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


Just in time for the IBJ's 100th birthday, the ISBA is making it available for download as a PDF to allow members to read the latest issue on their iPads. And because it's in PDF, you can also view it on other tablets, phones, or your computer and even print all or part of the issue.

ISBA members, find out more and download the PDF. And don't forget that the IBJ full text back through November 1998 is fully searchable and free to all members.



Eight bands have been selected to perform at the Illinois Bar Foundation’s 2nd Annual Lawyers Rock Legends at Buddy Guy’s Legends on Feb. 16, 2012. The voting was conducted on the IBF’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/illinoisbarfoundation.

The bands (in alphabetical order) that will be playing live at Buddy Guy's Legends on
Feb. 16 are:

  • 5-thirty
  • CAC Attack
  • Clark Stereo
  • Hans & The Hormones
  • Jack Salamander
  • Joe Bisceglia
  • One More Time
  • The Vazquez Blues Band

More information on the event is available at www.illinoisbarfoundation.org.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the sole owner of a 12 attorney firm in downtown Chicago. With staff we have a total of 23 people in the firm. Managing people is my toughest challenge. I am having problems with people not following firm policy and doing what they should not be doing. It is driving me crazy. What should I do? I am interested in your thoughts?

A. Tell them to stop. Seriously. As owner of your firm you can't beat around the bush and be sheepish concerning your expectations concerning desired performance and behavior in the office. Confront the performance or behavioral problem immediately. Manage such problems in real time. Don't wait for the annual performance review and don't treat serious problem as a "self-improvement" effort. Tell them how you feel about the performance or behavioral issue, the consequences for failure to resolve the issue, your timeline for resolving the issue, and the follow-up schedule that you will be using to follow-up and monitor the issue. If they must resolve the performance or behavioral issue in order to keep their job tell them so. They may need this level of confrontation to give them the strength to be able to deal with their issues.

Being a wimp does not help you or them. Tell them like it is and conduct a heart-to-heart discussion. You will be glad you did.

P.S. It gets easier with practice!

Click here for our blog on HR ideas

Click here for articles on other topics



The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the assignment of Cook County Circuit Court Judge Stuart E. Palmer to the Illinois Appellate Court for the First Judicial District.

In a related move, the Supreme Court also announced that Judge P. Scott Neville Jr., a Circuit Court judge who now sits by assignment on the Appellate Court, will be appointed to the vacancy created by the recent death of Appellate Justice Robert Cahill.

Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis recommended that Judge Palmer be assigned to the Appellate Court, and implemented a judicial screening committee which favorably reviewed the qualifications of Judge Palmer.

Judge Palmer sat in the felony trial courts of Cook County for almost 12 years, and now sits in the Chancery Division of Cook County Circuit Court.

Judge Palmer was screened in 2009 by bar associations for a potential appointment to the Appellate Court and received high marks, including a "well qualified" rating from the Chicago Council of Lawyers and highly qualified ratings from several other bar groups, including the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association.

When he ran for retention as a Circuit Court judge in 2006, he received the highest ratings from all evaluating bar associations, including a "Highly Qualified" rating from the Chicago Council of Lawyers.


Herb Franks
Herb Franks
50 Year Anniversary Speech

By Herbert H. Franks, ISBA Past President and Class of 1961

Today we remember Pearl Harbor and the day of infamy. This is a day of infamy also for Gov. Blagojevich. He got 14 years.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "the life of the law is not logic, it is experience." Holmes must have had our class of senior lawyers in mind when he made this quote, because if there is one thing the people in this class have, it is experience.

I wonder how many people in this room expected to reach this day. I sure know I didn't.

After being raised on a farm and slopping the hogs and milking the cows twice a day, almost everything you do in later life is easy.

How different is the world today! When we were in law school, there might have been one or two women in our class. Now, women are the majority of law students.

When we came out to try and make our mark and living, the electric typewriter was just gaining acceptance. A few years later came fax machines, and then in dizzying speed came computers, cell phones, iPads, laptops and the list goes on. How we had to change and learn to use these things, things that our grandchildren can do automatically.


Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil case Township of Jubilee v. State of Illinois and criminal case People v. Young.


ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers: Senate Bill 397, which changes the State tax credit of the Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Act; No. 97-20, which creates a new statute to allow first-offender probation for certain felonies and No. 97-28, which creates two exemptions from prosecution for eavesdropping. More information on each bill is available below the video.

Correction to video: The proposed eavesdropping legislation came from the Intellectiual Property Section Council - not the Criminal Justice Section Council.


Okay, that's an overstatement. But you still have plenty to do after obtaining a p.i. settlement or judgment, as Angelica W. Wawrzynek explains in the latest ISBA YLD newsletter. Depending on your case, you might have Medicare liens, hospital liens, attorney liens, rights of reimbursement, and hospital bills to consider. Read her article and find out more.



An ISBA sign was installed Wednesday morning to greet visitors after they get off the elevator at the Chicago Regional Office (CRO). The sign is a welcome addition for many who have visited the office and thought they got off on the wrong floor - as the entire space was recently renovated.

The CRO hosts the majority of the Association's meetings and Continuing Legal Education programs.

Click here to view pictures from the recent rehab of the CRO and click here to view upcoming CLE programs.


Asked and Answered

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

Q. Our firm has in place a strategic plan as well as a firm client development plan and individual lawyer client development plans as well.  While we have great ideas and good intentions - we seem to be falling short of the mark and not accomplishing much. What are you thoughts regarding our dismal success with our client development efforts?

A. Obstacles to Marketing

Based upon our observations drawn from working with client law firms over the past eighteen years we have concluded that marketing is poorly understood and ineffectively implemented in many small law firms. In addition, the following obstacles are at play:

Time

There is no time for marketing or any firm developmental activities. Production is king and non-billable activities such as marketing are discouraged.

Uneasiness With Marketing

Attorneys are uncomfortable with marketing. This is primarily due to lack of understanding, training, and experience with the process.

Lack of Marketing Understanding