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


Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm is a 25-attorney firm located in Austin, Texas. I am the firm administrator. We are planning on having a firm retreat in February and are wondering whether we should include the spouses. Some of our partners think we should include spouses while others think that we should not. We have had retreats in the past and have not included spouses. I would appreciate your thoughts.


New attorneys will be admitted to practice in Illinois on Thursday, Nov. 9, with Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court justices presiding and administering the attorney's oath to 1,335 new attorneys at five separate locations across the state. 

All of the candidates set to be sworn in have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. They will bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 98,000.

The largest group, 1,022, will be admitted in the First Judicial District during two ceremonies at the Arie Crown Theater, located at 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago. The ceremonies will be at 9:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis will preside over both ceremonies.

Guests of the morning ceremony will include Dartesia Pitts, president of the Cook County Bar Association; Randy K. Johnson of the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar; and Hon. Cecilia Horan, president of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association. Judge Stuart E. Palmer will move for admission of the class. Judge Robert W. Bertucci will second the motion.


In the September ISBA Trusts & Estates Section newsletter, Chicago lawyer Michael H. Erde shares 20 nuggets of wisdom he's gleaned in his 48 years of practice. Here are 10.

1. Use blue ink. "Have your clients sign in blue ink so judges and attorneys know which are the originals," Erde advises.

2. Mention an heir you're disinheriting. "Always mention an heir who is disinherited in a will or trust," Erde writes. But don't leave him or her a dollar, "because the executor/trustee will never get a receipt."

3. Get a conflict waiver. If you're drafting a joint trust for husband and wife, "be sure to obtain a conflict waiver for representing both."

4. Specifically give the executor access to safety deposit boxes. "Some financial organizations will not allow a trustee or agent into a safety deposit box unless there is specific language in the Trust or Power of Attorney to allow the trustee or the agent the authority to do so," Erde writes.

5. Make will and trust contesters pay legal fees. "Have a no-contest clause that causes the person contesting his or her share in a trust to pay all legal fees," Erde writes. This will make people think twice before contesting.

6. Advise clients to give guns only to FOID-card holders.


The Illinois State Bar Association will honor the Class of 1967 Distinguished Counsellors next week. This title is conferred annually upon those ISBA members who are completing their 50th year of practice.

The Board of Governors is pleased to announce the 2017 Class will be honored at a special luncheon on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at the Union League Club. A reception will begin at 11:00 a.m., and lunch at 11:45 a.m. followed by the program.

Tickets to the luncheon are available and may be purchased online. Any questions regarding the luncheon may be directed to Kim Weaver

Congratulations to the 1967 Class of Distinguished Counsellors:


The Illinois Supreme Court announced yesterday findings from a judicial decision-making study undertaken by the Supreme Court Committee on Equality. The results found that implicit biases are present and impact outcomes depending on the race, gender, poverty, and legal representation status of hypothetical parties. Factors such as adverse working conditions were also found to have a potential affect on a judge's ability to deliver consistent, unbiased decisions. 

The statewide study, completed by the majority of Illinois judges, was developed and analyzed by the American Bar Foundation with researchers Dr. Andrea Miller and Dr. Robert Nelson. Designed to analyze the approaches to judicial decision-making and the considerations that influence outcomes of those decisions, an online questionnaire involving hypothetical court cases assessing judicial decision-making in different areas of law was first distributed in November 2016 with data collection from all circuit courts concluding in April 2017. In all, 619 of the 901 circuit court judges in Illinois completed the survey.



Another year is almost over, but our member-only Lenovo deals just keep getting better and better! All month long, feast on instant savings up to 44% off legendary Think and Lenovo technologies, accessories, and more!



The deadline for making lodging reservations at the Palmer House Hilton for the 2017 Midyear Meeting, which will be held Dec. 7– 9 in Chicago, has been extended through Monday, Nov. 13. Our conference rate for 2017 is $179 for single or double occupancy, plus applicable taxes. Reservations at the Palmer House Hilton may be made online.

Reservations received after the Nov. 13 deadline will be subject to availability. The deposit will be forfeited for all no-shows, early departures, and cancellations less than 72 hours prior to arrival.

Additional information about this year's Midyear Meeting, including a meeting overview, schedule, CLE offerings, and business meeting schedule, is available on the website.

 


The ISBA Assembly has revised the policy on the selection of ISBA delegates to the ABA House of Delegates. As a result, two new at-large positions have been created, and the Assembly will elect members to fill these positions at the December 9, 2017meeting.

The nominees for these positions must be members of the ISBA who are in good standing and from the appropriate area. One will be from Cook County and one from the area outside Cook County. Both will serve for one-year terms commencing immediately, and the delegates will be part of the ISBA delegation at the February 2018 ABA Midyear Meeting and the August 2018 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Nominations must be made in writing by at least 20 ISBA members in good standing from the appropriate area. Nominations must be filed with the office of the executive director not later than Friday, November 17, 2017. 

Questions about the nominating petition (PDF) may be directed to the ISBA executive director’s office by contacting Kim Weaver by e-mail or calling 800.252.8908.


At the December 9, 2017 ISBA Assembly meeting, two “Under 35” Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates will be elected, one from Cook County and one from the area outside Cook County. 

The nominees for these positions must be members of the ISBA who are in good standing and from the appropriate area. The elected delegates will serve for two-year terms commencing June, 2018 and will join the ISBA delegation at the ABA meeting in Chicago in August 2018.

The outside Cook County position has recently become vacant, and Cory White, who is the incumbent for the Cook County position, is eligible for reelection.

Nominations must be made in writing by at least 20 ISBA members in good standing from the appropriate area. Nominations must be filed with the office of the executive director no later than Friday, November 17, 2017. 

Questions about the nominating petition (PDF) may be directed to the ISBA executive director’s office by contacting Kim Weaver by e-mail or calling 800.252.8908.


Robert C. Nelson of Nelson & Nelson discusses the average weekly wage, a critical workers' compensation issue that determines how much money a person receives while they are off work.