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

The Hon. James S. Cowlin, Associate Judge of the 22nd Judicial Circuit, has been appointed Resident Circuit Judge of McHenry County effective Sept. 8, 2015. This position is presently held by the Hon. Gordon E. Graham, who is retiring Sept. 7, 2015.

The United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois is currently seeking qualified applicants for a position as Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Criminal/Appellate Division for our Peoria, IL location, which is one of four branch offices in the district. AUSAs in the Criminal Division supervise the investigation of and prosecute federal offenses involving among other things, financial fraud, hate crimes, identity theft, economic crimes, firearms trafficking, counterfeiting, program fraud, immigration violations, drug trafficking, violent crimes, domestic terrorism, bank robbery, human trafficking, child exploitation, transportation of stolen goods, prisoner litigation and public corruption.

This position will also have a focus on appellate work. The duties of this position will also include handling all aspects of appeals before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, including writing appellate briefs and, arguing cases.

Justice Charles E. Freeman and the Illinois Supreme Court announced Tuesday the appointments of an assistant U.S. Attorney and a longtime Chicago lawyer as Cook County circuit judges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie E. Hamilton was appointed as Circuit Judge in the 12th Subcircuit and Chicago lawyer John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. was appointed as At-Large Circuit Judge in Cook County.

The Illinois Bar Foundation Board of Directors and Illinois State Bar Association Board of Governors will hold a joint reception honoring Richard D. Felice, ISBA president during the 2014-2015 fiscal year, on Thursday, July 30 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the ISBA  Chicago Office, 20 S. Clark.

Individual tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at

For more information, call (312) 726-6072 or visit

Funds raised will support the bar foundation whose mission is to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, especially for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. This year, the foundation will distribute more than $850,000. The Illinois Bar Foundation is located at 20 S. Clark St., Suite 910, Chicago, IL  60603.

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 June 2015, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for June 2015:

  • 825 phone referrals made by Lawyer Finder staff
  • Most requested areas of law: Family (171), Personal Injury (121), Civil Disputes (76), Criminal Law (70), Employment Law (63), Real Estate (47) and Estate/Probate Law (35).
  • 19,327 visits to (16,946 unique visitors)

Want to be part of the ISBA Lawyer Finder Service? Call (800) 252-8908 and ask for the Legal Department, or visit

Clients should call (800) 922-8757.

Vikram Amar
Vikram Amar
The University of Illinois has named Vikram David Amar as the next dean of the College of Law, pending approval from the University’s Board of Trustees at their July 15 meeting. Amar will assume the deanship, and also become the Iwan Foundation Professor of Law, on August 16. For the last several years, Amar has been the senior associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of law at the University of California, Davis School of Law.

“Professor Vik Amar stood out to all of us involved in this national search as the clear choice to lead the College of Law here at Illinois,” said Ilesanmi Adesida, the vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost of the Urbana campus. “His vision of a college recognized for its cutting-edge scholarship and for close connections to the profession and society in which its graduates will serve is one that aligns perfectly with the land-grant values of this university. He understands the challenges of providing world-class legal educational and professional experiences to our students while ensuring that those experiences remain affordable and accessible. I look forward to working with Dean Amar as he leads one of our oldest and proudest colleges to national and international pre-eminence.”

Amar said he has been “deeply impressed by the College’s highly productive and influential faculty in law and related disciplines, its dedicated staff, its talented student body, its loyal and accomplished alumni base, and its place in a premier research university located two hours from downtown Chicago, a city where the College is developing exciting programs for upper-division law students.”

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the formation of a Committee on Equality, charged with promoting equality and fairness in all aspects of the administration of justice in Illinois Courts.

The Committee on Equality will consist of 15 judges and attorneys appointed by the Supreme Court. The membership of the Committee will reflect the diversity of the State of Illinois itself, based on age, race, gender, and background, as well as including members from urban, suburban, and rural parts of the state.

A major overhaul of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("IMDMA"), years in the making, was finally passed by the Illinois General Assembly in May and sent to the governor. If signed into law, SB 57 will eliminate grounds for divorce, shift the focus away from custody and toward allocation of parental responsibilities, and make other important changes in Illinois divorce law.

It would amend not only the IMDMA but also the Intergovernmental Missing Child Recovery Act of 1984, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act ("UCCJEA"), the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, the Probate Act, and other statutes. The governor has not acted on the law. Find out more in the July Illinois Bar Journal.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a senior associate in an eight-attorney elder law firm in Miami. There is one owner (founder) and seven associates including myself. The owner has approached me with a proposal to over time buy out his interests. I am the only senior associate in the firm and the only associate that he has approached concerning selling his interests. Specifically his proposal is as follows:

  1. Pay him $825,000 for the practice over five years.
  2. After five years I will own 100% of the shares.
  3. My compensation arrangement will remain the same (salary plus formula percentage incentive bonus based upon my responsible attorney collections) until I have acquired 100 percent interest of the firm.
  4. The owner wants to work in the firm indefinitely after his interest are acquired as an employee or Of Counsel.

I don't know how to respond to this proposal and would appreciate your thoughts? Is it fair? Does it make sense?

A. It makes sense for him. Seriously, you are going to need much more information than this proposal.To get started you need to ask for and review the following:

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis announced on Wednesday an application process for a vacancy in the Sixth Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy was created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Leida J. Gonzalez Santiago. Judge Santiago had served as a judge since 1992, when she became the first Hispanic woman elected to the judiciary in Illinois. Her retirement takes effect July 2, 2015.
Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled on an interim basis by Supreme Court appointment until the next General Election. Justice Theis will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court after applicants for the position undergo a screening and evaluation process.