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 Township Code I (Senate Bill 2287), Township Code II (Senate Bill 2288), Township Code III (Senate Bill 2412), The Biometric Information Privacy Act (Senate Bill 2409) and Citation on behalf of estate (Public Act 99-497). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Township Code I. Senate Bill 2287 (Althoff, R-McHenry) requires that a referendum be submitted to the voters after a petition by at least 5% of the registered voters seeking to discontinue and abolish the township’s organization and to transfer all the rights, powers, and responsibilities of the township organization to the county. Applies to a singular township organization within one county. Requires that the township officers of any township that is discontinued continue as officers of that township until the expiration of the respective terms for which they were elected or appointed. Further provides that a county may retain its form of government after all townships have been dissolved. Referred to the Committee on Assignments.

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 January 2016, there were 872 referrals. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Jesse White
Jesse White
Hon. Rita Garman
Hon. Rita Garman

Susan Sher
Susan Sher

The John Marshall Law School, Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Judges Association and, Justinian Society of Lawyers are hosting "The Distinguished Professional Service Joint Dinner" on Thursday, February 25th at the Standard Club in Chicago.

Being honored with the Award of Exemplary Professional Service for their outstanding service to our legal profession and the public in the State of Illinois are Honorable Rita Garman, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice; Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State; and Susan Sher, Senior Advisor to the University of Chicago President and former Assistant to President Obama and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama.

The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and program at 6:30 p.m.

Buy tickets, become a sponsor or find out more information at

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a lawyer from the Carbondale area. Last week I attended your Illinois State Bar Association CLE Webinar - Law Practice Succession and Transition - Ideas for Getting Started. I am 66 years old and I fit the "Sole Owner" model that you discussed. I am the practice. I have one associate and one legal assistant and my associate has neither the desire or the ability to take over my practice. I am tired and want to retire by the end of the year. With no successors in sight, I am thinking I should just close the doors. I welcome your thoughts.

Don’t miss this comprehensive overview of Senate Bill 100 on February 11, 2016, which amends the Illinois School Code in a number of areas! Attorneys practicing in the education law arena need to be aware of the changes that go into effect on September 15, 2016 and how they will affect parents, school districts, and students. Join us for this half-day seminar that offers a better understanding of: how the new law will alter the way student discipline cases are handled; the goals of the new legislation; how school boards will adapt to the upcoming changes; how school boards and school administration will be affected by the changes; how the discipline of special education students will be handled; and the ethical issues that may arise due to the new laws.

On January 1, the Illinois Pregnancy Accommodation Act became law and significantly expanded Illinois employers' duty to accommodate.

Prior to IPAA, pregnant employees were caught in a legal abyss; if their pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition did not rise to the level of a "disability" or "impairment" requiring an accommodation under the ADA, and if the employee was not eligible for leave under the FMLA, her options for accommodations were slim to none.

 Now, it's a civil rights violation for Illinois employers to

  • not make reasonable accommodations for any medical or common condition of a job applicant or employee related to pregnancy or childbirth;
  • deny employment opportunities or benefits to or take adverse action against an otherwise qualified job applicant or employee based on pregnancy-related conditions;
  • require a job applicant or employee to accept an accommodation she does not want not;
  • require a job applicant or employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided; or
  • refuse to reinstate an employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth to her original job or to an equivalent position. Find out more in the February Illinois Bar Journal.

The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) announces the release of its Report and Recommendations of the Special Committee on the Impact of Current Law School Curriculum on the Future of the Practice of Law in Illinois, which was approved by the ISBA Assembly in December. The goal of the report is to explore ways to ensure that future law school graduates in Illinois are prepared for the realities facing new lawyers in today’s legal marketplace. The report represents the starting point for a dialogue and collaboration between the law schools and the practicing bar.

In the coming months, the ISBA will be reaching out to the deans of Illinois’ law schools and inviting them to work with it to address the important issues the report raises. Through this collaborative effort, the ISBA hopes to refine and expand the report’s recommendations. The ultimate goal is to identify realistic ways for legal educators and the practicing bar to work together to ensure that future generations of Illinois lawyers are fully prepared to represent the interests of clients.

ISBA President Umberto Davi says, “The adoption of this Report is an important step as we strive to begin a discussion with Illinois’ law schools about improving the skills of those entering the practice of law.”

By Mike O'Connor, ISBA Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services

By now, every Illinois attorney whose practice involves even a little bit of family law knows (or should know) that major changes were made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMMDA), effective January 1, 2016. There have been several excellent articles in ISBA publications summarizing and discussing the revisions, so, without getting into the details, what is important to know is that the changes are significant and involve matters of both procedure and substance. 

Learn how to draft powers of attorney that meet your client’s goals and objectives with this online seminar on February 11, 2016! General practitioners, health care counsel, trust and estate attorneys, senior lawyers, and attorneys working in the mental health field or tax law arena need to know how to incorporate “statutory” and “non-statutory” powers of attorney for both property and health care to assist clients in minimizing the issues and problems of growing older. Attorneys with basic to intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar will learn how to draft samples for the following types of clients: clients with minor children; adult families; dysfunctional families; clients with businesses; clients with tax problems; clients of modest to minimal wealth; and clients with diminishing capacity and driving skills. This seminar also debunks some of the myths surrounding Health Care and Property Powers of Attorney, and offers practical solutions to current problems frequently experienced by clients, attorneys, and service providers. The seminar closes with a 30-minute overview and demonstration of IllinoisBarDocs – ISBA’s new document assembly product. Learn how to use IllinoisBarDocs to quickly and accurately generate statutory powers of attorney for both healthcare and property.

The ISBA Election in the Spring will elect 10 seats on the Board of Governors, 44 Cook County Assembly seats and 88 Outside Cook Assembly seats. Nominating petitions must be filed by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 1, 2016 at either the Illinois Bar Center, 424 South 2nd Street, in Springfield or the ISBA Office at 20 S. Clark Street, 9th Floor, Chicago. Petitions must be physically submitted with original signatures. Petitions submitted via email or fax will not be accepted.

Candidates should submit their biography and photo at

Find out more at