Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
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ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Real estate claims in Cook County (Senate Bill 1487), Medical records’ fees (House Bill 3845), Foreign Language Court Interpreter Act (House Bill 3620) and Drug Court Treatment Act (Senate Bill 727) and (Senate Bill 844). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Real estate claims in Cook County. Senate Bill 1487 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) authorizes the Cook County Recorder of Deeds to establish a three-year pilot program that permits documents to be recorded against a property in foreclosure by judicial order only. It requires a judge to issue an order barring any “nonrecord claimants” from recording an interest on the foreclosed property without approval of the court. The order shall expire on the date the court confirms the judicial sale of the property under the judgment of foreclosure.

If a court order has been recorded under this section, a non-record claimant may not record a document regarding the foreclosed property the subject of the foreclosure action without a certified court order. A unit of local government is not required to obtain a certified court order under this subsection to record a document that is subject of a foreclosure action. Nor does it apply to a bank or financial institution that recorded the lis pendens notice of foreclosure. On third reading in the Senate.

ISBA President Richard D. Felice issued a Letter to the Editor distributed throughout the state and a statement responding to Gov. Rauner's comments on Tuesday critical of the Illinois judiciary.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:  _________________

This week, Gov. Rauner pointedly and unfairly attacked the integrity of the Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois’ entire justice system. He labeled the system “corrupt” and said he did not “trust the Supreme Court to be rational” in its decisions.

As lawyers, we know Gov. Rauner’s attack is without foundation. We read the opinions authored by the Supreme and Appellate courts. We know they are decided without bias, based on the facts and evidence presented and the applicable law. We respect them as intelligent, well-reasoned decisions even when we don’t agree with them.

We also know the hard work judges do every day on behalf of those who seek access to justice. We see the difficult cases they decide. We know Illinois’ judicial system is not corrupt and that judicial decisions are rational.   

Back by popular demand! Don’t miss ISBA’s second annual elder law bootcamp in Chicago on April 23-April 24, 2015 that offers you the guidance and information you need to effectively represent your aging clients! Attorneys with all levels of practice experience who attend this two-day seminar will gain a better understanding of: how to prevent, prosecute and defend breach of fiduciary duties; the current trends in elder abuse – and why elder abuse and animal cruelty are connected; the most common types of debt facing the elderly; Illinois Medicaid eligibility rules; when to open a probate estate (and when not to); estate planning for the aging client; the differences and similarities between POA’s and Guardianships; current trends in health care fraud; what it takes to become a public guardian; the ethical pitfalls of representing aging clients; Social Security retirement strategies; estate planning for companion pets; the ins and outs of Medicare; the statutes that protect your client’s rights in a nursing home; and how to advise unmarried couples on the various planning options available.

The program is presented by ISBA Elder Law Section and qualifies for 12.50 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Q. I would like to join the Board of Governors for my local Bar Association. Are there any rules I should be aware of before joining?

Image about malpracticeThe ISBA Young Lawyers Division will host "Legal Malpractice Pitfalls for Young Lawyers" on Monday, April 20 from noon-1 p.m. at the ISBA Chicago Office, 20 S. Clark, Ste. 900.

Studies show that approximately 1 in 10 lawyers will be sued for malpractice during their career. Even meritless claims can burden you and your firm with both financial and emotional costs. By law, attorneys are not required to obtain legal malpractice insurance. Moreover, some types of legal malpractice insurance only provide coverage for certain conditions. This presentation will highlight common mistakes young lawyers make that often result in malpractice claims, provide steps to take to avoid these pitfalls, discuss an overview of important features of malpractice insurance policies, and evaluate the risk of young attorneys who find themselves in hot water.

YLD Professional Development Luncheons are aimed at teaching law students and young attorneys practical steps in developing their legal careers.


Two tech-savvy ISBA members, one a litigator and the other a transactional lawyer, describe some of their favorite iPad apps in the April Illinois Bar Journal. One top pick is TranscriptPad.

True to its name, TranscriptPad is designed to enable a litigator like Naperville lawyer Bryan Sims -- or anyone else, for that matter -- to work with transcripts. "I love this app," Sims says. "I use it all the time."

Because many apps are free and few cost more than $10, "people are going to think it's outrageously expensive at $90," says Sims, a member of the ISBA's Committee on Legal Technology. "But for what it does, that's a great price."

It's perfect for reading, annotating, and coding transcripts, he says. "If you just want to read your transcript, it's got a little play button, and you can let your transcript scroll by if you like. You can speed it up or slow it down."

Asked and Answered

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

April 21, 2015 Google Update May Impact Your Google Ranking

Q. I am the managing partner with a 14 attorney firm in Cleveland. A friend of my just advised me that Google was coming out with a change to their search engine that might impact our website. Have you heard anything?

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 March 2015, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for March 2015:

  • 904 phone referrals made by Lawyer Finder staff
  • Most requested areas of law: Family (151), Civil Disputes (82), Real Estate (68), Criminal Law (67), Personal Injury (55), Employment Law (51) and Civil Rights (32).
  • 20,920 visits to (18,831 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.

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday announced amendments to a rule that will help lawyers properly dispose of unidentified funds in their trust accounts and generate revenue to support legal aid in the process. The changes to Rule 1.15 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, which regulates the safe-keeping of client property, creates a mechanism for lawyers to remove unidentified fund balances from their Interest on Lawyers Trust (IOLTA) Accounts. The amended rule takes effect July 1, 2015. A copy of the changes can be found at

Update your civil practice knowledge with this top-rated, full-day seminar that addresses all phases of the trial! Get the information you need on new developments in the last year and a review of various civil procedure issues, particularly those that could create professional liability, on Friday, April 17, 2015 in Moline, Illinois. Attorneys with intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar will better understand: how to set the proper foundation for a successful outcome; the issues that can arise during the pleading phase of a lawsuit; motions to dismiss and summary judgment motions; how to effectively use all types of discovery before trial; how electronically stored data affects all types of cases; the disclosure of opinion witnesses and Supreme Court Rule 213; the requirements and considerations for requesting or defending against temporary restraining orders and injunctive relief; the strategic use of motions in limine before the trial; how to create a strong closing argument; how to obtain circuit court and appellate review of administrative decisions; and the post-trial motions appellate issues that counsel wishes you knew.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Civil Practice & Procedure Section and qualifies for 5.75 hours MCLE credit, including 1.75 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.