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Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Appellate Court Justice Mary K. Rochford as the new Chair of the Commission on Access to Justice.

Justice Rochford's appointment took effect July 6 and will terminate on June 15, 2017. She replaces Bloomington attorney Timothy W. Kelly, who resigned as Chair on July 6. Mr. Kelly will continue to serve on the Commission as a member.

A U.S. federal judge has dismissed a closely-watched lawsuit that challenged New York rules that ban non-attorneys from investing in law firms. The decision supports the established ISBA position and rejects the challenge to Rule 5.4, which prohibits non-lawyer ownership of law firms.

Read the full decision Jacoby & Meyers

Q. I have recently discovered some unidentified funds in my IOLTA account. What do I do with those?

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Condominium Property Act (House Bill 2640), Amends the Common Interest Community Association Act (House Bill 2640), Mortgage Foreclosure (Public Act 99-24), Common-Interest Community Association Act (Public Act 99-41) and Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act (Public Act 99-28). More information on each bill is available below the video.

The Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Bar Foundation, Illinois Judges Association, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Alliance of Illinois Judges, Illinois Judicial Council and the Jewish Judges Association of Illinois are teaming up for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) 21st annual Race Judicata Sprint for Justice 5K Run/Walk. This fundraising event takes place on Sept. 10 in Chicago’s Grant Park.

T-shirts will be provided for team members. All proceeds from Race Judicata go to the general operating costs of CVLS, which works to provide legal services to the poor and working poor of Chicago. The four organizations will host a tent that will serve as the main gathering point for team members. Food and water will be available at the tent. The entry fee is $34 through August 22nd. Register under the team name The "I's" Have It at

Any further questions can be directed to Jessie Austin with the IBF at (312) 726-6072.

A Cook County judge held recently that categorically denying supervision to someone convicted of driving 40 or more miles per hour over the speed limit violates the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution. Tom Speedie wrote about the case, People v. Rizzo (Cook County Case No. 37997158), in the May Traffic Laws & Courts newsletter.

Judge Deborah J. Gubin ruled that "the prohibition on court supervision for aggravated speeding [is] an unconstitutional violation of the proportionate penalties clause because it is cruel and degrading," Speedie wrote. "She lists the charges for which court supervision is unavailable, noting that many of them involve bodily injury. She goes on to observe that offenses for which court supervision is available include driving while suspended or revoked, driving under the influence, and theft.

"Judge Gubin concludes that mandating a misdemeanor conviction on a first offense, and not allowing a judge to consider mitigating factors, resulting in a non-expungable, permanent (barring a pardon) criminal conviction, with ongoing ramifications in many areas of a person's life, is cruel and degrading, thus unconstitutional," Speedie wrote. Find out more in the July Illinois Bar Journal.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the managing partner in a 14-attorney firm in Seattle. Our partnership has voted to dissolve the firm effective the Sept. 1, 2015. Two new firms will be formed. Eight attorneys will be going to one firm and six to another firm. What steps do we need to think about in managing this project?

A. You actually have two projects to manage. The dissolution project and the new firm start-up project for the firm that you will be joining. The other firm will also have a new firm start-up project as well. I will address in this blog some of the dissolution steps and I will address some of the new firm start-up steps in next week's post.

Dissolution Steps

The Illinois Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), has elected its officers for the organization’s 2015-16 fiscal year. They are: Shawn S. Kasserman, founding member, Tomasik Kotin & Kasserman, LLC, president; Elizabeth A. Kaveny, partner, Burke, Wise, Morrissey & Kaveny, first vice president; Perry J. Browder, shareholder, Simmons Hanly Conroy, second vice president; Timothy W. Kelly, principal, Kelly Law Offices, third vice president; Lisa M. Nyuli, partner, Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel P.C., treasurer; and Donald Tracy, partner, Brown, Hay & Stephens, LLC, secretary.

The Illinois Bar Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, strives 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. Call (312) 726-6072 or visit

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Personal Information Protection Act (Senate Bill 1833), Decriminalization of cannabis (House Bill 218), New criminal law procedures (House Bill 1121), Body cameras (Senate Bill 1304) and Open Meetings Act (House Bill 175). More information on each bill is available below the video.