enough for lawyers to make their websites mobile friendly. But next week, Google will add one more reason: higher search rankings for mobile-optimized sites.

"Put simply, Google will be taking into account whether your pages are mobile-friendly or not when it ranks your pages in search results," writes Gyi Tsakalakis in Lawyerist. "While this update is unlikely to make your pages vanish from search engine results entirely, every optimization helps in a competitive landscape."

Google will start using the new ranking signal April 21. Read Tsakalakis's blog post to find out more.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a 14 attorney firm in San Francisco and I serve on our associate compensation committee. Presently, associate compensation is based on a salary and discretionary bonus. I would like to see a stronger tie to performance. I would appreciate your thoughts.

The Illinois Judges Foundation & the Auxiliary Committee are hosting a comedy night on Wednesday, April 29. This event starts with a reception at 5 and show at 6:15. It will be held at the ISBA Chicago Office, 20 S. Clark, 9th Floor.

Register online at

Questions? Contact Kevin at 312-554-2008 or Christine Athanasoulis at (708) 705-4355.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for a Circuit Court vacancy in the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy is created by the retirement of Judge Scott H. Walden on June 30, 2015. Judge Walden has been a Resident Circuit Judge in the Eight Circuit since 1996.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Real estate claims in Cook County (Senate Bill 1487), Medical records’ fees (House Bill 3845), Foreign Language Court Interpreter Act (House Bill 3620) and Drug Court Treatment Act (Senate Bill 727) and (Senate Bill 844). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Real estate claims in Cook County. Senate Bill 1487 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) authorizes the Cook County Recorder of Deeds to establish a three-year pilot program that permits documents to be recorded against a property in foreclosure by judicial order only. It requires a judge to issue an order barring any “nonrecord claimants” from recording an interest on the foreclosed property without approval of the court. The order shall expire on the date the court confirms the judicial sale of the property under the judgment of foreclosure.

If a court order has been recorded under this section, a non-record claimant may not record a document regarding the foreclosed property the subject of the foreclosure action without a certified court order. A unit of local government is not required to obtain a certified court order under this subsection to record a document that is subject of a foreclosure action. Nor does it apply to a bank or financial institution that recorded the lis pendens notice of foreclosure. On third reading in the Senate.

ISBA President Richard D. Felice issued a Letter to the Editor distributed throughout the state and a statement responding to Gov. Rauner's comments on Tuesday critical of the Illinois judiciary.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:  _________________

This week, Gov. Rauner pointedly and unfairly attacked the integrity of the Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois’ entire justice system. He labeled the system “corrupt” and said he did not “trust the Supreme Court to be rational” in its decisions.

As lawyers, we know Gov. Rauner’s attack is without foundation. We read the opinions authored by the Supreme and Appellate courts. We know they are decided without bias, based on the facts and evidence presented and the applicable law. We respect them as intelligent, well-reasoned decisions even when we don’t agree with them.

We also know the hard work judges do every day on behalf of those who seek access to justice. We see the difficult cases they decide. We know Illinois’ judicial system is not corrupt and that judicial decisions are rational.