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

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced Thursday that the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Ronald A. Barch as an associate judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Barch received his undergraduate degree in 1986 from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, and his Juris Doctor in 1992 from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Barch is currently affiliated with Cicero, France, Barch & Alexander PC in Rockford, IL.

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 2644), Decriminalization of cannabis (House Bill 218) and Body cameras (Public Act 99-352). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Condominium Property Act. House Bill 2644 (Cassidy, D-Chicago; Steans, D-Chicago) deletes a provision in current law that allows unit owners to enforce a provision in a declaration that would otherwise be void and ineffective if at least 75% of the owners approve at a any time after the election of the first unit-owner board of managers. Governor Rauner vetoed this because he believes that this is an unnecessary restriction on the rights of condominium owners with respect to their property.

Decriminalization of cannabis. House Bill 218 (Cassidy, D-Chicago; Noland, D-Elgin) imposes a minimum fine of $55 and a maximum fine of $125 for possession of 15 grams or less of cannabis. (2) Establishes a per se standard for Cannabis-DUI of 15 nano/milliliter of blood or 25 nano/milliliter of saliva in system instead of a trace of cannabis. (3) Allows for alternative ways to test for cannabis DUI using “any bodily substance” (including saliva) for testing. This is an expansion from current law of breath, blood, and urine. (4) Keeps ordinance and civil violation dispositions of minors confidential to reflect the intent of the Juvenile Court Act and limit collateral damage to minors.

Litigating a smaller value case creates many unique problems, including variations in practices and procedural rules – differences that even experienced lawyers can find daunting. Don’t miss this live webcast on September 16,2015 that highlights the pitfalls associated with these cases and presents techniques designed to effectively represent a client with a smaller value case. Personal injury attorneys and insurance defense practitioners with basic to intermediate practice experience, won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn how to provide the “small case” client with top level advocacy. In addition to the do's and don'ts of practice in the Municipal Division and the contrasting perspectives of a plaintiff and defense attorney on how to best address these problems, you will learn how to: keep expenses in proportion to the value of case; understand the special Municipal Court rules relative to mandatory arbitration; conduct case management and trials; work within the limited scope of discovery; and much more.

The program is presented by the ISBA Tort Law Section and qualifies for 1.50 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

They're not lawyers, nor do they play them on TV, nor in court, nor in other more complex scenarios. But unlike paralegals, they can give legal advice and handle more basic, cut-and-dried matters independent of an attorney's supervision.

Limited license legal technicians, touted by supporters as the nurse practitioners of the legal profession, have been licensed for the first time in Washington state, where the initial handful of LLLTs recently completed the joint community college-law school educational track. Several other states, including Florida, Oregon, and Colorado, are at various stages of exploring the issue, while the Illinois State Bar Association has appointed a task force that will begin exploring LLLTs this fall.

Proponents of Washington state's move, mandated in 2012 by the state's supreme court, say LLLTs could help provide legal services to moderate- and middle-income people who can't afford to pay for attorneys but are not poor enough to qualify for legal aid services - hence the comparison to nurse practitioners and how they play a mid-level-provider role in the medical profession.

Opponents, who were very vocal at last summer's ISBA assembly meeting, are concerned that already underemployed lawyers will lose business to LLLTs and also that the quality of legal services provided will suffer. They would prefer to explore other alternatives for making legal services more affordable, and the ISBA task force will take up some of those ideas as well. Find out more in the September Illinois Bar Journal.

With the 2015-16 season quickly approaching, the Chicago Blackhawks would like to offer you an exclusive opportunity to purchase preseason tickets.

Receive a hockey stick autographed by a member of the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions with the purchase of four or more tickets in the 100 or 200 level, while supplies last.*

This is your opportunity to get an early look at the Blackhawks and see opponents like Detroit, St. Louis and Dallas.

To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE and enter the promo code LAW.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a new partner in our law firm of six attorneys. I was an associate for seven years and was just made an equity partner and just received a copy of this month's income statement. The income statement shows the firm operating at a loss. I was startled and took a look at past years' statements as well. All are showing a small loss. Am I looking at these correctly? How can a firm operate at a loss for seven years in a row and still be in business. I would appreciate your comments.

A. My guess is that the firm is running all or a portion of equity partner compensation though as expense on the income statement. Other personal items may also be run through the firm as well. Check with the firm's bookkeeper or outside accountant to see if this is the case. If this is the case add the total paid to equity partners back to the net income or loss on the income statement. This will give a better picture of the actual "pie".

Click here for our financial management topic blog

Click here for articles on other topics

Volunteer hotline attorneys are needed in Chicago to give advice to low-income clients in the areas of landlord/tenant, consumer debt, and family law. Day and night shifts are available. Daily hotline shifts are Mondays-Fridays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1 p.m.-5 p.m. A minimum commitment of 1 shift per week over a 10-week session is requested. Evening shifts are Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m.–8 p.m.  We seek a minimum commitment of 36 hours over a one-year period. Training (with CLE credit) and malpractice insurance provided.

Our next training cycle begins Wednesday, September 16, 2015 from 4:00pm-8:00pm. For more information, contact Leslie Wallin at (312) 421-4427 or or go to

ISBA Spotlight on Pro Bono

By Susan LePeau DeCostanza, Staff Attorney, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services

Summer is a time when we may flex our work schedule a bit and take some time off to enjoy the weather with family and friends. Summer is also a great time to start thinking creatively about that pro bono or volunteer project you’ve been meaning to get started this year. With information about so many pro bono opportunities online and at our fingertips, volunteering has never been so easy!  

If you need some new or creative ways to volunteer, is always a great place to start. One simple click on the “Volunteer” tab produces a host of options all over the great state of Illinois, one of which is sure to fit well with your particular skills, areas of expertise and complicated schedule. 

Get the best practice tips and practical tools you need to run your law office efficiently and profitably with this full-day seminar in Fairview Heights on September 11, 2015! Gain a better understanding of: how to maintain your practice during an emergency; how to manage the financial side of your practice – from trust accounts and office expenses, to accounts receivable and payable; the human resources issues you need to be aware of; how document assembly can help you run your practice more efficiently; how to plan for the future given the current legal landscape; and much more!

The program – which is presented by the Illinois State Bar Association and sponsored by the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company – qualifies for 6.75 hours MCLE credit, including 6.75 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Marishonta M. Wilkerson
Marishonta M. Wilkerson
Bryan McIntyre
Bryan McIntyre
Calli Burnett
Calli Burnett








The Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, has awarded its 2015 Post Graduate Legal Fellowship Program grants to three 2015 law school graduates.

The Fellowships, which provide clinical support for three law school legal clinics, were awarded this summer to Calli Leigh Burnett, of Chicago; Bryan McIntyre, of Urbana, and Marishonta M. Wilkerson, of Milwaukee.

The foundation launched its Post Graduate Legal Fellowship Program in 2014 to fund public interest jobs for recent law graduates, according to Shawn Kasserman, IBF president. The foundation will award $25,000 to each of the three fellowships. The law schools will each contribute a stipend to help fund the positions.

Wilkerson will serve at NIU Law’s Zeke Giorgi Clinic in Rockford; McIntyre will work in the Civil Litigation Clinic at the University of Illinois; and Burnett will support the Community Law Center Clinic at Loyola University Chicago.