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

Joseph R. Tybor
Joseph R. Tybor
Joseph Tybor, the longtime Chicago journalist and press secretary for the Illinois Supreme Court, died Saturday at his home in Countryside. He was 68.

Tybor’s 30-year journalism career included comprehensive coverage of a broad array of subjects, including the Vietnam War, Notre Dame football and his must-read “On the Law” column that ran weekly in the Chicago Tribune.

For the past decade and a half he was a diligent advocate for the Illinois Supreme Court and spearheaded key changes to the Open Meetings Act, which allowed cameras into Illinois courtrooms for the first time.

"My colleagues and I are deeply saddened by Joe’s passing. He was truly dedicated to his role as the voice of the Illinois Supreme Court, and we watched in awe as he continued to carry out his duties even as he fought his illness," Chief Justice Rita B. Garman said. "He was an example to us all of courage and strength. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, in which he took such great pride. We will miss his professionalism, his optimism, and his cheerful demeanor."

“His relationships with reporters and his love and passion for the law made him such an absolute great fit at the Supreme Court,” Tybor’s son, Adam Tybor, said. “He was amazing at his job - he fought for his beliefs."

Join us for a mock trial program in Chicago on October 23, 2015 that offers you a greater understanding of the complexities surrounding a construction trial involving a design-build project where the plaintiff is claiming breach of contract, negligent and defective design, while the defense claims that the fault lies with the work performed by the plaintiff’s other contractors. Construction law attorneys and real estate practitioners with all levels of practice experience who attend this full-day seminar will learn how to construct a strong opening statement, examine witnesses, and present a strong closing argument.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Construction Law Section and co-sponsored by the ISBA Real Estate Law Section. It qualifies for 6.0 hours MCLE credit, including 6.0 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Chief Judge Diane P. Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is pleased to announce the appointment of Deborah L. Thorne to a 14-year term as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She will take office on October 22, 2015.

Ms. Thorne earned her bachelor's degree from Macalester College, her Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Duke University and her law degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago Kent College of Law. She was admitted to practice in Illinois in 1983.

Ms. Thorne is a partner in the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. She is Vice President of the American Bankruptcy Institute for Communications and Information Technology and serves on the Executive Committee. Ms.Thorne is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and is also a member of the Federal Bar Association, Turnaround Management Association, International Women's Insolvency Confederation, and Decalogue Society.

No tricks, all treats with Lenovo in October! Your member benefits program brings ISBA members low prices on high performing PCs engineered with you in mind all month long. Take advantage of INSTANT SAVINGS up to 42% off select computing technologies and 50% off select accessories. Visit to shop and save, plus get FREE shipping on all web orders!

Take advantage of these special offers until October 31, 2015:

  • 42% off select Lenovo Laptops
  • 15% off select ThinkPad Laptops
  • 37% off select Lenovo Desktops
  • 32% off select Lenovo Tablets
  • 50% off select Lenovo Accessories

Call: 1-800-426-7235, ext. 3577 (M-F: 9am-9pm EST, Sat: 9am-6pm EST)

Visit the ISBA Member Marketplace for more professional discounts at

Please join the ISBA Environmental Law Section Council for a Professional Development Luncheon to discuss the Clean Power Plan - the first-ever national standards addressing carbon pollution from power plants. This program will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 21, from noon-1 p.m. at the ISBA Chicago Office, 20 S. Clark.


  • Mr. James Gignac, Environmental & Energy Counsel, with the Office of the Attorney General. Mr. Gignac will provide an overview of the historic regualtions as well as provide insight into the rule's political and legal hurdles as well as implementation issues


  • Patricia Sharkey, Environmental Law Section Council Chair

Cost: $15 includes lunch.

Register at

For general inquiries, please contact: Kent Mohr at

Deadline to register is Friday, October 16th. No refunds will be given after October 16th.

No MCLE credit is available for this program.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil case Nelson v. Artley and the criminal case People v. Stapinski.


Nelson v. Artley

By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams, Montgomery & John Ltd.

The liability of a rental car company who obtains a certificate of self-insurance from the Secretary of State is limited to the same minimum coverage provisions applicable to rental car companies who meet their financial responsibility obligations through purchasing an insurance policy. 

Mr. Nelson was injured by an Enterprise rental car driven by Mr. Artley, who was uninsured. Nelson sued Artley, resulting in a default judgment of $600,000.  Nelson brought a supplementary action against Enterprise.

Enterprise asserted various affirmative defenses, the most pertinent dealing with its financial exposure.  Enterprise argued that because it was self-insured, its total financial responsibility per occurrence was $100,000 (the statutory minimum coverage requirements for insurance).  Because $75,000 already had been paid or allotted to other claims arising out of the same incident, the circuit court issued a turnover order of $25,000 to Nelson. 

Michael Brennan lives in Grayslake but practices fulltime as The Virtual Attorney, serving clients in three states from his office in the cloud.

What inspired him to launch a virtual practice? "I graduated law school in 2010, one of the worst times to start out as a lawyer in recent history," Brennan said. "When I looked at the legal services industry, it didn't seem like it was responding to changing times and consumer needs. As they say in the tech industry, I saw a system ripe for disruption.

"I soon realized I wasn't alone. Across the country, practitioners are delivering legal services virtually. So, while I did not come up with the concept, I embraced it." FInd out more in the October Illinois Bar Journal.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Jeffrey L. Hirsch as an associate judge of the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Hirsch received his undergraduate degree in 1991 from Indiana University in Bloomington and his Juris Doctor in 1994 from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Mr. Hirsch is currently affiliated with The Gitlin Law Firm in Woodstock.

National Celebration of Pro Bono is October 26-30, 2015

By Michael G. Bergmann, ISBA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Initiative 

Coordinated by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, Pro Bono Week is intended to inspire even greater pro bono participation by lawyers throughout the nation. This initiative provides an opportunity for legal organizations across the country to collaboratively commemorate the vitally important contributions of America's lawyers and to recruit and train the many additional volunteers required to meet the growing demand. The Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service undertook this initiative to provide a format for showcasing the incredible difference that pro bono lawyers make to our nation, to our system of justice, to our communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. We are a two-partner firm located in Rochester, Minn. We have been approached by a solo practitioner that wants to sell us his practice. The price and terms seem fair, but we are concerned about staffing and managing the other office. His practice consists of himself and two staff members. We would have to maintain a second office, hire an associate or two for the office, and then manage both operations. We have recently tried to hire an associate without success by reaching out to targeted lawyers that we knew in our local area. Frankly, acquiring this practice is a little daunting. We would appreciate your thoughts.

A. I believe the first issue is whether you are looking to grow the firm and are willing to undertake the additional management responsibilities that comes with growth. Some firms are ready for growth and others are not. Larger is not necessarily better. 

I would not let your unsuccessful associate hiring attempts discourage you from acquiring the practice if you desire to grow and the price and terms are acceptable. You may need to cast a wider net and be more focused in your efforts. Recently a two-attorney firm in Mid-Missouri hired an associate from St. Louis. A two-attorney firm in Central Kentucky hired an associate from Lexington, Kentucky. It may take some time but a concentrated recruiting effort usually pays off regardless where you are located - even in small communities. 

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