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

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers New criminal law procedures (Public Act 99-413), Open Meetings Act (Public Act 99-402), Real estate claims in Cook County (Public Act 99-439), Ordinances affecting calls to police (Public Act 99-441) and Summary suspensions (Public Act 99-467). More information on each bill is available below the video.


New criminal law procedures. Public Act 99-413 (Lang, D-Skokie;  John Cullerton, D-Chicago) implements the crime victim constitutional amendment adopted in the 2014 general election. Reorganizes and modifies the rights of crime victims and establishes additional procedures for enforcing victims’ rights. Provides that the Act does not grant any person a cause of action in equity or law for compensation for damages or attorney's fees, nor does it create a ground for relief requested by the defendant in a criminal case. Provides that presentence reports shall be open for inspection to the victim of a crime as set forth in the Act.

Effective August 20, 2015.


Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride is seeking public comment on six attorneys who have applied to fill two vacancies in the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancies were created by the announced retirements of Circuit Judge Steven R. Bordner and Chief Judge James B. Stewart. Judge Bordner's retirement took effect August 20, 2015 and Chief Judge Stewart's retirement will take effect October 1, 2015


The Illinois General Assembly sent dozens of bills of special interest to lawyers to the governor this session; he signed most and vetoed a few. Here are summaries of the new laws, organized by topic so you can quickly check what happened in your practice area. We also link to the full text of the public acts and, where available, Illinois Bar Journal coverage of the legislation. Among the new public acts is a family law rewrite and a parentage act reworking. A marijuana decriminalization bill was amendatorily vetoed by the governor.


Program coordinator Yolaine Dauphin, Presenter Victor Boutros, Presenter Judge Virginia Kendall, and Program coordinator Annemarie Kill
Program coordinator Yolaine Dauphin, Presenter Victor Boutros, Presenter Judge Virginia Kendall, and Program coordinator Annemarie Kill
The International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) has awarded the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) one of only 20 annual awards granted to competitors representing over 300 organizations.

An Award for Outstanding Achievement was granted to the ISBA for its CLE course Human Trafficking and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Public Interest Category. The program, sponsored by ISBA, Baker & McKenzie LLP and multiple ISBA Sections and Committees, co-sponsored by numerous area legal associations and private law firms, and coordinated by ISBA CLE Coordinators Yolaine M. Dauphin and Annemarie E. Kill of Chicago, grew out of a need to raise the awareness of the legal profession that human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children is not a problem exclusive to foreign countries. Indeed, a recent government report indicates that the United States is a leading source, transit and destination country for victims and, moreover, Chicago, due to its strategic location and importance, appears to be helping lead this global epidemic. View photos from this program at iln.isba.org/gallery/803/human-trafficking-seminar


The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Patricia S. Spratt as Circuit Judge of Cook County, 7th Subcircuit. This vacancy was created by the reitrement of the Hon. Anita Rivkin-Carothers. It is effective Sept. 8, 2015 and terminates on Dec. 5, 2016.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the owner of a seven attorney litigation boutique firm in New York City. I am the only equity owner and the other six attorneys are associates. Currently all of the associates are paid a straight salary with raises given every year. I am considering freezing their salaries at current levels and putting in place an incentive bonus for individual revenue generation above a certain number. I am concerned that this approach might create an eat-what-you-kill mentality and destroy teamwork in the firm. Do you have any thoughts?



The Illinois State Bar Association would like to thank the members listed below for joining the 2015 President’s Club. This program helps support capital development projects and member service projects. The 2016 program will kick-off at the 2015 Midyear Meeting. More information, including donation amount and benefits, will be available closer to that date. Thank you again for your support of ISBA. View our photo gallery of President's Club 2015 members at iln.isba.org/gallery/925/president%27s-club-2015


Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced Tuesday that the Third Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Jennifer L. Hightower and Sarah D. Smith as associate judges of the Third Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Hightower received her undergraduate degree in 2005 from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Columbia, MO and her Juris Doctor in 2009 from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI. Ms. Hightower is currently affiliated with Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC in Alton; Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey and the Madison County State's Attorney's Office in Edwardsville.

Ms. Smith received her undergraduate degree in 1998 from Millikin University in Decatur, her Master's Degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA and her Juris Doctor in 2002 from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. Ms. Smith is currently affiliated with the Madison County State's Attorney's Office in Edwardsville.


Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced Thursday that the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Ronald A. Barch as an associate judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Barch received his undergraduate degree in 1986 from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, and his Juris Doctor in 1992 from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Barch is currently affiliated with Cicero, France, Barch & Alexander PC in Rockford, IL.


ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Condominium Property Act (House Bill 2644), Decriminalization of cannabis (House Bill 218) and Body cameras (Public Act 99-352). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Condominium Property Act. House Bill 2644 (Cassidy, D-Chicago; Steans, D-Chicago) deletes a provision in current law that allows unit owners to enforce a provision in a declaration that would otherwise be void and ineffective if at least 75% of the owners approve at a any time after the election of the first unit-owner board of managers. Governor Rauner vetoed this because he believes that this is an unnecessary restriction on the rights of condominium owners with respect to their property.

Decriminalization of cannabis. House Bill 218 (Cassidy, D-Chicago; Noland, D-Elgin) imposes a minimum fine of $55 and a maximum fine of $125 for possession of 15 grams or less of cannabis. (2) Establishes a per se standard for Cannabis-DUI of 15 nano/milliliter of blood or 25 nano/milliliter of saliva in system instead of a trace of cannabis. (3) Allows for alternative ways to test for cannabis DUI using “any bodily substance” (including saliva) for testing. This is an expansion from current law of breath, blood, and urine. (4) Keeps ordinance and civil violation dispositions of minors confidential to reflect the intent of the Juvenile Court Act and limit collateral damage to minors.