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

United States Bankruptcy Judge Bruce W. Black of the Northern District of Illinois has applied to be reappointed by the United States Court of Appeals to a new 14-year term when his current term expires on August 12, 2015. A United States Bankruptcy Judge is a judicial officer of the United States District Court who exercises the authority of the district court with respect to any action, suit, or proceeding under Chapter 6 of Title 28 of the United States Code. 28 U.S.C. § 151. Comments are invited from the public and the bar as to whether Judge Black should be reappointed. Those comments should be in writing and sent by September 30, 2014 to:


Chief Judge John T. Elsner has announced that applications for the Office of Associate Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois, DuPage County have been received from those on the list below.

The vacancy is the result of the retirement of Associate Judge Thomas C. Dudgeon.

As part of the review process conducted by the Circuit Judges, Chief Judge Elsner invites public comment by letter before Aug. 21, 2014 to:

  • Chief Judge John T. Elsner
  • 18th Judicial Circuit Court
  • 505 N. County Farm Road, Room 2015
  • Wheaton, IL 60187

The applicants are:

Q.  What are the rules regarding communicating with an unrepresented individual?

A.  IRPC 4.3 allows an attorney to communicate and negotiate with an unrepresented individual as long as certain requirements are met. The attorney “shall not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested” and “the lawyer shall not give any legal advice to the unrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel.” For more information, see ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion 14-02

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

DisclaimerThese questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline.  The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed.  The information provided isn’t legal advice.  Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers Independent examination in mental health proceedings (Public Act 98-853), Transfer on death instrument (Public Act 98-821), Common Interest Community Association Act (Public Act 98-842) and Mechanics Lien Act (Public Act 98-764). More information on the bill is available below the video.

Same-sex marriage came to Illinois by way of the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which took effect June 1, Chicago lawyer Richard Wilson wrote in the August Illinois Bar Journal. "Promising full marriage equality in Illinois as a matter of state law, the Act legalizes same-sex marriage, leaves in place the Civil Union Act, and provides for voluntary conversion of civil unions to marriages," he said. "Also - and remarkably - it grants the continuing jurisdiction of the Illinois courts to a same-sex marriage," he said.

"The Act mandates absolute protection for freedom of religious practice and certain protections and immunity from suit on grounds consistent with religious belief. Finally, it repeals the same-sex marriage prohibitions enacted in 1996, which lingered in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and went untouched by the passage of the Illinois Civil Union Act three years ago," Wilson said.

But the Marriage Fairness Act left some unanswered questions as well, which Wilson explores in his excellent review of the new law. Read it and find out more.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the chair of our firm's marketing committee. We are a 24 attorney insurance defense firm in Houston. While we solicit feedback from some of our larger insurance company clients at lunch and face to face meetings - the sessions are not structured, data is not really tabulated, and only a handful of clients are usually involved. We have been thinking of embarking on a more structured process. I would appreciate your thoughts.

A. Our firm recently completed client satisfaction interviews for several of our insurance defense law firm clients. Here are a few quotes and a summary of what these insurance company law firm clients told us:

Join your peers for an afternoon of socializing and horse racing at this annual event! 

ISBA YLD Golf ClassicWhen: Saturday, September 13, 2014, Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Tickets will be available for pick up at 11:15 AM on race day at the will call window, Grandstand Entrance (east side off of Wilke Road entrance).

Where: Arlington Park Racecourse, Arlington Heights - ISBA will be at umbrella covered picnic tables located near the 1/8 mile pole.

Cost: $9.00 per adult, $2.00 per youth age 4-17. Tickets are complimentary for children 3 and under. General Admission cost includes admission to the park, a daily racing guide, and a fabulous day of Thoroughbred racing! Lunch is not included.

Deadline: Register by Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at

For information on permitted and prohibited items in the park, please visit:

Questions: Please email Lynne Davis, or Rachel McDermott,

Mediation is designed to resolve differences both in and out of the courts. It requires a very different mindset than courtroom litigation. Join us in Chicago on September 29th for this week-long mediation training and learn how to resolve conflicts in a non-adversarial, non-confrontational manner, allowing peaceful resolutions between parties.

The program is taught by Richard Calkins and Fred Lane two nationally recognized mediators, authors and educators. Until 20 years ago, both Mr. Calkins and Mr. Lane were well-known and highly regarded litigators. Since then, however, they have successfully mediated over 5,000 cases.

Mr. Calkins and Mr. Lane have developed an approach that encourages the mediator to be a peacemaker, deemphasizing the antagonism involved in formal litigation. This five-day course has considerable hands-on training and requires each participant to complete two full mediations as a mediator. Course topics include an introduction to mediation, caucus form of mediation, qualities of a peacemaker, ethical considerations, other Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms, advanced mediator techniques, and arbitration.

The program qualifies for 40.0 hours MCLE credit, including 40.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

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 July 2014, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for July 2014:

  • 827 phone referrals made by Lawyer Finder staff
  • Most requested areas of law: Family (155), Personal Injury (108), Real Estate (97), Criminal Law (86), Employment Law (80), Civil Disputes (42) and Estate/Probate Law (34).
  • 22,807 visits to (20,472 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.

ISBA Past President Herb Franks
ISBA Past President Herb Franks
A roast to celebrate ISBA Past President Herb Franks' more than 50 years of service in the legal profession will be held on Aug. 8 at Donley's Village Hall Banquets, 8512 S. Union Road in Union. The evening begins with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner and roast at 7 p.m. Donation levels range from $75-$500. All proceeds from the event will benefit Prairie State Legal Services.

Featured roasters include Illinois Supreme Court Justices Anne Burke and Thomas Kilbride, Secretary of State Jesse White, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, McHenry County Judge Michael Caldwell, Appellate Court judges Richard Goldenhersh and Mary Schostock and ISBA Past Presidents Paula H. Holderman and Tim Eaton. Attorney General Lisa Madigan will make the opening remarks.

For more information, contact Ann Sprague at or (815) 923-2107.