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

The Candidate Report for the 2016 ISBA Election is below. All ISBA attorney members with their dues paid by March 1, 2016 are eligible to vote. Ballots will be distributed on Monday, March 28, 2016. It may take several days for mailed ballots to reach members.  Email (e-ballot) distribution will begin the morning of the 28th and should conclude before 4 p.m. The deadline for voting is Friday, April 29th at 4:30 p.m. Central Time for all voting methods: e-ballot, paper or internet. Additional voting information is available below the report.


(N.B.: Pursuant to the Policy and Procedures for Election approved by the ISBA Assembly, in those instances where there are more candidates than positions to be filled, nominees are listed on the ballot by the date of filing. Where two or more people filed on the same date, ballot positions were determined by lot. Ballot positions are listed next to the candidate’s name.)

Third Vice-President   (1 to be elected; 2 candidates)

  • Stephen M. Komie 2
  • David B. Sosin 1

Board of Governors

Cook           (5 to be elected; 7 candidates)

  • Nora Ann Doherty 1
  • Bridget Duignan  5
  • Al Durkin* 4
  • Ava George Stewart  6
  • Pamela Sakowicz Menaker  3
  • J. Damian Ortiz  2
  • E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. 7

Area 2 (Circuits 17, 19 and 21)    (1 to be elected; 1 candidate)

Please register now for the ISBA Young Lawyers Division Wine Tasting Networking event. Join your peers for an evening of socializing and wine tasting!

When: Friday, February 26, 2016, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Where: ISBA Chicago Office - 20 S. Clark Street, Suite 900

Online registration and more information available at

Petrovic v. The Department of Employment Security

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

This case, involving a denial of unemployment insurance benefits based upon employee misconduct, provided an opportunity for the Court to clarify the type of misconduct required and the proof necessary to justify such denial.

Petrovic applied for unemployment insurance benefits after she was terminated by American Airlines for misconduct at work. Petrovic had requested that the catering department deliver champagne to a customer and had asked a flight attendant to upgrade that passenger to first class.

The Department of Employment Security denied the request for unemployment benefits and the Board of Review affirmed that determination. Following further review, the case proceeded to the Supreme Court.

Because the applicable statute required that an employee’s violation be “deliberate and willful,” it necessarily required evidence that the employee was aware that her conduct was prohibited. In this case, there was no evidence in the record of a reasonable American Airlines rule or policy prohibiting Petrovic’s conduct. The employer’s sole witness at the administrative hearing testified only that “policies and procedures were not followed” but did not identify any specific rule or policy. Further, statements contained within the employer’s written protest were not legally competent evidence. The protest was merely a pleading and any facts alleged within the protest had to be substantiated with competent evidence.

ISBA Past President John O'Brien discusses what to consider when advising your residential real estate client on taking title.

Former ISBA Executive Director John H. Dickason, 84, of Coral Gables, FL passed away February 2, 2016. He was born June 3, 1931 in Wooster, OH, a twin son of the late Donald E. and Martha (Hamilton) Dickason. He graduated from Champaign, IL High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Business Administration from Dartmouth College. John and his wife Barbara (Bobbie) were married June 20, 1953 in Christ Episcopal Church, Bronxville, NY. He served in the U.S. Army (1954-1956).

He was Director of Administrative Services for the Illinois State Bar Association from 1960-1970 and then served as Executive Director until 1985. In 1985 he became the Vice President for Finance and Administration of the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust which assisted basic medical researchers.  

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Township Code I (Senate Bill 2287), Township Code II (Senate Bill 2288), Township Code III (Senate Bill 2412), The Biometric Information Privacy Act (Senate Bill 2409) and Citation on behalf of estate (Public Act 99-497). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Township Code I. Senate Bill 2287 (Althoff, R-McHenry) requires that a referendum be submitted to the voters after a petition by at least 5% of the registered voters seeking to discontinue and abolish the township’s organization and to transfer all the rights, powers, and responsibilities of the township organization to the county. Applies to a singular township organization within one county. Requires that the township officers of any township that is discontinued continue as officers of that township until the expiration of the respective terms for which they were elected or appointed. Further provides that a county may retain its form of government after all townships have been dissolved. Referred to the Committee on Assignments.

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 January 2016, there were 872 referrals. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Jesse White
Jesse White
Hon. Rita Garman
Hon. Rita Garman

Susan Sher
Susan Sher

The John Marshall Law School, Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Judges Association and, Justinian Society of Lawyers are hosting "The Distinguished Professional Service Joint Dinner" on Thursday, February 25th at the Standard Club in Chicago.

Being honored with the Award of Exemplary Professional Service for their outstanding service to our legal profession and the public in the State of Illinois are Honorable Rita Garman, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice; Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State; and Susan Sher, Senior Advisor to the University of Chicago President and former Assistant to President Obama and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama.

The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and program at 6:30 p.m.

Buy tickets, become a sponsor or find out more information at

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a lawyer from the Carbondale area. Last week I attended your Illinois State Bar Association CLE Webinar - Law Practice Succession and Transition - Ideas for Getting Started. I am 66 years old and I fit the "Sole Owner" model that you discussed. I am the practice. I have one associate and one legal assistant and my associate has neither the desire or the ability to take over my practice. I am tired and want to retire by the end of the year. With no successors in sight, I am thinking I should just close the doors. I welcome your thoughts.

Don’t miss this comprehensive overview of Senate Bill 100 on February 11, 2016, which amends the Illinois School Code in a number of areas! Attorneys practicing in the education law arena need to be aware of the changes that go into effect on September 15, 2016 and how they will affect parents, school districts, and students. Join us for this half-day seminar that offers a better understanding of: how the new law will alter the way student discipline cases are handled; the goals of the new legislation; how school boards will adapt to the upcoming changes; how school boards and school administration will be affected by the changes; how the discipline of special education students will be handled; and the ethical issues that may arise due to the new laws.