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

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases Bonhomme v. St. James and In re Marriage of McGrath and the criminal case People v. Kinney.


Bonhomme v. St. James

By Michael T. Reagan, The Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

The Illinois Bar Foundation will host its annual Baseball Classic on July 20 at 7:15 p.m. The game will feature the Chicago Cubs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Tickets are $225 and include all food and beverages. Sponsorships are available. Contact the IBF at (312) 726-6072 for more information or click here to purchase tickets.

Jean A. Kenol
Jean A. Kenol
Jean A. Kenol, an attorney with the Joliet law firm of Mahoney, Silverman & Cross, LLC, has been appointed to an at-large Board of Governors seat of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).  The 27-member board directs the operations and activities of the bar association.

ISBA President-elect John E. Thies nominated Kenol at the May 18 meeting of the Board of Governors. The Board approved the appointment of Kenol to a two-year term beginning at the ISBA Annual Meeting in June. The at-large board seat, subject to nomination each year by the incoming president, was established in 2011 to reflect under-represented segments of the association in its governance.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers House Bill 196 (New traffic fees), Senate Bill 1808 (Eavesdropping and cell phones) and Senate Bill 2840 (Medicaid eligibility rules). More information on each bill is available below the video.


New traffic fees. House Bill 196 (McAuliffe, R-Chicago; Munoz, D-Chicago) creates the State Police Merit Board Public Safety Fund that is to be used to provide training for law enforcement personnel. Requires that every person pay $15 to pay for this fund if he or she is convicted of any criminal or traffic violation or a similar provision of a local ordinance. This is on third reading in the Senate. This is going to be a trend in which Illinois state government is moving to funding specific state agencies by assessing fees wherever they are able to get legislation enacted to do so.

Pending legislation would require that debtors get personal service, not merely notice by mail, before courts begin key legal processes that could put them behind bars. Find out more in Adam W. Lasker's LawPulse item in the June Illinois Bar Journal.

Senate Bill 1808 (Nekritz, D-Northbrook; Noland, D-Elgin) creates an exemption from prosecution for eavesdropping. It allows a citizen to record a law enforcement officer performing public duties in a public place. If not a "public" place, the exemption doesn't apply. Senate Bill 1808 passed out of the House yesterday on a 71-45-1 vote. The Seventh Circuit is considering this issue now in ALCU v. Alvarez. The Fraternal Order of Police and other law enforcement organizations still oppose. The roll call for how your representative voted is here

Practitioners are not always well-versed with administrative hearing procedures and the rights their clients may have in cases before administrative agencies. Likewise, administrative law judges are not as conversant as they should be with the administrative framework they operate under. Get the best practice tips you need for the successful prosecution, defense, and decision-making processes in administrative law cases with this informative seminar in Chicago on June 6th. Administrative law judges and attorneys who practice before administrative law agencies will benefit from the relevant topics covered, including subpoena issues, the right to cross-examine witnesses, and procedural requirements. The program includes a mock hearing in which our administrative law judges play the roles of attorneys prosecuting and defending a case, while an administrative law judge presides at the hearing. Can’t attend the live, on-site program in Chicago? Then join us on the web! This program will be broadcast live via the Internet so that attorneys can attend remotely.

The program qualifies for 2.0 hours MCLE credit and is presented by the ISBA Administrative Law Section and co-sponsored by the ISBA Government Lawyers Section, Young Lawyers Division, and the ISBA General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section.

Click here for more information and to register for the live program in CHICAGO.

Earlier this month the House appropriations committee (and the full House of Representatives) passed a proposed budget that included $328 million for LSC funding, which already would be a $20 million cut from this year's already reduced level.

During the floor debate about this budget, two LSC amendments were introduced, which, if they passed, would have further cut LSC funding. One amendment would have slashed LSC funding from $328 million to $200 million -- which would have been a further cut of $128 million to this year's LSC appropriation. This amendment was soundly defeated and by wider margins than similar amendments in previous years. Representatives Roskam, Hultgren, Manzullo, Schilling, Schock, and Walsh supported this amendment.

Another amendment that was voted on that night that would have eliminated all funding for LSC. Representatives Manzullo, Schilling, Schock, and Walsh supported this amendment.

The iPad is the coolest new tool in the lawyer’s toolbox. In fact, Reid Trautz wondered, iPad Impact: Going Where No Lawyer Has Gone Before?  However, because it is so intuitive and easy to use, few lawyers have taken the time to completely familiarize themselves with its features. Fortunately, Carol Gerber has taken the time to help busy lawyers get up to speed on their iPads by posting iPads for Lawyers: Shortcuts for Power Users in Attorney at Work. Geri Dreiling reports on one judge’s creative use of an iPad in One judge’s embrace of technology helps the court save time and taxpayer money at her blog, Lawyer Tech Review. Hopefully, our local courts will follow the example of South Carolina and revise their sites to become more iPad friendly as reported by Justin Kahn on his iPad Notebook.

(Feigenholtz, D-Chicago; Steans, D-Chicago) is supposed to eliminate Illinois’ $2.7 billion Medicaid funding gap. Included in Senate Bill 2840 is a repeal of the compromise of the Medicaid eligibility rules negotiated last fall between the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

Some of these changes include the following: (1) A home transferred into a trust after the bill becomes law may not be considered homestead property. If the home was transferred into a trust before the bill becomes law, it prevents a person from being eligible for long-term care if the person’s equity interest in this homestead exceeds the minimum home equity as allowed under federal law. (2) People over the age of 65 can no longer participate in a federally created OBRA Pooled Trust unless the beneficiary is a ward of the county public guardian or the State guardian. (3) A healthy spouse still living at home will receive only the minimum resource allowance instead of the maximum allowance as previously approved by JCAR. (4) Abolishes spousal refusal entirely so that HFS is not limited to how much it can seek when pursing a support order against a community spouse.

Senate Bill 2840 will be heard in House Executive Committee this afternoon. The bill has an immediate effective date and will therefore take effect when the Governor signs it. House Amendment No. 3 becomes the bill, and these provisions may be found starting on page 75.