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


Mark your calendars for Feb. 9, when the ISBA Young Lawyers Division will host its annual speed networking event followed by a wine tasting in Chicago. 

Starting at 3:30, speed networking participants will meet and greet other lawyers and legal professionals to build professional and social networks in an event that combines concepts from speed dating and business networking. Refreshments will be served. 

At 5:30, attendees can then move downstairs to the ISBA Mutual Office to enjoy an evening of tasting a variety of wines and cheese. This events proceeds will benefit the YLD Children’s Assistance Fund.

Registration for both events is now open and we hope to see you there! Register now for speed networking and wine tasting


Illinois Supreme Court Rule 9(c)(4) was amended to allow a good cause exemption to e-filing for self-represented litigants (SRL). The rule change is effective immediately for proceedings in the supreme court and appellate courts. For proceedings in the circuit courts, the amended rule is effective on Jan. 1, 2018.

The amended rule defines the good cause exemption, which must be shown by certification and filed with the court before or with an initial pleading, that exempts SRLs from the e-filing requirement. It also specifies the procedures that must be followed to properly obtain the exemption.

The rule change comes less than three weeks before electronic filing in civil cases will be mandatory across Illinois, and reflects the Illinois Supreme Court's commitment to ensuring access to justice for everyone, including vulnerable SRLs.

Under the amended rule, good cause exists where a self-represented litigant is not able to e-file documents for the following reasons:

  • No computer or Internet access in the home and travel represents a hardship 
  • A disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, that prevents e-filing
  • A language barrier or low literacy (difficulty reading, writing, or speaking in English)
  • If the pleading is of a sensitive nature, such as a petition for an order of protection or civil no contact/stalking order

Judges retain discretion to determine whether good cause is shown, or if, under particular circumstances, good cause exists without the filing of a certificate.


The ISBA Springfield and Chicago offices will be closed for the holidays beginning Friday, Dec. 22. They will reopen on Jan. 2, 2018. During this time, members can expect the following:

All business and e-newsletter distribution will resume as usual on Jan. 2, 2018. 


All ISBA systems will be down due to electrical work beginning Friday, Dec. 29 at 8 a.m. until Saturday, Dec. 30 at 8 pm. During this time the ISBA website will not be available. As a result you will also not be able to log into Fastcase, online CLE, and ISBA Central. Here is what you need to know and steps you can take to ensure continued service.

Online CLE

You will not be able to access online CLE at all during the outage. If you need to earn CLE credit before the end of the year, we strongly urge you to plan to complete that before the outage. 

ISBA Central Communities and Discussion Groups

Discussion groups will still be available via email, but you will not be able to log into ISBA Central. (Note: if you are already logged into the ISBA website, you may be able to access ISBA Central by going to it directly at http://central.isba.org).

Fastcase

For members who need to access Fastcase during this time, please follow the instructions below.



Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the owner of a 14-attorney law firm in South Bend, Indiana. The firm is a health care firm that represents various medical facilities in the area. I am the managing attorney who makes all of the management decisions, and all of the other attorneys in the firm are associates. I also bring in the bulk of the firm's clients. I want to retire in the next five years and would like to sell my interests to three associates in the firm. However, I am unsure if they will be good partners with each other, whether they have the management and client development skills to lead the firm, or even if they would want to be partners. My other option would be to merge with another firm. I prefer to sell my interests to the three associates rather than merge if at all possible. What are your thoughts?


Illinois has become a center of biometric privacy litigation. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act is the only one in the nation that allows private parties to sue and has a fee-shifting provision allowing plaintiffs to recover attorney fees.

And biometric privacy lawsuits are in the news - there has been a spike in litigation against employers over fingerprints and other biometric data. Biometric data is a measurement or copy of a unique physical characteristic of an individual. It can be a fingerprint, retina or iris scan, voiceprints, hand scans, or facial geometry.

In March 2016, Google faced a class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (see "Class action suit alleges Google is violating Illinoisans' 'biometric' privacy," May 2016 LawPulse, at http://bit.ly/2zE4FRQ). As of November 11, 2017, the case is still in the discovery phase.

Most new lawsuits in Illinois are based on employers and retail businesses that allegedly fail to obtain written authorization before collecting fingerprint scans ("Spike in IL lawsuits vs employers over fingerprints, other biometric data may be just the beginning," Cook County Record, at http://bit.ly/2jqsTc0).

Find out more in the December Illinois Bar Journal.



The 2017 Midyear Meeting was held last week, Dec. 7-9, 2017, at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago. Attendees celebrated the profession, discussed issues of mutual interest to the bench and bar, attended business meetings, earned CLE credit, and expanded their social and professional networks at receptions and dinners. During section meetings and at the Assembly meeting, various members of the ISBA community were recognized with awards. 

The photo galleries containing highlights from this year's Midyear Meeting are now available and listed below:

Opening Ceremony

YLD 20th Annual Holiday Party

ISBA/IJA Joint Meeting Luncheon

Law School Alumni Receptions

Diversity Leadership Council "Count Me In" Reception

Illinois Supreme Court Cocktail Reception

Illinois Supreme Court Dinner



Legendary gifts at legendary prices! Now through Dec. 31, take full advantage of up to 40% off on select ThinkPad systems that will make the holiday memorable. Offers valid while supplies last!

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Every solo journey starts with a single step. Don’t miss this online seminar on January 10, 2018 that explores the practical business concerns of starting your own law firm and the special issues you may face as a woman branching out on her own. Discover how starting a solo practice can help advance women in the legal profession and what we can do as women to support each other in getting our practices off the ground. Learn how to fight the gender biases you will inevitably face and how these biases and stereotypes can affect your confidence. Listen as our panelists use their real-life experiences to advise you on a number key issues, including trust accounts, new clients, former clients, creating a business plan, and much more.

The program is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Women & the Law. It qualifies for 2.0 hours MCLE credit, including 2.0 hours Professionalism, Civility, or Legal Ethics Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Learn more and register on the CLE page.


Congratulations to the following prize winners at the ISBA Midyear Meeting:

  • $50 Amazon Gift Card - Daniel Kegan
  • 3 months of service ($1,287 value) - Sarah Taylor
  • $100 Visa Gift Card - Laura Kern
  • $100 Amazon Gift Card - Margaret A. Bennett
  • TENS unit - Melissa Greathouse
  • Bottle of champagne in a wine cooler bottle holder - Haskell M. Pitluck
  • $50 gift card - Bridget L. Schott
  • $25 Starbucks gift card - Alice Sackett
  • Amazon Echo Dot - Jan Strzalka
  • $100 Amex Gift Card - Roza Gossop
  • Amazon Echo - Melissa Olivers
  • $100 Amex Gift Card - Donald Shriver
  • $100 Amex Gift Card - John Voorn
  • Microsoft Home - Andy Scheifer
  • Student Microsoft Office 365 - Kim Dugan
  • Spa gift certificate - Bernard Peter
  • Amazon Echo show - Joan Amuda
  • IBF tickets to Illinois Lawyers Rock - Douglas Olivers

Winners can pick up their prizes at the registration desk on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.