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

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Presumptions in probate (Senate Bill 90), Guardianships for minors (Senate Bill 786), Temporary guardianships (House Bill 2505), Unfounded reports (Senate Bill 1335), Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (House Bill 4131) and Presumptively Void Transfers (House Bill 3325). More information on each bill is available below the video.


One plank of Governor Rauner's campaign platform was criminal justice reform. On February 11, he issued Executive Order 15-14, which establishes the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform.

The order notes that Illinois' prison system is at 150 percent capacity; the prison population has increased 700 percent over the last 40 years, while the crime rate has decreased 20 percent over the same period. It also observes that overcrowding in our prisons threatens the safety of staff and inmates, thwarting efforts to rehabilitate prisoners for their return to society.

In an effort to address these problems, the newly formed Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform has been tasked with researching and suggesting bipartisan, data-driven reforms to decrease crime and recidivism while maintaining public safety. The Commission's goal is to increase public safety and reduce Illinois's prison population by 25 percent over the next 10 years. Its first report is due July 1 and its final report is due December 31 of this year. Find out more in the April Illinois Bar Journal.


Join us at either of our two locations - Springfield volunteers especially needed!

Saturday, April 25, 2015
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Please consider volunteering to help the public with their legal questions and, at the same time, enhance the image of the profession.

Each year, to recognize and celebrate Law Day, the Illinois State Bar Association sponsors "Ask A Lawyer Day," a day during which volunteers respond to telephone calls from the public and answer general legal questions free of charge. This is a state-wide public relations effort that receives considerable attention from the public and the media.

"Ask A Lawyer Day" volunteer lawyers in Springfield will answer calls at the Illinois Bar Center offices from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Volunteer lawyers in the Chicago area, will volunteer in the Chicago Office from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the online form at www.isba.org/askalawyervolunteer

Please let us know by April 3 if you would like to participate.


The Fourth District Appellate Court will hear oral arguments in two criminal cases on Monday, March 30, 2015 at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Arguments are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the Public Affairs Center, first floor.

"The University of Illinois students and those interested in the law have a unique opportunity to observe oral arguments before the Appellate Court in person", said Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois. "I am extremely pleased UIS is hosting the Fourth District Appellate Court's oral arguments on their campus this spring."


Jennifer Rosato Perea
Jennifer Rosato Perea
DePaul University has selected a nationally recognized leader in legal education as dean for the College of Law. Jennifer Rosato Perea, an accomplished scholar in family law, bioethics and civil procedure, will join DePaul July 1.

Throughout her 25 years in higher education, which includes 11 years as a law school administrator, Rosato Perea has been an active voice in the national dialogue about legal education. She currently serves as the dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Law, a post she has held since 2009, and served as the acting dean of the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law during its first year of operation in 2006.


Q. I am not sure what is the best defense to assert while defending my client. May I file numerous defenses in the hopes that one of them will work?

A. IRPC 3.1 forbids the filling of frivolous claims. Comment [2] to Rule 3.1 states that “the filing of an action or defense or similar action taken for a client is not frivolous merely because the facts have not first been fully substantiated or because the lawyer expects to develop vital evidence only by discovery. What is required of lawyers, however, is that they inform themselves about the facts of their clients’ cases and the applicable law and determine that they can make good-faith arguments in support of their clients’ positions. Such action is not frivolous even though the lawyer believes that the clients’ position ultimately will not prevail. The action is frivolous, however, if the lawyer is unable to either make a good-faith argument on the merits of the action taken or to support the action taken by a good-faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law.” 

ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.


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

Q. I am the managing partner in an eight attorney firm in Phoenix. We are contemplating bringing in a senior lawyer as an Of Counsel that wants to gradually wind down his practice. We are thinking of paying him using an eat-what-he-kills approach whereby he would be paid 40% for his personal production (collected working attorney receipts) and 20% for bringing in the client (origination). Thus, if he brought in the client and did all of the work he would get 60% of the fee. What are your thoughts?


Don’t miss this opportunity to update your knowledge on the issues and challenges surrounding the confidentiality of mental health records in Illinois! Attorneys representing mental health clients, litigators needing to subpoena mental health records, and any attorney interested in learning about the issues, problems, privacy concerns, and ethics surrounding mental health records in Illinois who attend this basic to intermediate seminar will better understand: the ethical issues to consider when agreeing to represent a client alleged to have a diagnosed mental illness; mental health records and confidentiality requirements and issues; how to subpoena mental health records; how mental health records are being handled in the age of the health information exchange; and much more! The program takes place on April 10, 2015 in Chicago, as is also available as a live webcast for those unable to attend in Chicago.

The program is presented by the ISBA Mental Health Law Section and qualifies for 3.50 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.



On the Evening of March 19, 2015, five alumni of the University of DePaul College of Law engaged in honest and practical conversations with current law students on the realities of practicing law. The students left this event feeling better suited to enter the approaching summer job market.

On hand for the event were (Back, from left): Mr. Stephan Blandin, Romanucci & Blandin, LLC; Mr. Johner T. Wilson III, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP.  (Front, from left): Colleen Mulligan, ’17 ISBA Student Rep; Ms. Sarah Moravia, Avery Camerlingo Kill, LLC;  Ms. Kristy Lee, Plante Moran;  Ms. Erin M. Wilson, O’Connor Family Law, P.C.;  Sherry H. Joseph, ‘17 ISBA Student Rep;  and Steven Haamid, ‘17. Photo credit: Michael A. Coleman, Jr


The Committee on Legal Education, Admissions and Competence has established "The Excellence on Legal Education Award" designed to annually honor a law school program that emphasizes real world skill for students.

Criteria

  • Must be a program, class, clinic or other initiative focused on teaching practical skills as an ABA accredited law school affiliated with the ISBA;
  • Must provide students with an opportunity to practice identifiable, practical legal skills, including but not limited to skills related to advocacy, transactional representation, law office management or ethics.