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

VR Election Services, ISBA’s election provider, has e-mailed e-ballots to members with valid email addresses and mailed paper ballots to members without email addresses. If you haven’t received your e-ballot, please check your email spam under the suffix If your e-ballot is not in your spam folder, or if you received an electronic ballot and want to vote by paper ballot, please contact VRES at (800) 218-4026 or by email at

Online voting ends at 4:30 p.m. CT on Monday, April 30. Paper ballots must be received at VR Election Services in Texas by 4:30 p.m. CT on Monday, April 30, 2012 in order to be counted.

Full election results will be available on Illinois Lawyer Now on Friday, May 4, 2012.

All members with their dues paid by March 1st are eligible to vote if there is a contested election in their area. The two contested elections are Cook County Board of Governors, and Cook County Assembly.

ISBA President John G. Locallo (right) presents Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez, of Aurora, with the ISBA’s annual Law Enforcement Award. The award we presented at the Kane County Bar Association’s annual Judges Night on Tuesday, April 24, at Fox Valley Country Club in North Aurora.

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers HJRCA 29 (victims' rights), Senate Bill 2894 (Public guardians), Senate Bill 3792 (Mechanics Lien Act) and Senate Bill 3823 (Sanctions for visitation violations). More information on each bill is available below the video.


Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
The Illinois Bar Foundation will host a Rock Island County Fellows Chapter Reception honoring Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride. Chief Justice Kilbride will be presented with the Rock Island County Beacon of the Profession Award.

This event will be held on Thursday, May 3, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Abbey Station, 3031 Fifth Avenue, Rock Island, Illinois. For more information, please call the IBF at 312.726.6072.


Discover how you can address the issues most commonly faced in the criminal courts today!

Has the new Illinois Evidence Code changed today’s criminal practice? Join us in Springfield on May 4th for this seminar that discusses case law and legislation updates that Illinois attorneys need to know to be effective in the courtroom. Both new attorneys and experienced practitioners will benefit from the following program topics: Fourth and Fifth Amendment cases; pre-trial and trial issues involving the Sixth Amendment; the ethical challenges involving the use of social media (such as Facebook and Twitter); branding your practice and establishing a niche in the market; and recent amendments relating to the use of breath interlock devices and monitored device driving permits.

The program is presented by the ISBA Criminal Justice Section and qualifies for 5.5 MCLE credit hours, including 1.0 PMCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Well-Intentioned but Flawed

HJRCA 29 is a constitutional amendment that creates standing for victims to participate in criminal proceedings as a party before the defendant’s guilt is established.

The Illinois State’s Attorneys’ Association and the Illinois State Bar Association oppose HJRCA 29. In its current form this proposal is unwise, unworkable, and unnecessary. We are concerned about its unintended consequences, such as court delays, longer incarceration awaiting trials, and wrongful convictions. HJRCA 29’s practical effect is that it will delay justice for victims by pitting prosecutors against victims instead of allowing them to be advocates for victims. That result isn’t helpful for victims or the public.

It is unwise. A criminal proceeding is a truth-seeking process that promotes public safety by adjudicating guilt and punishing the guilty. The awesome power to prosecute and imprison is vested with the government—not private parties. This means that victims and defendants are not contestants who require equal standing; the victim’s liberty and property are not at risk. But authorizing a victim to participate as a party with all of the standing of a prosecutor and defendant but none of their responsibilities, roles, and risks is a recipe for disaster. It is a return to the days of private, not public, justice.

It is unworkable. Illinois circuit courts annually process a staggering number of cases:

Three bills drafted in large part by members of the ISBA Trusts and Estates Section Council would amend Illinois trust laws to make them more responsive to modern practices and easier to comply with for everyone involved in the estate-planning process. Among other changes, the legislation would make nonjudicial trust modifications easier and limit the risk of liability for fiduciaries who handle specific trust-related tasks. Find out more in the May Illinois Bar Journal.

Photo credit: The Mark Photography, Mark Kodiak Ukena
Photo credit: The Mark Photography, Mark Kodiak Ukena
Illinois State Bar Association President John G. Locallo (left) presents Mark Pleasant, a special investigator with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office in Waukegan, with the ISBA’s annual Law Enforcement Award. This award was presented at a luncheon of the Lake County Bar Association on April 24 at the Green Belt Cultural Center in North Chicago.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a 16 attorney firm in Memphis. Our firm has had the same partner compensation system for 20 years and we are generally happy with it. It is an eat-what-you-kill system. Since we are generally happy why should we consider changing it?

A. You can start with the following firm self-test. Has the firm experienced or is it experiencing:

  • Partner defections
  • Firm splits and breakups
  • Personal fiefdoms
  • Maverick partners
  • Hoarding work
  • System perceived as unfair
  • Problems acquiring and retaining top legal talent
  • Low productivity
  • Low profitability
  • Client dissatisfaction
  • Low morale
  • Disputes with former partners

If your firm is experiencing or has experienced the above symptoms, it is time to really examine where the firm is headed and what messages your compensation is sending to your partners. Is the firm trying to be a firm or merely a group of lone rangers? Even though your partners are content, your compensation system may be holding the firm back from becoming all that it desires to be. Contentment may not be the best measure of success.

Click here for our blog on compensation

Click here for our published articles

"Medical Negligence and The Law" and "Negligence and The Law" will air on Chicago Access Network Television, Channel 21 in Chicago, at 10 p.m. in April and May.

"Medical Negligence and The Law" will air on on Tuesdays, April 24 and May 8. Appearing on the show are (from left) Ronald Kalish, of Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish in Chicago; Karen McNulty Enright, of Winters Enright Salzetta & O’Brien, LLC, in Chicago; Hon. Elizabeth M. Budzinski, a judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County; and program moderator Samuel A. Kavathas, of Kavathas & Castanes in Chicago.

"Negligence and The Law" will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, May 1 and 15. Appearing on the show are program moderator Samuel A. Kavathas, of Kavathas & Castanes in Chicago; Ronald Kalish, of Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish in Chicago; Karen McNulty Enright, of Winters Enright Salzetta & O’Brien, LLC, in Chicago; and Hon. Thomas V. Lyons, a judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County.