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

Voting in the ISBA election ends at 4:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, April 30th. Paper ballots must be received at VR Election Services in Texas by 4:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, April 30 in order to be counted.

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.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman knows the important role legal aid services and pro bono work plays in ensuring equal access to the justice system.

Not only has she seen the need for these services in the courtroom as a longtime judge, but Chief Justice Garman told attendants of Prairie State Legal Services' annual Pro Bono Recognition luncheon earlier this month that she understands the need from their perspective too.

The Chief Justice's first job out of law school in 1968 was making $90 a week as a legal aid attorney in Vermilion County.

"Legal aid formed who I am today," Chief Justice Garman said after delivering the keynote address at the April 16 event in Peoria.

John G. Locallo
John G. Locallo
ISBA Past President John G. Locallo, a partner in the Chicago law firm of Amari & Locallo, was installed as the Chair of the Board of Directors for ISBA Mutual Insurance Company at the company's recent board meeting.

ISBA Mutual provides malpractice insurance to Illinois lawyers.

As Chair, Locallo said, he will help ensure the organization takes a strategic direction that anticipates and supports the legal profession's changing structure and needs.

"Like many sectors, the legal profession is undergoing a substantial transformation, largely influenced by technological advances that affect every aspect of how lawyers do business," said Locallo. "Our role is to understand these changes and their impact to
support the development and use of best practices that insure against professional liability.

"We're also, however, looking at the impact of such forces on how we do business," he added. "The customer experience is paramount in today's environment, and our challenge is to use the tools available to anticipate our lawyers' expectations at every stage of the process."

Locallo served as the 135th President of the Illinois State Bar Association, from 2011-2013. He was first elected to the ISBA's 25-member Board of Governors in May 2004 and re-elected in 2007. He was an elected member of the ISBA Assembly from 1996 until his election to the board. Locallo also is a board member and past chair of the Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation, the ISBA's charitable arm.

As a professional working in the construction law arena, it is important that you understand how public private partnerships are used to finance public improvements, as well as the public regulations and laws impacting the use of P3s. Construction and real estate law practitioners, local government attorneys, and other professionals working in the public construction field, including public procurement and public contract administrators, officials, and directors who attend this seminar in Chicago on May 1, 2015 will better understand: how public private partnerships have become a funding option for public improvements; how a conventional public private partnership is defined; the historical challenges faced by government entities using public private partnerships to fund infrastructure improvements; the use of public funds for traditionally private development; the alternative delivery methods of public private partnerships; how the Engineers Joint Contract Document Committee's new contract form assists in the development of P3 projects; and the various statutes and regulations applicable to public private partnerships.

The program qualifies for 6.25 hours MCLE credit and is presented by the ISBA Construction Law Section and co-sponsored by the ISBA Commercial Banking, Collections, and Bankruptcy Section, ISBA Real Estate Law Section, LitCon Group, LLC, American Council of Engineering Companies-IL, Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association, American Society of Civil Engineers-IL Section, Chicago Building Congress, and the Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys.

Cozen O’Connor and Chicago-based Meckler Bulger Tilson (MBT) are pleased to announce their respective partners have agreed to a combination of 60 attorneys from MBT with Cozen O'Connor. Upon completion of the transaction, together with Cozen O'Connor’s existing attorneys in Chicago, the firm will have 60 attorneys in Chicago and 15 attorneys in San Francisco.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Decriminalization of cannabis (House Bill 218), Per se cannabis-DUIs (House Bill 2555), Mechanics Lien Act (House Bill 2635), Disabled adults (Senate Bill 90), Guilty pleas (House Bill 2569), New criminal law procedures (House Bill 1121) and Health Care Power of Attorney. (Senate Bill 159). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Decriminalization of cannabis. House Bill 218 (Cassidy, D-Chicago) imposes a fine of no more than $125 for possession of 15 grams or less of cannabis. (2) Makes Manufacturing Butane Hash Oil (BHO) a Class 2 felony. (3) Establishes a per se standard for Cannabis-DUI of 15 nano/decil of blood or 25 nano/decil of saliva in system. (4) 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. (5) Keeps juvenile ordinance and civil violation dispositions confidential to reflect the intent of the Juvenile Court Act and limit collateral damage to minors. (6) Provides for part of the fine to defray costs to go to the circuit clerk, local law enforcement, and local state’s attorneys and to the appellate prosecutor for training and local drug treatment. To be voted on in the House today.

The pathways for breaching client confidentiality -- whether due to simple carelessness or inadequate security -- continue to multiply as technology advances.

"There are many recent cases where lawyers have found themselves in trouble because of their use of client confidential information in settings that might surprise people," says Mary K. Foster, counsel to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) review board and lecturer on legal ethics at Northwestern University School of Law. "They can send unencrypted e-mail. They can use client information gained through conversations with the client, in ways that the client might not anticipate."

Allison Wood, a former ARDC litigator who's now principal with Legal Ethics Consulting, P.C., sees two main concerns around confidentiality. "Attorneys must be mindful in taking the requisite steps to ensure the protection of client information when they utilize social media, and when they engage in advancing technologies to deliver legal services," she says.

Find out more in the May Illinois Bar Journal.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a solo attorney in upstate New York. My practice is limited to estate planning, estate administration, and elder law. I have just hired my first associate and am trying to get a sense of the number of billable hours I should expect her to produce. Your comments would be appreciated.

The Illinois State Bar Association invites YLD members to share their hard-won knowledge, and maybe win $2,000 in prize money by entering the Annual Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest.

We're looking for useful, practical articles on topics important to practicing lawyers. The highest scores will go to manuscripts that Illinois lawyers can use in their practices, written in a no-nonsense, plain-English style.

If you're an ISBA lawyer member under age 36 as of July 1, 2015 or admitted to the bar fewer than five years as of that date, you're eligible to compete for a share of the $3,500 in Lincoln Award prize money and a handsome plaque for your office. And even if you don't win, yours may be among the many Lincoln Award entries to appear in the Illinois Bar Journal.

The deadline for filing a notice to enter the contest is July 15, 2015; use our online form. A brief outline of the article must be submitted on or before August 15, 2015; email the outline to Jean Fenski at The final deadline for manuscripts is noon Thursday, October 1, 2015; manuscripts should be emailed by noon to Jean Fenski at

The contest is sponsored by and for members of the Young Lawyers Division. A distinguished panel of judges will evaluate the entries. Please read the contest rules at

The Lawyers' Assistance Program (LAP) will host a volunteer training on Friday, June 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Loyola University School of Law & the University of Illinois at Springfield.

The purpose of this training is to:

  • Learn more about LAP's services
  • Better understand addiction and mental health issues
  • Learn how to help colleagues and friends.

There is no charge for the training, but goodwill donations are accepted to help defray lunch costs. Limited space - registration required.

To register call the LAP office at 312-726-6607 or email at