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

It's ISBA Member Appreciation Month, and ISBA Mutual appreciates your need to have fun while you make sure that you never miss a deadline.

To that end and in honor of the occasion, they are handing out, absolutely free, a handy tool that fits the bill. The ISBA Mutual Statute of Limitations Slide Rule only needs you as a power source.

You don't need Wi-Fi or have to wait for a download. It fits in your suit pocket. It's fast and doesn't distract you with pop-up ads and cat videos while you're using it. It's kind of a cool novelty that you can whip out to win friends and influence people.

A low-tech tool for a high tech era? Why not? Click here to request yours. And accept our thanks for being a valued ISBA member.

ISBA Mutual shares the ISBA's commitment to ensuring members understand and follow legal best practices. That's why it sponsors the ISBA's Free Online CLE, the Solo & Small Firm Practice Institute Series, Fastcase research tools and so many other ISBA programs.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Marks v. Vanderventer, McVey v. M.L.K. Enterprises, LLC, Turcios v. The DeBruler Company and Warren County Soil and Water Conservation Dist. v. Walters and the criminal cases People v. Allen, People v. Gaytan and People v. Kuehner.


Marks v. Vanderventer

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth, LLC

Here the Illinois Supreme Court overturned the trial court’s rulings that held unconstitutional a $10 surcharge collected by a county recorder of deeds as set forth in the original and amended versions of state legislation primarily aimed at funding the Rental Housing Support Program, which the General Assembly created to help local governments address the shortage in the state of affordable, decent rental housing. The circuit court certified a class of plaintiffs required to pay the fee for recording real estate-related documents and a class of defendants consisting of the county recorders of deeds throughout the state.

Congratulations to ISBA member – Adam Ansari – winner of the Ruby® Receptionists giveaway for 6 months of FREE live virtual receptionist service!

As a reminder, all ISBA members can sign up for a free 14 day trial with Ruby®Receptionists. After your free trial is over, sign up for 1 of Ruby's 3 different plans and,as an ISBA member, you'll also get the $95 set-up fee waived and 5% off the monthly service.

Who is Ruby®? Ruby® Receptionists makes stellar impressions and sets your practice apart – at a fraction of the cost of an on-site employee. Ruby's live virtual receptionists handle your calls with care – using your custom greeting, transferring calls to you wherever you are, and answering basic FAQs about your firm.

To get started with your free trial offer, call 866-611-7829 or visit Ruby’s ISBA landing page.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Service tax white paper, Property fraud alert system (House Bill 3672), The Parentage Act (House Bill 1531), Lifetime revocation issue (House Bill 1446) and Court security fee (Senate Bill 804). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Service tax white paper. The Taxpayers Federation of Illinois and the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability issued an issue brief on a service tax for Illinois at a press conference in Springfield yesterday. It recommends that the majority of professional services should be excluded from the Illinois sales tax base. Attorneys were not included in this proposed tax base. From the brief:

Q. I currently represent the buyer of a business. Can I represent the business’s seller in a wholly unrelated matter?

Under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act as it existed prior to March 2014, citizens could be -- and were -- prosecuted for recording the police and other public officials without their consent. The new law, passed in December and codified at 720 ILCS 5/14 et seq., makes it legal to do so in public settings without consent. But other provisions of the law make it easier for police to obtain permission to record private citizens, and the sum total is drawing mixed reviews from different parties for different reasons.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLU), which successfully challenged the old statute (American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois v. Alvarez, 679 F.3d 583 (7th Cir. 2012)), believes the rewritten law represents "a step forward" in that respect, says Adam Schwartz, senior staff counsel at the ACLU. "It limits the scope of the statute to just private conversations," he says. "If conversations are not private, there is no limit to recording; but if a conversation is private, you need all-party consent…. On the whole, the bill is drawing the line in the right place."

But the new act also provides a fast track for police to conduct surveillance on citizens' private communications if they have reason to believe those citizens will imminently commit one of a number of qualifying offenses, such as drug deals or sexual assaults, in the succeeding 24 hours. See 720 ILCS 5/14-3. Instead of requiring a warrant with approval of a judge, now police need only get the thumbs-up from their local state's attorney in a broader set of instances than in the past. Find out more in the June Illinois Bar Journal.

Associate circuit judges in Illinois outside Cook County have been evaluated in a poll of lawyers conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association. Results are available at

Associate judges are subject to reappointment every four years. The reappointment is accomplished through the casting of secret ballots by circuit court judges in their circuit. Successful candidates receive votes that tally three-fifths (60%) or greater in favor of their reappointment. Voting will be concluded prior to the beginning of the new associate judge terms. The new term of office for each reappointed associate judge will begin on July 1, 2015 and terminate on June 30, 2019.

Although the decision on associate judge reappointment is made by circuit judges, the ISBA is releasing these poll results to the public, because all judges are public officials and the opinions of their professional colleagues about their performance is of public interest.

ISBA attorneys in each judicial circuit (except Cook County) are mailed a ballot containing the names of every associate judge seeking reappointment in their circuit. Licensed attorneys who are not members of ISBA may request a ballot. Attorneys are asked to respond only if they have sufficient knowledge about the associate judge’s qualifications for judicial office to give a fair, informed opinion. Opinions expressed in the poll are of those attorneys who chose to respond and do not reflect the opinion of the ISBA or the opinion of all attorneys.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner in a 12-attorney firm in Chicago. We have six partners and six associates. We are a boutique litigation firm. Three of our partners are in their mid to late 60s and should be thinking about retirement, but they seem to be in denial. How do we begin to address this issue?

As part of Member Appreciation Month, our vendor partner Ruby® Receptionist is offering 6 months of FREE virtual receptionist service to 1 lucky member.


Ruby® Receptionists makes stellar impressions and sets your practice apart – at a fraction of the cost of an on-site employee. From their offices in Portland, Oregon, Ruby's live virtual receptionists handle your calls with care – using your custom greeting, transferring calls to you wherever you are, and answering basic FAQs about your firm.

You'll have the peace of mind that your clients will each be treated warmly and professionally by a smart, highly-trained, cheerful receptionist. Best of all, callers think Ruby works in your office.

AVAILABLE ANYTIME… ISBA members can sign up for a free 14 day trial.

After your free trial is over, sign up for 1 of Ruby's 3 different plans and, as an ISBA member, you'll also get the $95 set-up fee waived and 5% off the monthly service.

Do you have some understanding of insurance law, but want greater knowledge on the area, including recent developments in the law? Then join us via live webcast on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 for an in-depth look at several hot topic insurance coverage issues, including: how property insurance policies can impose examinations under oath (EUO) on the insured in the event of loss or damage; the various approaches defendants can take to reduce exposure and the risk of loss, including indemnity agreements and contractual insurance requirements; how courts are addressing policy language in the context of data breaches, hacking, and other cyber issues; and the insurance products designed to specifically address cyber and data risk issues.

The program is presented by the ISBA Insurance Law Section and qualifies for 2.25 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.